Dukes London COVID-19 Government Implemented Measures
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ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS Assessment Coursework (Management Report) Assessment code: 010 Academic Year: 2020/2021 Trimester: 1 Module Title: Customer Service Management for Tourism and Hospitality Module Code: MOD006060 Level: Level 5 Module Leader: Monica Or Weighting: 60% Word Limit: 3000 words This excludes bibliography and other items listed in rule 6.75 of the Academic Regulations: http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_regs.pdf Assessed Learning Outcomes 1,3 and 4 Submission Deadline : This assignment must be received by no later than 14:00 on Friday 6th November 2020 WRITING YOUR ASSIGNMENT: This assignment must be completed individually. You must use the Harvard referencing system. Your work must indicate the number of words you have used. Written assignments must not exceed the specified maximum number of words. When a written assignment is marked, the excessive use of words beyond the word limit is reflected in the academic judgement of the piece of work which results in a lower mark being awarded for the piece of work (regulation 6.74). Assignment submissions are to be made anonymously. Do not write your name anywhere on your work. Write your student ID number at the top of every page. Where the assignment comprises more than one task, all tasks must be submitted in a single document. You must number all pages. SUBMITTING YOUR ASSIGNMENT: In order to achieve full marks, you must submit your work before the deadline. Work that is submitted late – up to five working days after the published submission deadline – will be accepted and marked. However, the element of the module’s assessment to which the work contributes will be capped with a maximum mark of 40%. Work cannot be submitted if the period of 5 working days after the deadline has passed (unless there is an approved extension). Failure to submit within the relevant period will mean that you have failed the assessment. Requests for short-term extensions will only be considered in the case of illness or other cause considered valid by the iCentre Adviser. Please contact [email protected]. A request must normally be received and agreed by the iCentre Adviser in writing at least 24 hours prior to the deadline. See rules 6.56-6.65:
http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_regs.pdf Mitigation: The deadline for submission of mitigation in relation to this assignment is no later than five working days after the submission date of this work. Please contact [email protected] See rules 6.103 – 6.132: http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_regs.pdf ASSIGNMENT Case Study Due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, hospitality establishments were forced to close to comply with Government measures during the lock down in the UK (10 Downing Street 2020). Many hotels closed temporarily due to the social distancing measures that were enforced on 23rd March 2020 (GOV.UK 2020a). During this time there has been much discussion in the hospitality industry of how now hotels will operate once the lock down is eased. It is predicted that social distancing measures will still be in place for the long term. GOV.UK (2020b) guidelines have been issued to industry of how they can operate although with hospitality being a predominantly social industry, it creates major challenges of how to create a customer experience whilst still abiding by these regulations. A service blueprint is a diagram that visualises the relationships between different service components. They can be a particularly useful tool for outlining the customer experience. A blueprint will describe the critical service steps objectively and depict them so that employees, customers and managers alike know what the service is, can see their role in its delivery, and understand all the steps and flows involved in the service process. Careful analysis of each contact point in the blueprint will reveal where problems might occur so they can be anticipated and avoided (Hudson and Hudson, 2017). DUKES LONDON is a five-star luxury hotel based in St James’s Place. Steeped in history the hotel is renowned not just for its luxury décor, but also for the high service levels their staff deliver. In September 2018 it celebrated 110 years and during its long history the hotel temporarily closed for the first time on 20 th March 2020. As shown on their website (Dukes Hotel 2020) DUKES LONDON Values: Committed to exceptional service Quintessentially British Immaculately presented Warm and welcoming ASSIGNMENT Task As the lock down measures are easing, you have been hired as a consultant by the Management Team to develop a service blueprint to demonstrate how the Covid-19 Government measures such as social distancing can be implemented at the hotel. Through doing this you must still ensure the hotel can deliver the exceptional service it is renowned for. The service blueprint will be done in a management report layout and should include the following areas: Executive Summary (not included in the word count) Table of Contents (not included in the word count) Introduction – 500 words Main Body – please use appropriate headings (do not head it up main body) – 2000 words Blueprint diagram specific for DUKES LONDON to be placed in the main body Conclusion and Recommendations – 500 words List of References (not included in the word count) ASSIGNMENT Criteria Criteria being assessed Marks Knowledge and Understanding Establish and evaluate the factors that limit customer service within the hospitality and tourism industry. 