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Factors that influence the loyalty of a hotel customer

  1. First, their frequency and variance were investigated and then correlation and regression analysis were applied.
  2. However, when choosing a new pair of shoelaces, involvement is not usually high.
  3. Factors influencing guest experiences in hospitality A substantial number of studies attempted to establish items that influence customer experiences.
  4. However, customer experiences have in most studies been vaguely defined, if at all Walls, Okumus, Wang and Kwun 2011b.
  5. To achieve satisfaction and image satisfaction and image directly influence this objective, cross-sectional data were International Journal of customer loyalty. Mere satisfaction is not enough for loyalty any more.

However, factors affecting customer experiences and the influence of experiences on consumer behavior are still unclear. Through a quantitative field research, this paper attempts to determine as well as exhibit the impacts of customer experiences on customer loyalty and recommendation behaviors in hospitality. To reach this objective, a sample of adult respondents staying in five-star hotels in Istanbul were requested to rate the items related to physical environment and social interactions that are found to be relevant to hotel stay experiences.

The results indicate that there is a strong relationship between desired customer behaviors and perceived dimensions of customer experiences. Experiences are not a new concept though; they are part of human nature. Experiences have been analyzed by various disciplines such as philosophy, psychology and anthropology Abrahams, ; Csikzentmihalyi, ; Maslow, Concerning tourism, Cohen and MacCannell have approached experiences from a sociological approach rather than a marketing perspective.

According to them, tourists seek experiences that are not available in their regular environment and in sharp contrast with daily routine life. The fact that experiences also affect organizations as an effective tool for differentiation and competitive advantage in an increasingly commoditized market is a relatively new argument.

In other words, offering just commodities, products, and services are no longer enough for long-term profitability, but offerings must be accompanied by experiences. Pine and Gilmore illustrate customer experience through different coffee offerings.

A coffee bean as a commodity is bought and sold in bulk and the price is minimal, at about two cents per cup. Coffee sold in grocery stores as a product factors that influence the loyalty of a hotel customer processed and the packaged version of the coffee bean, when sold as a product, the price of coffee becomes 5—25 cents a cup.

Therefore, customers seek unique and personal encounters with the company products and services besides the functional benefits and they are willing to pay for memorable experiences. Although there are several conceptual studies on experiences, fragmented theories on customer experiences have only been verified by a few empirical studies.

This demonstrates insufficient clarification about factors influencing customer experiences. So far literature on customer experiences might be considered as complex, inconsistent, indecisive, and subjective. This situation fails to build on previous studies and bridge the gap between literature and practice. There are different opinions on definition, antecedents, variables, measurement, and impacts of customer experiences. Customer experiences are extremely relevant to tourism industry.

Tourism is an experience-intensive service.

The six key factors that influence customer loyalty

This is why travelers are more active and alert on their trips. They are open to new experiences as discussed by CohenCromptonMacCannelSmith and many other pioneers. Probably this is the main reason why hospitality is one of the most dispersed industry in the world, charging very different prices for the same basic product; accommodation in a safe, clean place.

Acknowledging the importance of customer experiences in hospitality raises further questions. First, what exactly is customer experience? Second, what are the factors influencing customer experiences?

Third, how are customer experiences beneficial to the firm? Finally, what are the strategies to create, manage and monitor desired customer experiences? The first three questions are challenged in this study.

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However, adapting customer experience to organization strategy and operations is beyond the scope of this paper, although some brief suggestions on implications are given at the end. The notion of customer experiences has emerged from this need.

However, customer experiences have in most studies been vaguely defined, if at all Walls, Okumus, Wang and Kwun b. According to Holbrook and Hirschmanexperiences are part of consumer behavior related to emotions, fantasies, and different customer perceptions.

Pine and Gilmoredefined experiences as distinct economic value for consumers that are sustainable and memorable. Mossberg defined experiences as an integrated whole that affect customers emotionally, physically, intellectually, and spiritually.

  • The results also show that experience dimensions are also closely related to intention to recommend;
  • Journal of Travel Research, 44 1 , 74-81;
  • Demographics According to Jan Hofmeyr and Butch Rice, developers of The Conversion Model which enables users to segment customers not only by their commitment to staying with a brand but also to segment non-users by their openness to switching to the brand , more affluent and better educated customers are less likely to be committed to a specific brand;
  • It is getting harder to differentiate hospitality services based on traditional physical clues; physical facilities are also suffering from standardization, homogenization, and imitation;
  • Third, how are customer experiences beneficial to the firm?

According to Oh, Fiore and Jeoungexperiences are enjoyable, engaging, and memorable events and moments for customers consuming those events. Despite these various illustrations created a rich background for the concept, they failed to offer a universal definition. Although terminology lacks a shared definition, there are recurrent characteristics of experiences that might be used to support a theoretical understanding of the concept.

Therefore, this study accepts the operational definition of guest experiences in hospitality as memorable events and impressions that engage customers in an emotional and personal way during their hotel stay, which influence future purchase decision loyalty and shared with others word-of- mouth. Customers seek experiences that would bond them emotionally to the brand and reflect that in their behaviors. As services are intangible, inseparable, and heterogeneous, physical environment and social interactions in hospitality are more important than products.

