Services Marketing Report (Business Hotels vs Boutique Hotels)


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Services Marketing Report (Business Hotels vs Boutique Hotels)

  2. 2. .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 TO 5 STAR HOTEL INDUSTRY - SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD AND THE QUINCY HOTEL TABLE OF CONTENTS Travel Accommodation in Singapore.....................................................................................3 INDUSTRY OVERVIEW ..........................................................................................................3 TRENDS .................................................................................................................................3 Improving Economy ...........................................................................................................3 Highest Value Sales Growth in Chain Hotels .....................................................................3 Online Bookings .................................................................................................................3 Rise of Boutique Hotels .....................................................................................................3 COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE ..................................................................................................4 Attractive Special Promotions ............................................................................................4 Luxury Hotels Holding the Lead .........................................................................................4 PROSPECTS .........................................................................................................................4 Setting the context ..................................................................................................................4 SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD vs THE QUINCY HOTEL .......................................................4 Business Models .....................................................................................................................4 BUSINESS MODEL: THE QUINCY HOTEL ...........................................................................4 Independent Hotels Definition ............................................................................................4 Boutique Hotel ...................................................................................................................4 Unique Selling Proposition .................................................................................................4 Guest Composition ............................................................................................................4 BUSINESS MODEL: SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD ..............................................................4 Hotel Chain Definition ........................................................................................................4 Branded Chain Hotel ..........................................................................................................4 Unique Selling Proposition .................................................................................................5 Guest Composition ............................................................................................................5 Key Differences between The Quincy Hotel and Swissôtel The Stamford ........................5 THE SERVICE PRODUCT ..........................................................................................................5 The Flower of Service ............................................................................................................5 (1) Hospitality .................................................................................................................6 (2) Order Taking ..............................................................................................................8 (3) Exceptions ................................................................................................................8 PLACE, PROMOTIONS, PEOPLE & PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT .......................................10 Recommendations ................................................................................................................13 Upgrade of amenities ...........................................................................................................13 Improve traffic flow in lobby ................................................................................................14 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) .......................................................................14 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................14 References .............................................................................................................................15 1
  3. 3. TRAVEL ACCOMMODATION IN SINGAPORE INDUSTRY OVERVIEW Since the launch of two integrated resorts in 2010, the outlook of the hotel landscape in Singapore has been positive. Current value sales increased by 48% in 2010, reaching S$4.1 billion. On average, the average sales per outlet increased in 2010. The sales figure is expected to grow by a 6% constant value CAGR over the forecasted period (Euromonitor, Travel and Tourism - Singapore, 2011). TRENDS Improving Economy The economic recovery in 2010 made consumers more willing to spend on holidays.  With higher disposable incomes, more consumers are agreeable to allocate bigger portions of their spending on travel accommodations, so as to fully enjoy their vacation. As such, luxury hotels saw an 11% increase in market share for travel accommodation, while budget hotels recorded a retail value share of negative two percentage points in 2010. Average occupancy rate remains above 70% throughout 2011 (Euromonitor, Travel Accommodation - Singapore, 2011). Highest Value Growth in Chain Hotels Chain hotels experienced the highest current value sales growth in 2010 with the opening of the two integrated resorts. There was an increase in bookings for hotels near the Marina Bay belt as special events, such as the fireworks display marking Singapore’s National Day and Formula 1 race, were situated in that area. This in turn boosted the performance of chain hotels. Average sales per outlet increased by 43% in current value terms in 2010 as hotels near the Marina Bay belt launched several packages. Consumers had to pay a premium if they chose to stay in these areas to watch the special event (Euromonitor, Travel Accommodation - Singapore, 2011). 3 Online Bookings Online sales of travel accommodation grew by 33% in retail value terms in 2010, as consumers continued to use the Internet for convenience and 24/7 access to room reservations. Special promotions offered for online bookings such as the weekend packages offered by Pan Pacific Hotel encouraged consumers to book travel accommodation online (Euromonitor, Travel Accommodation - Singapore, 2011). In 2011, online travel booking formed almost half of the hotels’ accommodation book and this is expected to increase by 8%. Rise of Boutique Hotels Recently, there have been a growing number of boutique hotels springing up around the city-state. News reports confirm that close to seven boutique hotels were setup in Singapore over the period of 2008 to 2010 (Roberts, 2011). Weekend occupancy rates are currently 80% and room rates will continue to rise 30% year-on-year. At present, there are only around 40,000 hotel rooms available in Singapore (Singapore Tourism Board, 2011). Going by the 2015 visitor arrival projections, it certainly isn’t enough for the 46,000 visitors expected each day. Seizing this business opportunity, hoteliers are setting up boutique hotels in Singapore (SingaporeStartup, 2010). Not only do these boutique hotels offer more reasonable prices, they are  becoming known as hip, off-beat alternatives to the generic, global hotel brands that populate the Singapore skyline. These new boutique hotels are smart, in the fact that they have identified a niche in the market, not only in terms of price, but also in terms of location, so that they can serve both the business and the PAGE leisure markets. 2
  4. 4. TRAVEL ACCOMMODATION IN SINGAPORE COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE Attractive Special Promotions Although the economy has been doing well, hotels still offer special weekend packages to sustain consumer interest in a highly competitive environment. Hotels are also making use of tourism opportunities such as the annual Formula 1race and the fireworks display at Esplanade on Singapore’s National Day. Hence, offering special packages for locals and tourists to stay over and watch these events (Euromonitor, Travel Accommodation - Singapore, 2011). Luxury Hotels Holding the Lead Luxury hotels will continue to sustain the interests of consumers. These establishments pride themselves on providing excellent service and offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a wholesome lifestyle experience. On the other hand, budget hotels attracted consumers through low-priced, no-frills accommodation. Budget hotels, including Fragrance Hotel, have started eyeing locations close to key tourist areas in order to offer a convenient alternative to luxury hotels. Thus, Fragrance Hotel’s Viva branch is located near to Vivocity and Sentosa. This makes it convenient for budget travelers to explore Sentosa and one of the major shopping centres in Singapore. Price Raffles Hotel Conrad Centennial Mandarin Oriental InterContinental Singapore Hilton Singapore Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Swissotel The Stamford Quincy Hotel Rating of service quality* New Majestic Hotel The Club Hotel Wanderlust Hotel Studio M Hotel M Hotel The Scarlet Hotel Hotel Re! Figure 1: Perceptual Map of Luxury Hotels landscape in Singapore, service quality are based on ratings on travel forums and 4 Boutique hotels are slowly making themselves a close competitor to the hotel chains (Figure 1). Focusing on improving quality of services at affordable prices, boutique hotels strive to create valuable genuine word-of-mouth from customers to build their reputation. PROSPECTS Travel accommodation sales are projected to grow by a 6% constant value CAGR over the forecasted period. In addition to the lure of integrated resorts and other attractions, promotions offered by budget airlines will appeal to travelers from neighboring countries, thereby increasing the demand for travel accommodation (Euromonitor, Travel and Tourism - Singapore, 2011). Average sales per outlet are also expected to rise in constant value terms over the forecasted period. The rising affluence of consumers will increase their willingness to spend on mid-priced or luxury hotels. However, the overall increase in sales per outlet is likely to be restricted by hotels offering special weekend packages due to the intense competitive environment. SETTING THE CONTEXT SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD vs THE QUINCY HOTEL With the rising presence of boutique hotels in Singapore, our group is very much interested in understanding how this trend affects the cognitive decision-making process in choosing a hotel. As such, we decided to narrow our evaluation based on two types of luxury hotels – a boutique hotel and a branded chain hotel. In order to ensure our evaluations will be relevant in the comparison, hotels are chosen from the same cluster in the perceptual map, where both hotels have similar price points and quality of service (Figure 1). In this case, the subjects for evaluation are; Swissôtel The Stamford as a representative for the branded chain hotel and The Quincy Hotel as that for boutique PAGE hotels. 3