15 Knowledge and Understanding Explore different customer behaviours and how to match the service delivery to those expectations. 60 Intellectual, practical, affective and transferrable skills Evaluate the benefits and opportunities derived from exceeding customer expectations to an organisation’s success. 15 Knowledge and Understanding Ability to demonstrate Harvard referencing, a bibliography and effective communication. 10 Points to Consider: Introduction Using secondary research, put your report in to context using DUKES LONDON as your case study. (500 words) Introduction outline: Overview of DUKES LONDON Examine the demographic profile of DUKES LONDON customers (include a definition of a demographic profile) Examine the global consumer trends that DUKES LONDON leverage (include a definition of a consumer trend) Based on your research, describe the likely expectations of a typical DUKES LONDON customer Main Body Based on evidence from your secondary research, create a service blueprint to depict the journey of a DUKES LONDON customer for their arrival at the hotel including the check in process and how they would have breakfast in their Great British Restaurant the next morning. Using the blueprint, identify where the social distancing measures will have to be incorporated. (2000 words) Main Body outline: Examine a DUKES LONDON customer’s service journey for arrival at the hotel and breakfast the next morning. Describe the physical evidence of the service journey Identify the “On Stage” interactions (touchpoints) with team members Identify the “Back Stage” interactions Identify the support processes Apply the knowledge to a service blueprint diagram and include customer emotions, the line of interaction, the line of visibility and the line of internal interaction (template on the VLE) Identify where the social distancing measures are implemented. Conclusion and Recommendations Conclude and make recommendations on how to implement social distancing measures at DUKES LONDON ensuring exceptional customer service delivery is maintained. (500 words) Conclusion and Recommendations outline: Outline the consequences of social distancing measures in relation to timings, metrics and regulations. Recommendations on how to implement social distancing measures at DUKES LONDON looking at best practice guidance. Harvard referencing, bibliography and effective communication Reading List 10 Downing Street (2020) United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson gies an important update on coronavirus 23/3/2020. [Online] 23 March. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jK8vjgVlc8A [Access date 28 April 2020] Dukes Hotel (2020) Dukes Collection [online] Available at: https://www.dukeshotel.com/dukes-collection/ [Accessed 28 April 2020] Gibbons, S., (2017). Service Blueprints: Definition. [online] 27 August. Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2019]. Gov.UK (2020a) Staying at home and away from others (social distancing) [Online] 29 March. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidanceon-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-andaway-from-others [Access date 28 April 2020] Gov. UK (2020b) Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): Sector Guidance [Online] 7 April. Available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social- distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance. [Access date 28 April 2020] Hudson, S. and Hudson, L., (2017). Customer Service for Hospitality and Tourism. Oxfordshire: Goodfellow Publishers Ltd. Or, M (2016) Star Quality Experience: The Hotelier’s Guide to Creating Memorable Guest Journeys. Great Britain, Rethink Press UKHospitality (2020) Covid-19 Secure advice and risk assessments for hospitality businesses. [Online 25 June 2020] Available at: https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/UKHospitalityGuidanceforHospitality [Access date 26 June 2020]
Dukes London is one of the best five-star luxury hotels found in St. James’s Mayfair place. Apart from being five stars, the Hotel offers higher class services to its guests through the staff employed in this Hotel. The Hotel was created in the 18th century and celebrated its 111 years in September 2019. The Hotel has capacity of 90 bedrooms and suites. The beds are double-sized, offering simple elegance and very comfortable; they are highly preferred by the business people and those who travel for leisure. The Hotel is a part of high profile portfolio of the Holding Seven Tides International (Bharwani and Mathews, 2016).
The Hotel is highly valued for its double-sized beds with wardrobe and luxurious bathrooms with a deep bathtub and an overhead shower that is always decorated stylishly. The room has a unique feature: a writing desk and a safe for a laptop. There is a personal coffee machine and facilities for making tea for the guests.
