An exploratory investigation of luxury hotels' e-mail responses towards customer enquiries

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An exploratory investigation of luxury hotels' e-mail responses towards customer enquiries


Author: Kua, Maria Teresa Barsebal
Title: An exploratory investigation of luxury hotels' e-mail responses towards customer enquiries
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hotels -- Customer services.
Customer services -- Technological innovations.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xi, 174 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: This research explored the state of electronic information queries via e-mail sent to a sample of 722 leading international luxury hotels by e-mailing an accommodation enquiry using a mystery guest methodology approach. In addition to accommodation enquiries, the English e-mail message also included questions concerning other services and recommendations offered by the hotel. The main objectives of this research are twofold: Firstly, the study is to evaluate the extent of luxury hotels using e-mail for communication with potential customers. Secondly, the study is to investigate and compare China hotels and The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) by analyzing e-mail responsiveness and quality of responses to an e-mail query. In particular, response rate, response time and information quality of answers were studied. Two empirical studies were undertaken. First, five-star hotel in-house business travelers were personally interviewed with the aim of obtaining and developing e-mail responsiveness and quality variables. Second, e-mail enquiry messages was sent to luxury hotels using polite and impolite e-mail messages asking for the room availability and other information. The outcome of the study is highly important with the regards to the Internet's increasing significance. The study revealed that e-mail responses of luxury hotels in China outperformed LHW large and small hotel properties. Furthermore, the overall results revealed poor e-mail responsiveness and quality for many hotels due to inefficient knowledge of e-mail management. This study illustrates that the implementation of e-mail customer service policies and high quality of e-mail standard procedures would improve hotels' competitive advantage and customer relationship management. This research also develops a suggested e-mail model in replying to customer queries that will facilitate the improvement of hotel e-mail customer services.

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