IBIS IN HOBART
IBIS IN HOBART
SERVICE AUDIT REPORT: IBIS IN HOBART
Table of Contents
Service Audit Report: Ibis in Hobart
The Ibis hotel is an economy corporately styled hotel situated at the 173rd street of Macquarie in Hobart. The hotel is owned by the Accor Group of Hotels, which was founded in the middle 1967 and officially opened its first hotel in 1974. Ibis hotel Hobart is a styled economy hotel meant to meet the increasing number of customers demanding affordable but luxury budget accommodation. The hotel conforms to the global Group Company’s strategy to befit the growing economy. Through its management, the firm has become a leader in the Group’s styled fulfillment to customers. It is the leading styled representation of the company’s perspective of customer satisfaction. Through the link of its corporate sister hotels across the globe, the hotel has managed to create a distinct styled service delivery that supports the existing impression of its service product. Thus, the differential identity of the hotel resonates with desires of customers in the highly competitive market in Tasmania.
The Ibis Hobart is a desirable value based option for accommodation of customers in Tasmania. Ibis targets low, middle and high-end customers who seek favorable prices for luxury accommodation. The hotel’s proximity to Hobart’s water point exonerates its popularity of style and service quality in Tasmania. With 296 rooms, Asian cousins, warm indoor pool, physical practice center, and saunas, the hotel has numerous service delivery platforms that enrich customers wholesomely. All the facility’s standard, superior, and deluxe accommodations are endowed with internet, coffee, and other luxury treats as a package (Martono, Amboningtyas, and Fathoni, 2018). Coupled with scenery restaurants, shops, and other affiliate customer satisfaction centers, Ibis Styled is the customers’ reference point in the city. Thus, the hotel offers a designated accommodation facility worth reckoning with.
The main service product of Ibis Styled Hobart is the rich accommodation characterized by luxury and deluxe pampering. Ibis Hobart presents itself as a styled service provider using observed physical experience that replicates the quality service issued to customers. The physical evidence reassures and confirms customers’ experience in the highly competitive accommodation industry. The isolation is based on increasing customer demands for superior service alongside hoteliers’ competitive will to satisfy its clients (Martono, Amboningtyas, and Fathoni, 2018). In addition, self-observation at the hotel is a crucial segment and evidence of a competitive service delivery. As such, the diverse customers’ desires are met within the franchised economy accommodation offered by the Tasmanian hotel. Thus, Ibis targets a compost of customers, ranging from economy, standard, superior, and deluxe rooms at relative prices, which resonate to the large accommodation market.
The study builds on service marketing tools to analyses the strengths and weaknesses of services at Ibis Styled in Hobart. The theory is used to assess, rate, and recommend changes for the hotel’s delivery system. Moreover, the study is built on service product, physical evidence, and price elements of marketing mix alongside their influence in service delivery and the firm’s customer satisfaction (Sudari, Tarofder, Khatibi, and Tham, 2019). The Servicescape and Flower of Service Models are used to support the argument.
This section assesses the strengths and weakness of my service experience at Ibis hotel. The hotelier’s marketing mix conforms to the seven marketing elements at its disposal in attraction to the accommodation market. The marketing elements include product, price, place, promotion, process, physical evidence, and people. Hence, this study focuses on physical evidence and people.
Gremler, Hoffman, Keaveney, and Wright (2000) refer to physical evidence as the authentic tangible proof exhibited by the service provider to their customers as indications of intended service quality. The element is viewable prior to service delivery in measurable to service quality. Thus, the physical evidence lures the expectation and satisfaction of customers. Bitner’s (1992) theory examines physical evidence and its impact on consumers and service providers. According to the theorist, physical evidence influences clients’ satisfaction, productivity, and motivation of service providers. The service ensures sufficient physical evidence by instilling proper development, management, and marketing of the firm’s objectives. As such, to understand the firm’s concept better, Bitner (1192) categorizes physical evidence into three concepts: the ambient conditions, functionality, and the symbols, thus making the theory applicable across the diverse service provisions.
Through her Servicescape Model, Bitner (1992) drafted a theoretical explanation of physical evidence categories based on environmental dimensions, holistic environment, moderators, international responses, and behavior analysis. The theory’s ambient conditions connote environmental traits that influence views of the environment based on the five human senses. The conditions include color, scent, light, air quality, sound and temperature among other environmental issues. The functionality and space category takes on shape and size of accommodation features. In addition, the signals and artifacts category assumes consumers’ behavior expectations and the hotel’s reputation as indicated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Servicescape Model (Source: Bitner, 1992)
Ibis Styled Hobart has the best representation of Bitner’s (1992) ambient conditions of physical evidence. The hotel’s reception and rooms’ brightened lights contribute to the visual attraction and fun of the environment. The hotel has styled interior and exterior design that satisfies the visual impression of customers. The smooth music in the reception décor alludes to the warm welcome to customers. The color match in the hotel communicates quality of service (Appendix: Pictures 1, 2&3). Thus, the impression of styles, texture, and color flow in the hotel rooms blends the quality service delivered by the institution. In terms of the space and functionality, the rooms’ decors are skillfully extended giving a beautiful view of the surrounding environment thereby creating a functional space. In addition, sings, signals, and artifacts add to beauty of the hotel in arts, decorations, and sculptured artifacts on bar and rooms walls. The hotel also has demonstrative signs that efficiently direct customers across the premise. For instance, it is easy to move from the reception to my room using the signs without a human assistance. The use of signs and signals makes customers’ movement efficient and upholds their privacy as they can move without human guidance. Therefore, the Servicescape model befits the observed view of the hotel, depicting the beauty and style, which conforms to its name, Ibis Styled Hobart.
