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Employee Behavior And Its Impact On Customer Satisfaction

1. Introduction          

The satisfaction of the customers is the prerequisite for any company to thrive in the market. Results of the current study would be helping in revealing that the employees' behaviours be it positive or negative, are highly related to the satisfaction of the customers (Hashim et al., 2017). It is very important to trace the impact of behaviours on the overall satisfaction and perception of the customers. The research requires the proper study of the relevant literature such that to acquire adequate information on the impact of the behaviour of the employees on the perceptions of the satisfaction of the customers.

1.1 Background and context

The service sector of Australia is an emerging sector in the present situation of the country where there exists a lot of scope in the business markets. However, the employees are required to be properly trained that could help in enhancing their skills and standards. This enhanced skills and standards would be helping to motivate and to encourage them to perform at their optimal level (Popli& Rizvi, 2015). This enhanced performance would be helping in influencing the perception of the customers and would be helping in making them more satisfied in the process. 

The satisfaction of the customers is the prerequisite for any company to thrive in the market. (Hashim et al., 2017) Results of the current study would be helping in revealing that the employees' behaviours be it positive or negative, are highly related to the satisfaction of the customers. It is very important to trace the impact of behaviours on the overall satisfaction and perception of the customers. The research requires the proper study of the relevant literature such that to acquire adequate information on the impact of the behaviour of the employees on th ........

ated to the satisfaction of the customers (Hashim et al., 2017). It is very important to trace the impact of behaviours on the overall satisfaction and perception of the customers. The research requires the proper study of the relevant literature such that to acquire adequate information on the impact of the behaviour of the employees on the perceptions of the satisfaction of the customers.

1.1 Background and context

The service sector of Australia is an emerging sector in the present situation of the country where there exists a lot of scope in the business markets. However, the employees are required to be properly trained that could help in enhancing their skills and standards. This enhanced skills and standards would be helping to motivate and to encourage them to perform at their optimal level (Popli& Rizvi, 2015). This enhanced performance would be helping in influencing the perception of the customers and would be helping in making them more satisfied in the process. 

The satisfaction of the customers is the prerequisite for any company to thrive in the market. (Hashim et al., 2017) Results of the current study would be helping in revealing that the employees' behaviours be it positive or negative, are highly related to the satisfaction of the customers. It is very important to trace the impact of behaviours on the overall satisfaction and perception of the customers. The research requires the proper study of the relevant literature such that to acquire adequate information on the impact of the behaviour of the employees on the perceptions of the satisfaction of the customers. There exist a correlation between the variables and their exchanging and consecutive effects (Wood, 2017). From the recent study, it can be evident that the behaviours of the employees have the greater impact on the overall customer satisfaction irrespective of the nationality, gender, number of visits, purpose of visit and the length of stay. The research project also helps in providing practical implications and suggestions for the service sector to think strategically and implement effective tools that could help in motivating them towards behaving with the customers more positively.

1.2 Research aims and objectives

The research project aims at also helps in providing practical implications and suggestions for the service sector to think strategically and implement effective tools that could help in motivating them towards behaving with the customers more positively.

The research objectives can be illustrated below as:

  • To analyze the relevant area of study of customer satisfaction
  • To analyze the impact of the employee behaviour on customer satisfaction in the service sector of Australia
  • To identify the relationship between the customer satisfaction and the behaviour of the employees

1.3 Significance of research

The research includes the study of the relevant literature such that to acquire adequate information on the impact of the behaviour of the employees on the perceptions of the satisfaction of the customers. The findings in the context would be confirming that there exists a correlation between the variables and their exchanging and consecutive effects. The project also helps in concluding that the behaviours of the employees have the greater impact on the overall customer satisfaction irrespective of the nationality, gender, number of visits, purpose of visit and the length of stay. The research project also helps in providing practical implications and suggestions for the service sector to think strategically and implement effective tools that could help in motivating them towards behaving with the customers more positively.

1.4 Scope of research

The current study deals with investigating the relationship between the behaviour of the employees and the perception of the customers towards the service quality and overall satisfaction.