  5. 5. BUSINESS MODELS BUSINESS MODEL: THE QUINCY HOTEL Independent Hotel Definition Independent hotels refer to hotel operators that own and operate one or more (but fewer than 10) outlets. They are not affiliated to any other business. These are mainly related to family businesses or partnerships (Euromonitor, Travel and Tourism - Singapore, 2011). Boutique Hotel The Quincy Hotel is a boutique hotel owned by Far East Hospitality. For the past 59 years, the latter has a reputation for building innovative and functional spaces, and providing high quality experiences and value for its customers. Far East Organization owns and operates the largest corporate leasing and hospitality portfolio in Singapore, including six hotels and 11 serviced residences with over 1200 apartments. The Organization has a network of regional offices with presence in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Jakarta, and Seoul. Unique Selling Proposition The Quincy hotel runs on a model where it has an all-in-one pricing system. This means that for one price, hotel guests enjoy complementary benefits such as a one-way limousine transfer service from the airport, three meals a day, evening cocktails, Wi-Fi and free access to a well-stocked mini-bar. On top of the 400-threadcount sheets, feather-topped beds, 42-inch TV and Molton Brown toiletries that are standard in every room. Guest Composition The Quincy Hotel prides itself for locating in the charming enclave of the prime Orchard district in Singapore. The Quincy Hotel provides urbane business and leisure travelers the utmost privacy and exclusivity. Leisure travelers usually opt for a stay-cation at Quincy Hotel. BUSINESS MODEL: SWISSÔTEL THE STAMFORD Hotel Chain Definition Hotel chain refers to hotel operators that run a number of outlets, usually with a degree of specialisation in service or product positioning. The number of branches required to be termed a chain varies from country to country but is usually 10 or more. The chain usually trades with the same fascia, format and identity. If a hotel forms part of a regional or international chain network and has less than ten outlets in a particular country, it is still counted as a chain (Euromonitor, Travel and Tourism - Singapore, 2011). Branded Chain Hotel Owned by the Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts manages the Swissôtel The Stamford.  The organization is a distinctive group of deluxe hotels for today's discerning modern business and leisure travelers, combining the renowned Swiss touch with a fresh, modern and contemporary design. 30 years into the accommodation industry, the Swissôtel brand has blossomed into a distinguished and internationally renowned hotel chain with deluxe hotels in 17 countries across 5 continents. 5 4
  6. 6. The company works on a business model through which the investment is made by a local partner, whereas Swissotel provides its brand, expertise and experience. Each Swissôtel offers personalised service with charm and efficiency. Located in main gateway destinations and city centres, Swissôtel hotels have convenient access to business and shopping districts, and local attractions. In addition, Swissôtel The Stamford prides itself in providing the finest Swiss genuine hospitality with excellent quality which is intuitively reliable. Guest Composition Swissôtel The Stamford hotel guest composition comprises of 3 segments: (1) Corporate business travelers who seek the convenience which the hotel offers in terms of location. (2) Tourists with mid to high disposable income and are looking for an exceptional standard of accommodation. (3) Seasonal guests who stay in the hotel during certain period of the year, usually for special events such as F1 Grand Prix and National Day. Unique Selling Proposition As compared to The Quincy Hotel, the amenities as well Modern and Contemporary Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts is a distinctive group of as promotions which Swissôtel The Stamford offers is deluxe hotels for today's discerning modern business more family centric. and leisure travellers, combining the renowned Swiss touch with a fresh, modern and contemporary design. Strategic location THE SERVICE PRODUCT The Flower of Service KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOTH HOTELS The core product is based on the core set of benefits and solutions delivered to customers by the service provider. At Quincy and Swissôtel The Stamford, both hotels aim to provide guests with a pampering 4-5 star experience, safe and comfortable accommodation throughout their stay. Strategically located in the heart of Singapore’s shopping, business and entertainment districts and with the City Hall MRT train station and other major transportation nodes at its doorstep, this five-star deluxe hotel is the gateway to explore Singapore’s landscape at hotel guests’ convenience. Surrounding the core product is a variety of servicerelated activities that augments the core product by enhancing its value and appeal. According to the Flower of Service concept, supplementary services can be categorized into 8 groups, each represented as a petal surrounding the core. For the purpose of our report, we will emphasize only three petals with distinct Paranomic view of Singapore City Skyline The unique cylindrical structure is not only an iconic differences, mainly (1) Hospitality, (2) Order taking, building in Singapore’s city landscape, it offers a and (3) Exceptions. Through our research, the other splendid panoramic views over the Singapore harbor, petals are typically less differentiated across the 4-5 star Indonesia and parts of Malaysia. hotel industry landscape. 6 5
  7. 7. Lastly, all items in the in-room mini-bar are complimentary and replenished daily. That is to say, everything in the room can be eaten and drank without additional charge, compared to mainstream hotels where such services are usually chargeable upon checkout. Swissôtel 1) Hospitality Food and Beverages Quincy Food and Beverages in Quincy is available in-house, and inclusive in the room rates that each guest pays. As seen on the left, breakfast is served in buffet style. Though complimentary, the hotel remains generous with the variety made available, and its standards comparable to international breakfast from bigger chain hotels. Lunch and dinner serviced are Western and Italian fanfare, where guests can freely choose from the menu listings. With 11 exquisite restaurants and 5 bars, hotel guests of Swissôtel can pamper themselves with world-class epicurean and lifestyle offerings. From authentic Singaporean fare at KopiTiam, Swiss delights at Café Swiss, innovative crêpes at Out of The Pan to the cosy Lobby Court or Introbar, the indulgences are endless. Amenities Quincy Amenities offered at Quincy include complimentary high-speed Internet access available throughout the hotel, via Wi-Fi and LAN, supporting the multiple devices that potential guests would be using. There are also two sets of iMac computer systems sleekly positioned at the front lobby for customers’ to freely explore and surf at their own convenience. On level 12, the dedicated recreational level, guests can find hotel amenities such as an infinity swimming pool with a magnificent view of Orchard road, a gymnasium, steam room, and sauna room – all fully furnished and equipped. Besides, thoughtful selfservice facilities are conveniently located around the Apart from regular 3 mains, guests are also entitled level to provide guests with drinks, snacks, and fresh for complimentary wine, beer and cocktails during towels after their recreational swim or fitness7 work the happy hour, by the relaxing pool deck, from 6 to out. 8pm daily. 6
  8. 8. In addition, guests also enjoy 2 complimentary pieces Unlike other 4 or 5 stars hotels in Singapore, Quincy’s of laundry services per day, per room. in-house entertainment for guests is one of a kind. Quincy offers Qool activities for all its guests to keep Swissôtel them entertained during their stay. Activities include a Yoga session at 8am every Saturday morning, The recreational facilities at Swissotel The Stamford conducted at its alfresco area surrounded by lush encompass a Willow Stream Spa, 2 outdoor swimming greenery, and baking sessions on Saturday afternoons pools, 6 tennis courts and a well-equipped fitness where guests are taught to bake their own cupcakes club. by experienced trainers. It also has a full-fledged Business Centre, a 6,503 square metres Raffles City Convention Centre, where Swissôtel formed strategic ties with Raffles City convention to offer business facilities such as ballrooms and business centres conference halls. Apart from the facilities, Swissôtel provides services such as broadband internet, rental of mobile phones or hosting international conferences upon request. These services help to facilitate the hotel to meet the needs of their hotel guests. There are also experienced Conventions Specialists to support the needs of business hotel guests. However, one interesting thing to note about Swissôtel is that although the hotel positioned itself as a business hotel, WI-FI was actually not made complimentary for guests. In fact, high speed internet More recently, Quincy hotel added a daily ‘Movie is only available in the lobby, and in-room usage are Night’ activity on their list of Qool activities, which involves inviting guests to show up at the pool deck actually chargeable. for a public screening of a movie. There, guests can enjoy free flow of drinks and popcorns prepared by Entertainment their service staff. Quincy All guests are notified and invited to these Qool Activities via a personalized in-room memo, with clear details of program highlights and timings. 8 7
