Feb 22, 2024  
2022-2023 College Catalog 
2022-2023 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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HRM 210 - Managing Customer Service for the Hospitality Industry

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

Introduction to managing customer service expectations and experiences, with strategies and tactics for managing the customer service experience in all hospitality enterprises. Emphasis on customer satisfaction, customer retention, company profitability, and differing customer service approaches analyzed and evaluated. Topics include: exceptional customer service, communication with the internal customer, handling guest complaints, and managing customer relations. Also includes: how to create a positive customer service climate that harnesses the natural talents of service professionals; guidance on the hiring, training, supporting, retention, and empowerment of service professionals.

Prerequisite(s): HRM 100  
  button image Prior Learning and link to PLA webpage

Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Define customer service terminology, concepts, and principles.
  2. Describe different types of customer service issues and solutions and the steps/actions required for improving a service system within the hospitality industry.
  3. Explain the appropriate evaluation tools for hiring service professionals and assessing their natural talents.
  4. Describe how various organizational elements work together to promote the successful delivery of customer service.

Performance Objectives:
  1. Identify the factors that are widening the gap between expected and actual or perceived service experiences, and how they are affecting the delivery of customer service.
  2. Differentiate between emotional and informational responsiveness.
  3. Describe the elements of an effective service professional philosophy.
  4. Explain the strategies and tactics required for aligning customer expectations with service performance and for improving customer and employee retention and satisfaction.
  5. Judge the effectiveness of a service system.

  1. Introduction to Customer Service
    1. Definition
    2. History
    3. Culture and customer service
    4. American customer satisfaction
    5. Customer service behaviors
  2. Service Professionals
    1. Customer responsiveness: Emotional and Informational
    2. Service professional philosophy
      1. Belief 1: Effective service professionals require emotional intelligence skills
      2. Belief 2: Systems do not foster relationships, people do
      3. Belief 3: Attracting, retaining, and motivating service professionals requires a positive and fun work environment
      4. Belief 4: Low employee turnover is possible and necessary for delivering reliable and quality customer service
      5. Belief 5: Emotional and financial investments in service professionals help a business maximize its return on investment
    3. Service Professionals speak out
    4. How to handle customer:
      1. Demands
      2. Expectations
      3. Emotions
      4. Behaviors
      5. Stress
    5. Stories and incidents with customers
    6. Proper training of service professionals
  3. Manage Service Expectations and Experiences
    1. Reliability
      1. If a response is promised, it must happen according to the specifications directly or indirectly communicated to the customer
      2. Service guarantee should be specific and void of puffery
    2. Responsiveness
      1. Empower service professionals to perform tasks and make decisions
      2. Provide customers with specific times for service accomplishments
      3. Establish service standards for routine and recurring tasks
      4. Educate customers on the best methods of accessing service information or handling service requests
    3. Assurance
      1. Always tell customers the truth
      2. Carefully change business rules
      3. Be a good corporate citizen
      4. Establish credibility
    4. Empathy
      1. Build emotional muscle
      2. Prepare for complainers
      3. Treat everyone with respect
    5. Tangibles
      1. Provide realistic and accurate physical images and descriptions in all communication mediums
      2. Social Media
  4. Build Employee Allegiance
    1. Be the employer of choice
    2. Leverage employee strengths
    3. Make the job more rewarding
      1. Skill variety
      2. Tasks identified
      3. Task significance
      4. Autonomy
      5. Feedback
    4. Promote team cohesion
      1. Team building activities
      2. Team communication
    5. Set realistic employee expectations
    6. Make new employees feel welcome
      1. First day
      2. First week
      3. First three months
    7. Encourage informal employee gatherings
    8. Customer is not always right
    9. Design usable customer service delivery systems
      1. Internal and external focus
      2. Reducing eye fatigue
      3. Avoiding unnatural body positions
      4. Creating a productive work environment
  5. Hire the Right Employees and Leverage their Natural Talents
    1. Systemize the hiring process
      1. Select appropriate evaluation criteria and tools
      2. Establish skills and knowledge
      3. Natural tendency to act
      4. Personality
    2. Establish Quality Assurance Teams and the Kolbe Concept
    3. Plan for dealing with change
  6. Customer Service Action Plan
    1. Action plan steps
      1. Step 1: Assess service system
      2. Step 2: Establish customer service benchmarks and performance measures
      3. Step 3: Identify and implement strategic actions for achieving desired outcomes
      4. Step 4: Manage change
      5. Step 5: Promote action
      6. Step 6: Lead
    2. The resilient organization
      1. Embrace reality
      2. Make meaning in difficult times
      3. Improvise
      4. Create comfortable customer service areas

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