 

 

2. Literature Review

2.1 Customer satisfaction

According to Askariazad& Babakhani (2015), the Customer Satisfaction Index of a company decides the market standard, repute and value of its business. Satisfaction can be described as a feeling of fulfilment that engenders from the realization of one's needs or desires. In the organizational context, satisfaction obviously has a particular connotation since the frame of reference is the customer or the end user. Any business is rooted in the value it offers and the sections in the population it offers the value to (Jhaet al. 2017). The value equals the use or the worth of the products or services a business caters to its customers. By meeting or often transcending the customers' expectations consistently a business builds a solid base of returning or loyal customers. For an organization to succeed as a popular choice among the customer and build into the habit and psychology of its end users, it must have the efficient team of employees running the operations (Shin & Managi, 2017).

It can be construed that employee engagement is imperative in building better and finer products for the customers through an optimal design of the functional segments and productivity. In order to exact the commitment of the staff, it is necessary to provide them with sufficient motivation and morale, and there exist different levels in which motivation can be triggered. Consiglio et al. (2016) advocate the fulfilment of the basic needs of the employees through job and workplace design to appropriate employee satisfaction, which ensures the level, volume and quality of a product. It can thus be merited that the while customer satisfaction is a must for the success of the organization, it is a direct result of the employee satisfaction, which fulfils the vision and mission of the company. There can be a direct relationship that can be established between employee performance and customer satisfaction (Consiglioet al., 2016).  An example can be given in the service sector where the employees directly involved with the customers, and a large part of the customers' opinion and impression of the company depends upon the behaviour and attitude of the employees (Meesala & Paul, 2018).

In recent times, a lot of changes and improvements have been introduced into the operations of an organization through application of advanced management sciences. According to Valmohammadi & Ahmadi (2015), KPIs, motivational tools, balanced scorecards are some of the benchmarks and measures among the many that are practised to garner maximum profit and productivity. In the designs of a closed loop system of management, the mechanism of taking feedback and feeding in necessary corrections in the throughput and inputs make a costly yet highly sophisticated formula of success. According to Kim, Choi& Verma (2017), taking feedback from the customers about the quality of product performance or services not only gives soundproofing to product design, but it also shoulders an ergonomic design. The use of digital technology and software to gauge direction, condition and level of comfort and application of the same in product design is a brilliant tool in operation and production (Istanbulluoglu, 2017).

2.2 Quality of service

As stated by Bansal& Taylor (2015), Quality of service is an important factor in today's world, especially in the service sector. This is because people are looking for experience and the organizations sell experiences in hospitality. However, a bigger key to experience is how that experience is seamless. Where everything is an awkward situation or if people are not comfortable if people are finding it hard to um enjoy themselves, it is not considered as an experience, and they fall hand in hand. Thus, the quality of service should be considered and should be given utmost importance to. As, a five-star property is made by their engaged service the team provides, rather than the flashy hotel statistics (Taylor et al. 2017).

2.3 Service sector and satisfaction

The organizations in the service sector should be providing a great work environment that could help the employees in empowering them, making them feel comfortable. One of the most important things is the strong connection with the team. According to Delia& James(2017), the team as internal customers, ensure that they are feeling looked after, feeling supportive, feeling that they are at home, so they can take decisions by their own. It is very important that they are feeling motivated and not get stressed while performing their respective jobs.

As observed by Greenberger& Padesky (2015), customers change their mind wherein it becomes difficult to preempt their basic needs for the organizations. It is very difficult to preempt their wants and identify their requirements and demands about a particular product or service. The employees are required to be empowered to be able to fulfil the needs of the customers, can offer any assistance (Cunha-Cruz et al. 2017). They should havethe confidence and are required todo anything in their power to exceed their expectations.

 

3.Methodologies

In order to understand employee behaviour and its impact on customer satisfaction, it requires more than limited published work. It requires the well-structured interview to gain the in-depth understanding of this filed. This will allow changing the traditional questioning pattern and response in this area and will help with the growth of understanding. Therefore a qualitative research approach is required. Qualitative research approach will offer the explanation and in-depth meaning rather than just measuring the data. Quantitative research approach measures the data and fails to identify a new approach from the findings (Alavi et al. 2018).