By demographic, we mean the range of people who are guests in that particular Hotel. The demographic profile here entails the age, sex, and ethnic group, education level of the guests, the disabled, employment and their economic status, and any other specific characteristics of individuals. The Hotel is highly luxurious. The populations it serves are mainly people of all ages from the royal family background—the guests at the duke range from babies to the elderly (Buhalis and Sinarta, 2019).
Consumer trends is the way consumers behave, their preferences or whatever they want at a particular time. They may relate to prices of commodities, sales methods, ways of marketing, and methods of consumer purchasing (Buhalis et al 2019). In this case, the Dukes provides high class hospitality. The dukes Lobby Bar is well known for its Martinis. Moreover, the Hotel provides an unforgettable experience in the cognac and cigar garden, where the guests may try from a list of rare Remy Martin cognacs and Cuban cigars. Furthermore, the hotel also offers facilities for fitness and sport (Dukes Hotel, 2020).
How COVID 19 will impact trends
The Covid-19 pandemic affected the operation of Dukes London. It had to close down despite the lucrative business it was doing. The epidemic brought many changes in the hotel industry. People had to take precautionary measures of avoiding close contact through keeping distance (Gov.UK, 2020). The health sector also introduced measures like putting on masks and wearing gloves anytime you contacted other people (UKHospitality, 2020).
Tangibles are things you can touch, like the Hotel, staff uniforms, and food.
Guests who visit the Hotel are very keen to see the precautionary measures taken by the historical hotel. They come in and expect to see the level of hygiene, which the staff has incorporated into the operations of the property.. In addition, the guests expect high-quality services at all level in all departments, which includes the required service standard set previously by the staff to continue to be met. As such, high level of cleanliness, high quality of physical facilities, available services, and proper maintenance are essential.
Covid-19 regulations insist on observation of cleanliness. The hotel industry requires that every department put on a uniform for a quick visual identification by guests who might have their first stay at the hotel, thus achieve a positive first impression. Upon entering the Hotel, the guests expect to be welcomed by a highly capable and clean staff whose uniforms match the hotels’ history as illustrated on the website (Hudson and Hudson, 2017).
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, all staff members handling food should wear a mask and use gloves. Regular sanitising practises in the kitchens are also expected by both, the guests of the hotel, and its management. The Duke has a wide range of quality food and beverage products that offers to guests. However, the hotel may miss the opportunity of higher turnover if those pandemic regulations are not followed closely.
INTANGIBLES – things that cannot be physically touched, but they can be feel or experience it. In industry such as hospitality intangibles are having huge importance for the customer satisfaction.
Level of service
It should be expected that the regular guests of the hotel are familiarized with the high standard set throughout the years by the Duke, thus they would expect the pre-set standards to be met. This includes the whole experience i.e. from the moment they enter the property to their check-out. Eventually, the overall experience of the guest would determine whether they will decide to visit the hotel again or not. Currently, due to the Covid 19 situation, it is of utmost importance how the hotel would be able to implement and balance between all measures in a manner that provides an incredible and safe experience for the guests.
Type of experience
The guests would continue to expect highly trained or experienced staff at the Hotel. This is important because it would minimize the risk of the standard being dropped. The awareness and judgment of the staff to decide when to sanitize the areas and how to handle difficult situations would benefit the day-to-day operations in the property, which in turn would maintain the level of service that the guests receive (UKHospitality, 2020). When staff members have enough experience and are being adequately informed about the needed measures incorporated by the hotel, would create a professional and enjoyable atmosphere for both guests and employees.
CUSTOMER JOURNEY MAPPING AT DUKES
The Hotel has assigned a bell person the duty of carrying luggage and guiding guests to the Hotel’s entrance upon arrival. This employee should take the Covid-19 precautions by putting on masks and gloves. He should also ensure he keeps distance from the guest as a government precaution. The guest on should sanitise his hands and put on a face mask prior entering the Hotel and be provided with a mask, especially those without it. The guest then approaches the receptionist to be checked, who will then inform of the one-way system used to direct guests to any direction in the Hotel. The guest then takes the lift to the room of choice. The staff should deliver the luggage to the guest, but they usually do not like other people in the room and so should request the leave the bags on the corridor in front of the door. In the morning, the guest may go to the restaurant or order food to be taken to the room (Johnson and Park, 2020).