Tourism product in general is an experience Gunn,customers not only buy products but also experiences in tourism. Experience is the main outcome after a leisure trip. Accommodation can also be considered as an important part of tourism activity Smith, By definition, travelers need to stay at the destination for a minimum 24 hours to be considered as tourists. Therefore, hospitality experiences should be taken into account as an integral component of the overall travel experience.

  • Understanding the relationships between perceived travel experiences, overall satisfaction and destination loyalty;
  • Ohio State University Press;
  • However, consistency does not mean that every guest should get the same service;
  • Power discovered that, along with breakfast and parking, free Wi-Fi is one of the most essential amenities for travellers.

Hospitality is among those industries with high involvement. Hotels do not just offer shelter with a clean bed, but experiences also accompany these functional benefits.

In several cases, experiences are the reason guests pay many times more to the same clean, secure, and comfortable bed. Positive experiences support high-price strategies of luxury hotels.

The Impact of Physical Environment Factors in Hotels on Arab Customers’ Loyalty

The rich physical environments and social interactions make hospitality industry an attractive domain to analyze experiences. Factors influencing guest experiences in hospitality A substantial number of studies attempted to establish items that influence customer experiences. The seminal work of Pine and Gilmore is the most recognized among these studies.

They offered four realms of customer experiences as entertainment, educational, esthetic, and escapist experiences. The entertainment realm is related to events that make customer smile; this is the most basic experience e. Another classification for experiences has been offered by Dube and LeBel after their five-level qualitative research. They posited experiences through pleasure and suggested physical, social, emotional, and intellectual pleasure as experience dimensions.

Physical experiences are related to physical activity and senses; social experiences refer to affluence and belonging; emotional experiences are related to feelings emerge as a result of external stimuli and intellectual experiences reflect appreciation and understanding of complexity, knowledge, and advancement.

Schmittapproached experiences from marketing communications perspective and offered five categories as sense, feel, think, act, and relate.

A more comprehensive conceptualization was offered by Diller, Shedrof and Rhea They formulated experiences through their meaning to the person. Their work stated fifteen items accomplishment, beauty, creation, community, duty, enlightenment, freedom, harmony, justice, oneness, redemption, security, truth, validation, and wonder that would create positive customer experiences.

It is obvious that none of the above dimensions are mutually exclusive. For example, educational experiences can also be entertaining, or feelings emotional experiences are triggered through perceptions in physical environment sensory experiences. In other words, research on customer experiences is fragmented and lacks a structured direction and replication. Different authors used different parameters depending on the interest.

Although different approaches produced a healthy environment for the development of the concept, many of these dimensions lack enough empirical support to be used and transferred to a quantitative research. Physical environment and social interactions Customer experience can also be framed as a function of physical environment and social interactions factors that influence the loyalty of a hotel customer an organizational perspective. Carbone and Haeckel argue that experiences can be created by organizations by offering mechanic physical environment and humanic social interactions clues during service encounters.

Importance of physical environment servicescape, atmospherics, tangibles, etc. Numerous studies have been factors that influence the loyalty of a hotel customer that physical environment and social interaction dimensions can be used to determine a structured set of experiences.

A similar typology had been offered by Walls et al. According to them, experiential marketing is the process of creating experiences for customers through physical environment e.

The concept of physical environment and its effects on consumption has heavily been studied in tourism literature e.

Importance of social interactions has also been stated by various authors. For example, Crompton expressed social interactions as one of the main motives for travel. This study also grouped experiences under physical environment and social interaction dimensions. This classification, although simple, is able to encompass other structures mentioned in literature.

Physical environment and social interactions employees and other customers are among the factors that can be manipulated by organizations.

In other words, outcomes of such a categorization would be more meaningful to practitioners as well. Impact of loyalty and recommendation on organizational performance is ever increasing in regard to competition, accessibility, and ease of creating word-of-mouth through internet.

Mere satisfaction is not enough for loyalty any more. Even satisfied customers easily change their suppliers for better experiences. Obviously, it is reasonable to measure loyalty and recommendation as positive outcomes of experiences Brakus et al.

The main objective of the study is to contribute to a theoretical framework concerning customer experiences in hospitality industry. To reach this objective, factors physical environment and social interactions influencing quest experiences in hospitality were established, then influence of these dimensions on consumer behavior are determined.

The primary purpose of the field research has been to investigate to what extent customer experience dimensions that are supported in literature and theory influence customer behavior in hospitality operations. Consequently, answers this paper seeks are related to the following questions: Therefore, the independent variables of the research are factors physical environment and social interaction influencing customer experiences and dependent variables are intention to return loyalty and recommendation.

Creating and managing experiences depends on the ability to determine factors influencing customer experiences. After a review of existing literature, 49 items were found to be related to guest experiences in hospitality Baker et al. These items were then discussed with experts four frequent five-star hotel guests, two hospitality professionals and two scholars served as the jury.

The items were then refined to 33 before the pilot surveys. The pilot questionnaire was administered on 10 hotel guests from the sampling frame to eliminate any misinterpretations, overlapping and unclear items.

Based on the feedback received during the pilot study, three items were removed and two items were integrated with others. Eventually 28 items 14 under physical environment and 14 under social interaction dimensions were used in the final questionnaire.

Sampling and data collection The field research has been conducted in five-star hotels in Istanbul. Istanbul has been a pioneer destination hosting more than eight million international visitors per year.