Through qualitative approach, a respondent will be allowed to express their view and understanding of employee behaviour and its impact on customer satisfaction. A respondent will be allowed to answer more than the mere pre-defined question (Simonsohn, Nelson & Simmons, 2017).

Before designing the topic list, it is important to consider the research objectives and finding from the literature review. The topic list is designed in such manner so that it maintains the flow of the interview. Information and data are recorded in the tape recorder and notebook.

Table 1

Number of  Interviews

 

 

This research will be focused on the understanding and view of senior manager associated with employee management and customer satisfaction.

Questions are asked to senior manager to understand their understanding of employee behaviour. This organisation was selected for the interview round because of their internal management and customer satisfaction report in the market. This hotel holds a strong position in the market; hence it can be considered that they are evolved with better customer satisfaction strategy and employee motivation technique through different policy. Length of the interview was 2 hours (120Min). There were total 15 qualitative questions for respondents to answer. Data which is being collected through the interview is based on the personal opinion and experience of senior managers of industries.

A justification for selecting hotel industry

The hotel industry has been chosen for the finding of this study. From different research and study, it can be found that employee behaviour and customer satisfaction are correlated in the hotel industry. The motivated employee in any hotel helps to lure the number of customers. According to Humphries (2017), the more employees are motivated they more they contribute towards customer satisfaction. '

According to the report UK hotel industry has enjoyed record trading by the growth in the overseas leisure business.  The PWC forecasts a slower growth due to the uncertain political condition after the uncertainty of Brexit.

Table 2

Major Sector where employee satisfaction is associated with customer satisfaction

Financial sectors                                                   Banks, Real estate agents, Life companies

Travel and hotels industry                                    Tourist business, hotels Restaurants 

 

 

 

4. Findings/Discussion/ Analysis

The data analysis is based on the interview taken from managers of reputed hotels

Q 1 how would you create a work environment that employees find motivating?

(All the analysis have been made by the answers given in transcript. Some of the answers have been briefly narrated here.)

Analysis: From the above answer it can be found that the respondent believes that a great working environment helps to motivate an employee to a greater extent. Empowerment is another important aspect of employee motivation. Keeping a connection with employee helps the organisation to maintain better employee behaviour. According to the respondent, an employee should be treated like the internal customer. This suggests that demands and needs of an employee should be prioritised by an organisation. This provides a feeling of respect for employees. It is important for any business organisation to make the employee happy for better growth in business. If employees feel supportive, they will be more interested towards the growth of the organisation. The responded further mentioned that employees should be treated in such a way they feel connected and responsible enough to take a decision. This helps them to decide any crucial stage. It can be found from the understanding of the respondent that employee should be happy and feel empowered to stay motivated. There should be no sign of stress within the organisation to maintain the sense of motivation.

Q2: What is more important to you.. and why? Empowering your employees or empowering your customers?

Analysis: As per the statement of the respondent people is the base of their organization. They do not consider employee as employees but a team which works to achieve a common goal. Individualistic approach of every team member is taken seriously. Employees are more empowered here, and they have the right to take the decision even without consulting with the hiring authority. This organization believes in the skill and quality of their team member. It can be stated from this answer that this organization understand the true meaning of employee and they consider employee more than just resources. Every employee is treated as a team member and their opinion counts. Empowered employees eventually help to empower the customers. The respondent believes that empowerment is the key to motivation. Respondent further added that motivated employee contributes towards the organizational growth and help a customer with the best possible service. This entire process is a free-flowing process and does not require any intervention from upper-level management because people of this organization can take the decision. Therefore empowering employees are more vital than empowering customers.

Q3 Suggest few techniques which can help you to enhance your employee's efficiency

Answer of the respondent:

“Training to start with is key. But also just to assisting them and making them feel comfortable. You know if they are flustered and not confident, they are gonna find ways to hide from our customers, and we don't want that.”