The blueprint assists the management to assess the needs and wants of the guest and what was received in return (Johnson, Park and Bartlett, 2018). The Service Blueprint is a diagram presentation of the relationships between various components that directly give direction to the guest in his journey at the Hotel.
Described below is the blueprint for Dukes London. Upon arrival, the first point of contact for the guests is the bellman, who welcomes the guest into the hotel and assists with his vehicle or exit from the taxi. In the meantime, hand sanitising gel and face masks should have been prepared and offered to the guest following the temperature check and questionnaire about his arrival. This process should take approximately 5 minutes. Consecutively, the guest will be assisted by a receptionist who will conduct the check-in process. In the meantime, the bellman should be told the guest room number so he can take the luggage to the room. Depending on the que at the reception, the process should also take no more than 5-10 minutes. After the check-in is completed, the guest should be offered to be escorted to the room and will be informed about the correct use of elevators (no more than 1 person at the time, unless the guest is with family members). Upon arrival at the room, the guest experience will be affected by the design of the room and its amenities i.e. room service and breakfast menu. In addition, the staff member should assist the guest by illustrating the process of making an order or any other requests. In the morning, the guest would be greeted by no more than 4 staff members during his assigned time slot for breakfast, who in most cases has already been discussed during the check-in process by the receptionist. As such, the hotel should have ensured that the guest would be able to reach the location where the breakfast takes place by simply following the direction marks on the floor, who pass through sanitasing and face mask stations.
The benefits of the blueprint
The blueprint is greatly beneficial as it helps clarify the interaction between the guests in the Hotel and the employee’s activities. Managers can quickly realise the areas that failed during the process to control to ensure it does not affect the quality of services offered by the Hotel. The blueprint map is also beneficial because it helps assess employees’ guest experience and activities which perhaps are not consciously thought of all the time by the guest.
Identify the customer journey
Once the client the hotel the luggage is taken by the bell person and guided to the Hotel’s entrance. This is after the guests have arrived at the Hotel and packed their vehicles or exited the taxi. This employee should take the Covid-19 precautions by putting on masks and gloves. He should also ensure he keeps distance from the guest as a government precaution (Gov.UK, 2020). The guest should sanitize his hands upon entering the hotel and should be provided with a mask if they do not have one at their possession. The guest then approaches the receptionist to be checked-in, who will communicate with the rest of the front of house team via the the one-way system used to direct guests in any direction in the hotel. The guest then takes the lift to the room of choice. Each lift allows access by one person at a time unless they are of the same family. The staff should deliver the luggage to the guest. In the morning, the guest may go to the restaurant or request food to be delivered to the room. To the Hotel, the guest will still use the one –way system to reach the destination (Kandampully and Solnet, 2019).
Describe the Physical evidence of the service journey (services cape)
Staff must always wear masks. These masks should be readily available to both staff and guests. The hotel has put “masks dispenser stations” at every location around the Hotel. The Hotel uses the one-way system floor marks that should be put appropriately to guide all destinations. Another crucial evidence that can be seen is the availability of hand sanitizers at entrances, corridors, and in front of the historical Hotel’s lifts. A few staff who handle guests ‘ luggage, serve food should wear gloves and masks (Gov.UK, 2020).
The effect of the physical environment on customers
The physical environment is when guests can see things in person and touch them. An example being the menu board. The items on these boards may not always be there as they may differ daily. Consecutively, the guest may be disappointed if told verbally about the changes as the board has no sign to show that the item could lack on that day. In a physical environment, people queue to eat, and when the queue is long, especially during pick hours, the guest tends to feel disappointed and may feel dissatisfied.
Servicescape is a developed model “Booms and Bitner (1981)”to emphasize how physical environments positively affect the services that occur. The physical environment may include any symbols, spaces within premises, and not forgetting the human relationship in this case.
Use visual evidence
Visual evidence is usually images created on walls and posters to convey a message to the guests. Visual evidence consists of photographs which portray advertisements or precautionary information to guests.
Touchpoints are the direct interaction between staff and the guests. This is an essential aspect of the business because it makes guests welcomed and secure. Another factor is that because of the corona virus pandemic; they should make guests well protected by keeping the required social distance and use the recommended protection items i.e. face masks, sanitasing stations and safe distance (Gov.UK, 2020). Staff should ensure they accommodate the guests as much as possible, especially not that the smile cannot be seen through the show.
