Service Quality - Introducing Tangibles for 5-Star Hotels



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January 10, 2018
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Service Quality - Introducing Tangibles for 5-Star Hotels

Service quality and customer satisfaction have become extremely important in 5-star hotels. And when it comes to cleaning and hygiene, it is extremely important for guests to feel a sense of satisfaction. The first step towards maintaining a hotel well is using the right equipment and products. Before that, housekeepers need to take into consideration the kind of materials and design used to make the hotel. This is where pre-construction design and its execution come into the picture. Sekar Selvaraj investigates the importance of tangibles that can aid in providing quality service and suggests that the quality dimension tangible antecedes customer satisfaction in the hotel industry.

Service quality in the hotel industry is an important factor of a successful business. The concept and conceptual model of service quality is indispensable if we can understand the gaps in the service quality. In order to ensure the service quality expected by the hotel guest, emphasis must be placed on two factors - quality of design and quality of execution as per the design. The quality of design is a concept implying the presentation of items and services as per the expectations of the guest. Customer satisfaction can be achieved only if we include guest expectations in the design. In order to do that, hotels should ensure that the demands of guests are ‘built-in’ by default in the design itself. Service quality has five dimensions, which are as follows:
Assurance: Knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence
Reliability: Ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately
Empathy: Caring, individualized attention the service provider gives its customers
Responsiveness: Willingness to help customers and provide prompt service
Tangibles: Physical facilities, equipment and appearance of personnel

Physical facilities

The building is what makes up physical facilities. The building in design and execution will be ideal only upon proper execution of the same as per a plan. Hotel buildings should be constructed as per the design, plan and drawings so that the desired quality standards are applied.

Quality standards are important for the success of every project. When scope, cost and time are met, it is crucial to keep a tab on the quality of the building as well. Quality assurance in a hotel building emphasizes on executing the quality management plan to the maximum extent. The execution team in any project needs to concentrate on the issue of a Good for Construction (GFC) drawing. This ensures that the finishing of the hotel building will be as per the architect's and designer’s ideology. The consultant considers the hotel guest’s current and future expectations and works in tandem with the designer. One needs to understand that space is money – hence, the design must be executed in such a way that all space is utilized to the maximum to generate revenue or to support revenue-generating activities.

Guest convenience in terms of air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, fire safety, etc., are considered while civil works are carried out. Conformity of HVAC, electrical, plumbing and fire safety drawings is important to ensure hotel guest safety and comfort.


Selection of the right equipment plays a vital role in ensuring service quality. Materials used for hotels should be of the best grade. The quality of material is decided depending on the area it is to be used in. Samples for all items must also be provided to the designer for approval. All materials should be environment friendly. Marble in the lobby area must be of the highest grade because it is the lobby that gives the guest/customer the first impression of the hotel.

Tiles in the kitchens should be white in colour and washable because they attract stains easily; this must be carried out as per food and hygiene standards. Flooring in the guest room areas must be laid out with low noise competency; the underlay for carpets in the guest room area must be lined with imported noise-proof material.

Water proofing is mandatory in all sunken areas, especially bathroom and toilet areas. High-quality drainage systems in the guest room must be laid out with extra care so that the water flows out seamlessly. Fireproof materials must be used in the joint areas between guest rooms so that in case of any fire, it does not spread from one room to another.

Once all this is in place, it becomes easier for housekeepers to choose the right equipment and products to ensure the cleanliness and hygiene of these luxury hotels.

About the Author: Sekar Selvaraj is a Procurement Consultant and a Research Scholar at Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India.