Services act as a key to satisfy customers especially in the hospitality sector. Key strategic vision for any hotel is to delivery services of highest possible quality through its employees (Heskett J. L., 2010). Hotel Magnificent is aimed at providing high quality customer services through a varied type of strategic objectives. The hotel present as a chain hotel throughout world offers one of the best quality services in Australia. In order to attract its customers, its pool of services varies across lodging, restaurant, child care facilities, conferences, spa and so on and so forth. Lodging facility offered by the hotel is exclusive in itself for attracting large number of customers. Heksett’s model of quality service delivery has been accommodated in order that appropriate service blueprint can easily be understood. Services are further customized in a way such that it can easily meet needs of its customers (Theoharakis, 2009). Hence, it can easily be understood that service delivery systems acts as a key to its operational strategy. The scope of this report identifies the services blue print for appropriate operational strategy such that high quality services can be rendered. The hotel implements appropriate service employee management such that it can incorporate quality measures in its chain. Such strategies allow the hotel overcome any sort of challenges faced across its chain and offer high quality of services to its customers (Evanschitzky, 2012).
According to Heksett operational strategy can be best developed by means of aiming at profitability and success for the business. Such profitability can easily be enhanced by means of investing into employee’s capabilities. Thus, human resource development is the key to attending customer satisfaction (Chi, 2009). The model depicted below reflects the importance of operations as a means or part to obtain customer satisfaction, value and loyalty. Marketing is another crucial factor that can help attract customers by showing the value that will be derived in utilization of the services of the hotel. It can be identified that Hotel Magnificent needs to attract its customers by way of marketing activities and then implement its operational strategy by appropriate training and development of human resources for attaining profitability (Essawi, 2012). The key elements in the model leads to the Service Management Trinity of Human Resources, Marketing and Operations as highlighted below.
Figure 1: Heksett's Model
A Service Management Trinity comprises of Operations, Marketing and Human Resources as being the key elements of service delivery that are closely related to each other. Operations, marketing and Human Resources are key sources that can help yield high levels of profitability to the hotel chain. The concept aims at reducing conflicts that are offered by the three separate disciplines of management. While operations aims at reducing costs of services that are offered to customers, marketing aims at attracting customers through various advertisements and other endeavors (Fazlzadeh, 2012). Sole aim of marketing activities is to increase profitability of the hotel. Human Resources needs to focus on operations such that customer satisfaction can be increased and attended to. These departments needs to work closely with one another for aiming at appropriate results.
Figure 2: Service Management Trinity
Marketing: Marketing department needs to evaluate appropriate market segments that it aims to serve. As target market analysis has been undertaken previously according to Heksett’s model needs focus on strategic service vision. The Hotel will aim to service areas in Sydney, though it will attract customers from around the world (Heskett J. L., 2010). It will also research key customer needs and preferences within the segment. As in Sydney the hotel needs to offer its services at affordable rates, but with appropriate monitoring of competitive offerings and identifying principal characteristics as their quality and strategic levels. Post which the hotel has designed its services to cater to its targeted segment.
Operations: The hotel has selected supplementary elements for increasing value appeals of core service of the hotel which comprises of lodging. The hotel has designed its lodging and restaurant services such that customer needs and preferences are appropriately reflected (Heskett J. L., 2008). Prices are set according that reflects competitive price levels. The hotel has also adopted communication strategy with its customers by means of social media sites for transmitting messages, promoting advantages of services rendered.
Human Resource: The hotel has been able to achieve tremendous amounts of success due to its employees. It has already fixed employee performance standards for establishing of appropriate service quality levels. There are programs that rewards its employees for their loyalty as well (Hong, 2013). This establishes that marketing and human resources function in services is closely interrelated and dependent upon each other.
Service blueprint consists of a technique that is commonly used for service design and innovation. A service blueprint is necessarily an applied process chart for service delivery processes that reflects customer’s perspective (Geum, 2011). It is a tool that is utilized by the hotel for managing of service operations, service positioning and service design. A service blueprint consists of an input process and output methodology. Some elements of service blueprints are Customer Actions, Front-stage, Back-stage including visible contact employee, support processes, physical evidences, inventory and line of visibility. Description of key elements of service blueprint of the hotel are discussed below (Lee, 2015).
Figure 3: Service Blueprint
The two key elements of service blueprint includes;
Customer Actions: These include procedures that customers take as a part for the service delivery process. Customers provide valuable inputs though this process as they come to the hotel to avail valuable services. A customer first makes a booking at the hotel and then finally arrives at the reception to avail the services at the hotel (Bitner, 2008). While checking in customer provides inputs regarding the facilities they will be requiring while staying at the hotel. Every input obtained from customer needs to be accommodated for developing services in a better manner. Such will allow meeting of specific objectives aimed at attaining of customer satisfaction, through service process improvisation. Operational efficiency needs to be also aimed through customer actions to provide voluminous outputs to large number of customers.