The importance of staff and customer interactions
When guests and staff interact, it gives guests the comfort and feeling of being secure at the property. As described by Or, (2016), accommodating guests in a professional and friendly manner maintains and strengthens the reputation of the hotel. The interactions between the guests and staff member, impacts the guests’ satisfaction or dissatisfaction as it connects with them at an emotional level. Guests feel recognised through interactions and are more likely to request higher number of paid services, as well as consume more products, such as food and beverages (Or, 2016).
Personal dimension, touchpoints, emotional intelligence
Personal dimension refers to how the staff interacts with guests, taking in mind the excellent communication skills and attitudes towards the guests. According to Howard (2007), “touchpoints as a term referring to several different aspects of services to guests”. The emotional intelligence is the ability to manage their own emotions positively to manage stress, be able to communicate well, and encourage others to overcome those challenges. Furthermore, he [Howard, 2007] mentions that some of the emotional intelligence elements are “Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Social skills, and Empathy. Such aspects are essential in the hotel industry, especially at the Duke, where the number of guests is usually significant.
Identify the ‘on stage’ interactions.
These focus on direct interaction between guests and employees. It forms part of the on-stage service value chain. On-stage businesses include travel inspiration, research, booking, etc.
The backstage interactions are when the employee does activities that the guest cannot see. In short, they are done without guests’ explicit visual knowledge.
The importance of staff to staff interactions
Staff to staff interactions are essential in any organisation. The positive interaction between staff members helps them learn new skills from each other and provides emotional support throughout the day. In turn, this creates a positive relationship among themselves that reflect upon the overall day-to-day operations in the property. The interactions help the team create unique ideas that can make them very innovative, thus provide better guest experience. Moreover the positive interaction between the staff enhance the service towards the clients (Kasemsap, 2017).
Service culture theory
The organisation emphasises proper service, the main item in the organisation culture. This culture is essential at Duke London because the primary source of income here is adequate and classic service to guests.
The support process here has the primary purpose of ensuring the organisation’s critical processes are working well. The key strategies are “Operational processes, ” which entails properly executing the organisation’s day-to-day activities. We also have the “Management processes” managers ensure work is done efficiently and effectively. Another process is the “Governance processes,” which provides the organisation rules and regulations adhered to by all people at the organisation.
The importance of support processes
It always enables the best practice by the employees. Another importance of the support process is that positive communication will lead to good performance. It’s important because there are ample opportunities for improvement in the long run. Another importance is that any weaknesses can be noticed early and so corrected on time so to prevent any further issues (Kim and Baker, 2019).
Service design, customer-centric processes
The service design of Duke London is a one-way system. There is also have the “Management processes” i.e. managers ensure that the work is done efficiently and effectively. The social distancing measures should be observed at the reception between the staff and guests. Social distancing is also required at the Hotel when taking food and beverage orders, thus it is advisable to have a social distance between guests where possible. As such, the guest lifts should transport one guest at a time unless it is a close family (Koc, 2020).
The Duke, who is a historical hotel that was locked down in March due to the Covid 19 outbreak, had to open late this year when the pandemic level started to stabilise. However, according to the Covid-19 pandemic health precautions and weekly updated government restrictions, the Hotel should adhere to the laid down precautionary measures. Such measures include wearing masks and gloves in public places, as well as keeping safe distance when meeting people (Gov.UK, 2020; UKHospitality, 2020). Especially the safe distance has been emphasised and practiced at the duke hotel. The hotel must incorporate well thought of safety guidelines, so to continue to operate during the coronavirus situation unless restricted by a national lockdown that would require the hotel to close. In the meantime, it is advisable for all staff members to maintain social distancing among each other, both front and back of house, which would help reduce the spread of the virus. In the same context, there should be strict guidelines to the use of elevators and the use of stairs to be encouraged if possible. Furthermore, hand sanitising stations and appropriate signage for directions should be implemented if not already so to avoid crowd gatherings. Overall, the hotel should keep track of the government’s updates and keep up to date with the safety measures required to reduce the spread of the virus.
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