Which factors can play their role in creating gap between the expectations and perceived quality of services

Introduction

1.1    Introduction

Different companies are offering their services and goods in the same market these days at different prices in the competition and it is era of high competition, whereas the customers are also looking for the best services and high quality of services and products at low prices and they do bargaining as much they can. There are some kinds of customers like price conscious, quality conscious and both price and quality conscious. Now days the customers are looking for better quality of service at reasonable prices. While in the hotel industry when customers are looking for the best deals and their preferences are different like luxury, neat and clean environment and privacy is also a major factor. In order to achieve organizational goals and objectives the business organizations are trying at their best level to create long term and good relationship with their customers for making money from them by offering them suitable and expected quality of services and products (Chen & Popovich, 2005). Similarly Sugandhi, (2004) stated that the organizations are paying their more attention on the quality of services provided to the customer instead of the other areas like manufacturing and delivering products, because they came to know that the quality of services is always appreciated by the customers and more loyalty can be generated through the quality of services. In the hotel industry the main focus of the organizations is to offer the best services to the clients and in this way the hotel industry organizations can achieve their ultimately goals and objectives effectively. The organization in the hotel industry can achieve more market share if there is no difference between the expectations and the perceived quality of services and products. Some customers are quality conscious and some are price conscious but in the hotel industry where the visitors came from abroad just for enjoyment and refreshment they need privacy, luxury, no tension and quality of services at reasonable price. So the main factors in the hotel industry are the privacy and the luxury factors and quality of services includes privacy, luxury and fast response. And it is not necessary that all the customers have the same expectations. Some visitors require only privacy and they do not bother about the luxury and some visitors need only quality of services like no disturbance, fast and quick response from hotel administration and some visitors looking for just stay they just care about their money they just bother the cheap price. In the hotel industry the main successive factor is to understand and identify the needs and wants (expectations) of customers and if the hotel administration has successfully delivered the expected quality of services and products then in such way the organization will achieve the organizational objectives in easy way. And in this way the hotel administration will be successfully increases the market share by identifying and delivering the expected quality of services and products to the clients.

1.2    Research Aims

Different customers have different priorities and demands which are called the expectations. The main aim of this research is to identify the gap of CRM activities in the United Kingdom in Hotel Industry. Basically the researcher wants to identify the effect of CRM gap on the sales and growth of organization. The researcher wants to identify the main gap which exists between the customer’s expectations and the perceived quality of services and products its role in sales and growth of the organization and its drawbacks will be also find out by the researcher. The researcher will also find out the reasons of the gap and kind of gaps those exist in an organization and its impact on the sales in hotel industry.

1.3    Research Objectives

There are following main objectives of this research

The researcher will find out the impact of gap exist in between the perceived quality of services and expected quality of services.

The researcher will also find out those factors that can increase and reduce the gap between the expectations and the perceived quality of services and products

The researcher will also disclose the role of CRM in reducing gap and role of CRM activities on the sales of organization in hotel industry.

The researcher will find out the factors those can play their role in increasing quality of services.

The researcher will find out the relationship between the quality of services and the CRM

1.4    Research Questions

The researcher has designed the following questions to achieve the above stated objectives

Is there gap exist in CRM activities?

Which factors can play their role in creating gap between the expectations and perceived quality of services?

Which factors can reduce this gap for achieving organizational objectives effectively?

What is the relationship between the gap and CRM activities?

How CRM can reduce the gap?

What are the main impacts of CRM activities on the sales and customer retention in hotel industry?

1.5    Scope of Study

In the competition and in the same industry all the hotels are offering the same products and services and it is very hard for the hotels to increase their market share. But there is a hope and positive signs are available that if the gap between the expectations of the customers and perceived quality of services and products can be identified and successfully reduced then the market share can be increased and in such a way the organization can achieve the organizational objectives successfully efficiently and effectively.

