The article Service quality and business performance in the UK hotel industry by Denis Harrington and Gary Agehurst presents a detailed study on the performance of hotels in the United Kingdom. This study presents an analysis of how the UK hotels perform and the implication of the business towards the performance of the country’s economy. The assumption was that the hotels will offer an elaborate representation of the hotel industry in the UK.
The article also looks at the quality of services provided by the hotel in relation to their prices. The author has analyzed the marketing strategies of various hotels in the UK. As well, the authors have shown how they impart the hotel industry by attracting both local and international guests. There are also limitations mentioned that prevent some of the hotels from attracting guests or providing their customers with needed services.
Critique of the Article
From the introduction, we realize that the hotel industry in the United Kingdom has grown enormously over the past three decades. Managers and employees are now keen to ensure they have provided their customers with high quality services. The hotel industry is a potential source of better careers resulting in the empowerment of the employees and makes it possible for them to realize their goals in life (Hoque, 2002). Comparing the current situation with the earlier issues faced in the hospitality industry, the sector has expanded and given much attention by the government as well as the private sector. Realizing the vital role played by the industry towards the development of the economy and improving people’s lifestyles is something important today.
The literature review strategically takes us through the necessary procedures required in ascertaining the value and performance of the industry. The authors realize the importance of carrying out a comprehensive research so that the analysis is of real issues rather than guess work. The article begins with a comprehensive research on how the hotel industry is currently performing. This leads to historical analysis and the future prospects of the industry. In doing this, the authors’ aim was to ensure we get a clear picture of what has been happening, what is happening and what is likely to happen (Johnston & Morris, 1985).
The research looks at various hotels in specific areas and uses secondary sources to give us an annalistic study. The authors go ahead to tell us more on the factors that led to the performance of the industry in the past and what has changed so far. To achieve this, the article takes us through some of the industries that have showed extra ordinary performance and the strategies they employed. As well, there are industries that have not performed well within the given period.
The article also takes the reader through some of the services provided by the hotel industry. This offers to explore how the public perceives such services. Compared to the past when some services considered as not part of the industry, they have been widely accepted as people develop specific skills to perform them. The essence of quality performance of a hotel industry should not be customer oriented or satisfaction but fulfilling career needs of its employees.
The hotel industry, unlike other industries is more of a humanitarian service, which requires the staff to develop a positive attitude towards their work. It is therefore necessary for the hotel management and other stakeholders to employ motivational strategies to encourage employees into quality performance (Horwath & Horwath, 1988). Compared to the past when serving in the industry was a voluntary approach, currently, many people are pursuing them as careers (Jones, 2002).
The main products of the hotel industry are the services provided by employees. If the services are substandard, definitely, they will discourage customers from the services. The hospitality industry should deal with the customers directly if they are to leave them satisfied with the services provided to them. It can be quite challenging especially when the industry has to deal with people of various culture. As well, the industry is required to meet people from different cultural background. This could be people who are sensitive especially in the manner they are served. This requires the staff to make adjustments and know how to treat such customers differently. The biggest mistake than can be done is to assume that all customers are the same and not recognizing the diversity they possess.
To facilitate the production of quality services in the hotel industry, numerous colleges specialize in the provision of skills to employees. Today, the industry is taken more seriously as the management realizes that they cannot just put anybody in any position before equipping them. For those who have a passion in the industry, it is risky to give them certain positions without equipping them with the necessary tools and resources (Barnes & Glynn, 1993).
There are many other challenges that come with working in the industry that may be costly not only to individuals but also to the industry. People who work for the industry need to be aware of what it entails to work for the industry and how willing they are to take up the challenge. Working for the hotel industry is not just about physically serving them but also the attitude displayed and how they are approached. One may never tell why a person choose to come for the services at a particular place and ignored other alternatives. People have expectations on what they need to receive and especially when they are willing to pay for the services.
There is a reason why a person chooses to visit a particular hotel for food and chooses another one for accommodation. This has to do with the kind of services they desire to receive. You may find, for instance, a person mainly going to a restaurant to obtain certain traditional food and book in for a different hotel for accommodation and other services. They realize the importance attached to what they desire to receive (Johnston, Silvestro, Fitzgerald & Voss 1990). Clients have a tendency of comparing the quality of services provided when it comes to the physical products and how they are delivered to then. Just as some people will be attracted to buy a product basing on the package, others will be interested on the content of the product, the hotel industry operates similarly.