Analysis: from the above answer from the manager it can be found that training is the key technique to enhance the employee efficiency. If employees are not efficient, they are not comfortable to work under any situation. Therefore this organisation emphasises on employee training to increase their efficiency.   The priority of this organisation is to increase the efficiency of the employee by assisting them in the right direction. Workforce training is the indispensable way to keep theorganisation competitive. According to the manager of this company, employee should be confident enough to deal with the customer quarries. Lack of training can increase the level of frustration among employees. Employees often try to find a way out from customer handling process due to lack of confidence. This certainly creates negative impacts on the customer satisfaction level of the company. Employees are human, and a majority of them are not technically correct when performing an unknown task. Therefore, external support from an organisation is necessary for work success. As a manager of this organisation, the respondent wants their employees to stay confident and assist the customer.

Q4 4 how important is employee service quality in this competitive era?

Answer of the respondent:

“I think it'severything because the moment you can adapt and adjust with.. we deal with a social factor. Which are our customers? Customers change their mind.. you can preempt their basic needs, but you cannot preempt their wants.”

Analysis: According to the manager quality is the key element for organizational success. He further stated that the organization deal with customers and it is hard to anticipate their wants however it is easy to assume their basic needs. An organization can understand and supply them according to the basic need of customers. Quality is the basic need of customers. There are various organizations which offer same service or product but what makes them unique is the quality they offer to the customer.  Henceforth to survive and sustain in the market it is crucial for the organization to exceed the expectation of customers regarding quality. Further, it can be found from the response of the manager that an organization can serve the best quality regarding service and product to customers only if their employees are empowered and free to decide in favour of the company. Thus it can be stated that empowered employees are more capable of meeting the expectation of customers while restrictions or dependency in decision making reduces their customer service potential.

Q.5 okay.. how can employee empowerment increase the revenue of an organization?

Answer from the respondent:

“If they are empowered to upsell anything, recommendand one of our key brand's rituals with Pullman, for example, is all about a personal recommendation. And the focus a lot about that is. You know having the personal recommendation.”

Analysis:As stated above, empowerment of employees is essential for better business growth and better revenue. He opined that it is extremely important to have empowered employees who have better decision making skill; it eventually helps employees with better customer handling skills. For instance, if an employee can take the right decision, then he can guide the customer to make the right choice. It is even more crucial in hotel industry where customers often look towards employees for making a right choice regarding their food and beverage selection. Employees help customers to make the right choice of food, however, a good choice of food and beverage is equally important for the customer. A personal recommendation made by the employees helped to increase the revenue by 18% in last 18 months for the hotel.

Q.6 How much importance do you give to employee behaviour and guest interaction as opposed to food quality and ambience of your restaurant?

Answer from the respondent

“Look, I mean food quality is key, Ambience is an important factor in today's world because people are looking for experience and we sell experiences. Hospitality but, a bigger key to experience is how that experience is seamless. “

Analysis: The manager stated that food quality is is an important ingredient here however not everything in the modern hotel industry. For instance, if the experience of a customer is not good from the atmosphere of a hotel, he or she would never come back to the same venue irrespective of the good food quality. In the same way, customers always look for how they are being treated by the employee. The manager further stated that a five-star hotel is made of its atmosphere and the quality of service they provide along with the food. This suggests food is one of the key element for food industry however employees behaviour and guest interaction increase the brand value of any hotel.

Q.7 Do motivate employees to bring more business to your restaurant? If yes, How?

Answer from the respondent:

“I think engaged and motivated team members are willing to do anything and also empowered to feel that they own the business. It is their business, and one of our key training aspects of um what we use at Accor hotels is to make people, our key team members feel that it is their business um and when you feel that way, every decision made in the process has always resulted in deriving higher revenue.”

Analysis: The manager of Accor Hotel truly belies in employee empowerment. He along with his team put the constant effort to bring more customers to the business, and the only way is through employee empowerment. This business organization put their best effort to make employees understand that all the employees are one team and this business of Accor Hotel belongs to the team. Therefore any decision made has to be for the business profit. Unity among employee can be seen here as another important element for business success.

Q.8 is customer satisfaction a strategy or a principle in your organization?      

Answer from the respondent:

“In our organization, it is a principle. A strategy is the hotels which use it as a; its strategy is a very short-term goal because of our customer today. The people understand people can see through you.”

Analysis: According to the answer received from the manager of the Accor hotel customers are smarter nowadays and they see through everything. If an organization decides for the befit of business that would not persist in long terms. On the contrary if organization thrives for better customer satisfaction, then that business strategy persist on long terms. Organizations can easily gain future success by investing in better customer satisfaction in present business.

