Discuss about the Management of Service Contexts.
Service management can be defined as a customer-oriented approach for providing value to the customer and their relationship. The Woolbrokers Hotel in Sydney is located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour tourist attraction that offers budget accommodation at a great price and location. It was first established in the year 1886 (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). The hotel offers clean, affordable and comfortable accommodation as it is located in Sydney’s central and prime location which provides access through rail, bus or ferry for reaching museums, convention centres, shopping or entertainment destinations. The hotel is suitable for individuals, groups and families (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). The aim of this report is to apply service theory and principles in the hotel. A service blueprint for the establishment is presented. The bottlenecks and possible fail points are identified. The customer benefit package is identified and evaluated. Further, the servicescape of Woolbrokers Hotel is evaluated. The staff performance, quality, supply and demand strategies and competitiveness level is evaluated.
Following is the blueprint used by Woolbrokers for service innovation, managing operational issues and conceptualising structural change.
Figure 1: Service Blueprint
Identification of Bottlenecks
Every establishment has fail points which needs to be identified so that they can be motivated and lead to the right direction. The bottlenecks identified at Woolbrokers are:
Escalating operating costs- The operating costs are rising due to high consumption of energy, guest room amenities, poor waste management techniques and others. Woolbrokers can consider switching to green practices that would help in minimizing cost through sustainability (Osborne, Radnor and Nasi 2012).
Technological challenges- Every establishment is advancing with the technology. Therefore, it is difficult for Woolbrokers to compete with the other hotels in the vicinity. Woolbrokers need to establish long-term relationship with customers through CRM solutions, mobile application advancements and other strategies (Lodorfos, Kostopoulos, and Kaminakis 2015).
Labour shortage- It has been observed that there is a shortage of labour in Woolbrokers. Very less staffs are assigned to handle work in different departments which leads to delay in addressing customer requirements. Woolbroker must consider recruiting new employees for handling the processes efficiently so that there is no delay in procedures (Heizer and Render 2014).
Lack of Marketing Strategies- Woolbrokers does not put sufficient marketing efforts related to products and services offered by the hotel. Therefore, the customers are not well acquainted with the presence of hotel and might prefer visiting the other hotels for their stay (Heizer and Render 2014).
Evaluation of Customer Benefit Package
A customer benefit package or CBP comprises of tangible as well as intangible products and services which are recognized or purchased by the customers (John 2013). Rooms are available to satisfy different needs of customers as single room, double room, ensuite rooms, family rooms and group bookings (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). Woolbrokers provides reception facilities which is open regularly between 7 am and 10 pm (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). The duty manager arranges the stay; hire car services, airport transfers and free luggage storage on the day of checking in and checking out. Other benefit packages are free Wi-Fi, tourist information brochures, pay phone and drinking vending machine. Woolbrokers also provides car parking at $16 for 24 hours in the building opposite to the hotel (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). Moreover, there is laundry facility available for washing, drying or ironing the clothes while the guests stay at the hotel. The tea and coffee making facilities are complimentary which are available between 9 am and 9.30 pm (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). Also, continental breakfast is served regularly at $7.50 per head (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016). A courtyard is available where the guests can relax themselves. Every room has a television, fans, heating facilities, alarm clock, fridge, opening windows and much more (Woolbrokershotel.com.au 2016).
Evaluation of Servicescape
According to Nilsson and Ballantyne (2014), servicescape emphasizes the physical environment in which the services are provided. Woolbrokers has different components of servicescape available. Firstly, the ambient conditions such as temperature, noise, music and odour are pleasant in the hotel. The temperature settings have both heating and cooling options so that the guests can adjust it according to their needs. The hotel lobby has adequate daylight which makes the place bright and beautiful. Further, the hotel is spacious which provides adequate space for equipment and furnishings. There are decorative pieces and antiques in the hotel that add to the beauty of the hotel. The ceilings are high which depict spaciousness while the rooms have low ceilings that depict intimacy. The walls are painted in light colours depicting positivity rather than negativity. Lastly, there are symbols, signs and artifacts such as entrances and exit signs. The high quality materials are used on walls and floor coverings. Restaurant managers, for example, know that white table cloths and subdued lighting symbolically convey full service and relatively high prices, whereas counter service, plastic furnishings, and bright lighting symbolize the opposite (Barrett and Baldry 2013).
Evaluation of Contact Staff Performance and Quality
Service encounters can be defined as transactional interactions with the goods or service provider (Gordon and Brezinski 2012). Employees are the assets for an organization. This is true because the success or failure of any organization depends upon its employee too. The employees at Woolbrokers are qualified and possess good experience in the hospitality industry. They have customer relationship building skills where they remember names and order of their guests. The staffs at Woolbrokers are skilled and courteous as they treat their guests kindly. However, the departmental managers are not able to bring out the best n them. There is a need to understand the guest expectations in a better manner. There is a need for speedy response so that the customer needs can be addressed by the right person at the right place. With high responsiveness, the service quality can be improved. However, the hotel does not take sufficient measures to address the underperformance of its employees. The staffs also need to collect feedback from the guests so that the poor performance or deficiencies can be met (Kandampully, Mok, and Sparks 2013).
Evaluation of Supply and Demand Strategies
According to Ryu, Lee, and Kim (2012), service managers are the individuals who develop and deliver effective services. For high revenue and profitability, every hotel needs to have strategic supply and demand strategies. For enhancing demand, Woolbrokers allows booking of the desirable room by the guests if it is available. However, the hotel does not sell its room at any desired price by the customer as it may undergo a loss. During high demand times such as Christmas or New Years, the hotel offers special vouchers and discounts. This strategy is applied for generating more revenue even at a discount and the customers shall accept the room. The rooms must be offered to the customer for all standards such as low, medium or high. Dynamic pricing strategy is applied by Woolbrokers in which the pricing is determined at the customer’s perceived ability or capacity to pay. The room rates change on a daily basis based on weekdays, weekends or events in Sydney. In this case, as the demand for hotel increases, the higher rate rooms are quoted and lower rate categories are shut (Sivakumar, Li, and Dong 2014).
Evaluation of Competitiveness
Like every successful business strives to understand its customers, it also has to understand its competitors. According to Cai and Yang (2014), the competitive priorities can be defined as operational dimensions of an organization which are possessed to stay competitive in the present and future. Woolbrokers have a large customer base and it makes constant efforts to improve its service and product packages. Woolworkers is making efforts for adding technological advantages such as internet kiosk and public phone in the foyer. Further, Woolbrokers make efforts for differentiating its products and services from the other hotels in Sydney. The hotel takes advantage of its central location in Sydney so that the guests have an outstanding experience while their stay at the hotel. For establishing long-term relationships with the customers, Woolbrokers engages with its potential and existing clients on the social media. The queries and concerns are well answered by the customer service desk (Ryu, Lee and Kim 2012).
Conclusively, service management is complex in nature as there are multiple elements involved in it. Customers are the most crucial element to be satisfied in any industry. Therefore, the principles and techniques to keep customers satisfied must be applied. Woolbrokers have a large customer base and it makes constant efforts to improve its service and product packages. For enhancing demand, Woolbrokers allows booking of the desirable room by the guests if it is available. They have customer relationship building skills where they remember names and order of their guests. There are decorative pieces and antiques in the hotel that add to the beauty of the hotel. Rooms are available to satisfy different needs of customers as single room, double room, ensuite rooms, family rooms and group bookings. Woolbroker must consider recruiting new employees for handling the processes efficiently so that there is no delay in procedures. Woolbrokers need to establish long-term relationship with customers through CRM solutions, mobile application advancements and other strategies.
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