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Customization Oriented Framework For Design

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Question:

Discuss About The Customization Oriented Framework For Design?

 

Answer:

Introduction

Service organizations typically segregate its operations into frontstage and backstage. Frontstage functions are those which are directly observable and are into the point of notice, whereas backstage operations are those which are not directly noticeable or observed (Polaine, Løvlie and Reason 2013). This report will present the service blueprint of iStay Precinct Hotel of Adelaide, Australia.

iStay Precinct is a luxurious hotel in South Australia, including facilities such as swimming pool, Wi-Fi, Jacuzzi, Parking and exclusive hotel services.  Most of the reservations are done through online platform and managed through the backstage employees. The hotel is just ten minutes from Adelaide Airport and is covered with lush green parklands (Minorhotels.com. 2017).

The frontstage and backstage functions of the hotel including the detailed service blueprint will be presented in this report. This will also include “moments of truth” for this service organization; determinants of satisfaction/dissatisfaction and service quality measurement. Finally, service recovery strategy plan will be discussed for critical incidents.

 

Service Organization’s Front Stage and Back Stage Functions

The frontstage function of the organization is comprised of onstage actions and onstage technology. The onstage actions are directly linked with customer actions and those are directly visible by the guests (Hossain Enam and Farhana 2017). Each of the customer actions are linked with operations those indicate service quality as perceived by the guests.

Onstage actions are comprised of:

  • Greeting and taking bags (linked with bell-person)
  • Process registration (linked with backstage registration system and customer desk)
  • Deliver Bags (linked with bell-person and service boys)
  • Deliver Food (linked with backstage support process and call room service)
  • Process Checkout (linked with checkout via TV menu and backstage registration)

Onstage technology is comprised of:

  • Customer registration: Retrieving registered customer information via data from online process and handover of room keys. This includes support process from backstage for data retrieval.
  • Entertainment System: Once the guests get into room by delivering bags, service employees set the movie options in TV and handover remote. This includes support process from backstage.
  • Process Checkout: Final stage where guests leave out room and data regarding property handover is managed and checked by service employees with real-time validation.

The line of interaction as depicted in figure 2 indicates the frontstage interaction between guests and service employee. Zhan (2015) pointed out that more than 70% of the service quality depends on this interaction and communication, which finally helps in customer retention. This line indicates perceived value determination where observation triggers satisfaction.

 

Back Stage Function

According to Song and Sakao (2017), backstage functions of an organization involves the actions that support frontstage operations. Coordination and involvement of backstage employees helps in improving the frontstage functions. On the other hand, Ateetanan et al. (2017) pointed out that most of the common functions in backstage include online registration, client data handling, registration confirmation, entertainment and comfort system support and food and beverage support. The backstage operation of the service organization is divided into backstage action and support process.

Backstage actions are comprised of:

  • Managing luggage: Once reservation is confirmed, service employees carry out the luggage and belongings of guests directly to the room. This delivery process is not observed by the guests as it is an internal backstage function (Kazemzadeh et al. 2015).
  • Managing food: Room service function is directly linked with backstage since the guests order via telephone. This does not involve any front stage function. Guests mostly order food via telephone call and those are prepared by chefs. Also, this process is linked with internal account department for billing.

Backstage Support Process is comprised of:

  • Registration system: The operation involves customer registration and feeding data to onstage reception employees through internal technology (Li 2015). The entire registration process through online platform is managed here. Handling website and client data encryption is linked with onstage technology so that data duplication is reduced. This process is completely managed internally and is not observed by the guests. Confirmation of registration includes payment accomplishment, billing and luxury customization including peripheral service confirmation.
  • Entertainment System: Once guests get into room, entertainment system is actualized by backstage department, which includes Wi-Fi, gaming, audio/video support and television. This process is partially supported by onstage technology.
  • Food Preparation: Hotel room service and requests for food is handled completely backstage employees. Order confirmation and food preparation is done in backstage, whereas the front stage employees deliver the food accomplishing room service.