Lovelock and Patterson (2015) creates an impressive understanding of a product under service marketing. The authors term a product as the surrendered value from the producer that represents the benefits and satisfaction of the consumers. A service product contributes to the value in payable amount by customers that distinctively distinguishes the product from competitors. The customers are usually willing to pay higher values for services that accrue higher benefits. As such, when producing services, companies evaluate the services’ market position and entry strategies. The concept is best explained by the “Flower of Service” model by Lovelock, Patterson & Wirtz (2015) as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Flower of Service Model (Source: Lovelock, Patterson & Wirtz (2015)
The “Flower of Service” model alludes to existence of supplementary services as the core of service product development. The model categorizes the services into two side with the first referring to promotional services and the second constituting the facilitating services. The services that facilitate the process include billing, payments, and order taking while the promotional services are hospitality, safekeeping, exceptions, and consultations (Lovelock, Patterson & Wirtz, 2015). The information elements concur with the idea that customers need right information to fully harness the benefits of their services. Order taking gives the hotel opportunity to receive and address customers’ needs. The billing is the consent request that prepares customers to make good their unpaid bills. Thus, it gives the customer available payment options at their reach. At the helm of it is hospitality that guarantees satisfactory service delivery to the customers. The element is substantively supported by safekeeping, exceptions, and consultations. Safekeeping ensures that customers’ luggage are well kept while exceptions refers to extra mile taken by the service providers away from routine services to satisfy customers’ unique demands. Thus, the core component of the models addresses quality services provision.
The service desk gives exemplary information about the hotel and its accommodation services. The receptionists quickly took the luggage and led to their respective safe units, which was fulfilling. However, a there are some itches on booking, for example a case where a couple would be kept waiting to organize a couple deluxe that was not ready. Nonetheless, the system continues as soon after the client checks in and in-meal order; the customer receives a bill which has numerous payment options without walking to the nearest ATM. Such services give customers a humble opportunity to make transactions at the comfort of their rooms. In addition, the customer care ensures step to step consultation that ensured that only customer’ demands are answered, thereby giving the ease of communication and confidence to customers.
The supplementary elements came hand in hand with the facilitating elements on a face to face delivery channel. If there is something catchy about Ibis Styled hotel is the hospitality service issued at the premise. With qualified staff, the hotel gives a professional approach towards customer satisfaction with instances of exceptions. For instance, the room service attendants can replace the client’ suit colors on request because their favorite color is not included. Such an act confirms the perfectionist view of the hotel as visible in its visual impression at the reception. Thus, several attributes can be derived from the experience at the hotel. The exceptional approach to customers’ demands gives the perceptual value to the accommodation services. Various payment options, consultation, rich hospitality, and others elements give the desirable determinant attributes exhibited by Ibis Styled hotel.
The hoteliers also tend to exhibit an attractive customer service experience worth mentioning. Through a service blueprint, the hotel’s management set all preferable services based customers’ unique needs. With delineation of the focus of customers’ service experience, the diagram helps to navigate through customers-employee actions, and support reaction process to physical evidence as a cross functional analysis of activities leading to customer satisfaction. The blueprint concept helps understand the web of actions of the hotel’s customers and how each action involves the hotel’s staffs. The customers’ actions are part of the larger service delivery process which exhibits the customer service experience from the clients’ perspective (Bitner, Ostrom, and Morgan, 2008). Both the reception and room service staff performed onstage actions to the clients. However, the room service staff could also perform backstage activities like serving customers. Other support based services like reservation magnify the customers’ experience by wading out much time taken to register at the reception. The end products are physical evidences that exhibit the employees’ commitments to achieving customer satisfaction through performance experience. Therefore, the blueprint is a crucial tool of understanding and modifying customer service experience as shown in the Figure 3.
Figure 3: Service Blueprint
Source: Service blueprinting: a Practical Technique for Service Innovation (Bitner, Ostrom, and Morgan, 2008).
The recommendation section of the study addresses the weaknesses observed at the hotel during accommodation that desires change for future exemplary audit performance. The services hiked for change would enable Ibis Styled in Hobart advantageously compete within the identified failed elements. The areas of concern are in product, physical evidence, and price elements of marketing mix.