Q.9 is it good for an employee to be multi-tasking? How does that affect customer’s dining experience?

Answer from the respondent

“I think multi-tasking is a key. I believe that our service at Accor hotels or in general me as an operations manager should be engaged and not intrusive and uh what that means is that you are not there and standing on how was your bite? Or how was your meal? It is more about in there for you if you need anything but enjoys your meal and enjoy your experience.”

Analysis: Multitasking and acknowledgement are two essential factors in the hotel industry. Employees should be able to multi-task to survive in this industry. Especially in Australia, it is important for an employee to perform multi-task. Employees are expected to be superfast while serving the order in a table and along with those customers expect the individual acknowledgement from the end of the hotel. Hence an employee needs to serve the order and greet the customer simultaneously.

Q.10 Which is more influencing factors according to you in hotel industry Employee performance or brand name?

Answer from the respondent

“Look, the brand name may have the perception and expectation. You could be called as a Pullman and people will have expectations associated with the brand. What is non-negotiable is something lower than that expectation, but you could be delivering better service than what the other NovotelPullmans.”

Analysis: Based on the above answer it can be stated that employee performance holds more importance than the brand name. A customer looks for better service and a brand name just does not matter to them. It can further be found from the above statement that customer knows what they look for and prepare their priority list accordingly. If hotels successfully meet those priorities of customers, then it can easily survive in this industry. A brand name is not important for customers.

Q.11 when employees demonstrate responsiveness (for example: resolves customer complaints, cater to needs of disabled customers, etc.) how do you think customer feels?

Answer from the respondent

“Well actually satisfied. If they are not expecting it.It depends on your brand, to be honest, and I would feel the same, and I’m sure anybody else would when you go to a five star, and you are expecting that if I have a problem, someone will help me.”

Analysis: Customers expect to be being heard all the time when they have any query or any issues. Employees need to be responsive accordingly. When a customer enters a five-star hotel, they expected better service and quick from the staff or crew member and ignoring customer is not at all negotiable in this industry. Customers either want attention or they want their privacy, employees should act accordingly to maintain the customer service quality.

Q.12 Has the customer appreciated employees' behaviour in a particular instance to you? If yes, could you mention a few such instances?

Answer from the respondent:

“Oh look, I am not gonna mention a few. His name is Anthony Leeke. He is he's with us three times a year. He ... he is a very demanding customer in …I wouldn't use the word demanding; I think it has to go with ethics. I thinkhe is a very engaging customer... he likes to talk to people.”

Analysis: The manager mentioned about an incident where he discussed a customer who has been labelled as loyal customers. That particular customer came to Accord hotel many times and requested staff for several things and management satisfied all of his demand. This eventually helps the hotel to receive a token of appreciation from the customer.

Q.13 do you think a satisfied customer indulges in repeat visits to your restaurant?

Answer from the respondent

“Bacar restaurant is a very key, example of repeated customers because a lot of our customers are based on the regular basis, not (events. I would say 80% of our customers, and this is not backed data, but I would say a lot of our customers are repeated.”

Analysis: According to the statement of the manager 80% of their customers are the repeat customer, and they visit Accor as they understand that they will receive what they look for the hotel.

Q.14 Do you think satisfied customers spread the positive word regarding their experience to a restaurant?

Answer from the respondent

“Yes. So, for these last two questions, I think you should just do a bit of research because I just told you good examples but there is enough research that loyalty and this might work for you as well Julie, that loyalty is key.”

Analysis: It can be found from the above answer in hotel industry mouth publicity of customer does matter a lot. Often customer prefers to visit hotels which have been referred by their friend and family. Positive feedback from customers helps hotels to make a position in the market.

Q.15 In your opinion, does favourable employee behaviour lead to higher customer satisfaction?

Answer from the respondent

Because that is gonna lead them, motivate them to deliver everything in their power. They are confident; they are feeling supported, they are feeling welcome, they love the work environment.

Analysis: Based on this answer it can be concluded that employee's positive behaviour and attitude in the workplace is important for positive customer satisfaction. Frustrated and de-motivated employees cannot bring optimism in the business and only contributes towards customer loss.