1.6    Ethical Considerations

The researcher will avoid the duplication of results and the researcher will use the proper tools and procedures in order to collect valid and reliable primary data and will use recommended tools and procedures for making analysis and interpreting them for conclusion and suggestions, the researcher will also abide by old references because with the passage of time the technology and the trends also changed and there is no such value of old references so the researcher will includes the fresh arrivals books and research reports, articles and journals as reference. The researcher will also not steel someone data and will never allow someone to steel his research data. The researcher will also keep the respondent’s details and organizational trades and secrets in personal custody and will never disclose them.

1.7    Limitation of Research

Being student the researcher has some limitations and the researcher will try to overcome these limitations, first of all the researcher has no such experience of  conducting research that’s why the researcher may face some problems and it take more time and cost. But the researcher will be directed and will get proper feedback and guidance from the respected supervisor for achieving research objectives efficiently and effectively. The researcher has limited time to complete the research and has limited financial resources, by keeping all these limitations the researcher has decided to select case study tool to complete his research well in time.  

Literature Review

2.1    Literature Review

Here in this chapter the researcher will describe and discuss the previous researches and their arguments in the favour of CRM activities in achieving organizational objective. The researcher will link the relationship among the quality of services that can be provided to the clients as per their expectations and the role of CRM department in creating happiness among the clients. The researcher will also provide rational review of literature. Customer’s needs and wants for which they pay amount (expectations) and in the perceived quality of services there is a gap and there exist direct relationship of this gap with the sales of organization (Parasuraman et al., 2001). Buttle, (2005) has also supported the above statement by saying that happiness can be created and satisfaction and loyalty can be created by reducing the gap between the offered and perceived services quality. The researcher will also discuss the arguments against the CRM activities and will focus on the role of CRM in minimizing the gap between the clients expectations and offered quality of services and products in order to increase the market share for achieving sales targets and retaining more old clients and capturing new clients by offering new offers as per client’s expectations. According to Buttle, (2005) that CRM can build the strong and long term relationship with the clients to enhance the volume of sales and revenue by just creating happiness and satisfaction among the clients by recognizing the expectations of the clients through the skilled and the well trained CRM representatives. There are so many advantages of CRM department especially in the success of business organizations the CRM department always plays its effective role (Buttle, 2005).  Business organization especially in the hospitality sectors the organizations can achieve their long terms and goals just by generating profitable relationship with the clients and minimizing the difference of their expectations regarding service quality and the commitments fulfilment.