Front-stage (Visible contact Employee Actions): These include procedures taken by contact employees as an endeavor for face-to-face service encounter (HESKETT, 2012). At the hotel staffs are continuously interacting with customers right from their entry into the hotel till such time, they leave the hotel and provide good feedback. Employees are the front end personnel, who are continuously striving to deliver key services and meet customer satisfaction levels. More the attention provided to individual customers, better the quality of services rendered. The hotel needs to obtain detailed and descriptive inputs regards to service feedback such that they can improvise on any aspect of it as food, behaviour, cleanliness, support and several other parameters on which staffs will be ranked (Larivi?re, 2008).
The Service Delivery System
Operational strategy for service delivery system needs to aim at quality services such that customer satisfaction levels can be enhanced. For any service delivery system key procedural techniques needs to be developed (Maritz, 2008). The service delivery system at the hotel needs to be integrated such that key functionality are catered to customers in an enhanced manner to increased customer satisfaction rates.
Nature of the service process at each step: For conforming to enhanced quality in services at every step that interacts with customers need to be clearly understood. With rising competition and demand for exclusive range of services it becomes pertinent to evaluate the possibilities for high levels of service delivery. At each and every step beginning customer entry at the hotel, each service point needs to be adequately evaluated and catered to.
Serving protocol – reservations system: The hotel will first take online booking for its rooms (Fitzsimmons, 2008). It will keep 20% of its rooms for urgent booking, for customers first come and first serve basis. Reservation system will entirely be depended on online booking, where customers will be given maximum discounts.
Capacity management issues: During peak seasons the hotel is likely to face capacity management issues that can lead to possible crisis. With multiple guests coming into the hotel, there might be management issues that needs to get dealt with (Yee, 2011). Hence, during such peak seasons, the hotel will employ contractual employees to deal with additional flow of customers.
Service Employee Management
Employee is the key to deliver high quality services at any hotel. Hence, for attaining competitive edge it becomes crucial to attract and recruit employees who can render the organisation competitive advantages (Heskett J. L., 2008). The hotel will integrate several employee engagement strategies as training and development to attain goals of the organisation. Further, recruiting and selecting appropriately trained employee who has expertise to deliver services in the hotel industry can help it gain positive feedback from customers. Employee management is the key factor that can render competitiveness in the service sector as hotel industry and create a niche for the hotel. The HR manager at the hotel will be responsible for attending to employee related issues and in managing customer complaints or grievances. Through service processes delivery systems, the organisation will aim to attend to each and every step of employee management and handling (Heskett J. L., 2010). Thus, through employee training, they will be motivated which will result in higher motivation for the employee which will in turn affect higher productivity, ultimately leading to customer satisfaction.
Quality management measures
Heksett model primarily aimed to drive business profitability by means of engaging in improvisation of service quality. The focus of the model was to target and attain key measures in service quality such that business overall profitability can easily be driven. The model analyses key business relationships such that high levels of profits and sales margins can easily be derived. Applying the model in the hotel business, it can be said that the hotel needs to include several business measures. Business measures includes training and empowering of employees, employee satisfaction rates and competence, service delivery systems, customer satisfaction rates, customer loyalty rates which will eventually lead to high sales and profits turnovers. The above identified measures are regarded as the key business drivers that can help attend high levels of profitability and in turn customer satisfaction. Customer attraction can also be regarded as a parameter that will be easily attained through this model. Hence, the hotel management needs to focus on developing parameters or measures for identifying and increasing these key aspects in businesses. Customer satisfaction is associated with past present and future expectation in quality. Customer satisfaction can be achieved with mediocre quality, in case they have low satisfaction expectations. Similarly customer can be dissatisfied even if overall service quality is good, this is the case when service quality is priced at high rates. This model hence focuses on strengthening of business relationships. Customer loyalty is integral for hotel business due to high costs associated with acquiring of new customers and switching costs. Customer relationship can terminate due to multitude of factors hence they needs to be evaluated and reduced substantially. As customer loyalty has direct impact on profitability, metrics determined above needs to be catered to and KPIs (Key performance Indicators) needs to be developed. Such KPI will have various scores according to industry standards which can be strived for to achieve and exceed them such that organisation’s profitability and sustainability can be maintained. Employee can deliver long-term potential impacts on customers as well as the business, hence they are considered to be long-term potential drivers of revenue.
Analysis of above service quality related aspects of hotel business reveals the importance of quality in driving profitability. While service quality cannot alone be enhanced, there are various parameters of them attached to services that are recognized. Employee management and customer feedback has been regarded as integral factors that can drive high levels of quality within the organisation. Employees acts as a crucial point of delivery of service quality that can easily impact customer satisfaction rates. Hence, identifying various elements in the service blueprint, employee empowerment and developing their competence is regarded as key factors for driving quality. Organisations hence needs to involve themselves in various employee related programs such that superior customer satisfaction can be achieved.
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