Key Challenges That Hotels Face Which Influences Customer Satisfaction

  • Prangpra Ram-on
Keywords: Customer Expectation, Service Quality, Customer Satisfaction, Service Excellent

Abstract

Nowadays, Thailand is one of the top tourism destinations in the world, accounting for 9.4% of the country’s GDP in 2017 (World Travel and Tourism Council, 2018). An estimated 38.27 million tourists visited Thailand in 2018, with an anticipated 41 million arrivals for 2019 (Bangkok Post, 2019). The luxury hotel sector serves many of these visitors, with one estimate indicating that just under half of visitors to Thailand will choose to stay in a luxury hotel (Colliers, 2018). This means it is important for hotels to succeed in meeting customer expectations – especially service quality.

The purpose of this deductive, quantitative approach was to investigate the influence of service quality on guest satisfaction, to examine present trend of consumer behaviour, to identify dimensions of service quality and to provide recommendations for service improvement in luxury hotels by applying an established theoretical framework to observation.

Data were collected from 400 guests from 12 hotels using a questionnaire including attitudinal items, a screening question, and demographic information, which was designed using a combination of adapted and new items identified during the full literature review (Gravetter & Forzano, 2011). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multiple regression.

This study demonstrated that hotel service excellence characteristics strongly influenced customer satisfaction for luxury hotels. The research also pointed out how inadequate the strategies the hotels were using, and demonstrated the importance of staff training and experience, as well as staff attitudes and responsiveness. Taken together, these factors were very important for guest satisfaction. The strongest effect came from the physical environment, demonstrating that hotel guests had high expectations for the physical environment, both in their room and in the public areas of the hotel.

The main recommendations of this study are that managers of luxury hotels in Thailand need to rethink and improve staffing strategies that rely on untrained or minimally trained staff who work on a part-time or casual basis. Not only staff training and experience but also staff attitude and responsiveness should be considered as important factors because they greatly affect guest satisfaction.

Published
2020-08-19