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A Study on the Role of Front Office in the Management of Customers Expectation A Study of Grandus Hotel Aba Abia State

A Study on the Role of Front Office in the Management of Customers Expectation

Project / Seminar Material
Reference ID: PS-532-TM

DEDICATION

This research material titled “A Study on the Role of Front Office in the Management of Customers Expectation” is dedicated to God for his enabling grace, and to all computer enthusiasts who contributed to make life a pleasant experience during my research documentation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I extend my sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to the completion of this project. Special thanks to my Supervisor (Name of your Supervisor), the Head of Department (Name of your HOD), the Lecturers in the department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Book Authors and Profound Scholars of existing or related project material on “A Study on the Role of Front Office in the Management of Customers Expectation” for their invaluable guidance, support, and expertise throughout the journey.

I am also grateful to your study area (mention any funding organizations, if applicable) for their financial assistance. This research would not have been possible without the encouragement and assistance of some stakeholders (mention any mentors, teachers, or colleagues). Additionally, I would like to acknowledge the understanding and patience of my family and friends during this endeavor. Your unwavering support has been a constant source of motivation. Thank you all for being part of this meaningful endeavor.


A Study on the Role of Front Office in the Management of Customers Expectation (A Study of Grandus Hotel, Aba Abia State)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRELIMINARY PAGES


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Background of Study
  • 1.3 Statement of Problems
  • 1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study
  • 1.5 Research Questions
  • 1.6 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.7 Significance of Study
  • 1.8 Scope of Study
  • 1.9 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.10 Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Conceptual Review of Hotel Information
  • 2.3 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3.1 Overview of Front Office
  • 2.3.2 Disconfirmation Theory
  • 2.3.3 Service Quality
  • 2.3.4 Customers Satisfaction
  • 2.3.5 Customers Expectation
  • 2.4 The Roles and Qualifications of Front Office Staff
  • 2.5 Empirical Review Of Previous Studies

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Population of Study
  • 3.4 Sampling and Sampling Technique
  • 3.5 Validation of Research Instrument
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Questionnaire
  • 3.8.1 Interview
  • 3.8.2 Key Informants Interview
  • 3.8.3 Observation
  • 3.9 Ethical Consideration
  • 3.10 Statistical Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS, RESULT AND DISCUSSION

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation and Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Test of Hypothesis 1
  • 4.4 Test of Hypothesis 2
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary of Findings
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendation

REFERENCES

APPENDIX A - “QUESTIONNAIRE”

ABSTRACT

Front office is a business term that refers to a company's departments that comes in direct contact with guests, including the marketing and sales. The study was carried out to examine the role of front office in the management of customers’ expectation in Grandus hotel, Aba, Abia state. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out to assess customers’ expectation and perception level towards service quality of the front office staff in five dimensions and analyze the discrepancy gap between customers& expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff. The research design used in this report is descriptive design, utilizing questionnaire method to obtain information from the respondents for this project. A total of 80 (eighty) respondents were selected for this study to represent the entire population of the study. For null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the one-way ANOVA and the t-test statistical tools at zero point zero five (0.05) level of significance. Primary data were collected from the primary source which questionnaire was used as an instrument of data collection while secondary data were sources from textbooks, journals, newspapers and the internet were employed. The data were presented on a frequency distribution table and analyzed using simple percentage, while hypothesis was tested using chi-square test. The outcome of this study will develop the service quality of the front office staff in order to meet with the customers & needs and their satisfaction. Based on the findings, it is recommended that the research could be broadened to include other hotels in tourists locations in Nigeria and it would be valuable to conduct further research concerning customers’ attitudes towards the quality of other service businesses such as restaurants, travel agencies and airlines.


A Study on the Role of Front Office in the Management of Customers Expectation (A Study of Grandus Hotel, Aba Abia State)

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 Introduction

Front office is a business term that refers to a company's departments that comes in direct contact with guests, including the marketing and sales. In the hotel industry check-in upon arrival provides much of the primary information that the guest needs to quickly feel at home. Front office is responsible to answer guests’ questions, generally facilitate their arrival, check-in and check-out, answer all in-coming telephone calls, help outgoing telephone calls and provide wake-up calls and general information. Front Office is the most important part of the hotel industry because front office is the first and the last point of contact for the guests. When guests come to hotel, they need to come in contact with front desk.

As a prelude to other parts of this study, this chapter will discuss the background upon which this study was initiated, the statement of problems that led to this study, the Aim and Objectives of the study. Others are Significance of the study, Scope of work, Research hypothesis and questions, Limitations of the Study and Definition of technical terms.


1.2 Background of Study

The front office has traditionally been thought of as a check-in, check-out point by the guest. Secondly it is seen as a source of infinite information, and third, a problem-solving center. Working as a front line manager, situations developed which created a definite ‘gap' between management's expectations when defining the role of the front office personnel and how the front office employees perceived these expectations as they were related to their guest service responsibilities. Management credit policy was a necessity in certain circumstances, the awkwardness of many situations could have been avoided by simply allowing the front office agent to assume some of the responsibility. By using his or her own judgment and utilizing management only when they felt uncomfortable, a friendly, compatible first impression would have been the result.

