|Type of paper:||Literature review|
|Categories:||Management Customer service|
The hospitality industry is one of the most sensitive industries when it comes to maintaining and ensuring customer satisfaction. Unlike in other fields, hospitality requires careful handling of customers to ensure that they are maintained and that they return to the services again. Some of the most important factors to consider are the kind of response, speed, dependability, quality of service and distinguished experiences that are different. All these factors are left as a response to the operation management. Hence the performance and the effectiveness of the operations management contributes largely to the determination to maintain guests and ensure they return for services. Guest satisfaction highly depended on the quality of service offered in the hospitality industry. This is because mostly the customer is physically present unlike in other areas where one can serve a guest even from a distance, i.e., over the phone.
It is good to note that customer loyalty is an essential factor to put into consideration in the food and beverage sector. Customer loyalty is important because it determines whether a business will thrive or whether it will fail hence the need to check the facts that affect the same. Positive influence, as well as built trust, enhances guest loyalty and satisfaction (Kumar & Maull, 2011). The connection created initiates a sense of belonging to the brand and the customer hence the feeling of satisfaction. Another factor that the operations management ought to consider is the brand image. When the brand of a specific food and beverage business has been set right over time, there is a higher tendency that even new guests will feel satisfied with the kind of services they receive (Tan & Narasimhan, 2007). Such factors should be tabled and worked on by the operation management.
The operations management has a huge role to play in ensuring that customers are satisfied as this contributes to their retention hence increasing profitability (Kandampully& Suhartanto, 2000). Service quality lies among the topmost factors that are key contributors to customer satisfaction and loyalty. With poor services, customers are unlikely to come back for them back again. Some guests will even leave at that particular moment if served in an unpleasing manner. Waiters, waitresses or any other personnel involved in serving guest need to watch their conduct, language as well as the appearance as they serve the guests like the same plays a big role. The operations management should analyze effective ways of service which should then be taught to the serving personnel. By doing so, customer satisfaction should be expected and also the tendency to come back should be high. Operation management may choose to research on the kind of services offered by competitors and improvise on them so that they can keep on track.
Enhancing the brand image especially to the targeted group becomes a determinant of guest satisfaction and loyalty. Brand Image plays a significant role because; if the brand image has been set right more customers will tend to use the services being offered. On the other hand, operations management can choose to upgrade the quality of services such that the same creates a good picture of the business. Bearing in mind that food and beverages are sensitive products, considering matters of health and hygiene are essential to the human life. When the brand image is not set right, attracting new customers or even retaining the already acquired ones becomes a difficult task. Guests will always increase their loyalty to the places where they receive unique quality services. Such a connection can be easily enhanced when the brand image has played the role of portraying the uniqueness of the services offered. There is a close connection between a good brand image and the tendency to strengthen the trust of guest time over time. Brand image is enhanced when the services are of quality, and the same has spread over the targeted group. In short brand image advertises the business. Operations management should be keen to note that customers will always look for the hotels or places that sell food and beverages where best services are offered, and hygiene is observed.
Another factor that the operations management should consider is the changes in costs. This covers other areas like random changing of working personnel, shifting of operational hours as well the commodity prices. No customer will want to be served by different persons after a short period. This creates a sense of doubt on the same to the guest and reduces the chances of him or her coming back for the services. Also, when the time frame keeps changes, it becomes a disappointment to a lot of customers since something like having a meal or a drink are set at a specific time of the day. Some of these shifts are pushed way far too odd hours making the services unreliable to many. To add on to that, frequent changes in the prices of foods and drinks will weaken the customer's loyalty and as well as reduce the chances of the customer feeling satisfied (Anderson, 2003). At one point or another, customers are forced to look for places where the value is equivalent to quality. Most hospitality services that are offered will have constant prices over a considerable period. Hence when the same changes in other places more often, customers are prone to withdrawal and look for other places. This is one area that the operations management should look into so that guests are retained as well as make sure that new ones are attracted to the services.