The difference between good performing hotel firms in the UK occurs in the quality of services provided as well as the attractive packages provided to the customers. For customers to continue visiting a given hotel and have a desire to come back, they should be provided with quality services. This plays an important role in not only attracting customers but also retaining them (Boella, 2000).
The main issue with most hotel industries is that they know how to attract customers but fail to retain them. They will therefore enjoy a good deal of first time customers who may not desire to visit the hotel again. With the hotel industry being diversified in the UK, customers may want to explore services provided by other hotels. Capturing such customers and making them loyal to one hotel, then there must be some features that must be outstanding.
For the individuals in the industry to maximize their service production and attract more customers, it is necessary that hoteliers collaborate with different tourists and hospitality firms in order to be able to attract the greatest number of customers. This will enable them to have a unique package especially for international travelers. They realize that there are certain people who frequently visit the nation either as tourists or business appointments. To effectively serve such people, it will be important and necessary to give them more than just food and accommodation. By realizing that they will need other facilities such as transport, conference facilities, recreational centers and the likes, hotel industries are able to collaborate with other firms for the main purpose of attracting clients.
If a guest has visited mainly as a tourist, the hotel industry will collaborate with a tourist firm and come back with attractive tourists’ packages (Armistead & Clark, 1992). They come up with a reasonable charges thereby facilitating transportation to most admired tourists centers, tour guides and also food of their choice. They realize that such an arrangement will minimize the need for a visitor to employ numerous service providers in the industrial practice. As they help minimize on the hustles that such visitors have to go through, they are also earning loyal customers who will always seek their services whenever they are back.
Provision of quality services is something important especially when it comes to the UK hotel industry. With the changed in cultural perspectives brought about by globalization and technology, it is important for the industry to make adjustments. It is never enough to employ skilled employees and neglecting the vital role of equipping them even the more. The hotel industry is dynamic and requires the management to employ dynamic tactics (Fitzgerald, Johnston, Brignall, Silvestro & Voss, 1993; Callan, 1994).
The management should be sensitive to the cultural and technological changes taking place and ensure that such changes are implemented in the firm. Despite the comprehensive research provided by the article on the performance of the hotel industry in the UK, there are some issues about the industry that are not highlighted by the researchers. This weaknesses result from the poor research study method and materials used for by the authors. As well, the researchers obtained their information and data from a small number of hotels thus making the results inadequate. However, the most outstanding thing is that the information is vital in helping those in the industry to improve on the quality of services they provide to their clients.
Armistead, C. G. and Clark, G. R. (1992) Customer Service and Support: Implementing Effective Strategies, p. 27, 37. Financial Times/Pitman, UK.
Barnes, J. G. and Glynn, W. J. (1993) The customer wants service: why technology is no longer enough. Journal of Marketing Management 9, 43-53.
Boella, M. (2000). Human resource management in the hospitality industry. New York: Nelson Thornes.
Caruna, A., Pitt, L. and Morris, M. (1995) Are there excellent service firms and do they perform well? The Service Industries Journal 15(3), 243-256.
Clark, F., Tynan, C. and Money, A. (1994) Senior managers views on quality: a strategic perspective. Journal of Strategic Marketing 2, 61-84.
Coulson-Thomas, C. (1993) Transforming the Company, p. 147. Kogan Page, UK.
Fitzgerald, L., Johnston, R., Brignall, S., Silvestro, R. and Voss, C. (1993) Performance Measurement in Service Businesses, p. 123. Black Bear Press, UK.
Hooley, G. J. (1993) Market led quality management. Journal of Marketing Management 9, 315- 335.
Hoque, K. (2002). Human Resource Management in the Hotel Industry: Strategy, Innovation and Performance. London: Routledge.
Horwath and Horwath (1988) Hotels Of The Future, p. 25. Horwath and Horwath, UK.
Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD) (1993) Managing People: The Changing Frontiers, p. 2.7. IPD, UK.
Johnston, R. and Morris, B. (1985) Monitoring control in service operations. International Journal of Operations and Production Management 5, 32-38.
Johnston, R., Silvestro, R., Fitzgerald, L. and Voss, C. (1990) Developing the determinants of service quality. In Langeard, E. and Eiglier, P. (eds), Marketing, Operations and Human
Jones, P. (2002). Introduction to hospitality operations: an indispensable guide to the industry. London: Cengage Learning EMEA.
Quality assurance certification for hospitality marketing, sales and customer services. The Services Industries Journal 14, 482-498.