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Service Experience Dimensions in Asian Hospitality: A Case Study of Hotels in Thailand and Hong Kong

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This was a conference paper presented at Experience EuroCHRIE 2015 Conference during 15-17 October 2015 at Lowry Hotel, Manchester UK

ประสบการณ์บริการในการให้บริการแบบเอเซียน กรณีศึกษาประเทศไทยและฮ่องกง

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Service Experience Dimensions in Asian Hospitality: A Case Study of Hotels in Thailand and Hong Kong

  1. 1. Experience EuroCHRIE 2015 Conference 15-17 October 2015 Manchester, UK The Lowry Hotel, Manchester 1
  2. 2. Service Experience Dimensions in Asian Hospitality: A Case Study of Hotels in Thailand and Hong Kong Manisa Piuchan Loretta Pang School of Hotel and Tourism Management The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong SAR 2
  3. 3. Today’s Agenda 1.Introduction 2.The study 3.Results 4.Conclusion 3
  4. 4. Introduction • Asian hospitality operators have been recognised globally due to their service quality with local value-added into service offering and physical appearance (Hobson, 1994, Roll, 2010, Wattanacharoensil et al., 2014) • The Peninsula and Mandarin Oriental – the award of the world’s best hotel (Travel and Leisure Magazine, 2013) • Japan and Thailand being ranked in the world’s best service (The New York Times, 2011) 4
  5. 5. Aim of this study • To identify the characteristics of Asian hospitality • Eight service experience dimensions to provide a framework for identifying service experience in Asia • Adopted Winsted’ study (1997) 5
  6. 6. 6 Service Experience Dimensions in Asian Hospitality Authenticity Caring Control Courtesy Formality Friendliness Personalisation Promptness (Adopted from Winsted, 1997)
  7. 7. Asian Hospitality • is derived from Asian culture in service offering and people involvement (Ueltschy et al., 2009) • Traditional cultures in Asia impact hotel operation in this region (Hobson, 1994) • The concept is difficult to demonstrate because of vast diversity of culture and belief (Hobson, 1994) • Implementing ‘Culture’ to represent the brands and service orientation 7
  8. 8. Asian Culture • Asian culture is related to social behavior • Concept of face-saving • Beliefs/religions • Power distance • Behavior of conflict avoidance • Low level of risk taking • Importance of relationship building • Etc. • Those foundations of Asian beliefs are the major control of thoughts and behavior 8
  9. 9. The Study • Observations – to identify the indicators of service experience in Asian Hospitality by observing the interaction between guest and service providers • Unstructured interviews – to gain more in-depth opinions from service providers • Conducted onsite during seven-day workshops in Hong Kong and Bangkok 9
  10. 10. 10
  11. 11. Observations • To observe the behavioral indicators of service experience based on those 8 dimensions • ‘Real life’ environment can reflect ‘real life’ behavior 11
  12. 12. Interviews • 8 interviews – 5 staff from managerial level (Tourism Authority of Thailand, Dusit International, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok and Hotel ICON) - 3 frontline employees from different departments • Interviews involved employees’ service attitudes and characteristics of Asian hospitality from their points of views and their experiences. 12
  13. 13. Secondary Data • To explore other additional data from customers’ viewpoints • Customers’ comments on Tripadvisor.com 13
  14. 14. Results 14
  15. 15. Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 1 Authenticity Being agreeable Clichés Fake smile Honesty Facial expressions Language signals Being nervous Offering opinions Being phony/fake Personal experience Body language Touching Sincere facial expression Smile Caring Courtesy Touching moment/ surprise Tone of voice Greeting to demonstrate local culture Ancient physical decoration Gentleness Feeling classy (as a royalty) Special gesture 15
  16. 16. 16 Guest- MO “…what really made the stay for us was that we were treated as if we were royalty…”
  17. 17. 17 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 2 Caring Asking if satisfied Being indifferent Interruptions Problem resolution Problem resolution Attention to details Advising if help is needed Providing choices and varieties Treating like family members As home away from home Warm welcome