  9. 9. Transport Quincy Unique to Quincy Hotel is its complimentary one-way airport shuttle service provided by the hotel’s in-house limousine function. Quincy hotel has a fleet of Mercedes E class limousines that ferry international guests from the airport to the hotel, as long as guests provide their flight information upon their online booking. This concept is currently exclusive to Quincy hotel, as other 4-5 star chain hotels and competing boutique hotels, do not currently offer such a service. While this service is complimentary, Quincy remains committed to delivering exceptional value and quality to all its guests. As noted from guests’ feedback on Tripadvisor, service chauffeurs often go beyond their core duty of ferrying tourists, but typically spends the ride introducing Singapore to incoming tourists. Once, a guest even commented that the hotel insisted to reimburse her taxi fare after missing the pre-arranged complimentary limo service due to an unforeseen flight delay. 2) Order Taking Reservation Quincy & Swissôtel Like most hotels, reservation for both Quincy and Swissôtel The Stamford hotels are made via online channels, as well as their corporate websites. These channels sometimes include early bird specials, special promotions, and monthly specials of up to 15%. Interestingly, Swissôtel The Stamford also takes in reservation through third party agencies, and direct corporate bookings via their corporate membership and partnership with the hotel chain. Similar to Quincy, Swissôtel offers special promotions via third party websites like hotel club, and 3) Exceptions 3) Special Requests Quincy Located a stone throw away from Mount Elizabeth Hospital and Paragon Medical Centre, Quincy hotel have been attracting medical tourists and their family who visits the nearby Clearly, Quincy Hotel takes no chances in hospitals for treatments, or even staying to compromising any aspect of its service quality; recuperate after an out-patient surgery. even to the smallest details. 9 8
  10. 10. At Quincy, a ‘Pink of Health’ package is specially designed for medical tourists to benefit from added convenience, greater value and extra care. Medical guests are given priority check-in upon arrival, and bookings made 24 hours before arrival is also guaranteed. Understanding that the recuperation period required for every medical patient is not absolute, Quincy Hotel ensures all its medical guests are guaranteed an extension of stay regardless of their initial booking. This demonstrates Quincy’s flexibility in awarding buffer time for their medical guests to stay on for full recuperation should they need to extend their departure date. customer-centric efforts show that Quincy views each service failure as a means to delight the customer again, thereby expounding the company’s desire to deliver great service through a strong spirit of excellence. Evidently, Quincy’s effort to utilize public domains to forge strong relationships with its customers is commendable. In additional, extra care and assist-on-call service is also provided round the clock for guests with medical needs. Kitchen chefs can also accommodate special dietary requests and health needs as long as the medical guest inform the hotel prior to his/her arrival. Handling Special communications Quincy A quick search on traveler’s portal such as Tripadvisors and would reveal that Quincy Hotel values every feedback given to Correspondence on compliments them – both compliments and complaints. Swissôtel Similar to Quincy, Swissôtel The Stamford takes pride in handling with user-generated content on its brands. Be it a compliments or complaints, the front office of Swissôtel will try to customize their replies to each comment. The Front office manager typically attends to guests’ feedbacks promptly, requiring only about 3 to 5 days on average. Responses given to guests are also highly personalized, with no chance of two guests receiving the same reply from the management. When dealing with complaints, Quincy exhibits a sincere disposition. Deliberate efforts are administered to value each customer’s experience, and to restore any service failure relationships. For instance, the screenshot below displays great effort taken by the Manager at Quincy Hotel to go beyond replying responses on the Tripadvisor portal alone, but going the extra mile to drop a personal note to the dissatisfied customer with the optimism to understand other service failures. Such The largest difference between Swissôtel and Quincy in handling special communication channels would be the speed at which guests’ reviews are responded. On average, Swissôtel takes around 2 weeks to respond to a guest’s comment. However, the time lapse can range up till 1.5 months (Refer to screenshot below). Unlike Quincy, it is apparent that Swissôtel does not provide a follow up or explanations for dissatisfied customers with regards to service failures. With no concrete service recovery set in place when handling service recovery, it is highly unlikely that Swissôtel will is able to maintain customers who have undergone unpleasant service experience. Swissôtel needs to improve on its service recovery process in order to maintain customer loyalty in this highly competitive luxury hotel arena. 10 9
  11. 11. Swissôtel Correspondence for complaint KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOTH HOTELS 1) Place Quincy As Quincy is located in the charming enclave at the back of Mount Elizabeth hotel, it is at the perfect location for guests seeking tranquility and yet convenience to the shopping district as Orchard shopping belt is just five minutes away. Also, with Mount Elizabeth Hospital and the Paragon Medical Centre being just a stone throw away from Quincy, its location is also a great draw for the medical tourists and their family members, as illustrated by the Tripadvisor review below. Located at the heart of Singapore, it is at the crossroad of Singapore’s business, shopping and cultural districts. Swissôtel is the perfect location for guests seeking utmost convenience to business and shopping district. Also, Swissôtel is located directly above the Cityhall MRT Station, it provides the utmost convenience to guests who need to commute to the various parts of Singapore via the train service. 2) Promotions Quincy As Quincy has a lower occupancy rate during the weekends, they have a “Qool Weekend” promotion, which gives a 10% discount to guests who checks in on either Friday or Saturday. This promotion targets mainly the locals who are seeking for a stay-cation over the weekend. Due to the close proximity to Mount Elizabeth Hotel, Quincy offers a “Pink of Health” promotion package for the medical tourists who seeks added convenience, greater value and extra care. Medical guests of Mount Elizabeth Hospital gets to enjoy a 15% discount for their stay at Quincy. In order to better manage demand and supply, Quincy offers a “Supersavers” promotion package, which gives 15% discounts for booking made at least 14 days prior to their stay. 11 10
  12. 12. Swissôtel In order to boost weekend occupancy rate, Swissotel offers promotion packages for local couples such as “Gourmet Getaway” and “Endless Weekends”, but without giving any price discounts. The “Gourmet Getaway” promotion targets the local couples who seek to escape from their busy schedule to indulge in culinary experience at the 16 restaurants and bars that Swissôtel has to offer. The “Endless Weekends” promotion targets the locals that are yearning for a quick and affordable getaway, which offers late breakfast and an extended check-out until 2pm. seek to have a bird’s eye view of the race from the comfort of their circuit-facing guestroom. Swissôtel also offers a “Business Deal” that aims to target the businessmen, who wants to work in the privacy and comfort of their hotel rooms. The “Business Deal” offers accommodation in Swiss E x e c u t i v e ro o m s , w h i c h i s e q u i p p e d w i t h complimentary high speed wireless internet access, and access to the private Swiss Executive Club Lounge where breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails are served and complimentary laundry and dry cleaning services. In addition to only offering packages to couples, Swissôtel offers the “Kids Room Special” that offers overnight accommodation in two connecting guestrooms. This targets parents who seek to spend quality time with their kids and have loads of fun and enjoyment in the specially designed Kids room, which is equipped with child friendly amenities and filled with adorably themed beddings, cuddly toys and educational books that provides endless entertainment. Swissôtel also offers an “Advance Saver” package, which offers a 10% discount for guests who confirmed their reservation 21 days in advance. As Swissôtel is strategically located beside the heart of where the action blazes, the Turn 9 of the Singapore Night Race circuit, it offers a “Singapore Night Race Deal” promotion package for guests who Swissôtel offers two different types of Loyalty Programmes, “ResPlus” to reward reservation makers from corporations and “Swissôtel Circle” to reward individual travellers. The “ResPlus” is an exclusive frequent booking programme designed to reward reservation markers from corporations by giving ResPlus points for every qualifying stay that they book for their company’s travelers. The “Swissôtel Circle” on the other hand, is a multi-tier loyalty programme that rewards individual travelers, with three categories of membership for Swissôtel Circle – Inizia, Elevà and Zenit. By just staying for five nights, guests can already qualify for the Swissôtel Circle Inizia status for life, in which guests can get to enjoy benefits such as personalized room preferences, priority waitlist and check-in counter, member only promotions etc. If guests stay with Swissôtel for 20 nights within a 12-month, they will automatically reach the Elevà tier, in which guests 12 11