The line of visibility as depicted in figure 2 indicates the neatness and powerful integration process of the organization. The hotel has tried to limit the operational visibility so that guests get perceive the classic experience as of never before.

Moments of Truth

The service organization has able to actualize all the four types of moment of truth.

First moment of truth (FMOT)

According to Yang et al. (2016), when a guest experiences service in real-life, it creates a lasting impression. For iStay Precinct, it can be said that the organization is having exclusive services such as swimming pool, customizable room luxury, free parking, diverse food menu, fluent registration system and wide entertainment functionality. This has enhanced the real-life brand value of the hotel.

Second moment of truth (SMOT)

According to C?runtu and Di?oiu (2014), service quality is the next impression after product confrontation in the service industry. For the service hotel, quality is generated mostly from luxurious services and entertainment range. This is because based on customer preference room luxury is customized, which eventually increases the service quality.

Third moment of truth (TMOT)

On the words of Sengupta and S Pillai (2017), customer feedback and reviews in social media websites ensure brand advocacy. For iStay Precinct, the Facebook rating is 3.7 with only 345 followers. Also, there are only 90 reviews, which indicates poor word-of-mouth.

Zero Moment of truth (ZMOT)

Bilgihan and Nejad (2015) pointed out that customers mostly ensure a secondary research before registering for a service, and this mostly includes mobile reviews, review websites and ratings provided by users in travel and tourism websites. For the concerned service organization, Google review acts as the most promising truth that helps in customer attraction and brand value enhancement.

 

Determinants of Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction

According to Lo, Wu and Tsai (2015) customer satisfaction depends on perceived value, perceived quality and diversified features. iStay Precinct comprises value such as affordable accommodation, swimming pool, jacuzzi, 23-hour reception, Wi-Fi facility, parking and local tour desk. Therefore, it can be said that the hotel provides complete set of tourism package that is worth to be experienced. Consumers get variety of services under one roof and therefore perceived value is justified.

Location and Surroundings

Service companies must ensure comfortable communication in terms of transportation so that hassle free experience is provided (Torres, Fu and Lehto 2014). iStay Precinct is located in the center of Adelaide's bustling city, which is surrounded by lush green parklands. This hotel is just about ten minutes away from Adelaide airport by car. On the other hand, Nieves and Segarra-Ciprés (2015) pointed out point of interest from hotel surroundings increases customer attraction and brand value. For the hotel, the point of interest is consisted of Adelaide Oval (3 minutes’ drive), Adelaide Zoo (6 minutes’ drive), Botanic Gardens (9 minutes’ drive), Central Markets (9 minutes’ walk) and Convention Centre (9 minutes’ walk). Also, the transport and shopping centers are maximum of ten minutes away by car drive.

Room Facilities

Gazzoli, Hancer and Kim (2013) pointed out that ultimate experience of a hotel is achieved from on-site feature availability so that the feeling ownership among guests is justified. iStay Precinct is having full laundry and kitchen services for each of the 1 or 2-bedroom apartments. Also, there are private balconies, open plan living area and great sweeping city views. The luxurious services include spa, indoor heated pool and steam pool for relaxation. The most attracting feature is the customers can get customized features in the room without opting for all the services, which reduces expenditure. All such features have enhanced the satisfaction of customers.

Dissatisfaction

While considering the viewpoint of Lo, Wu and Tsai (2015), it can be said that catering and food services indicate huge customer satisfaction, however failure hampers customer retention. iStay Precinct is found to have poor room service such a huge delay in delivery of food, poor quality and quantity of food and even backstage employees does not respond appropriately after order confirmation. On the other hand, entertainment issues are also not solved promptly when informed through telephone. Such poor activities have resulted in customer dissatisfaction.