  18. 18. 18 Guest- Hotel ICON “…it is the attention to details to the customer that sets this hotel apart. For example, I had a couple of bottles of my favorite Chinese ice tea in the fridge in the room. They noticed and put two more in. This was extra special because they aren’t available everywhere…”
  19. 19. 19 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 3 Customer Control Asking for permission Being competent Conversation lead Being insecure Interruption Being knowledgeable Being obedient Order customer Asking for permission Keeping privacy Customising the individuals’ needs Providing assistance in every demand
  20. 20. 20 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 4 Courtesy Asking name Complaints Glare Bringing comfortable feelings Patronising Using “Please/Thank you” Quick greetings Asking name Bringing comfortable feelings Using “Please/Thank you” Smile with Wai (Greeting)
  21. 21. 21 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 5 Formality Casual dress Neat grooming Formality Foul language Addressing last name No humour Straight posture Proper language Slang language Being sloppy Being stiff Uniform Modern national costume as uniform Respect Professionalism
  22. 22. 22 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 6 Friendliness Clear language Enthusiasm Being intelligent Being personable Being pleasant Smile Tone of voice Proper use of the language
  23. 23. 23 A Front Officer- DT “…smile is the traditional way when Thais start making friends with a stranger…”
  24. 24. 24 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 7 Personalisation Knowing previous history Remembering customers Treating as number Remembering customers (by calling their names/surnames) Recognising the guests (previous visits or personal stories) Customising the individuals’ needs
  25. 25. Personalisation 25 Pisit – Director of Sales of MO “if guests would like to find the restaurants, we do not just give them a list. we will look at the guest’s profile what type of restaurant they have a meal previously, and find another different one”
  26. 26. 26 Service Experience Dimensions (a) Winsted’s Study (U.S. & Japan) (b) Found in Both Studies (c) Additional Indicators in Asian Hospitality (Thailand & Hong Kong) 8 Promptness Anticipating customers’ needs Incomplete service Delayed information Slow movement Quick movement Quick attention Serving other first Standing around Anticipating customers’ needs Quick attention Standing around to help
  27. 27. 27 Observation: During the hotel tour, the spa rooms were being occupied, the service staff immediately showed us the details with photos and explanations. Pisit – Director of Sales of MO “There is not only one answer, we always provide more choices and options” Promptness
  28. 28. Conclusion: Asian hospitality nowadays • People • Express more sense of “touch” and “feeling” • Not only physical products but also care about how they experience which can generate more revenues • Offering unique features become the well-known symbol of Asian hospitality 28
  29. 29. • Asian hospitality can be perceived in particular elements • The culture each service provider belong to always affects the service performance and the way to treat other customers • Because of Asian human essence, notion of life , traditions, the establishment of Asian hospitality is formed as every single moment has been shaped by the cultural reason behind those practices. 29
  30. 30. References Barnes, J. G. (1995, May). The quality and depth of customer relationships. In Proceedings of the 24th EMAC Conference (pp. 1393-1402). Cergy Pontoise: European Marketing Academy. Kasper, H., Van Helsdingen, P., & De Vries, W. (1999). Services marketing management: an international perspective. Chichester. Patterson, P. G., & Smith, T. (2001). Relationship benefits in service industries: a replication in a Southeast Asian context. Journal of Services Marketing, 15(6), 425-443. Price, L. L., & Arnould, E. J. (1999). Commercial friendships: service provider-client relationships in context. The Journal of Marketing, 38-56. Price, L. L., Arnould, E. J., & Tierney, P. (1995). Going to extremes: managing service encounters and assessing provider performance. The Journal of Marketing, 83-97. Runglertkrengkrai, S., & Engkaninan, S. (1987). The pattern of managerial behaviour in Thai culture. Asia Pacific journal of management, 5(1), 8-15. Winsted, K. F. (1997). The service experience in two cultures: a behavioral perspective. Journal of Retailing, 73(3), 337-360. 30
  31. 31. Thank You 31

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