سوابق و پیامدهای کیفیت رابطه در صنعت هتلداری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20948||2002||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Hospitality Management, Volume 21, Issue 4, December 2002, Pages 321–338
This study investigated the antecedents and consequences of relationship quality. This study will help hotel managers to develop and implement effective relationship marketing strategies. Effective usage of relationship marketing strategies will be able to improve hotel performance such as share of purchases, relationship continuity, and word of mouth. To analyze data collected from 12 five-star hotels in Seoul, the linear structural relationship (LISREL) model was used to identify structural characteristics of relationship management between service providers and guests. The empirical results of this study were threefold. First, greater service providers’ relational and customer orientation resulted in higher relationship quality. Second, better service providers’ attributes resulted in higher relationship quality. Third, higher relationship quality resulted in higher share of purchases and better relationship continuity and share of purchases.
Customer relationships have received considerable attention from both academicians and practitioners. The increasing emphasis of relationship marketing is based on the assumptions that building committed customer relationships results in guest satisfaction, loyalty, positive word of mouth, business referrals, references, and publicity. Intense competition for market share in today's market requires managers to attend to customer retention and the hows or whys of a patron returning and continuing to repurchase (Pritchard and Howard, 1997). Relationship marketing encompasses transaction marketing and aims to build long-term, trusting, mutually beneficial relationships with valued customers. It has been demonstrated that it is far less expensive to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. As a customers’ relationship with the company lengthens, companies can increase profits by almost 100% by retaining just 5% more of their customers (Reichheld and Sasser, 1990). The longer a customer stays in the relationship with a hotel, the more profitable to the hotels. Therefore, when marketing expenses are allocated more on retaining customers under the relationship marketing strategy, this is likely to make marketing more efficient (Sheth and Parvatiyar, 1995). Relationship quality refers to customer perceptions and evaluations of individual service employees’ communication and behavior, such as respect, courtesy, warmth, empathy, and helpfulness. This involves inducing feelings and emotional states through customer–employee interactions. Subjects of numerous previous studies in relationship marketing focused on service organizations such as banking, insurance, retailing, hospital, professional associations, and hotel (Palmer, 1995; Crosby and Stephens, 1987; Reynolds and Beatty, 1999; Peltier, 1998; Gruen et al., 2000; Kim et al., 2001). While a vast amount of relationship marketing literature exists, few studies have been done on testing the cause–effect model of relationship quality in the hotel industry. The objective of this study is to investigate the antecedents affecting relationship quality between hotel employees and customers and the consequences influenced by relationship quality. It is expected that the higher a hotel’s relationship marketing efforts such as customer orientation, relational orientation, mutual disclosure, and service providers’ attributes, the higher the relationship quality between hotel service providers and guests. As the relationship quality increases, it is likely to have a significant influence on the hotel guests’ behavior demonstrated through enhanced share of purchases, increased relationship continuity, and word of mouth.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We have attempted to demonstrate that relationship marketing activities do provide value to customers, leading to not only guest satisfaction and trust, but also to relationship continuity, word of mouth, and share of purchases. This study investigated the factors affecting relationship quality and the factors to be influenced by relationship quality in a hospitality setting. The findings of this study showed how each of the proposed antecedents provided an opportunity to hotel managers who should develop and implement relationship marketing strategy with the general goal of increasing marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Among four hypothesized sets of antecedents, three sets of antecedents (relational orientation, customer orientation, and service providers’ attributes) were found to have a positive effect on relationship quality at the 0.05 level of significance. Relational orientation resulted in the strongest positive relationship with relationship quality, followed by customer orientation and service providers’ attributes. However, mutual disclosure turned out not to have a significant relationship with relationship quality. This study suggested that hotel managers emphasize relational orientation, customer orientation, and service providers should be equipped with expertise, experience and professional appearance to enhance guests’ trust and satisfaction. It will eventually lead to improved performance related to share of purchases, relationship continuity, and word of mouth. In order to enhance the employee's relational orientation, service providers must maintain constructive interactions with customers. Some of the useful interactions and activities include (1) consistent communication with guests through hotel newsletters, direct mail, electronic mail and newsletter, and telemarketing; (2) send birthday card, presents, or thank you letter to loyal guests; and (3) provide information about new event or package promotion programs. Communication is the most important element to maintain a long-term relationship between a hotel and its guests. Two-way communication should be encouraged to maintain relational orientation. Senior management's participation is particularly valuable to learn what the customers’ needs are and to respond to them. In order to improve customer orientation, hotels should both understand customer needs well and solve any conflicts expeditiously. The following activities should be implemented to understand a customers’ characteristics and preferences better: (1) be knowledgeable about the customers’ preferences and (2) try to understand the change of customers’ needs. Activities of hotel employees for conflict resolution include the following: (1) deal with guests’ inquiry and complaints courteously and expeditiously and (2) resolve guests’ inquiry and complaints even though these may not be in employees’ direct responsibilities. It is important for hotel employees to have the following expertise in the guest encounter: (1) professional training and education; (2) adequate knowledge about the hotel product and service; (3) show interest in self-development to provide better service; and (4) be competent in providing service. It is also important for hotel employees to have appropriate and sufficient experience to identify customer needs. The findings of this study indicate that it is important for hotel employees to have professional appearance with a nice manner to make hotel guests satisfied. Well-groomed employees project a sense of confidence to the guests. Depending on different operational units, it is worthwhile to check if changes need to be made in dress color, design, and intensity to enhance physical appearance of employees. Cool colors can be used to project the image of friendliness, poise, and warmth, and warm colors may be used to project the image of activity and excitement (Sundaram and Webster, 2000). Hotel managers should make sure that hotel employees should undergo continuous quality training to recognize potential shortfalls in hotel product and service quality rendered to the guests. Mutual disclosure activities did not show a significant relationship with guest satisfaction and trust. Since hotel products and services sold to consumers depend less on the salesperson in hotels than in insurance companies, mutual disclosure is not significantly related to relationship quality. Once the hotel has acquired a satisfied customer, it possibly leads to an increased share of purchases through hotel usage frequency and cross selling, and can achieve positive effects of relationship continuity and word of mouth. Therefore, it is a most important task for hotel managers to make hotel guests satisfied and to create a higher level of the clients’ trust in the service providers’ behavior. Internal marketing can be used as an important tool to achieve the previous objective. Satisfied employees, through meeting their needs and wants, can win satisfied customers easily. Internal marketing is a mechanism for developing and maintaining part-time marketers as service-minded and customer-conscious employees. Among the three performance measures, share of purchases measured by hotel usage frequency change and cross selling exhibited a significantly positive relationship with relationship continuity. In other words, a hotel with high share of purchases is more likely to cause high relationship continuity with its guests. In addition, a hotel with high relationship continuity resulted to have positive word of mouth. In implementing relationship marketing, the customer database is as an important strategic asset as the hotel brand name itself. It is important to keep in mind that not all customers are appropriate targets during the implementation process of relationship marketing, so that the initial database has to be carefully refined and segmented. The 80/20 rule works out well here; that is, approximately 80% of the total hotel revenue typically comes from 20% of the customers. This rule applies, especially in the food and beverage, and banquet departments in most of the first-class hotels in Seoul, Korea (Kim et al., 2001). This fact implies that hotel marketers should invest most of the property's marketing resources in 20% of the customers. To create a competitive advantage, hotels must develop a set of relationships that creates values and is difficult to duplicate, and deliver differentiated messages to appropriate target clients through established and new channels based on the customers’ characteristics and preferences.