Customer Satisfaction in the Hospitality Industry in Guadalajara, Mexico

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

All companies look to improving their levels of competitiveness in different ways. Customer satisfaction in their target market is one of the most important. In the hospitality industry, service quality becomes the key to gaining a good position. Therefore, this research focuses on an analysis of perception and satisfaction levels in the hospitality industry in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. It was carried out in hotels that ranked four stars and higher. A survey was applied to 300 hotel guests who were in the establishments selected for this study which had four and five stars and luxury class ranking, located in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. Finally, the results were analyzed using Analysis of Variance. The findings demonstrated that customer perception and satisfaction was higher in most service factors than their expectations. Also, it was perceived that service quality evaluated by customers depends largely on the price paid for the service and the treatment received.

Keywords: Satisfaction, Perception, Quality and hospitality Industry, Tourism, Hotel, Customer

INTRODUCTION

This study focused on the evaluation of consumer's expectations and perceptions of service quality in hotels in Guadalajara, with the aim of generating appropriate strategies that promote quality service, thereby achieving high satisfaction and loyalty among consumers. Jalisco is a state with high tourism. Its capital, Guadalajara, is the second in economic importance in the Mexico and a center of activity in the country. Thanks to Guadalajara, certain of Mexico's cultural symbols like tequila, mariachi, and Charro dress are known throughout the world.

In tourism, Jalisco is ranked first place nationally for its number of lodging establishments and second place for the number of hotels room; the Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara has a hotel capacity of over 16,000 rooms that vary from economic to five star and luxury class. The metropolitan area of Guadalajara has been the most visited in the state since the influx of the state. This area receives 45.48 percent, followed by the area of the Los Altos Zone with 22.12 percent, while Puerto Vallarta has 17.43 percent (Sectur, 2008).

LITERATURE REVIEW

In this competitive market environment, the success of hospitality services depends strongly on a thorough analysis of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is one of the most important and most frequently examined concepts of modern marketing thought and practice because it plays an important role in the survival and future of tourism products and services (Gursoy, 2003, 2007). It also significantly influences the choice of destination, the consumption of products and services, and the decision to return (Kozak, 2000).

The concept of satisfaction has been studied over a long period of time, emphasizing different aspects. In the seventies, the interest in satisfaction studies increased to the point that Peterson and Wilson (1992) estimated that there were 15,000 studies done on consumer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. As suggested by numerous researchers, satisfaction is a function of consumer perceptions. While measuring the perception of individuals is difficult at best, this is most challenging in tourism due to the nature of the product. Many different businesses and organizations are linked to tourism - accommodation, food services, transportation, and travel distributors, to name a few. Accommodations are also obviously linked to tourism as hotels provide lodging and food for travelers. Managing these entities is complex as it involves providing numerous services and facilities. Service constitutes a major part of a hotel's product. In fact, it is recognized as the key factor in determining hotel reputation and repeat business. Therefore, a clear understanding of service quality is tantamount to the successful management of a hotel.

Consumer satisfaction is also a complex human process involving extensive cognitive, affective, and other psychological and physiological dynamics. …