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UNIVERSITY CENTER CESAR RITZ

Customers Satisfaction with service at Nora Beach Resort and Spa, Koh Samui: A qualitative study

By: Wannapa Rattanarak 172001

Submitted to: Dr. Michael Vieregge DecS 401 Business Research

In partial fulfillment for the requirements of the Degree of the Bachelor in International Business Degree

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Declaration This is declared that this is original work which the author of this paper has produced on the subject. Further, this paper is produced for the fulfillment of the degree requirement of the Bachelor in International Business. Hence, it is not produced for any other qualification, institution and journal.

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Abstract Customers satisfaction has been the main focus of business industry as it is believed that higher level of customer satisfaction may result in higher levels of repurchase. In order to analyze the customers satisfaction and the factors contributing customers loyalty to the resort or hotel, this study has taken up Nora Beach Resort and Spa, Samui Island as case study. The resort is located in Koh-Samui Island, which has approximately 87% of tourists turnover. The study examines the level of customer satisfaction in the light of Seven Ps of Marketing Mix. In order to study certain level for each service product, a self administered questionnaire was placed in the hotel lobby to record the comments of the customers. The study concludes that quality of service is the most important factor for the customers satisfaction.

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Acknowledgement I heartedly acknowledge and thank my supervisor Dr. Michael Vieregge for his valuable guidance and console. I also appreciate the co-operation of administration and staff of Nora Beach Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand for facilitating my research study. This piece of work wouldnt have conclusive and informative without valuable customers feedback. Therefore, I am very thankful for their interest and fulfilling the questionnaire provided.

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Table of Contents ABSTRACT Chapter I: Introduction 1.1 Background 1.2 Purpose of Study 1.3 Objectives of Study 1.4 Study Structure Chapter II: Literature Review 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Service 2.2.1 Service Theories 2.2.2 Elements of Service 2.2.3 Impact of service on Customer Satisfaction 2.2.4 Quality in Customer Service 2.3 Customer satisfaction 2.3.1 Customer Satisfaction Theories 2.3.2 Functionalities of Customer Satisfaction 2.3.3 Customer vs. Employee Satisfaction Modeling 2.4 Hotel Categories 2.4.1 Types of hotel 2.5 Nora Beach Resort and Spa 2.5.1 Information of the hotel 2.5.2 Type of customers 2.6 Conclusion Chapter III: Methodology 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Research framework 3.3 Sampling 3.4 The data collection tool 3.5 Data collection 3.6 Data analysis 3.7 Conclusion Chapter IV: Results 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Demographics 4.3 Level of customer satisfaction 4.4 General information analysis 4.5 Conclusion Chapter V: Conclusion and Recommendation 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Conclusion 5.3 Reflections 5 5 6 8 9 11 12 14 14 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 19 19 19 20 20 21 21 21 22 22 22 25 25 27 28 28 30 31 1 2 3 3 5 III 1

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5.4 Limitation encountered 4.5 Recommendations to the industry References Appendices

31 32 33 37

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Chapter I: Introduction

1.1 Background

In recent times, customers satisfaction is the main concern for every hotel and resort. Customers are now more valued and every effort is being made to keep them loyal to the resort and make them permanent visitors. The hotel industry believes that higher level of customer satisfaction may result in higher levels of repurchase. Repeat purchasing is essential to a continued stream of profitability through achieving higher levels of customer satisfaction (Oliver, 1997). The customers satisfaction can be defined as the fulfillment response which they feel towards given service. It has been a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provides (or is providing) a pleasurable level of consumption-related fulfillment, including levels of underfulfilment or overfulfilment (Oliver, 1996, p. 14). The concept of consumer satisfaction occupies a central position in marketing thought and practice. Conceptually, satisfaction is an outcome of purchase and use results from the buyers comparison of the rewards and costs of the purchase in relation to the anticipated consequences. Operationally, satisfaction is similar to attitude in that it can be assessed as the sum of the satisfactions with the various attributes of the product or service. With due consideration of this marketing approach, every effort is being made to provide the customers with better services in order to keep them loyal and make them a repeat visitor. The customer behaviour is considered as the ultimate success scale within the industry. The hotel industry is also among those sectors which have been trying to attract customers as long term visits. For this purpose, the hotel industry consistently implies

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different approaches to assess the customers satisfaction level in order to introduce new methods to attract them and make them their repeat visitors. The Samui Island has many attractions for the tourists and visitors from all around the world and a great number of visitors come to the island in order to enjoy tranquil and naturally beautiful beaches, hospitality of the local population and the unique services like spa offered by the hotel industry. There are a lot of visiting places on the island like the Big Buddah, Namuang Waterfall, Hin Ta Hin Ya, Sawadee Shrine, Hin Lad Waterfall, Scuba Diving, Dinning and restaurant and Samui nightlife etc. These attractions have attracted visitors tremendously and have contributed significantly to enhance the business opportunity for the local hotels and resorts. Nora Beach is one of the most famous resorts of the Samui Island. It is a luxurious retreat in Thailand, situated in a strategic place of Koh Samaui, the 3 rd largest island. The resort offers its customers a break from the hassles of the real world. The resort enjoys a spectacular hillside setting, overlooking a seclude bay just north of the world famous Chaweng Beach. It is located a few minutes from the airport and a short drive from the city centre (Nora Beach and Spa, 2007). Nora Beach Resort and Spa has strived to offer its customers excellent service over the years.

1.2 Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to analyse the level of customers satisfaction at Nora Beach Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand. This analysis would be made by assessing customers opinion through a well designed questionnaire. Considering the results of this analysis, the study will try to suggest the strategy for achieving a desirable customers satisfaction in the light of new marketing approaches.

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1.1 Objectives of Study

The objectives of the study are:

To understand the level of customers satisfaction by conducting a survey. To analyse the characteristics of the customers satisfaction which contribute their loyalty for the particular resort or hotel. This will be done by analysing purpose of visit, gender, age, education and other characteristics.

To suggest a strategy to retain customer loyalty by adopting an effective marketing strategy.

1.4 Study Structure

In order to analyse customers satisfaction with the service at Nora Beach Resort and Spa at Koh Samui, this study will review the current literature in the context of customers satisfaction and the services provided by the hotel industry. It will also examine the customers satisfaction in relation with the services provided at Nora Beach Resort and Spa through the primary data. For this purpose, in the literature review chapter, different theories relating to service, customers satisfaction and different categories of hotels will be reviewed. The methodology chapter will present philosophy and methods of research undertaken for this study. It will also describe the sampling, data collection tools and the method for data analysis. The fourth chapter will present the results of the research in relation with demographic analysis of the respondents and their satisfaction level at the Hotel. In the fifth chapter, conclusions will be made resulting from the data analysis. This

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researcher will offer recommendation to the industry with due consideration to the results of the primary data and the review of the literature.

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Chapter II: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Service

The service is defined as a prototype for service, covering the need of the customer and the design of the service. Edvardsson and Olsson (1996, p. 149). Goldstein et al. (2002) suggest that the service concept integrates the how and what of service design while keeping both the customers needs and strategic intent of the firm in mind. In other words, the service concept gives a detailed description of what the customer needs and how the organiza