CUSTOMER SATISFACTION MEASUREMENT IN HOTEL INDUSTRY: CONTENT ANALYSIS STUDY Ivanka Avelini Holjevac University of Rijeka Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija Opatija, Croatia e-mail: Ivanka.Avelini.Holjevac@fthm.hr Suzana Marković University of Rijeka Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija Opatija, Croatia e-mail: Suzana.Markovic@fthm.hr and Sanja Raspor University of Rijeka Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management Opatija Opatija, Croatia e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ABSTRACT One of the biggest contemporary challenges of management in service industries is providing and maintaining customer satisfaction. Service quality and customer satisfaction have increasingly been identified as key factors in the battle for competitive differentiation and customer retention. Lam and Zhang (1999) claim that overwhelming customer demand for quality products and service has in recent years become increasingly evident to professionals in the tourism and hotel industry. Among all customer demands, service quality has been increasingly recognized as a critical factor in the success of any business (Grönroos, 1990; Parasuraman et al., 1988). The purpose of this study is to examine hotel guest comment cards (GCCs) and customer satisfaction management schemes in Opatija’s hotels. This study adopts the applied content analysis approach which Gilbert and Horsnell (1998) used in their study, utilizing comparison and recording of findings based on a set of best practice criteria. The results of this study provide hotel professionals with an assessment of current methods of measuring and managing customer satisfaction in Opatija’s hotels. Key words: customer satisfaction, service quality, measurement techniques, content analysis, hotel industry INTRODUCTION During the past few decades, customer satisfaction and service quality have become a major area of attention to practitioners and academic researchers. Both concepts have strong impact on business performance and customer behaviour. Service quality leads to higher profitability (Gundersen et al., 1996) and customer satisfaction (Oliver, 1997). Furthermore, a number of empirical studies indicate a positive relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty (Kandampully and Suhartanto, 2000; Dimitriades, 2006; Chi and Qu, 2008; Faullant et al., 2008), as well as between customer satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth (Söderlund, 1998). Therefore, one of the key strategies for customer-focused firms is to measure and monitor service quality and customer satisfaction. Several tools are available for measuring customer satisfaction. In hotels, one of the most popular is a guest comment card (GCC). GCCs have the advantages of small size, easy distribution and simplicity. When analyzing data gathered in such a way, managers can get information about the attributes that have an impact on guests' satisfaction.
This paper is divided into several sections. First, a brief review of main concepts of interest is provided. Next, the research methodology used for this study is presented, followed by presentation and discussion of the results. Finally, the article concludes with main research findings. LITERATURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS Customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction has been a popular topic in marketing practice and academic research since Cardozo's (1965) initial study of customer effort, expectations and satisfaction. Despite many attempts to measure and explain customer satisfaction, there still does not appear to be a consensus regarding its definition (Giese and Cote, 2000). Customer satisfaction is typically defined as a post consumption evaluative judgement concerning a specific product or service (Gundersen, Heide and Olsson, 1996). It is the result of an evaluative process that contrasts prepurchase expectations with perceptions of performance during and after the consumption experience (Oliver, 1980). The most widely accepted...
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