The loyalty of consumers in any business depends on the quality of goods and services that they receive. In the hospitality industry, consumers are the most vital part of the firm. The management of service in hotels portrays a system that is critical to the entire chain of supply as it connects the actual sales and clients. Service management ensures that costs have been minimized through integrating products and services. The element of service management thus partakes a crucial function in the hospitality industry as it ensures that customers have been fully satisfied. The loyalty of clients will further be developed through the efficient management of services (Ford, Sturman & Heaton, 2012).
As such, the study will focus on the issue of customer loyalty in hotels and further identify any forms of problems that may be present in this element. Moreover, the research will also be encouraged as a way to fill any gaps that are found in the hospitality industry as far as customer loyalty is concerned.
1.2 Objective of study
The purpose of the survey is to explore the issue of customer loyalty in hotels and how it can be improved through an analysis of businesses that have come up with measures to ensure that their clients are retained in the firm. For the objective to be fully met, the study will first entail a contemporary literature review and thus offer a comparison with other studies that have been conducted on the topic. Besides, a qualitative approach will be utilized to explore further any issues that may have negatively or positively influenced the loyalty of clients in hotels selected for conducting the research.
1.3 Justification of Study
According to Tesone (2012), the loyalty of a customer to an organization is one of the dominant factors that determine its success. The global market is faced with fierce competition, and as such, most firms in the hospitality industry are faced with the challenge of retaining clients. Hotels obtain various benefits once consumers become loyal to their business. Some of the advantages obtained are reduced marketing and operational costs and an increase in sales.
The paper will assist to explore various elements of customer loyalty specifically in hotels. The paper will also be of significant help to various parties such as researchers and hotel owners. It will bring out vital information on a theoretical basis. Additionally, it will encourage more businesses to partake in the research field and expand the knowledge in customer loyalty.
1.4 Literature Review
The quality of services offered in hotels and customer satisfaction have been identified as requirements for loyalty. Once a client is contented, they will naturally become loyal to the business. Marketing activities are undertaken by a hotel also result in customer satisfaction. Customer loyalty and expansion of hotels are related (Morgan, 2017). One of the reasons as to why businesses ensure that their clients have been satisfied is to expand their operations. In this way, they will obtain a higher market share and a repeat trend among customers that will all result in an improvement of the profitability (Pizam, 2010).
Understanding the needs of the customers are considered among the essential elements of loyalty. A comprehensive understanding of the guests will assist the business to anticipate their needs. In this way, they will deliver what they want on a consistent basis just to ensure that they are fully satisfied (Mok, Sparks & Kadampully, 2013). According to Lockyer (2013), businesses in the hospitality industry should make sure that they obtain feedback from their clients on a regular basis as well. Feedback from customers has been pointed out as one of the vital aspects that result to their loyalty as well. This is as result of being able to tackle any challenges or problems that may be pointed out by clients. Besides, a hotel may also get an opportunity to enhance their operations or service advanced to customers as well. Moreover, feedback from customers may also be utilized as a way to improve their loyalty.
Customer loyalty in the hospitality industry may be enhanced through rewards. It is fundamental for hotels to ensure that they make their guests feel special through coming up with exclusive deals or packages. Interacting with the guests is thus necessary as it will help to build trust and rapport (Boella & Goss-Turner, 2013). On the other hand, service management may also be employed to enhance customer satisfaction. By monitoring the supply chain and ensuring that every aspect has been maximized, it will shape the activities that take place in a hotel. One of these is the maximum satisfaction of customers that will result in their loyalty as well (Gaol & Hutagalung, 2015). According to Dominici & Guzzo (2010), customer loyalty can also be advanced through online activities. It is important for, businesses in the hospitality industry to ensure that they maintain a good record in various social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook. In the current world, most people depend on on the internet to acquire evidence on different elements. As such, the reputation of a business may be developed positively or negatively on the social media and this information will be accessed easily by potential and existing clients. A good reputation will ensure that consumers continue to undertake business activities with the firm. However, a bad reputation will have a negative impact on the loyalty of customers who will opt to seek services from other companies (Boella & Goss-Turner, 2013).