Premium Pricing

Service organizations are expected to deal with competitive pricing so that consumers get the opportunity to visit multiple times (Calabrese and Corbo 2015). This helps in customer retention and revenue generation. However, iStay Precinct follows premium pricing, which indicates that only consumers with high income level can only visit here and therefore, the source of revenue earning has not raised in last couple of years. Also, the hotel has failed to segregate its premium features, resulting low room booking.

Service Quality Measurement

Following table will help in determining the service quality of iStay Precinct:

SERVQUAL Items

Factors

Explanation

Reliability

a)      Promising and exclusive features as mentioned in official website

b)      Integrated operation from reservation to checkout

c)      High safety and security including full-room ownership

Assurance

a)      Customizable luxury features for 2 room accommodation

b)      Room service is extremely delayed and poor communication

c)      Entertainment services often breakdown

Tangibles

a)      Great availability of kitchen and laundry equipment

b)      Indoor heated pool, steam pool and spa with great relaxation

c)      Private balconies and living plan open area

Empathy

a)      Poor customer care as it takes long queue for resolving query

b)      Poor room service and there is no individualized attention

c)      Good caring when channelized through reception

Responsiveness

a)      Good willingness to resolve customer queries

b)      Customer room service is not prompt

c)      Prompt and systematic room clearance including sweep

Table 1: SERVQUAL Factor Analysis

(Source: Calabrese and Corbo 2015)

Service Gaps using Gap Model

According to Debasish and Dey (2015), SERVQUAL model highlights 4 gaps for a service organization, where gap 5 is the product of rest. Gap 5 is customer oriented and therefore if rest of the gaps are limited then overall gap 5 will be less, indicating better service.

Gaps

Explanation

Gap 1

a)      Service quality is overall good but there is no service for upper-middle and middle-income customers, resulting poor customer retention

b)      There are too many management layers resulting delayed room service

c)      Poor market research in terms of service pricing as similar offerings with lower price is available in market

Gap 2

a)      Poor room service standards have resulted in delayed response

b)      Poor management commitment to enhance service

c)      Inappropriate standardization of role among employees

Gap 3

a)      Poor technological integration and lack of perceived control

b)      Poor employee training and supervision

c)      Quite often there are technical breakdowns

Gap 4

a)      Short-term relationship and communication with suppliers

b)      Poor marketing and sales techniques via online platform

c)      Rules, policies and procedures does not remain fixed for long time

Service-recovery Strategy Plan

According to Yang et al, (2016) most of the service organizations fail to determine the contingency plan and therefore there is wastage of resources at certain time, due to which debt management issues are faced. For iStay Precinct, it can be said that the organization has designed premium pricing but there is lack of contingency plan as many times it has been found that rooms remain unoccupied and customer queries remain unattended.

 

Crisis Management and Service Recovery

It becomes quite helpful for the service organizations if there is social media crisis management policy (Koc 2013). Whenever there is negative publicity, the organization will be able to respond its target market directly, which will also be addressed to others. This will eventually act as crisis management as mass target can be communicated and service can be restored.

Discount and Promotions

It has been observed that Australian hospitality sector is rapidly developing with plenty of new entrants, which are offering lucrative services in low price (Sengupta and Pillai 2017). Therefore, the hotel needs to allow new types of discounts, memberships, premium cards, loyalty cards so that consumers does not get lost. It will be extremely helpful if the organization announces membership plans through official website within next 6 months so that retention is actualized.

Board Level Meeting

Service organizations need to ensure planning after every quarter, which will include directors, managers and supervisors (Brandon-Jones 2016). Such meetings will end up with new strategies which can be implemented at crisis times. iStay Precinct needs to plan for stakeholder management and wealth maximization as every year 20% of the accommodation remains unoccupied. The hotel needs to make full use of online platform including social media mostly for marketing purposes. On the other hand, it needs to increase response through advertisement and promotions so that hundred percent room accommodation is possible.

