1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Consumers have grown tired of incompetent and inexperienced staff, long waiting lines and closure of outlets at times they prefer to do business. To overcome such frustrations, an increasing number of industries are choosing to provide self-service technology options for their patrons. Self-checkout at retail stores and supermarkets, pay-at-the-pump gas stations, self-checkin at airports, online banking and stock trading, and a variety of other applications (Ref).
The hospitality industry has also adopted the transition from customer service to self service. As touchscreen terminals become more user-friendly they become capable of handling more complicated tasks. Lodging providers, fast-food operators, private clubs, fine dining restaurants, casino operations and others are trading face-to-face encounters for face-to-monitor interactivity at a variety of unattended points of sale (Ref……..). Will this trend continue? Which forms of self-service technology will endure? Will current technologies converge to form a new self-service platform?
Self service as a model and a market trend has gained momentum as guests in the hospitality industry increasingly accept and often prefer self service to assisted service. Most businesses report self-service applications lead to a reduction in operating expenses while markedly improving customer entertainment and satisfaction (Ref……..). For example, today, full service banking means that the bank provides a wide range of technological alternatives designed to discourage customers from interacting with the bank’s tellers. Applications like Internet banking, ATMs and interactive voice response (IVR) systems have become popular self-service alternatives. While it appears bank customers clearly value the convenience, consistency and self-control of automated transactions, the future for hospitality industry applications is not as clear. Similar to other retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs appreciate the extended coverage, lower operating costs and reliability of automated transactions. As a result, opportunities to conduct online and on-premises self-service applications are welcomed alternatives even for an industry that prides itself on personal hospitality. However, it is been noted that guests in the hospitality industry sees self-services as entertainment and this has left a positive experience for the guests.
A positive guest experience leaves an impact on customers, and can make the difference in a repeat visit. As customer expectations increases the hospitalityorganizations must not simply respond to their customers’ needs and wants, they must go above and beyond expectations from a staffing interaction and service level. A dedicatedeffort through technology and service to achieve these positive touch-points will paydividends in the end through increased customer loyalty and traffic.
This research highlights the need for going beyond traditional customer touch-pointsin hotels, resorts, casinos, and restaurants to establish customer entertainment through self-service.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most hospitality organizations have been implementing self-service channels with a goal of reducing costs, increasing customer entertainment, satisfaction and loyalty, and reaching new customer segments. No matter how successful the self-service channel and entertaining, organizations rarely eliminate traditional personal service when they introduce a self-service channel. Instead, hospitality organizations typically maintain a portfolio of service-delivery channels which allows guests to select the way they interact (Ref…………).
According to (Ref…………) the hospitality industry has made considerable strides in using information technology (IT) to improve service efficiency and effectiveness. IT-enabled supplementary services and after-sales service foster differentiation, which helps set a company apart from its competitors. In addition to the well-known web-based applications, the hospitality industry has innovated in a number of ways to better serve customers; for example, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts and Harrah’s Entertainment have introduced Microsoft Surface, a 30-inch, tabletop computer display that guests can use for such services as 360-degree satellite maps and tools to search for local city information, a digital jukebox, and a photo library of Sheraton properties. Less radical, but perhaps more common customer service IT applications include mobile-based reservations, kiosk based check-in, and e-folios. These service innovations have been found to improve service and guest entertainment.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose for the study is to study the impact of self-service as a method of entertaining guests in the hospitality industry. Therefore, the objectives for the research are;
1. To find out whether hospitality industry adopt self-service in their transaction
2. To determine the different types of self-service technology
3. To examine the impact of service in entertainment of guest in the hospitality industry
4. To examine the benefits of self-service to guest in the hospitality industry
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study cannot be overemphasized. This is because there are a lot of benefits that self-service can offer customers such as entertainment and fun. Also, hospitality companies have expanded selfservice with the idea of reducing costs, increasing customer satisfaction, and reaching new customer segments. Self service has gone beyond web sites and lobby kiosks to include smart-phone apps that allow guests to search for hotel information, manage their reservation, and check in or out
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Do the hospitality industry adopt self-service in their transaction?
2. What are the different types of self-service technology?
3. What is the impact of self service in entertainment of guest in the hospitality industry?
4. What are the benefits of self-service to guest in the hospitality industry?THE IMPACT OF SELF-SERVICE AS A METHOD OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS IN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY