Keywords: hospitality, services, customer satisfaction, improvement, competition, total quality management, Six Sigma.
Customer service is an organizations ability to supply their customers wants and needs (Ward, 2007, p. 1). Customer is defined as anyone who receives that which is produced by the individual or organization that has value. Customer expectations are conti-nuously increasing. Brand loyalty is a thing of the past. Customers seek out products and producers that are best able to satisfy their requirements. A product does not need to be rated highest by customers on all dimensions, only on those they think are important (Kotelnikov, 2007, p. 1).
Customer satisfaction is a critical component of profitability. Exceptional customer service results in greater customer retention, which in turn results in higher profitability. Customer loyalty is a major contributor to sustainable profit growth. To achieve success, you must make superior service second nature of your organization. A seamless integration of all components in the service-profit chain employee satisfaction, value creation, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profit and growth links all the critical dynamics of top customer service. Sadly, mature companies often forget or forsake the thing that made them successful in the first place: a customer-centric business model. They lose focus on the customer and start focusing on the bottom line and quarterly results. They look for ways to cut costs or increase revenues, often at the expense of the customer. They forget that satisfying customer needs and continuous value innovation is the only path to sustainable growth. This creates opportunities for new,smaller companies to emulate and improve upon what made their bigger competitors successful in the first place and steal their customers (p. 1).
In general, the hospitality industry can be characterized as highly saturated, with travellers that are ever more experienced and informed. Thus, it is an extremely competitive environment. Implementing a service quality or customer satisfaction management program to provide the hotel guests with exceedingly satisfactory services and experiences, therefore, has become an industry norm in the past three decades. High service quality and customer satisfaction have been proven to result in increased return rates of customers.
Acknowledging this prerequisite for success, the key aims of this research are 1). to gain insight into the concepts regarding customer satisfaction in the hotel industry; and 2). to explore the very needs and wants of Surabaya Plaza Hotels guests in order to discover the opportunities a hotel Management has in improving the experiences of current guests and in becoming most competitive in winning new custom-mers.
Surabaya Plaza Hotel (SPH) can be placed foremost in the hospitality sector of the tourism industry, since it is providing accommodation and food and beverage. Moreover, SPH is also the top 4-star hotels in Surabaya, related to occupancy or Revenue Per Available Room (Rev.PAR) as des-cribed at table 1-3.