Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Technology Readiness and Customer Satisfaction in Luxury Hotels: A Case Study of Vietnam

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Technology Readiness and Customer Satisfaction in Luxury Hotels: A Case Study of Vietnam

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Today, we are living in the era of the 4.0 technology revolution with a wide variety of technology applications in various industries, such as banking, healthcare, retail, transportation, and so on (Ostrowski, 2010). The hotel industry is not an exception. Transactions driven by self-service technologies in hotels are becoming more common. In the hotel industry, self-service technologies allow customers to engage in the creation and delivery of services without the direct involvement of hotel staff. In other words, self-service technologies are changing the business processes of the hotel industry (Lui and Picolli, 2010). In the past, with the traditional processes in the creation and delivery of services, many customers were dissatisfied with their service encounter for a variety of reasons. For example, hotel staff was unskilled and inexperienced in serving customers; customers must wait long for their service; or customers needed to be served at times when the hotel's facilities were not operating. Through the application and acceptance of self-service technologies, hotels can overcome these limitations to provide the best service experiences for their customers (Watkins, 2009).

Self-service technologies in hotels are numerous with a variety of functional options, depending on the business purposes of hotels. In general, there are four types of self-service technology interfaces: telephone-based technologies or interactive voice response systems; technologies based on Internet connection; interactive kiosks; and image (video)-based technologies. The four types of technology interfaces are focused on customer services with the goal of helping customer's complete transactions and gain a good experience with hotel services (Mayock, 2010).

Self-service technologies in hotels can bring benefits for both the hotel and the guest. For hotels, self-service technologies help overcome challenges from the shortage of skilled and experienced hotel staff in serving customers. Self-service technologies can undertake certain functions in place of hotel staff who directly serve customers, and help customers directly engage in their service experiences. Self-service technologies can help hotels further enhance their service quality standards to meet or exceed customer service expectations and make customers more satisfied with the hotels. Finally, self-service technologies help hotels increase operational efficiency, cut unnecessary costs, and make favorable conditions for increased profitability and sustainable development (Beatson et al., 2007).

For customers, self-service technologies enable them to engage more directly in processes of service creation and delivery in order to have better service experience. In addition, cost savings, reduced service times and better control of service delivery will help customers become more enjoyable with customized services (Gelbrich, 2009).

There have been a number of research studies on technology acceptance in general and self-service technology acceptance in particular. These works mainly use models or theories such as Theory of Reasoned Action, Theory of Planned Behavior, Decomposed Theory of Planned Behavior, Technology Acceptance Model, Diffusion of Innovation, just to name a few, to explain and anticipate adoption and use of new technologies. However, these theories and models primarily focus on perceived ease of use and benefits of new technologies to predict the acceptability of users of these technologies, but ignore the differences of individuals, especially their technology readiness. Technology readiness reflects the customer's emotions about self-service technologies and can affect how customers will use these technologies and how satisfied they are with the hotel. Customers with differences in their technology readiness may have different satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the hotel, and this issue needs to be clarified by an empirical study. …

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