Lecturer, Hotel Management Program, Faculty of Economics, Petra Christian University Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract: Hospitality industry is one of the service businesses that pays so much attention to service quality as it is the main intangible product that it produces. This short article examines how to manage service quality in hospitality industry through managing the ‘moment of truth’ or service encounter. The analysis is done by referring to some problems and challenges in managing service encounters. The results of the analysis show some important points to consider when managing service encounters. Keywords: Service quality, service encounter, moment of truth, non-verbal cues, service blueprint.
Delivering good service to customers is the main goal that every service business strives to accomplish from time to time. The ability for a service provider to deliver quality service is considered an essential strategy for success and survival in today’s competition. In this case, service encounter is a critical part of the service delivery process because it gives impact to customer’s evaluations of service consumption experiences (Zeithaml, Parasuraman, and Berry, 1990). Therefore, there have been several studies and researches focusing on service encounter as it is believed that there is a causal relationship between the customer perception of service quality and the service encounter. Service encounter is one of the factors influencing customer perceptions of service quality, satisfaction and value as shown in the figure 1. service encounters evidence of service image value value/price
service quality customer satisfaction
Hospitality industry is one of the service sector, with relatively high level of customer contact. The higher the level of customer contact the more numerous and longer service encounters between customers and service employees. It implies that more attention must be focused on how to manage all the possible service encounters which will much influence the service quality of the hospitality organization and in the end the profit (Zeithaml, Valarie, Berry and Parasuraman, 1996). Many hospitality organizations have invested considerably to develop service-delivery system which will ensure that customers will receive consistently high-quality service in every service encounter (Kotler, Bowen and Makens, 2003, p. 49) This makes service encounter or ‘moment of truth’ in hospitality industry become much more important to be taken care of in the future. While considerable research has been conducted in the service sector in general focusing on service encounters (Lemmink and Mattsson, 2002; Price, Arnould and Deibler, 1994; Mattila, 1999; Bebko, 2001; Sundaram and Webster, 2000), specific concern in managing service encounters in hospitality industry has received very little attention. The objectives of this article are to explore from a theoretical perspective how to manage service quality through managing the service encounters that takes place in hospitality industry. It also aims to set a framework of investigation for future empirical research. SERVICE QUALITY Service quality is determined by what customers perceive. It means that customers play an important
* Source: Kandampully (2002) Figure 1. Factors Influencing Customer Perceptions of Service
Jurusan Manajemen Perhotelan, Fakultas Ekonomi – Universitas Kristen Petra http://puslit.petra.ac.id/journals/perhotelan/
Widjaja, Managing Service Quality in Hospitality Industry
part in judging service quality. Very often companies define service quality apart from what the customers perceive of the quality so that time and money are poorly invested to poor quality programs. Grönroos (2000) identified two dimensions in service quality as it is perceived by customers; they are...