McDonald, (2006) stated and define the CRM in these words that CRM is basically the main and central department of any organization that play its multi functional role for the success of organization in achieving company goals and objectives in short and long term, in details McDonald, (2006) also stated that the CRM also play an important role and its main functionality is to first identify the client’s problems and handle their complaints and offered them the suitable solutions as per their requirements just to provide them happiness and to repeat the sales volume in the future. In the high competition in the market the success of organization is depend on the organizational personal relationships with the entire employee’s skills and their productive level as well as relationships with the outside of the organization which includes clients, raw material suppliers, distributors and supply chain departments and all these relationships depend on the CRM strategies, so organizations must put their focus on the establishment of CRM strategies for success in future as compared to the competitors in the market. Bennett, (2001) has stated that it is only the CRM department that can identify the expectations of stakeholders and can satisfy the stakeholders to achieve success, and this is only department that strong, long term and profitable relationship with stakeholders can be established just by the effective business strategies designed and implemented by the CRM department and these strategies can be monitored and regulated with the help of other departments. Bejou et al., (2001) has been described that organizations can achieve the targets and business expansion is directly related with the client’s retention ratio, he also put focus on the complaints handling and their feedback is more essential and provide a chance to the organizations to identify their needs and can be enhanced their retention ratio and market share. Revenue has direct relationship with the happiness of customers created by the CRM business strategies and volume of sales has also direct relationship with the satisfaction level of customer which is created by the CRM business policies and efforts but one thing is common that first the CRM has to recognize the client’s priorities and needs. The CRM can also create the happiness and satisfaction by just handling client’s complaints and offering them the proper and best solution at the spot and in this way the organizations can establish long term and strong relationship with them, and organizations become successful in retaining them and these people also do the free of cost marketing for the organization and CRM employee attitude and behaviour to other people and become reference group (Anderson, 2008). Bennett, (2001) has been stated that CRM can reduce the gap between the offered and expected quality of products and the services and in this way the happiness can be created and sales repetition can be possible. When there the expectations are not meet by the offered quality of services and items then the happiness level will be very low and when there is no gap then the happiness level will be high and ultimately the company will achieve its goals (Buttle, 2005). Similarly McAlexander et al., (2001) stated that there is direct relationship exist between sales and quality of services and items. Whereas the Bhote, (2000) stated and explained in detail that only the organizational image, brand image and company reputation has positive effect on the satisfaction and loyalty of customer.  Gap model was explained by the Parasuraman et al., (2001) in this model it was clearly described bout the client’s expectations and factors that can play their role in reducing this gap and the influence of this gap on the sales and expansion of organization and the role of CRM in reducing this gap. Gap model also described the different level of gaps in a diagram and the role of CRM in reducing this gap and effects of gap in achieving company goals and objectives effectively. Gummesson, (2002) has been stated that there is a relationship between the profit and promises, commitments and values that companies make during promotional campaign so it is necessary for the companies to take care about their words and promises and fulfil all those commitments which made during campaign. Anderson and Mittal, (2002) they both have stated that client’s loyalty has a direct relationship with the expectations and perceived quality of services and items, when gap of CRM will be low then the loyalty level will be high and if the gap between the expectations and perceived values will be high then the loyalty and satisfaction will be low.

Clients Level of Satisfaction/ Happiness  Clients Level of Loyalty created due to satisfaction  
Organizational Achievements    

 

Identification of Clients Expectations   Reduce the difference between Expectations and Perceived Quality of services and products      
Sales Repetition   Reference Group   Revenue increment    Market Share Increases   More sales volume and Revenue and Profit   Business Expansion  

 

The above diagram shows that clients happiness and satisfaction is directly linked with the expectations and values for which the clients are willing to pay amount to buy the product and to overcome their problems and CRM is responsible for recognizing this kind of expectations and when there will be no gap between these expectations and perceived quality and values then automatically happiness will be come in the clients and this happiness will leads them towards satisfaction and this kind of satisfaction will leads them towards loyalty and when the loyalty is there in the client then the client will repeat the sales and will come again and again for shopping and for hiring services from the same company and secondly the testimonial will become the reference group and they will tell their friends, family members and family friends about their satisfaction and in such a way the market share will be gained by the company and in such situation the company will achieve the targets.  On business performance there is always a relationship exist between the loyalty and satisfaction of clients that always start from the expectations (Buttle, 2005). CRM can play its effective role in creating the loyalty among the clients (Evan and Laskin, 2000). Whereas Looy et al., (2005) stated that due to low value, low quality of services and products always disappointed the clients so the organizations must pay their attention towards the quality rather than to put their focus on the CRM welfare and trainings and skills, the organizations must pay their full attention towards employees welfare because there exist a strong link between staff productive attitude and business performance.

2.2    Literature review Frame of reference

 