Recommendation

It can be construed that employee engagement is imperative in building better and finer products for the customers through an optimal design of the functional segments and productivity. In order to exact the commitment of the staff, it is necessary to provide them with sufficient motivation and morale, and there exist different levels in which motivation can be triggered. Taking feedback from the customers about the quality of product performance or services not only gives soundproofing to product design, but it also shoulders an ergonomic design. The use of digital technology and software to gauge direction, condition and level of comfort and application of the same in product design is a brilliant tool in operation and production.

The organizations should be providing a great work environment that could help the employees in empowering them, making them feel comfortable. One of the most important things is thestrong connection with the team.The team as internal customers, ensure that they are feeling looked after, feeling supportive, feeling that they are at home, so they can take decisions by their own. It is very important that theyare feeling motivated and not get stressed while performing their respective jobs.

In this regard, engaged and motivated team members are willing to do anything and also empowered to feel that they own the business. It is their business and one of the key training aspects of what the organizations in service sector use are to make people, the key team members. This creates a feeling that it is their business and when they feel that way, every decision made in the process should always result in deriving higher revenue. This motivation would enable the employeesto think that they are upselling the guest, making a guest feel comfortable. The strategy also creates a sense of responsibility among the employeessuch that they would start believing that they are not expected to deal with every decision they make is for the business, and not for themselves. They need to think even for the benefit of the customers in the process.

Some initiatives that the organizations need to implement to improve the performance of the employees such that they could be able to satisfy more customers through the quality of services they could be provided are listed below as:

Motivational initiative

It ought to be the obligation of the pioneers and directors of the organizations to recognize the obstructions that are right now clear at the work environment and furthermore decide the necessities and prerequisites of the people while managing the multifaceted mistaken assumptions. According to Hong et al. (2016), the employers are required to motivate the representatives to work in enhanced culture through the utilization of abnormal state passionate knowledge. They ought to search for building up the relational abilities of the representatives, for example, pleasantness and transparency that could help them in managing the social contrasts and maintain a strategic distance from dialect and false social impressions at the working environment. This persuasive administration style would help in building up the multifaceted correspondence abilities of the representatives to such an extent that they might handle with the correspondence holes in a more effective way.

Appropriate training

False impressions are normal among the employees talking in the same language, along these lines, it is not unacceptable that individuals from various cultural and social foundation confront correspondence boundaries at the working environment could not be facing any problem. As suggested by D'Aprano et al. (2015), the administration of the organizations is required to break down the necessities of the people at the working environment and to create and detail a powerful preparing program that could help in building up their aptitudes and upgrading their correspondence models all the while. The preparation program ought to likewise incorporate making mindfulness among the representatives about the expanded culture at the work environment and should show them on the best way to defeat the social boundaries that have been pervasive in the working environment.

Conclusion

The research study would be helping in investigating the impact of the performance of the employeeson the satisfaction of the customers in Australia. The satisfaction of the customers is the prerequisite for any company to thrive in the market. Results of the current study would be helping in revealing that the employees' behaviours be it positive or negative, are highly related to the satisfaction of the customers. The project study deals in tracing the impact of behaviours on the overall satisfaction and perception of the customers. The research includes the study of the relevant literature such that to acquire adequate information on the impact of the behaviour of the employees on the perceptions of the satisfaction of the customers. The findings in the context would be confirming that there exists a correlation between the variables and their exchanging and consecutive effects. The project also helps in concluding that the behaviours of the employees have the greater impact on the overall customer satisfaction irrespective of the nationality, gender, number of visits, purpose of visit and the length of stay. The research project also helps in providing practical implications and suggestions for the service sector to think strategically and implement effective tools that could help in motivating them towards behaving with the customers more positively.

The service sector of Australia is an emerging sector in the present situation of the country where there exists a lot of scope in the business markets. However, the employees are required to be properly trained that could help in enhancing their skills and standards. This enhanced skills and standards would be helping to motivate and encouraging them to perform at their optimal level. This enhanced performance would be helping in influencing the perception of the customers and would be helping in making them more satisfied in the process.