Academic journal article Indian Journal of Economics and Business

Analyzing Service Quality in the Hospitality Industry: The Case of Bahrain

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Economics and Business

Analyzing Service Quality in the Hospitality Industry: The Case of Bahrain

Article excerpt

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this research is to employ the SERVQUAL model and its collarry, the gap theory, in assessing the quality of services provided at one of the popular five star hotels in Bahrain, named the Gulf Hotel.

Methodology: The sample of this study represents two groups: First, 395 hotel guests who have stayed at the hotel for a period of two or more nights Second, 11 managers from different departments of the hotel.

The required data were gathered through personal interviews with the sample, using two sets of specially designed questionnaires, one for the guests sample and the other one for the managers sample.

Findings: The Reliability test, using cronbruch Alpha Coefficient, indicates that all SERVQUAL dimensions (i.e. Tangibles, Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, and Empathy J, for both guests and managers, scored high which means that items in each dimension are highly correlated, therefore, reliable.

Gap analysis (gap 5) indicates customer dissatisfaction with the service quality in terms of 55% if the SERVQUAL attributes (i.e. 12 items out of 22). Fore such items, customers' perceptions fell short of their expectations.

Another gap analysis (gap 1) shows that management are not fully aware of what may satisfy guests. They overestimated guests' expectations in terms of items pertaining to Reliability and Empathy, while underestimating the dimension of Assurance.

Implications: The findings of this research might be taken by the decision markers at the hotel as a base on which they can design the right strategies and policies o reduce or even close the gaps, therefore achieve more customer satisfaction.

I. INTRODUCTION

In today's competitive environment examining service quality is considered an important strategy. Service quality is an important determinant of success in attracting repeat business. While the reasons for the initial visit to a firm may be due to factors partly outside the control of management, the ability to create a satisfactory experience for the customers will rest, to a considerable degree, within the hands of both management and staff.

This research intends to investigate service quality in one of the five-star hotels in Bahrain, named the Gulf Hotel. To measure the service quality an instrument named SERVQUAL shall be used. Since its inception in 1988 (parasuraman, Zithmal and Berry, 1985, 1991, 1994), the SERVQUAL has been extensively used in service quality research and has become a popular measure of service quality within the hospitality industry (Luk & Layton, 2004; Nadiri & Hussai, 2005; Antony et al., 2004; Johns and Tyas,1996, 1997; Knuston et al., 1991; Lee and Hing 1995; Mels et al., 1997; Saleh & Ryan, 1991). SERVQUAL assumes that service quality is a comparison of expected performance with perceived performance. As a result, SERVQUAL includes 22 items representing expectations and 22 items representing perceptions. The developers of SERVQUAL suggest that analyzing the gaps between expectations and perceptions offer diagnostic insights useful in assessing and improving service quality. Furthermore, their research revealed that there are five dimensions of service quality where gaps between expectation and perception may exist, and the narrowing or elimination of these gaps would lead to improved service quality. The five dimensions of service quality were identified as:

* Tangibles: the appearance of physical facilities, equipment, personnel and communication materials related to the service.

* Reliability: the ability of the service to perform the promised service dependably and accurately.

* Responsiveness: the willingness.of the service to help customers and provide prompt service.

* Assurance: the competence of the service and its security, credibility and courtesy. …

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