The hotels have become second home for leisure travelers and second office for business travelers. With rising acts of terrorism on board, the tourists and travelers have become skeptical about security issues within the hotel premises and often safety quotient of the property. The current issue looks into the safety-security issues haunting the thought process of guests and the modern options and approach that hotels have to gain the confidence of their guests.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE 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 expectationsare 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.
Among the aspects of expectations that need to be explored and understood for successful services marketing are the following: what types of expectation standards do customers hold about services? What factors most influence the formation of these expectations? What role do these factors play in changing expectations? How can a service company meet or exceed customer expectations?
Therefore, it is in view of the above question that this research intends to get its basics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
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.
1.3PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
1. To examine the roles of front office in management of hotel
2. To determine the roles of front office in management of customers expectation in the hotel
3. To find out the level of customers expectation towards service quality of the front office staff
4. To examine the gap between customers expectation the role of font office staff.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Strategic management realizing the dilemma have had to decide whether front office personnel can be effective decision makers. The purpose of this research will be to study the problems management face in their effort to avoid 'gaps' in management of customers expectations and perceptions, while in a stage of transforming employees roles.
Managers expect their front-office employee to be efficient and contribute to profitability. However guest expectations of good service often runs counter to what company policy defines as the limits of front office personnel's freedom to act. Statistics show that negative experiences by guests are relayed to their associates far more than positive experiences. Even though strategic managers recognize the importance of the front office in services rendered, they often feel they are caught in a trade off between company policy set by upper management and the realities of the front office.
The findings of this study will provide useful information and some insight that will be gained that may help management to decide if it is feasible for them to employ strategies and systems such as empowerment at their front office and lend a better understanding of the process thereby avoiding some of the pitfalls that can occur when new systems are put in place.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. What are the roles of front office in management of hotel?
2. What are the roles of front office in management of customers expectation in the hotel?
3. What is the level of customers expectation towards service quality of the front office staff?
4. What is the discrepancy gap between customers expectation the role of font office staff.