Conclusion

While concluding, it can be said that iStay Precinct needs to establish its market for new target customer who are having middle-income. The service blueprint of the organization is found to be integrated but it is not optimized due to more number of managerial level. There are plenty of luxury services but only high-income customers can afford those, due to which much of the accommodation remains unoccupied each year.  On the other hand, it has been found that the hotel is having good entertainment services and full wireless fidelity system but there is lack of management tactics. The room service feature specifically for food orders takes huge time and there is very less managerial initiative for training and development. In future service recovery is possible through the use of online platform for communication.

 

Reference List

Ateetanan, P., Usanavasin, S., Shirahada, K. and Supnithi, T., 2017, July. From Service Design to Enterprise Architecture: The Alignment of Service Blueprint and Business Architecture with Business Process Model and Notation. In International Conference on Serviceology (pp. 202-214). Springer, Cham.

Bilgihan, A. and Nejad, M., 2015. Innovation in hospitality and tourism industries. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 6(3).

Brandon-Jones, A., Lewis, M., Verma, R. and Walsman, M.C., 2016. Examining the characteristics and managerial challenges of professional services: An empirical study of management consultancy in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector. Journal of Operations Management, 42, pp.9-24.

Calabrese, A. and Corbò, M., 2015. Design and blueprinting for total quality management implementation in service organisations. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 26(7-8), pp.719-732.

C?runtu, A.L. and Di?oiu, M.C., 2014. The Perceptions of Hospitality Services of a Tourism Destination. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 109, pp.231-235.

Debasish, S.S. and Dey, M.S., 2015. Customer perceptions of service quality towards luxury hotels in Odisha using Servqual model. International Journal, 1.

Gazzoli, G., Hancer, M. and Kim, B., 2013. Explaining why employee-customer orientation influences customers' perceptions of the service encounter. Journal of Service Management, 24(4), pp.382-400.

Hossain, M.Z., Enam, F. and Farhana, S., 2017. Service Blueprint a Tool for Enhancing Service Quality in Restaurant Business. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 7(07), p.919.

Kazemzadeh, Y., Milton, S.K. and Johnson, L.W., 2015. Service blueprinting and process-chain-network: an ontological comparison. International Journal of Qualitative Research in Services, 2(1), pp.1-12.

Koc, E., 2013. Power distance and its implications for upward communication and empowerment: Crisis management and recovery in hospitality services. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(19), pp.3681-3696.

Li, Y.T., 2015. A Study on Business Process Reengineering of Enterprise Transformation by Service Blueprint.

Lo, A., Wu, C. and Tsai, H., 2015. The impact of service quality on positive consumption emotions in resort and hotel spa experiences. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 24(2), pp.155-179.

Minorhotels.com. 2017. iStay Precinct | Oaks Adelaide CBD Hotel. [online] Available at: https://www.minorhotels.com/en/oaks/istay-precinct [Accessed 28 Sep. 2017].

Nieves, J. and Segarra-Ciprés, M., 2015. Management innovation in the hotel industry. Tourism Management, 46, pp.51-58.

Polaine, A., Løvlie, L. and Reason, B., 2013. Service design. From Insight to Implementation, p.202.

Sengupta, A.S. and S Pillai, S., 2017. Impact of other customers on service quality evaluation and revisit intention in hospitality services. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 11(2).

Song, W. and Sakao, T., 2017. A customization-oriented framework for design of sustainable product/service system. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, pp.1672-1685.

Torres, E.N., Fu, X. and Lehto, X., 2014. Examining key drivers of customer delight in a hotel experience: A cross-cultural perspective. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36, pp.255-262.

Yang, W., Yang, W., Mattila, A.S. and Mattila, A.S., 2016. Why do we buy luxury experiences? Measuring value perceptions of luxury hospitality services. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(9), pp.1848-1867.

Zhan, W.A.N.G., 2015. Research and Practice of Service Design Based on Blueprint and Design Experience. Packaging Engineering, 12, p.011.

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