2. Research Design
The proposal explores various elements that entail customer loyalty and ways that can be applied to improve it as well. It has discussed the motivation for undertaking the research that comprises of objectives, aims, justification and a literature review of previous studies. The methodology is the next section to be presented.
2.1 Research Questions
The research questions are based on the aspects of customer loyalty that have also been discussed in the justification section.
a) What are the issues that surround customer loyalty in the hospitality industry?
b) How can the loyalty of clients be developed or enhanced in the hospitality industry?
A qualitative approach will be used to conduct the research. As such, participants will be invited to partake in an interview session. They will comprise of four managers from the different hotel around the country. Since they are in charge of most operations in hotels, they also have a wide variety of information about the industry as well. The questions to be used in the interview exercise will be designed under the supervision of the academic supervisor for the best quality of interviews.
2.3 Data Collection
Data will be collected in steps. The first phase will entail conducting the interviews and recording them using a certified recording device. Once the interviews have been recorded, the next step will involve an analysis of the information gathered. The audio files will be reviewed and then amended. This will be done using a computer software. The next activity will entail transcription. The edited audio will be transcribed in the form of text formats for use in conducting research. By undertaking the three steps, they will ensure that the interviews are of high quality. It will make the process of taking notes to be quite easy. Additionally, any phrases used during the interview as well as the languages will be well maintained thus avoiding any loss from occurring.
2.4 Data Processing and Analysis
One of the objectives of this process is to come up with a summary or abstracts and further identify ways to display the data collected. A coding approach will be used to analyze the data and maintain its quality as well. Audio editors will be used to divide the data into small parts. Various researchers will then transcribe the data. The results of the transcription will then be put under the management of the supervisor who will evaluate it and ensure that it has been prepared in the right way. The final transcription of the entire data will need to be analyzed again. It is necessary to note that the final transcription will constitute the entire sections of the interview that cover various topics on customer loyalty in the hospitality industry.
2.5 Interview Questions
The interview questions will be prepared by the literature review conducted. Furthermore, they will also be based on the two most important research issues that had been previously highlighted. The selected participants will be asked the following questions;
1. What are some of the ways that you employ in business activities to ensure that clients are fully satisfied?
2. What issues do you face in providing high-quality services and additional packages to clients to obtain their loyalty?
3. How has customer loyalty affected the performance of your business operations?
2.6 Scope of Research
The four participants selected for an interview will have to give their responses to the set four hours. However, they will be expected to be quite comprehensive and even exhaust their responses as well. The three questions cover a broad range of issues in the selected hotels, and as such, every participant will have one hour to offer their contribution to the complete research. As such, the time is not quite limited to the participants, and follow-up questions will also be provided to ensure that high quality of the responses has been maintained.
3 Ethical Considerations
The names of the participants will be not be disclosed at any phase of the study. Instead, their names will be implicit by utilizing T and the figures 1 to 4 for the hotel managers. The coding aspect is vital for anonymity and protection of data of the participants (Bell and Water, 2014). Furthermore, personal information will not be used without the consent of the members.
3.2 Protection of Participants
There will be informed consent, confidentiality and the right to withdraw from the research. Besides, the protection of data will also guard them against being exposed in any personal and professional way (Miller, 2012).
3.3 Withdrawal from the investigation
The participants will be informed explicitly that they can withdraw the survey at any phase without sustaining any form of threat. This part will also be described in the cognizant agreement letter at the establishment of the task. Participants who withdraw will also not be required to provide their reasons for the decision (Hammersley & Traianou, 2012).
3.4 Protection of Data
The research will adhere to Universitys Code of Conduct for Research and the Data Protection Act as well. As such, any personal information identified will only be transferred to other parties with permission from the participants. Additionally, any data gathered will then be stored in a safe way that will only be accessible to the researcher. The consent forms and data will also be stored separately in a secure location. This will be done to protect the anonymity, privacy and confidentiality of the responses obtained from the participants and their personal details as well (Cottrell, 2014).
All the required information can be obtained from books and journals that are available at the campus library. However, it will be necessary to have free software that will be utilized for recording the transcript and editing the audio files as well. There will be no expenditure needed to carry out the research. The selected hotels are within the vicinity of the researcher hence minimal costs required to move from one place to another (Cottrell, 2014).
Bell, J. and...
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