Service Strategies And Competitive Advantage Of Five Star Hotels In Nairobi, Kenya
Service experience also referred to as service encounter refers to the interaction between the service provider and the customer. The consumption of a service encompasses the interaction between the consumer and the service provider. Past studies in the service sectors has centered on the service provider efforts to win over competitors, improve service quality, compete effectively, employees behavior, management roles in the achievement of a competitive advantage among other factors. Past research on services has focused almost exclusively on the behavior of service employees excluding consumer‟s important role in the dual social process that shapes consumption experience in relation to customer satisfaction in service encounters. Service experience is difficult to evaluate as compared to a physical product, for instance, a car, whose exchange is tangible, it can be seen, touched, felt, tested before use. A number of factors positively or negatively influence the service outcome. For instance, when an international visitor to Kenya books a service from a particular hotel online, the expectation are very high that the customer will receive the best service, in terms of quality, responsiveness, speed, convenience, general atmosphere, employee behavior and attitude, failure to which the customer expectation will not have been met and the outcome will be poor service encounter, complaints, service failure providing a very devastating business climate to both the service provider and the customer. Albrecht (2004) states that, “we are now living in a very new economy, a service economy where relationships are becoming more important than physical products; the times have changed, we are no longer living in a manufacturing economy; what is being done in the eyes of the customer is critical; people are getting more and more critical of the quality of service they experience in their everyday lives, and they want something done about it”.
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