2.3    Explanation

The above diagram shows the flow of review of literature as the researcher has discussed in detail about the gap between the expectations and the perceived qualities and values of services and products. The researcher has showed all the flow of work in the above diagram. As a result the researcher came to know that every customer has some needs and wants for which they pay the organizations to solve their problems and to overcome their thirst. The customer’s have their own needs and demand which we called their expectations and to overcome their needs and wants the customers came and pay money to buy the products and hire the services for solving their problems and after buying the products or hiring services and after using them if the results are according to their expectations then the customer will become happy and they will become loyal with the company and next time in the future the customer will come again to buy the products and will let his or her friends, family, colleagues and family friends about the results and they will also start to buy products or hire the services from the organization and in such a way the organization can make progress by enhancing the market share. One thing is also important that some clients have the complaints about some specific products then in such a way the CRM can also handle client’s problem and solve them in such a way the loyalty and market share can be enhanced. The research showed and proved that the difference between the perceived and the expected values, characteristics and quality of products and services also play an important role in creating loyalty and market share and this factor can also play an important role in achieving sales targets and business performance can be improved and CRM can also play its role in minimizing this gap. CRM can also minimize and after identifying the expectations of the clients it will be easy for the organization to offer services and product as per client’s expectations and in this way resources and time can be saved.

Research Methodology

3.1    Methodology

In this chapter number three the researcher will also explain about the research method that which tools and methods will be selected by the researcher to complete and conduct this research according to the main aims and objectives of this research to achieve the research objectives. According to the Engel et al., (2001) that to actually structure the research to collect the secondary and primary data in a good way, to get good results according to the aims and objectives of this research the researcher use research method, and in this way the results also recorded by the researcher. Here the researcher has selected the Blakemore hotel as case study tool because the CRM department is already in operation in this hotel and hotel has all the infra structure and the administration has responded me positively and allowed the researcher to conduct the research and the administration will allocate the necessary resources. Case study tool is the best research method to conduct the research to get most reliable primary data on which the researcher can make recommendations (Kitzinger, 2000).  The researcher will use quantitative and qualitative both research techniques to conduct the research.

3.2    Population

In this research the researcher will select the CRM staff and the customers and the researcher will select the key post employees and potential clients and will distribute questionnaires among them for gathering primary data the researcher will analyse the data and will reach to the conclusion for making recommendations and suggestions.

3.3    Sampling Size

According to the Sugandhi, (2004) stated that the researcher can choose research method according to the nature and the problem of the research and in the sampling method the researcher has choice among them, which includes random, stratified, quota, snowball, judgement and systematic sampling size. Here in this research the researcher has decided to select the customers randomly and the range of their will be 19 years old to 55 years old and both gender will be included in the sampling size and total number of sample will be about 80.

3.4    Primary data source

Morgan, (2000) stated that researcher must distribute the questionnaires among the samples and must select the customers and staff members in order to disclose the actual nature of research problem and to find out the actual solution. Focus group is also the basic source of primary data but in medical research the focus group is the most strong and effective way to collect primary data (Powell & Single, 2000). The researcher will also conduct the interview to collect the primary data.

3.4.1  Interview

Open and close ended questions will be included in the interview by the researcher and the researcher will design the questionnaires in such a way to disclose the actual nature of the problem and the most reliable and valid data will be gathered in this way, the researcher will conduct the interview of managers, CRM manager, employees and to the potential customers, and the researcher will also distribute the questionnaires among the clients and will just ask some questions from the staff members and will get their responses and opinion to make it sure the effectiveness of CRM in reducing the gap and in order to achieve the organizational objectives in well manners. Interview is basically two way communication and the respondents and the interviewer they both can communicate at the same time and without bias the respondents gave his or her opinion and suggestions to the researcher (Saunders et al., 2010).

3.5    Secondary data source

Yin, (2001) has been stated that there are different source of secondary data gathering and a researcher can select more than one source to collect secondary data which includes website, electronic books, journals, electronics journals, articles, annual reports and research papers. The researcher will use college library, hotel website, different books, electronics books, journals and articles and annual reports on the CRM subject and will gather the secondary data according to the aims and objectives of this research.

3.6    Case Study Tool

Due to limitation of the research the one important limitation is the limited time and the researcher has no research conducting experience so the best way to overcome this limitation is that the researchers select an organization as case study tool which is best way to conduct the research in effective way and results of case study tool are also valid and reliable. Case study tool is the best and reliable source to conduct the research for unexperienced researcher (Goddard & Melville, 2006).

3.7    Scope of Research

Now in every market all the competitors have the same technology and procedures and all are trying to make more money by utilizing minimum amount of money or investment. Especially in the sector of hospitality the client’s priorities and the expectations plays important role in retaining them and the organization that has CRM in operation and has reduced the difference between the needs, wants and expectations of the clients and the perceived quality of services with the expected services then the company can enhance the market share figure.

Data Presentation and Analysis

4.1    Data Presentations

The researcher will present the data in the form of tables and pie charts will be used by the researcher to make analysis, the researcher will use the sheets with table diagrams on the sheets and will also use the spread sheet to record the results and data. The researcher will use the arrangements of rows and columns just to make it sure that data will not be duplicated and in this way the validity and the reliability will remain reliable and valid.

4.2    Data Analysis Tools

The researcher first of all record the results after conducting the research and after completing the interviews and the responses of the respondents will be recorded on computer in electronic sheets and on paper form tables and after that by using necessary skills the researcher will use pie and bar charts to show the different relationships among the different variables and factors and to show the ratios and dependability of other factors on each other.

4.3    Expected Findings

The researcher has expected to find out the results in the form of positive role of CRM in reducing and minimizing the gap between the offered and expected quality and value of both services and products just to enhance the market share and obtaining financial goals and objectives which is the main objective of this research. the researcher has expect to know the factors those can participate in enhancing and reducing the gap and researcher will also find out those factors those can play their role in identifying client’s expectations and their priorities from different angles. In this section the researcher will also describe the role of CRM in reducing the gap.

4.4    Data Reliability and Validity

Constancy and steadiness always referred to as data reliability. In this section the researcher will also discuss about the tools and skills which will be used by the researcher to conduct the research and the researcher can rely on the data results.

Project Planning

5.1    Project Planning

In this chapter the researcher will discuss the all steps which will be involved in the research process.

5.2    Budget and Time Schedule

5.2.1  Financial Resources

The following table shows the description and relevant cost for each activity.

S. #DescriptionTotal Cost (£)
1Travel Expenses300
2Entertainment650
3Software, documentations950
4Miscellaneous expenses1100

5.2.2  Time Schedule

History and IssueX         
Research ObjectivesXX        
Literature ReviewXXX       
Conducting Primary Data  XXX     
Time Schedule in Weeks12345678910
Data Presentation    X     
Analysis     X    
Conclusion     XX   
Recommendations      XX  
Contingency Plan (If Required)        XX

5.3    Contingency Plan

As per supervisor instructions and to remove errors the researcher will use the last two weeks to make amendments in the project.

Conclusion

6.1    Limitations and conclusions

The researcher will discuss the limitations of this research which includes time and financial resources, as the researcher is the student so it is not possible for him to conduct the research on a large scale to overcome this limitation the researcher has selected case study tool, secondly the researcher has no research conducting techniques so the researcher has selected the case study tool and being student all the cost will be beared by the researcher and some resources will be allocated by the selected hotel. The researcher will join the theories and the results obtained after making analysis on the results and in the light of both literature review and data obtained by the research the researcher will make conclusion that which factors can play their role in reducing the gap and the researcher will make conclusion according to the objectives of the research.

6.2    Positive Recommendations

In this section the researcher will also make some suggestions and recommendations after pointing out the weak areas and problems in the system and after taking feedback the researcher will make recommendations and suggestions for the betterment of the selected hotel to achieve its organizational objectives in well manners. 

6.3    Further Research Areas

In this section the researcher will also find out those areas that will be disclosed by the researcher in the result of respondent’s opinions and responses. The researcher will also point out those areas that can be taken under research by the organizations to achieve organisational objective more in efficient form.

References and Bibliography

a.   Books and Journals

Anderson, E.W. and Mittal, V. (2002) ‘Strengthening the satisfaction-profit chain’ Journal of

Service Research, 11, (15) pp. 20-213

Anderson, E.W. (2008) ‘Cross Strategy variation in customer satisfaction and retention’

Marketing Letters, 11, (15) pp.32-245

Bejou, D., Ennuw, C. and Palmer, A. (2001) ‘Trust, ethics and relationship satisfaction’

Journalof Bank Marketing, 9, (11) pp.34-247

Bennett, R. (2001) ‘Relationship formation and governance in consumer markets: Transactional

analysis versus the behaviourist approach’ Journal of Marketing Management, 6, (21) pp. 113-

234.

Bhote, K.R (2000) Beyond Customer Satisfaction to Customer Loyalty. 3rd ed. New York: AMA

Management Briefing

Buttle, F. (2005) Customer Relationship Management: concepts and tools, 1st ed. Oxford:

Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann

Chen, I.J. and Popovich, K. (2005) ‘Understanding customer relationship management (CRM):

People, process and technology’ Business Process Management Journal, 11, (12) pp. 234-345

Engel, J.F., Blackwell, R.D. & Miniard, P.W. (2001) Consumer Behaviour, 2nd ed. London: Dryden Press

Evans, J. R. and Laskin, R. L. (2000) ‘The relationship marketing process: A conceptualization

and application’ Industrial Marketing Management, 14, (11) pp.123-321

Goddard, W. and Melville, S. (2006) Research Methodology: An Introduction 2nd ed. Lansdowne: Juta and Company Ltd

Gummesson, E. (2002) ‘Broadening and Specifying Relationship Marketing’ Asia-Australia

Marketing Journal, 11, (17) pp. 12-198

Kitzinger, J. (2000) ‘Introducing focus groups’ British Medical Journal, 14, (15) pp. 123-213

Looy, B.V., Gemmel, P. & Dierdonck, A. (2005) Services Management: An integrated

Approach, 2nd ed. Essex: Pearson Education Limited

McDonald, L. (2006) Customer Relationship Management – An Overview [online]Available at

<http://www.brillianceweb.com/betterwebdesign/tips_48.aspx&gt; [Accessed 14 December 2012]

Morgan, D.L. (2000) Focus groups as qualitative research, 3rd ed. London: Sage Publications

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V.A. and Berry, L.L. (2001) ‘A conceptual model of service

quality and its implications for future research’ Journal of Marketing, 35, (12) pp.112-198

Powell R.A. and Single H.M. (2000) ‘Focus groups’ International Journal of Quality in Health Care, 11, (12) pp. 212-344

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2010) Research Methods for Business Students 4th ed. Essex: Pearson Education

Sugandhi, R.K. (2004) Customer Relationship Management. 3rd ed. New Delhi: New age

International Publishers

Yin, R. (2000) Case study research: Design and methods.2nd ed. CA: Sage Publishing

b.   Websites

www.blakemore.org.uk [Accessed on 3rd December 2012]

c.   Bibliography

Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (1998) Collecting and Interpreting Qualitative Materials London: Sage Publications

Ehrenberg, A.S.C. (2000) ‘Repeat Buying: facts, theory and applications’ Journal of Empirical Generalizations in Marketing Science, 5, (2) pp.299-600

Etzel, M.J., Walker, B.J. & Stanton, W.J. (1997) Marketing International Edition. 2nd ed. USA: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

Gronroos, C. (1984) ‘A service quality model and its marketing implications’ European Journal

of Marketing, 18, (1) pp.30-50

Gronroos, C. (1994) ‘From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing: Towards a Paradigm

Shift in Marketing’ Management Decision, 32, (2) pp.2-30

Morgan, R.M. and Shelby D. H. (1994) ‘The Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship

Marketing’ Journal of Marketing, 58, (1) pp.22-40

Published by MALI

Writer is post-graduated in Computer science, Business Administration, Marketing and Innovation. He has 10 years of business academic research writing experience.

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