  13. 13. can get to enjoy benefits such as complimentary internet, local calls, 48-hour guaranteed room availability, complimentary daily breakfast and club lounge access etc. To reach the highest Zenit tier, guests will have to spend 60 nights in two or more Swissôtel & Resorts within one year, in which guests can get to enjoy benefits such as free upgrades, VIP member service, invitations to Swissôtel Circle events etc. Quincy Front Desk Reception The front desk personnel were dressed in suits, and very well groomed. From our observations, they were friendly and enthusiastic when it comes to greeting and welcoming the customers. The reception area was relatively well-staffed with an average of 3 employees at any point in time. The check-in process was hassle-free, lasting typically 3 to 5 minutes. Tripadvisor reviews reaffirm this finding. 3) People Quincy The employees of Quincy receive basic training in terms of rendering customer service to its customers. On top of that, they are trained to handle special requests, which includes the 24/7 ‘Assist-on-call’ service provided to the medical tourists. Mr Franck Hardy, Hotel Manager of Quincy, said, “We want to surprise [every customer] upon checkin until [he/she] checks out.” This illustrates the hotel service philosophy of striving to exceed customer expectations and ensuring a pleasurable service encounter for all customers. Please refer to Annex B for the in-depth documentation of our site visit to Quincy. Swissôtel Swissôtel has developed a structured training Swissôtel Front Desk Reception programme that helps employees understand and live its service philosophy from their first day with Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. Swissôtel Trajectories is the Swissôtel talent management programme. It is specially designed to provide a framework that facilitates the training and development of all employees, commencing right after their first year with the Company. Swissôtel has also consistently forged partnerships with top training centres and international companies to work on creating exciting training modules for its employees. The front desk employees were immaculately dressed and even had a differentiated dress code according to their functions. For instance, the door greeters donned eye-catching oriental cheongsums while the rest of the service crew were clad in suits. The front desk personnel were professional and polite when they addressed the customer requests at the reception counter. The reception area was well-staffed with 4 employees present at any point in time, and the check-in process was short too, ranging from 2 to 4 minutes. A Tripadvisor review reinforces the accuracy of our observation. Additionally, Swissôtel recognises outstanding employee performance by having the Ovation Rewards corporate incentive scheme. Under this programme, employees with exemplary performance are allowed to redeem free hotel stays at any hotel under the Swissôtel, Fairmont and Raffles brand. The scheme has no expiration date or black out period, and employees have the flexibility of selecting the destination they wish to travel to free-of-charge. This goes to show that the Please refer to Annex A for the in-depth hotel is serious about acknowledging employees’ documentation of our site visit to Swissôtel. performance knowing that Travel is a powerful incentive and the one gift which people can carry with them for a lifetime. 13 12
  14. 14. 4) Physical Environment Exterior Environment RECOMMENDATIONS Quincy Having analysed the strengths of boutique hotels, our group sees the potential for these hotels to capture a substantial portion of the business travellers market. Moreover, we have also seen an influx of boutique hotels in the recent years. There is a low switching costs for consumers in this industry. Information reporting that rising trends of business travellers who have switched to boutique hotels are Swissôtel worrying chain hotels such as Swissôtel The Swissôtel was designed by renowned architect Stamford. Leoh Ming Pei who enjoys the reputation of Swissôtel The Stamford needs to cater its ‘Father of modern architecture’. With 73 storeys services to business travellers, their most in total, Swissôtel claims the spot of being the profitable segment. This way, they can leverage world’s sixth tallest hotel. Its impressive height on their brand positioning and remain on par or is befitting of its status as the overall winner of surpass their competitors. As mentioned, their the Luxury Business Hotel award at the annual competitors do not only include rival hotels in World Luxury Awards 2011, in recognition of her the vicinity. Boutique hotels are possible threats worldclass business facilities and unsurpassed too. service standards. Upgrade of amenities Swissôtel boosts of a long legacy and history, Business travelers have higher expectations for having been first built in 1986, and has last hotels due to the improvements in hotel been renovated in 2006. amenities offered by boutique hotels. The benchmark for service has been raised and Interior Environment Swissôtel The Stamford needs to meet them. Quincy has a young at heart exterior design whose distinctive facade enabled it to depart from its norm. A bold color palette of anodized steel and shimmering module windows set it apart from its well-designed neighbours in the vicinity. In total, it cost $24 million to develop and furnish Quincy. Quincy Quincy has a modern and chic interior design, with Apple iMac computers displayed at the reception area to give it a cool and modern touch. Warm and comfortable lighting pervades the waiting and reception areas, making customers feel at ease and welcome. Inviting music is played to further soothe the emotions of customers and fragrances permeate the air to make customers feel refreshed and invigorated as they spend their time at the waiting or reception areas. Swissôtel Swissôtel possesses a timeless, classic and slightly oriental interior design, utilizing a tasteful color scheme of earthy tones such as brown and red. The display panel at the reception counter strives to inculcate a sense of the unique Singapore touch, hinting at the fact that the hotel is trying to tailor its service standards and offerings to the local context. The lobby and waiting area are spacious, and the hotel interior is brightly lit, providing a comfortable ambience to the hotel guests. Swissôtel The Stamford has a long and rich history. Unfortunately, its rooms and facilities need to keep up with the times in order to live up to the expectations of modern business travellers. At present, Swissôtel The Stamford has rooms with run-down amenities. Free Wi-Fi services are also not available to all hotel guests. Renovating hotel rooms and upgrading its facilities might not be the most feasible ideas due to constraints. We recommend that the hotel improves its service offerings to match up with its competitors. In today’s modern fastpaced world, where the internet is easily accessed through the many gadgets people carry around, it has become essential for businessmen to stay connected and updated. Hence, Swissôtel can begin by first providing free Wi-Fi services to all hotel guests, regardless of the type of room they stay. 14 13
  15. 15. Improve traffic flow in lobby First impressions are very important. For guests, their first encounter with the hotel will take place in the hotel lobby. Currently, there are ambiguous service function indicators present. There are several different counters (normal check-in counters, check-in counters for cabin crews, Swisscircle and hotel services counter), each catering to a different group of guests. The array of counters leaves guests confused. Swissôtel has positioned roaming staff to direct guests to the correct counters. On the whole, this has compromised the ambience of the lobby, leaving it looking disorderly. On a side note, research has shown that a disorderly environment ncreases peoples’ stress levels. We recommend that Swissôtel adopts the use of clear signage in the hotel lobby. This way, the lobby will look less cluttered and it will result in a more relaxing environment for guests. Furthermore, this frees up staff who can then be stationed in other parts of the hotel to serve guests in other ways. CONCLUSION Both Quincy and Swissôtel have come up with sustainable and viable long-term service offerings to cater to their various target segments, and is well-positioned to thrive in the fiercely competitive 4 to 5 star hotel industry in Singapore. We generated a total of 5 client profiles to simulate the service processes which would be experienced by each distinct group of target consumers. These client profiles are attached in the next section of this report. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Finally, there is low brand resonance for Swissôtel as customers do not feel involved in the brand. Swissôtel also underutilizes social network platforms to connect with their guests. Customers are going onto social media platforms such as Facebook and forums to share their experiences. However, it is observed that Swissôtel does not attempt to engage their customers and address to their complaints and complements. To add on, Swissôtel’s Facebook page is relatively unknown as they do not openly publish its existence on any of their advertising platforms. Swissôtel can improve their customer relationship management by proactively seeking and engaging their customers. They can do so by consistently addressing customers concerns on platforms such as forums, Facebook and Tripadvisor. This enables them to builds up trust with their customers. Customers who feel valued tend to be more forgiving towards service failures and in turn spread positive word-of-mouth if there is an excellent service recovery. 15 14