Customer expectations are beliefs about service delivery that serve as standards or reference points against which performance is judged. Because customers compare their perceptions of performance with these reference points when evaluating service quality, thorough knowledge about customer expectations is critical to services marketers. Knowing what the customer expects is the first and possibly most critical step in delivering good quality service. Being wrong about what customers want can mean losing a customer's business when another company hits the target exactly. Being wrong can also mean expending money, time and other resources on things that do not count to the customer. Being wrong can even mean not surviving in a fiercely competitive market.

In addition, Watt (2007) stated that the front office is an important function because customers deal with front office staff as the center of the hotel. They provide assistance to guests, fulfill their needs, and meet their wants. Hogan (2006) presented that front office staff are the nerve center of all hotels, and the front office is essential to keep up with what is happening at all areas of the hotels.

Therefore, in Nigeria where the research was carried out, the activities that was conducted is to know the role of front office in the management of customers’ expectation.


1.3 Statement of Problems

Customer expectations play such a critical role in the management of front office in the hospitality industry. Customer evaluation of services, the management need and want to understand the factors that shape them. The front office manager would also like to have control over these factors as well, but many of the forces that influence customer expectations are uncontrollable. When consumers are interested in purchasing services, they are likely to seek or take in information from several different sources.

However, due to the increasing competition of service business and the high demand of the customers, the front office need to render quality service that will beat the customer expectations. Service quality is the fundamental factor to measure customers’ satisfaction at the hotel.


1.4 Aim and Objectives of Study

The aim of the study is to examine the role of front office in the management of customers’ expectation in Grandus hotel, Aba, Abia state. In achieving this aim, the following specific objectives were laid out as follows:

  1. To assess customers’ expectation and perception level towards service quality of the front office staff in five dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.
  2. To analyze the discrepancy gap between customers& expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff.

1.5 Research Questions

The study came up with research questions so as to be able to ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions for the study are stated below as follows:

  • Are there factors that most influence the formation of customers' expectations?
  • What types of expectation standards do customers hold about services?
  • What role do these factors play in changing expectations?
  • How can a service company meet or exceed customer expectations?
  • What is the level of customers’ expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff?
  • What is the discrepancy gap between customers’ expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff?

1.6 Research Hypothesis

In order to pursue the objective of this study, the following generalized statements have been designed to guide and aids in obtaining the result for the experiment to be conducted. For this work, the null hypothesis will be represented with H0 while the alternative hypothesis will be represented with hypothesis H1.

Hypothesis One

  • H0: There is a low level of customers' expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff
  • H1: There is an high level of customers' expectation and perception towards service quality of the front office staff

Hypothesis Two

  • H0: There are no significant factors inhibiting the formation of customers’ expectations
  • H1: There are significant factors inhibiting the formation of customers’ expectations

1.7 Significance of Study

This study will be as a practical guideline for the hotel management, especially the front office department. The outcome of this study will develop the service quality of the front office staff in order to meet with the customers & needs and their satisfaction. If the result showed the high score, the hotel owner would be happy with the service. In contrast, if the result showed the low score, the hotel owner would improve the service and arrange training program.

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.


1.8 Scope of Study

The study focuses on the role of front office in the management of customers’ expectation. Customer satisfaction relied on customer expectation and customer perception towards 5 service quality dimensions of front office staff. The sampling group was 80 customers who stayed at the Grandus Hotel in Aba, Abia state between September 1-15, 2009.


1.9 Limitations of the Study

During the course of this study, many things militated against its completion, some of which are:

  1. Time Constraint: The time frame given to accomplish this project was very short due to school academic calendar and it was carried out under pressure which made the researcher not to implement some necessary features.
  2. Establishment Policies: Establishment policies posed a serious limitation as most staffs are not ready to release information needed for this project work. There were lots of information needed from the staffs of this establishment to enhance the study which took them time to release or they did not release at all for security purposes, hence the scope was reduced.
  3. Research material: availability of research material is a major setback to the scope of the study.
  4. Frequent power failure: This made the researcher append more money on fuel to ensure sustainable power.
  5. Financial Constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

1.10 Definition of Terms

Service Quality: Means the difference between the customer’s expectation of service and their perceived service.

Servqual: Is an instrument for measuring service quality, in terms of the discrepancy between customers & expectation regarding service offered and the perception of the service received; Respondents are required to answer questions about both their expectation and their perception.

Customer Expectation: Means uncontrollable factors including past experience, personal needs, word of mouth, and external communication about hotel service.

Customer Perception: Means customer’s feelings of pleasure / displeasure or the reaction of the customers in relation to the performance of the hotel staff in satisfying / dissatisfying the services.

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter focuses on the review of related literature. A literature review includes the current knowledge as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to a particular topic. It documents the state of the art with respect to the topic you are writing. It surveys the literature in the topic selected. In this research work the literature review includes the …

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