Service quality and customer satisfaction in hotels in Nairobi, Kenya
High level of competitiveness in the marketplace in which hospitality industries such as hotels function has been one of the main reasons why service quality and customer satisfaction have become of great importance. In the hotel industry, for example, satisfied customers tend to return and make profit to the hotel. The hotel’s top management’s main objective therefore, is on how to maximize customer satisfaction. This project had two objectives: To determine factors influencing customer satisfaction and to examine the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction among hotels in Nairobi, Kenya. Performance Only Model (SERVPERF) which was developed by Cronin and Taylor (1992) was used to develop a questionnaire which was later distributed to respondents from across hotels in Nairobi. Descriptive statistics and Regression analysis were used to establish the factors influencing customer satisfaction and bringing out the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction. All the five service quality variables yielded positive relation with customer satisfaction. This means that service quality is strongly linked with customer satisfaction and the higher the service quality, the higher the customer satisfaction. The results further reveal that reliability dimension contributes most towards customer satisfaction followed by Empathy, Tangibles and Responsiveness. Assurance was seen to contribute the least. However all the dimensions were highly rated and therefore the hotels cannot afford to ignore any of the variable. From the analysis, it was also established that service quality has a statistically significant effect on customer satisfaction with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 74.2%. This implies that service quality contributes 74.2% of customer satisfaction while the other factors contribute 25.8%. The researcher recommended that future studies could look into the nature of these other factors that contribute 25.8% of customer satisfaction. This study contributes to the existing studies examining service quality and customer satisfaction in the hotel industries. The results from the study could be helpful to the management of hotels in their policy formulation in the context of improving customer satisfaction and service loyalty. The researcher recommended that since this study focused only on hotels within Nairobi, future studies could look into more areas such as Mombasa and Naivasha which are key tourist sites.