  16. 16. CLIENT PROFILES #1 Business Traveller for Quincy Pre-Purchase Stage “Thank you for the opportunity Mr Morgan. I’ll see you in Singapore 2 weeks from now.” Mr Big had just ended the call with Mr Morgan, a chief sales manager for a retail store situated in Singapore. Placing his iPhone 4S on the table, he looked out of the window and smiled. At the age of 31, Mr Big is an enterprising entrepreneur living in New York City. He has plans to expand his current business in Singapore. Fortunately for him, he had just secured a deal with a leading retail store in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district (Orchard Road). He will be meeting a few clients in Singapore in order to discuss the details of bringing his product into the Singapore market. He knew that finalising the details will take a total of four days. Thus, he needed to make plans for his business trip. that he spends less time travelling spend precious time seeking for in an unfamiliar country. places to have his meals. Information Search With his preferences in mind, he opened his MacBook Air to conduct a generic internet search using a reliable and well-known website ( On the webpage, he clicked the tab labelled “Trendy” as one of the criterion for his information search. In view of the location/convenience of hotels from his search results, he now had three hotels in his consideration set. The three hotels with their respective ratings shown from the search were: 1) Quincy Hotel (4.5/5 stars) 2) New Majestic Hotel (4/5 stars) 3) Naumi Hotel (4.5/5 stars) Evaluation of Alternatives High speed internet was essential for Mr Big to check his email and work on his business proposal slides. With internet access, he could easily keep in contact with his fiancée via Skype. Lastly, great value was a huge plus point since he was funding his own business trip. Perceived Risks Mr Big also had a few concerns. He was aware that despite the ratings and information advertised, certain aspects of service were harder to assess until he experienced it for himself. • Functional- Unsatisfactory performance outcomes (e.g. “Will the hotel service staff be as hospitable as expected?”) Mr Big was price conscious • F i n a n c i a l - M o n e t a r y l o s s , because he was funding his own unexpected extra costs (e.g. business trip; hence, he set a “Will there be hidden charges maximum budget of $400/night for incurred during my stay?”) accommodation. With this criterion in mind, he eliminated Naumi Hotel • Temporal- Wasted time, delays Need Awareness and focused on Quincy and New leading to problems (e.g. “Will Mr Big decided to start with the Majestic hotel as they were both the limousine transport from problem of accommodation. Where within his stipulated budget. airport to hotel be prompt? I should he stay? He knew that he S e a rc h a t t r i b u t e s t h a t w e re have a lot of meetings definitely needed to work in a important to Mr Big included hotel scheduled for the first day.”) c o n d u c i v e e n v i ro n m e n t w i t h location, reliable amenities to aid Internet access. The place of him in his work, convenient access • Sensory- Unwanted impact on accommodation must be able to to food and meeting locations and any of five senses (e.g. “Will the provide him with a good night of value for money. room be entirely soundproof rest to recharge after a hard day’s and conducive as a work w o r k . H e r e c a l l e d h i s p a s t Mr Big needed to meet his clients environment?”) experiences with 5-star hotels. in the central part of Singapore. Even though he had pleasant Being unfamiliar to Singapore, he Service Expectations experiences there, he craved for preferred his hotel to be located greater intimacy and comfort. On close to his meeting places in order After reading the highly positive one hand, Mr Big was aware of his to minimise the time wasted on r e v i e w s o n t r i p a d v i s o r s , desire to travel in style. However, travelling. Moreover, Mr Big knew advertisements (see Exhibit 1 and being an entrepreneur, he was also that being located in a central area price/value conscious. As such, he gave him greater access to more Exhibit 2) and hotel’s awards and decided to minimise his stay in transport networks, for him to get credentials, Mr Big developed a Singapore. Furthermore, this was to his meetings on time. He also positive pre-purchase expectation h i s fi r s t t i m e t r a v e l l i n g t o hoped to have convenient access and zone of tolerance of what to Singapore. Mr Big decided that it to food places, so that he had more encounter upon arrival and during was necessary for the hotel to be time to work on his business his stay at the hotel. situated in a convenient location so proposals instead of having to 16 15
  17. 17. assured that he would receive three meals a day, free access to a wellstocked mini-bar, usage of all amenities within the hotel and even complementary alcoholic cocktails in the evenings. This provided him Exhibit 1 with a peace of mind knowing that he had his meals and accommodation covered at a stated price. It also saved him precious time of travelling out in search for eating places. In comparison, New Majestic Hotel does not offer such a package. They merely provide complimentary breakfast. Bearing all this in mind, Exhibit 2 Mr Big realised that although the room rates for Quincy are much Purchase Decision higher than New Majestic Hotel, the Mr Big decided on Quincy after an all-inclusive pricing package by evaluation of the key attributes that Quincy gave him greater value. Furthermore, Quincy’s strategic were important to him. location in central Orchard enabled Firstly, Quincy is located in the him to save on transport costs. charming enclave of Mount Elizabeth and of a convenient 15 Upon making his decision, Mr Big minutes walking distance to proceeded to Quincy Hotel’s Orchard Road, where he will be w e b s i t e t o m a k e h i s r o o m meeting his clients. Moreover, it is reservations. He was feeling easily accessible as compared to confident of his choice, as Quincy New Majestic Hotel, which is appeared at the top of the list on located near Chinatown. A bonus tripadvisor with the highest rating of point was given to Quincy for 4.5/5 stars and had a display of p r o v i d i n g a c o m p l e m e n t a r y positive reviews (Exhibit 3). In limousine service, fetching guests addition, Quincy Hotel is the winner directly from the airport to the of the Travellers’ Choice Award 2012 by tripadvisor. hotel. Both hotels in his consideration set offered complementary and highspeed Wi-Fi services within the hotel premises. Mr Big noted that Quincy offered an additional supplementary service to differentiate itself; complementary high-speed Wi-Fi service during its limousine airport transfer. Mr Big who was running on a tight schedule, found this notably useful. He will be able to carry out web searches for the latest information if he needed to make any last minute adjustments to his presentations. Quincy offers an all-inclusive pricing system which matched Mr Big’s need for convenience. By paying a fixed price, he was Exhibit 3 Service Encounter Stage name and the Quincy logo. He was greeted politely and led to a shiny black Mercedes minibus. On the way to the hotel, Mr Big used the free Wi-Fi service to check his email for any updates with regards to his client meetings. After a 25 minute journey, Mr Big arrived at Quincy Hotel at 2.15pm. His luggage was carried to the check-in counter by the chauffeur. The check-in process was prompt as Mr Big only needed to produce his passport for verification of his room booking. Upon confirmation, a bellboy took his luggage and politely led Mr Big towards the lift. On his way towards the lift, Mr Big was greeted warmly by every single hotel staff he encountered. This greatly lifted his spirits after the exhausting long-haul flight. Mr Big was warmly ushered into his room on the sixth floor. He was pleasantly surprised as a room beautifully decorated with chic furniture greeted him. The wise use of mirrors and see- through glass made the room feel very spacious. He spotted many power sockets near the LCD TV which will be useful for charging his laptop and his other electronic gadgets. In addition, there was also an iPod dock! Upon exploring further, he found that the closet had bath robes, bathroom slippers, an iron, shoe polish and a safe. As promised, there was also a fullystocked mini-bar. Mr Big also noted that the bathroom had a modern design and the taps had good water pressure. Mr Big had a pleasant stay at Quincy Hotel. He managed to work efficient in a peaceful and conducive environment where he was not disturbed. He particularly enjoyed lounging in the café where there was free supply of coffee and tea, as he typed out his reports. Upon touchdown, Mr Big headed There were two particular events seamlessly through Singapore which greatly impressed him and customs and reached the arrival made his stay memorable. area of Changi Airport. Mr Big s p o t t e d a w e l l - d re s s e d m a n 1) M r B i g e n c o u n t e r e d holding a signboard bearing his problems trying to connect Four days departure to received an Hotel asking flight number Singapore. b e f o r e M r B i g ’s Singapore, Mr Big email from Quincy him to confirm his and arrival date in 17 16
  18. 18. to the internet during his first try. He called the front-desk and help was sent within 5 minutes. The person accurately identified that the problem was due to Mr Big’s laptop configurations. The problem was solved within 5 minutes and Mr Big was able to proceed with his work. Quincy Hotel’s prompt and professional response to the problem Mr Big encountered delighted him. On day 3 of his stay, Mr Big was heading out for his meeting when it suddenly started raining heavily. A staff noticed the situation and immediately reached behind the counter and offered Mr Big the hotel’s umbrella. Mr Big was extremely thankful as he was able to be punctual for his meeting. He was also impressed that the staff from Quincy was quick to respond to unforeseen circumstances. Post Encounter Stage Four days went by quickly and it was time for Mr Big to head back to New York. He packed his luggage and proceeded to the front desk. After checking his bill, Mr Big presented his credit card for payment. Throughout the process of checking out, the staff at the front desk maintained friendly conversation and also enquired whether Mr Big enjoyed his stay. After that, a bell boy wheeled out Mr Big’s luggage and hailed a taxi for him. #2 Business Traveller for Swissôtel Pre-Purchase Stage Need Awareness Mr. Morgan was scheduled to visit the Singapore office for a weeks’ long of regular Quarterly discussion to strategize the regional packaging and chemicals procurement activities for the upcoming financial year. As the regional head of procurement in the ASEAN region, his leadership and involvement was critical to ensure that project Search attributes that are critical to savings and value are optimized. a business traveller like Mr. Morgan includes a Prime and convenient This overseas assignment meant location, Professional amenities that Mr. Morgan had to be away and supplementary services, and of from home and his family for a course, Exclusivity. week. With this impending trip, Mr. Morgan informed his secretary to Travelling for work, Mr. Morgan make all travel arrangements needs to report to his local office at necessary including his stay at One Raffles Link every morning. Swissôtel The Stamford, where the Hence, the location of his hotel had company enjoy a corporate tie-up to be accessible and close in u n d e r t h e S w i s s ô t e l C i r c l e proximity to the business district to Membership club. reduce unnecessary travelling time. Besides, the hotel had to be close to a City centre with the convenient Information Search reach of a variety of retail and food Evidently, Swissôtel The Stamford outlets to maximize his leisure had managed to be the preferred activities after a hard day at work. choice among business executives like Mr. Morgan, and successfully M r . M o r g a n a l s o e x p e c t s live up to its accreditation of professional amenities in the hotel winning the Luxury Business Hotel of choice, as it is fundamental to award at the Annual World Luxury support after-work hours for any Awards last year. This prestigious business traveller. In addition, award is only conferred to the hotel chain with the most number of Hospitality-related and Safekeeping votes worldwide, where 1,000 enhancing supplementary service luxury properties amongst 87 such as hygiene level, comfort level countries enrolled in the judging of bed, laundry services to take process. In addition to the World care of his suits for the whole Travel Awards, Swissôtel The week’s stay, and types of toiletries Stamford, Singapore, was recently offered must be comprehensive named as the winner of the TTG Asia Award for best business hotel. and reliable. Lastly, exclusivity of room and common area (e.g. In his travel accommodation Check-in counter, Lounge) was d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s , something Mr. Morgan valued as he Swissôtel The Stamford was one of needed a professional setting to the hotels in Mr. Morgan’s evoked live and work in which complement set because it had been the his market status. arranged hotel for all his past trips to Singapore. Clearly, price was not a determining factor as business travel expenses had always been Perceived Risk charged under the corporate S i n c e s e r v i c e s h a v e m o r e expense. While Mr. Morgan had the e x p e r i e n c e a n d c r e d e n c e liberty to select an alternative 5 star attributes, they are harder to hotel of his choice within the scope evaluate before purchase, even for of his company travel policies, he saw no need to go through the a returning customer. While Mr. entire decision making process. He M o r g a n h a d e x p e r i e n c e d a was greatly delighted by the past pleasant stay at Swissôtel The service experiences on his previous Stamford previously, there may still visits, and the pleasant stays and be some perceived risks lingering encounter with the service staff at the back of his mind as he made it all worthwhile to return. makes this purchase decision. This may take the form of a Functional, (Re)Evaluation of Alternative 18 17
  19. 19. Temporal, Social or Sensory minutes taxi ride. Locating right perceived risks with the following above Raffles City shopping questions complex brings superb convenience for the business man to reach different retail or food ● Functional – “Is the laundry outlets from a variety of cuisines, services provided reliable; will they and even a supermarket for stain my expensive suit?” necessities. ● Temporal – “Will the taxi queue at the hotel lobby in this prime To meet Mr. Morgan’s need for location be too long that will cause professional amenities after work me to miss my meeting?” hours, Swissôtel Circle Club ● Social – “What will my business Members is entitled access to the colleagues/co-customers in the exclusive Swiss Executive Club hotel think of me if they learnt I am l o u n g e , w i t h c o n t e m p o r a r y staying here again?” furnishing and mood lighting ● Sensory – “Will the hotel bed be perfect for private meetings or to simply enjoy a cup of coffee. comfortable?” Guests could also enjoy complimentary breakfast as well as Service Expectations alcoholic beverages, soft drinks Building on top of Mr. Morgan’s and finger food during Happy Hour, pleasing stays in the past, reading which makes it an ideal place to about the hotel’s accreditation and wind down after work. On top of praises on magazine features and exclusive access to the lounge, Mr. assessing the risks involved builds M o rg a n a p p re c i a t e s t h a t a l l a p o s i t i v e p r e - p u r c h a s e executive club members have the expectation and establishes a zone benefit of a check-in/out counter at of tolerance of what he expects to Level 60, a dedicated floor for experience during his upcoming executive rooms, suites and the Swiss exclusive lounge. These stay at the hotel. preferential treatments allow all Swiss executive guests to enjoy Purchase Decision utmost privacy and be engulfed in Mr. Morgan seamlessly decided on a professional environment to Swissôtel after a re-evaluation of complement their social identity and have a superlative guest the key search attributes that are experience. important to him. Conveniently located in the heart of Singapore, Swissôtel The Stamford is a deluxe hotel that boasts a prime Singapore location amid the diversions of the Raffles City shopping complex and just 20 minutes away from Singapore Changi International Airport. This also means that Mr. Morgan’s office at One Raffles Link can be effortlessly reached within 15 minutes walk from the hotel from the Cityhall underpass, or a mere 5 Being away from home for one week, Mr. Morgan was appeased that hospitality and safekeeping supplementary services such as professional dry-cleaning services and pressing services are available in-house for his suits. Besides, the executive bathrooms were stocked with Bulgari’s full set range of toiletries, which was important for an affluent businessman like him. Upon making up his mind, Mr. Morgan did not have to go through much procedure to get his booking completed. He just had to inform his office secretary to book via the Swissôtel website using a special corporate tie-up code unique to his company. Service Encounter Stage Upon touching down in Singapore at 12:30pm, Mr. Morgan hopped onto a taxi within minutes, and instructed the taxi driver to head straight to Swissôtel The Stamford. As it was a renowned landmark in Singapore, the driver had no issues navigating his way to the hotel. Mr. Morgan arrived at the hotel within 20 minutes and was greeted promptly at the main entrance by two male service staff dressed neatly in black formal suits, and a bowler hat. Even with only one suitcase, one of the doormen gladly helped to unload Mr. Morgan’s luggage, and thoroughly ensured that all his belongings were retrieved from the taxi upon arrival. At the hotel lobby, a female guest service officer donned in an oriental red and black ‘Cheong-Sam’ uniform attended to Mr. Morgan and guided him to towards the Swissôtel Circle Executive check-in counter. While Mr. Morgan was entitled to the exclusive check-in counter on Level 60, his check-in was processed immediately at the lobby since it had free capacity. The team of service staff at the reception was seen dressed neatly in grey suits with salmon-colored tie (gentlemen) or scarf (ladies), with neatly combed back hair. Aligned with Mr. Morgan’s service expectation, the check-in process w a s h a s s l e - f re e , w h i c h o n l y required Mr. Morgan to produce his booking confirmation email for 19 18
  20. 20. verification. The smooth administrative process and allocation of room by the service receptionist took an average of 4 minutes, whereby he maintained respectful eye contact and a smiley disposition throughout the service interaction. However, because Mr. Morgan was slightly ahead of the check-in time at 2pm, he was invited to visit the exclusive Swiss Executive Lounge on Level 60 for some light refreshments and drinks. Consequently, a bellboy dressed in a neatly pressed white shirt and black vest from the guest service counter approached Mr. Morgan to offer a bag handling service, further explaining that delivery will be made to his room after he checks into his room at 2pm.   Without much delay, Mr. Morgan p ro c e e d e d u p t o t h e S w i s s Executive Lounge at Level 60 without the burden of his heavy luggage. There, he was greeted by a panoramic view of the Singapore City and was impressed by the variety of refreshments available in the quaint setting. This combination was perfect for a restful moment after a long flight. Upon checking into the room promptly at 2pm, Mr. Morgan was welcomed to a clean and spacious executive room, fully furnished with a 32” television, study desk, coffee and tea making facilities, complimentary newspapers and a w e l l s t o c k e d u p m i n i b a r. Interestingly, Mr. Morgan was delighted to spot Bulgari’s set of toiletries in the bathroom. Since his previous stay at Swissotel, he had been attracted to the scent and effectiveness of this range of toiletries, but realized it was not made available for sale anywhere in conveniently located on Level 60, the commercial market. dedicated to executive travellers. The whole process took no more Being away from home, Mr. Morgan than 5 minutes, requiring guests to also utilized the laundry services in simply surrender their room keys. the hotel for his work suits As Mr. Morgan was travelling under throughout the week, and was c o r p o r a t e e x p e n s e , h e w a s a w e d b y t h e l e v e l o f responsible to check the details of professionalism carried out by the the bill, while final payment was to laundry department. As a business be made directly by his head office. professional, he owned suits and As per his previous visits, the bill dress shirts from various designer presented to him reflected a list of boutiques, with some materials consumed services accurately with r e q u i r i n g s p e c i a l c a r e . O n e the corresponding rates. After instance, he sent a dress shirt for validation, Mr. Morgan was given a washing but the laundry service copy of the final bill; slot neatly in a coordinator realized cleaning Swissôtel corporate envelop for his instruction for that piece of reference. garment required dry-cleaning treatment instead to preserve its As Mr. Morgan proceeded out from unique texture and shine. The the hotel, the guest service officer laundry service coordinator quickly on duty escorted him while the left a voicemail in Mr. Morgan’s doormen promptly asked for his voicemail and returned the garment destination, in this case, Changi to his room accompanied with a Airport, to catch his return flight. letter of explanation and consent Given the prime and high traffic for cleaning. The team’s attention location of the hotel, it was not long to details and delicate care towards before the doormen effortlessly Mr. Morgan’s priced possession flagged a taxi. demonstrated a high degree of professionalism a n d As per Mr. Morgan’s usual visit, the personalization, and this left an doormen would help to inform the indelible impression in his mind. taxi driver on his destination, and would initiate to load all baggage Throughout the whole trip, Mr. into the taxi quickly. The send off Morgan enjoyed the convenience of was quick, seamless, and very living in the heart of the city centre pleasant. that is within reach of both business and shopping districts. #3 Couple for Quincy The proximity to his work place and accessibility to food outlets in Pre-Purchase Stage Raffles City and four other malls linked up by City Link reaffirmed his Mr Lovey and Ms Dovey are expectation, which was shaped by undergraduates in Singapore Management University. Having his earlier stays. endured 4 months of hectic school life, they wanted a staycation to Post Encounter Stage relax and unwind. Coincidentally, On the morning of his last day of t h e i r 4 t h a n n i v e r s a r y w a s stay, Mr. Morgan proceeded to the approaching and Mr Lovey had e x c l u s i v e c h e c k o u t c o u n t e r plans to schedule their anniversary 20 19
  21. 21. day 1 night staycation. Hence, with Ms Dovey came across blog the help of Ms Dovey, Mr Lovey set posting by a popular blogger out to plan for the special day. named Holly Jean (http:// Awareness quincy-hotel-staycationexperience.html). The post was Mr Lovey felt that they needed a about Holly’s experience at Quincy change from their usual anniversary Hotel, with her boyfriend. The hotel celebration. He wanted Ms Dovey was portrayed as a perfect place to have a special and memorable for couples. Unconvinced, Ms experience this year. The place has Dovey decided to seek out to be without disturbances or postings from other bloggers, in distractions from daily life. In other relation to their experiences of words, it must allow them to staying at Quincy Hotel. Ultimately, distress from their hectic lifestyle. the pictures and descriptions from Ms Dovey pointed out that she all the blog postings made Ms wanted to have the luxury of time Dovey feel that Quincy Hotel was during their stay. She disliked the indeed an ideal choice. notion of being rushed. At the same time, she wanted to engage in fun, and romantic activities, so that they would not be bored and thus maximising time spent together. She also hoped to take many pictures during their stay so as to document their memories. Thus, insisting on nicely decorated and classy surroundings. Most importantly, there should be high comfort levels in the hotel surroundings since they plan to spend their entire stay in the hotel. Information Search Over the next few days, the happy couple continued their information search, bearing in mind the needs which they had discussed. They decided to focus on boutique hotels as they were perceived to offer nicer ambiance, tranquillity and a novel experience. They were also aware that the co-audience of such hotels are mainly couples or individuals. There was a lower probability of having instances of nuisance and disturbance created by the presence of families with kids running around the hotel’s premises. Meanwhile, Mr Lovey decided to consult his friends. Knowing that Mr Lovey had preference for elegance, his friends recommended two hotels: Studio M and Quincy Hotel. Mr Lovey’s best friend, who shares similar lifestyle and preferences as him, gave positive feedback with regards to the level of personalised service Quincy offered. He added that the staffs were willing to accommodate to special requests when it comes to giving pleasant surprises for special occasions. Mr Lovey felt that the positive word-of-mouth given by his friends for the two hotels, made them worthy of an internet search. The internet search led to him finding the Facebook pages for both hotels. He realised that they were both well updated and boasted many positive reviews. For Quincy Hotel, there were even links to other websites such as not wish to compromise their experience. Evaluation of Alternatives The couple did not have to spend much time evaluating the alternatives since their search resulted in only 2 boutique hotels which had activities catering towards couples. Search attributes which were important to them were convenient location, modern amenities and supplementary services which could facilitate in maximising their time spent together. The all-inclusive package offered by Quincy caught their eye. They were surprised that such an offering was being provided by a hotel. They were thrilled that their meals and activities were fully covered by one single price. M o r e o v e r, t h e r e w a s e v e n complementary parking for the duration of their stay. In contrast, Studio M does not offer an allinclusive package but it was situated near many restaurants and bars. Clarke quay was also within walking distance of Studio M. They also found that the amenities of both hotels were comparable. Both hotels had a nice swimming pool and a gym. However, Studio M boasted of rooms which were designed by renowned Italian designer Piero Lissoni. To top it off, the rooms which were of duplex design were more spacious. Ms Dovey pointed out that Studio M included a complementary river cruise and tickets to the Toy Museum in their couple package. Quincy’s Qool Weekend promotion Mr Lovey also made a mental note offers free activities like a cupcake that price was not an issue. He was baking workshop and late-night willing to pay a premium as his 4th movie screenings by the pool. anniversary was special and he did 21 20
  22. 22. Perceived Risks Being business students, they were both worried that the information they found were not as reflective of the actual experience they might get. Temporal- Wasted time, delays leading to problems (e.g. “Will the meals take too long to be served? I want to maximise private time spent together instead of waiting.”) • • Sensory- Unwanted impact on any of five senses (e.g. “Will the complimentary meals be satisfactory?”) • Psychological- Personal fears and emotions (e.g. “Will the rooms fall short of the expectation of being novel?”) • Social- How others think and react (e.g. “What will my friends think of me if they know I am staying here?” How will they react to the staycation pictures which I am going to post on Facebook?) Service Expectations compared to what they will pay for surprise. The staff on the line for Studio M. Quincy sounded very enthusiastic and even asked Mr Lovey to send Purchase Decision them an email containing the details of the surprise, once he It was now time for Mr Lovey and completed his online reservation. Ms Dovey to make a decision. They On the other hand, the staff from decided to compare both hotels Studio M sounded hesitant and based on the attributes important unsure. to them. Eventually, based on the merits that Quincy hotel displayed and trusting the positive reviews given by friends, Quincy Hotel was chosen. Upon making the decision, Mr L o v e y u s e d Q u i n c y ’s o n l i n e booking function to make a reservation. Following that, Mr Lovey sent an email to the reservations department stating his booking confirmation number as well as instructions for Ms Dovey’s surprise. In the same email, Mr The rooms for Studio M are much Lovey also indicated that they were bigger but the cosy design of interested to be part of the cupcake Quincy’s rooms were not too bad baking class. either. Furthermore, the peace and Service Encounter Stage tranquillity as promised by Quincy’s a d v e r t i s e m e n t w a s e n t i c i n g . The couple’s car pulled up at Generally, both hotels were on par Quincy hotel. Although they were for the aspect of amenities. Thus, directly in front of the building, they other determinant attributes had to had trouble locating the carpark. be used. Ms Dovey gave the hotel a call. She F i r s t l y, Q u i n c y p ro v i d e s t h e convenience of having everything in a single venue. This is a huge plus point for the couple since they had no plans to travel out of the hotel’s premises. This frees up time and effort needed to plan for meals and activities. They could spend more private time having each other’s company too Unfortunately, Studio M could not match up to Quincy on this aspect. Ms Dovey had always wanted to bake with Mr Lovey. The cupcake baking lesson was an excellent opportunity to do that. Besides, Ms Lovey loved that fact that they did not have to clean up the mess after that. Mr Lovey thought that the movie screening by the pool would be a unique experience. Unanimously, they agreed that the activities at Quincy were better. Most importantly, they did not need to leave the hotel’s premises. Mr Lovey and Ms Dovey both had a narrow zone of tolerance since this was a special occasion for them. They wanted the best for their annual event. The positive word-ofmouth received for the hotels from friends and online sources also played a part in raising their service expectations. In addition, the awards and accreditations won by both hotels were impressive. In fact, they had higher service Secretly, Mr Lovey called up both expectations for Quincy as they will hotels to enquire whether they were pay a premium price (36% more) as willing to accommodate to a special request to give Ms Dovey a found out that the Quincy actually shared their carpark with The Elizabeth Hotel. Ms Dovey felt that Quincy should have stated it on their website to minimise confusion. The carpark was narrow and the turns were difficult to navigate. Signboards were put up to warn drivers of sharp turns so that they avoided damaging their car. When they arrive at the front desk, they were warmly greeted by Ruben, a guest relations officer. He checked the confirmation email printout, took a glance at his computer screen and gave them 22 21