The sound element of the ambient condition was the most noticeable weaknesses right into the reception of the accommodation. Added to the sound spillover from the bar section, it was improper for the suggest checking in particularly those checking in the evening. According to Bitner (1192), certain physical environments have the ability to interrupt foreseen objectives of an institution. The uncontrolled music spillover from the bar overpowered the reception music and activities thereby negatively impacting the attitude and satisfaction of customers. For instance, a couple with a child may request to be relocated to another room away from the bar since they could no longer withstand the increasing music in the presence of their son. In addition, such perception contradicts conservative clients who may want to be confined within their beliefs. As much as the hotel creates conducive environment for some clients who wish to drink and engage in lotteries and various games within the premise, they do so at the expense of conservative clients who would wish for calm an environment void of any form of noise. Therefore, the hotel need to plan further for customers’ beliefs without setting them against each other in fulfillment of one’s exceptional demands.
There is also need to adjust on the signals and signs around the hotel. For instance, the lifts had contrasting signs with regard to allocation of rooms. The number signs on the lifts had no clear direction and room arrangement from the lift point. The room patches at the door of the lifts ought to be arranged from the nearest to the furthest on both sides. The same should apply to the interior labeling of the lifts to indicate all room number rather than giving a range that made it difficult for elderly clients to easily spot the right flow and room number. In addition, the door plates should be made bigger for easy identification from a distance. Thus, making such changes would help client navigate efficiently within the building hence enhancing their satisfactions.
The hotel failed to observe a reliable priority booking for special group of clients. The group consisted of clients with young babies, the elderly clients, and the physically challenged groups. For instance, serving customers in order of registration is in order. However, the receptionists ought to have created a separate table for checking in the special group of clients like couples with young babies. It was observable that majority of the clients checking in had no problem having the elderly and younger mothers being checked before them. Perhaps, their physical ability required being attended to quickly to ease their fatigue. In addition, the online booking should be attended separately from the front-office booking (Bowie, Buttle, Brookes, and Mariussen, 2016). The correction would ease the longer waits created by front-office booking and attend to clients who booked previously to avoid jams. The recommended changes would ensure marginal satisfaction, which is coherent in accommodation services. A single booking system jeopardizes the serenity, privacy, and satisfaction of clients; therefore, adherence to change will boost customers’ satisfaction on creation of exemptions.
There is also need for the hotel to include chains of restaurants in their hotel lines. Majority of the clients preferred making order for their meals from the top city restaurants. An introduction of desirable superior restaurants within the hotel would rule out the high demand for preferential meals from the city restaurants (Baron, Warnaby, and Philippa 2014). The attraction of the hotel’s clients to the outside restaurants creates unnecessary competition with some of the city accommodation hotels. Thus, by Ibis Hobart creating a more competitive food chain within its premise, it will wade out the unnecessarily competition caused by other city hotels. Moreover, rather than just sufficient accommodation, the restaurants would be another added advantage and attraction point for the hotel to draw more customers. Thus, the hotel needs to be fully self-sufficient to maximize its profits in the highly competitive environment.
The high competition in the accommodation market in Hobart city has an impeccable effect on service product’s pricing. The competition reduces the added value on service offered by the firm hence undermining its profitability and growth through unstable pricing strategy. The industry’s price mismatch undermines price data sharing and conformity that would allow controllable price changes across all players. The results allow some players to opt for unframed practices that leave the firm a price budget below it budget and economy strategies. The situation compromises customers satisfaction as well as the firm’s objective planning. The unstable prices leave doubt on customers who are not certain about the price levels of the hotel. As such, some clients chose to go to perennially priced hotels with constant pricing as opposed to the fluctuating market prices used by Ibis Hobart.
In addition, Ibis Styled hotel’s inability to standardize its prices against the fluctuating prices undermines its position as a leader in the industry. The situation has not only failed to set pace in the industry but also strike a balance between exiting low prices and better services demanded by the customers. The firm is obliged to set standard prices for its accommodation services alongside the market prices. Therefore, the standard prices will be able to act as the referential prices for the customers in place of unstable market prices.
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Image 1: Reception. (Source: Ibis Steles Hobart Hotel. Retrieved from https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-B040-ibis-styles-hobart/index.shtml)
Image 2: Room Decorations. (Source: Ibis Steles Hobart Hotel. Retrieved from https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-B040-ibis-styles-hobart/index.shtml)
Image 3: Arts (Source: Ibis Steles Hobart Hotel. Retrieved from https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-B040-ibis-styles-hobart/index.shtml)
Image 4: View of the Environment (Source: Ibis Steles Hobart Hotel. Retrieved from https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-B040-ibis-styles-hobart/index.shtml)
Image 5: Ibis Styles Hobart Hotel (Source: AccorHotels. Retrieved from https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-B040-ibis-styles-hobart/index.shtml)