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Hospitality establishments are more involved with service delivery to customers than product selling. As a result, managers of these organizations need to devise ways of delivering quality service to their clients. To deliver quality service to customers, managers need to manage service encounters, which are the interactions that occur between the clients and the establishments’ employees.
Management of service encounters requires total participation of both the managers and frontline employees. The role of managers in service encounters is to manage the interactions between the clients and the frontline employees e.g. waiters. To effectively manage these interactions, managers need first to determine those specific encounters that make a difference to the clients. The managers should specifically outline the strategy and what needs to be done in the strategy to effectively manage service encounters. Employees are the point of contact between the establishment and the guests. To succeed, a hospitality business should put in to consideration the perception of the guests regarding accumulated effects of service quality in service encounters they have taken part in.
The skills possessed by employees taking part in the service encounter determines to a greater extent the quality experienced by the clients. Managers, should, therefore determine the skills level of emplyees and train them where the current skills are inadequate. Communication, good attitude, interpersonal sills and conflicts resolution abilities are very vital in ensuring memorable encounters and consequently quality service. For employees to understand what quality service means to guests, the managers should ensure that the service employees receive from the establishment are of the same standards as those they are expected to deliver to clients. This way, employees will deliver quality service to guests with first hand information of what one feels when quality service is offered to them. As a result, the service encounter will be good, culminating to customer loyalty and repeat business.
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According to Laws, the management of hospitality establishment should empower employees to make decisions regarding conflict resolution. In situations where the guests are unhappy about a certain aspect of service, the employees should receive full support of the management in their effort to calm the clients and make them comfortable. Moreover, the management should ensure that they consult the employees when making decisions regarding service delivery. This is because employees always have the first hand information about guests and what they expect during the service encounter. In addition, employees feel important when consulted and will work hard with increased motivation. Teamwork should be cultivated at all service delivery levels. Customers enjoy being associated with an establishment where team spirit is very high among employees.
The management of hospitality establishment should keep a good profile of each guest and his/her requirements. Every time a repeat guest comes to the establishment, they should be treated in a special way, putting in to consideration their tastes and preferences from their last visits. Such treatments for instance could involve putting flowers and a special brand of wine, a favorite of the in his room before his/her arrival. This way, the guest will feel special and will offer repeat business to the establishment. Moreover, they are likely to refer their friends to the business making the establishment successful.
In summary, quality service delivery depends of good service encounter management. To do this managers and employees should be involved. Managers should decide what is to be done and employees’ skills required. Employee empowerment in decision making and teamwork should be instilled to ensure good service encounters. Moreover, guest profiles should be properly kept and used to offer special attention to repeat guests.
To wrap it up, service quality depends on service encounters. Good management of service encounters will always result to good quality delivery and consequently the success of the establishment. For hospitality businesses to thrive, they require cooperation of both frontline employees and management. All hospitality establishment should, therefore focus of service encounters and their management to improve their quality service delivery.
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