In the operations of a food and beverage business, dependability is a topic of concern in line with offering quality services to customers. Hospitality businesses must prove themselves dependable by guests since they are services that are needed from time to time. For example, a hotel can prove itself to be dependable if it delivers a specific delicacy over a long period. Also, it can also prove itself dependable by producing food and drinks for all its customers throughout the day without cases where a customer finds foods and drinks at this hour but fails to find the same on another day in different hours. Operations management should ensure that there is a consistency in delivering that which the business has promised to deliver throughout. In return, customers do not have to look for multiple places to choose from but will rather stick to one place where they will get their food and drinks. Dependability in this manner also plays an important role in boosting customers` confidence and this, in the end, becomes a contributing factor in ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Speed is another factor that should be considered when matters of guest satisfaction are put in place. The wish and aim of any hospitality business are that once a customer is served, he or she will come back and use the services again. For that to happen service speed in key especially when delivering food or drinks to a guest. There are customers who might patience considering that sometimes its busy but there are those who are not. However, even with that in mind, it is good to serve all guests and attend to them within the shortest time possible (Antonides, 2002). The operations management should consider that most people have meals because they are hungry. The earlier they are attended to, the happier they will be hence leaving satisfied with the services offered. The operations management should offer to either provide training or educate employees on the importance of serving guests on time with the utmost speed. Moreover, it is the work of the operations management to request for more workers if the same is interfering with the offering of services on time (Bielen& Demoulin, 2007). The prospect manager should request the human resource managers to add more workers since workflow increases profit.
However, even with the many factors to consider that are key to customer satisfaction, there are other factors that should be considered which can adversely affect the same. One of them is communication. Poor communication can drive away guests who had intentions of using the services again. A hospitality business can have the best services in town, but due to the lack of proper communication skills with the guests, the business ends up losing a lot. In such a field, workers especially those who are in direct contact with the customers should know the kind of tone, response and body language to use. This includes the tone of welcome, request as well as response given. One rule of business states that the customer is always right. So regardless of the hostility of the customers, an employee should be trained on how to handle such a case. It is the work of the operations management to ensure that workers are equipped effectively with communication skills to apply in all manner of situations when dealing with guests.
Another factor to consider is how to handle a dissatisfied guest. Once a customer leaves with a negative mentality either about food, drinks or services offered, he or she will talk ill if the business even to the outside world. A dissatisfied customer cannot recommend even a friend to the same service or to buy the same food and drinks. This adversely affects the business at large since no word of mouth can be used to convince the opposite. It is therefore good to ensure that at any point of misunderstanding, the customer leaves satisfied or with the issues at hand handling.
In conclusion, it is good to note that there are key factors that facilitate customer satisfaction and the same should be highly considered by the operation management. When the factors that make customers dissatisfied are not looked upon, the same can adversely affect the business widely on a long-term basis. It is important to know that in the food and beverages industry handling a guest should be a sensitive matter that should be handled promptly. This is because it is the customer who chooses which restaurant or hotel to get in to and he or she may think otherwise according to how he or she is handled.
Anderson, R. E., & Srinivasan, S. S. (2003). Satisfaction and loyalty: A contingency framework. Psychology & marketing, 20(2), 123-138.
Antonides, G., Verhoef, P. C., & Van Aalst, M. (2002). Consumer perception and evaluation of waiting time: A field experiment. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 12(3), 193-202.
Bielen, F., & Demoulin, N. (2007). Waiting time influence on the satisfaction-loyalty relationship in services. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 17(2), 174-193.
Kandampully, J., & Suhartanto, D. (2000). Customer loyalty in the hotel industry: the role of customer satisfaction and image. International journal of contemporary hospitality management, 12(6), 346-351.
Kumar, V., Batista, L., & Maull, R. (2011). The impact of operations performance on customer loyalty. Service Science, 3(2), 158-171.
Tan, K. C., Kannan, V. R., & Narasimhan, R. (2007). The impact of operations capability on firm performance. International Journal of Production Research, 45(21), 5135-5156.
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