  23. 23. their room security key cards. The system had specified that there was a special request for the room to be on a high-floor and away from the lift lobby. As such the couple was assigned a room in accordance to their requests. females tend to prefer something sweet, it did not cater her preferences. Upon seeing Ms Dovey’s disappointment, the bartender offered to try his hand at making a sweet concoction for her. Although the drink turned out awful, she thought that it was Ruben then personally led the heartening to know that the staff couple to their room. When they tried to remedy the situation. arrived, Ruben gave them a brief introduction to the features of the There were a few highlights for the room and the benefits they could couple during their stay. Mr Lovey enjoy during their stay. He also e n j o y e d t h e p o o l s i d e m o v i e h a n d e d t h e m a n e n v e l o p e experience. He was elated that containing the details which further there was free popcorn and cute communicated what he had just floats provided for the movie-goers. mentioned. All of a sudden, the Ms Dovey was delighted with the doorbell rang. When Ms Dovey baking class. The instructor was opened the door, there were five patient and helpful. There were also Quincy staffs who broke into a three eagle-eyed service staffs onbirthday song. There was a lovely site to assist couples who needed birthday cake with a bottle of red help. As a result, every single wine on a plush-looking trolley. It p a r t i c i p a n t w e n t h o m e w i t h was the surprise which Mr Lovey beautifully made cupcakes. Lastly, had planned. He had decided to the couple also observed that the have an early celebration of Ms service crew made effort to have Dovey’s birthday. short friendly conversations with So far, the staycation has been enjoyable for the couple. After their swim, they spent their afternoon relaxing at the poolside lounge, where they enjoyed the city view. Mr Lovey utilized Quincy’s high speed internet to play online games, while Ms Dovey read a book. They also enjoyed watching shows on the cable channels provided on their television. When the shows were uninteresting, Mr Lovey simply used the cable Quincy provided to connect his laptop to the television. They could now watch movies from Mr Lovey’s laptop on a huge television screen. dinner guests. On the whole, the efforts put forth by the Quincy staff were appreciated by the couple and this made their staycation truly memorable. Post Encounter Stage 3pm the following day, the couple headed down to the front desk to check out. There was short queue which cleared within a few minutes. The bill was presented to Mr Lovey who presented his credit card for payment.Together with the receipt summarizing the bill, a complementary parking ticket was issued to Mr Lovey. A bellboy offered to carry the couple’s items In the evening, after dinner, they to their car. However, Mr Lovey headed down to the bar for a drink. politely refused help since they Unfortunately, Ms Dovey was could manage their own bags. disappointed that mainly hard liquor was being served. As As Mr Lovey drove towards the exit barriers of the carpark, he noticed a large sign reminding guests to remove their cashcard from the vehicle’s IU and to insert the complementary ticket into the machine. The large sign was put up to prevent instances when guests accidently paid for parking. The moment Mr Lovey reached home, he found that Quincy’s reservations department had sent him an email. In the email, they thanked Mr Lovey for choosing Quincy and hoped that he had enjoyed his stay. The email also encouraged him to post up any feedback he had on their Facebook wall. #4 Medical Tourist for Quincy Pre-Purchase Stage Need Awareness His main need would be convenience of service and location of the hotel after being discharged from the hospital. Need for the hotel to be located at near proximity to Mount Elizabeth, and for added convenience such as easy access to food, and of a tranquil and comfortable environment for his well-needed rest after surgery. Information Search As Quincy has a tie up with Mount Elizabeth hotel, Mr Suharto was actually being recommended by the hospital to take up the Quincy’s “Pink of Health” package, a package that is specially catered to medical tourists. He would be attracted to Quincy’s “ P i n k o f H e a l t h ” p ro23 t i o n , mo 22
  24. 24. catered to Mount Elizabeth’s medical travellers offering added convenience, greater value and extra care. In addition, as Quincy offers 24/7 “Assist-on-call” service, so to ensure that care will be always available when needed, complimentary daily buffet breakfast, set lunch and dinner and complimentary laundry service as well, all these attributes are critical for a medical guest who seeks for untroubled recuperation. Hyatt before, he knows that he would not be able to enjoy the same amount of benefits and convenience as we would get from Quincy for the same amount of price. Furthermore, with Quincy being the only hotel that has tie up with Mount, Mr Suharto was certain on his decision for Quincy hotel. Post Encounter Stage As Mr Suharto flight back to Indonesia was scheduled to depart at 5pm, he enjoyed the privilege of a late check-out service for the “Pink of Health” guest package. When Mr Suharto check-out at 3pm, the service guest officer had Service Encounter Stage arranged for a taxi for him upon request from him, and had readily Upon checking out from Mount informed the taxi driver on Mr Elizabeth, even with just a mere five Suharto’s destination. minutes’ walk from Mount Elizabeth to Quincy, Quincy had arranged a complimentary limousine service # 5 L o c a l F a m i l y f o r On top of these critical attributes, for Mr Suharto to be picked up and Swissôtel The Stamford Mr Suharto was also attracted to sent directly to the hotel. the following supplementary services of Quincy’s “Pink of Upon arrival, the doorman readily Pre-Purchase Stage Health” package: helped Mr Suharto to unload his • G u a r a n t e e d r o o m s f o r luggage, and guided him to the Need Awareness Mount Elizabeth hospital’s Quincy reception counter, where a patients for booking made f e m a l e g u e s t s e r v i c e o f fi c e r W i t h t h e F o r m u l a 1 S i n g Te l 24 hours before check-in specially attended to him, so as to S i n g a p o re G r a n d P r i x d a t e s • Guaranteed extension of ensure that the check-in procedure nearing, Mr. Tang and family intend stay if guests still do not feel could be done in the shortest time for the guest to rest in the room as to fully immerse themselves in the well enough to check-out soon as possible. F1 fever by having an extended • Complimentary late checkweekday stay at a trackside hotel out till 3pm In less than five minutes, Mr and getting tickets to catch some • Complimentary minibar, Suharto was then being guided to his room by the bellboy, whom also action at the race circuit. They replenished daily helped him with his luggage. Once expect the trackside hotel to be in • Complimentary Wi-Fi to in the room, the bellboy gave a close proximity to the race track, allow him to keep in touch short comprehensive guide to Mr and the view from the hotel rooms a n d u p d a t e h i s f a m i l y Suharto on available room facilities, or dining places to be spectacular. members on his health as well as demonstrating to him on condition, and also to how to use the motorised black out In additional, the F1 promotional attend to important work curtain and the 24/7 “Assist-On- package offered by the hotel must be comprehensive, ensuring that matters via internet and Call” service. Skype every aspect of their stay from • The king-size mattresses Throughout the entire stay, Mr dining to entertainment is taken d r a p e d w i t h f e a t h e r Suharto spent his entire time within care of. Given that most of the beddings and feather pillow the hotel premise, as he did not trackside hotels have 4-5 stars will allow guests have an have the need to leave the hotel at accreditation, the Tang family absolutely comfortable rest all when all his meals and laundry expects the service standards • The availability of motorised services are provided by the hotel. rendered to be top-notch. He spent most of his time in his full black-out curtain in room resting or using the every room will allow guests complimentary Wi-Fi service to It would be a bonus for Mr. Tang to have an uninterrupted Skype with his family and reply and family if they could catch a sleep even during the day. work-related emails, and will glimpse of their faved international sometimes just relax by the pool celebrities and F1 Ferrari drivers in side during the day while reading Purchase Decision the hotel they choose to stay. Mr. an e-book on his Kindle. Tang had read that it is customary As Mr Suharto had visited Singapore and stayed in hotels for the competing drivers and such as Martitus Mandarin and distinguished guests to be housed 24 23
  25. 25. in one of Singapore’s trackside hotels throughout the entire duration of the F1 race, though the hotel these celebrities would stay in is not publicly disclosed. Without insider information, Mr. Tang has no clue as to which hotel his faved Ferrari team would be residing in, therefore, he is unable to include this factor into his decision making process. It would be an incentive if the hotel could provide an immersive F1 experience by displaying F1 decorations in the lobby like race car displays or giving away commemorative F1 collectibles which they could add to their existing collection of F1 collaterals and race car models. Information Search head of the family. Mr. Tang eliminates Grand Park City Hall whose location is not as strategic and whose package is less luxurious and extensive in comparison to that of other hotels in his consideration set. The search attributes that are of importance to Mr. Tang would be the location, exclusive or personalized benefits for F1 hotel guests and the cost factor. Ideally, the hotel should be located in the prime location where his family can catch all the action. Mr. Tang does not mind paying a premium for a hotel with a strategic location for F1-watching to make the experience worthwhile. Mr. Tang is looking out for exclusive or personalized benefits which the hotels would provide for the F1 hotel guests to ensure a unique and memorable experience for his family. Mr Tang searched for F1 hotel promotional packages at the Singapore Grand Prix website and actively read news articles and customer reviews of trackside hotels in the previous years. Lastly, Mr. Tang is concerned about how cost-competitive the F1 hotel Having conducted his research, the package is. While he is mentally hotels in Mr Tang’s consideration prepared to spend quite a hefty set which meet the criteria of amount on the F1 hotel package, having attractive F1 promotional he is aware that there are several deals, close proximity to the race alternatives available, hence he track, high service standards and wants to get the best deal with the spectacular view of the F1 circuit money he’s spending and hopes to from the hotel premises are as m a k e e a c h p e n n y c o u n t i n follows: exchange for the luxury. 1. Swissôtel The Stamford 2. Ritz Carlton 3. Marina Oriental 4. Fullerton 5. Grand Park City Hall Evaluation of alternatives The responsibility of making the decision as to which trackside hotel to stay in fell squarely on Mr. Tang’s shoulders, given the Asian patriarchal mentality that decision making should be done by the male A number of perceived risks came to mind as he sought to finalize his decision on which hotel to pick. The risks include: ● Functional – Unsatisfactory performance outcomes e.g. “Will the hotel rooms offer a spectacular view of the circuit as I have expected?” ● Financial – Monetary loss, unexpected extra costs e.g. “Will there be additional charges not stated in the package?” ● Sensory – Unwanted impact on any of five senses e.g. “Will the room be entirely soundproof and conducive as a work environment?” ● Psychological – Personal fears and emotions e.g. “Will the entire experience be a positive and memorable one?” ● Social – How other think and react e.g. “Will my friends be impressed by my selection of the trackside hotel to stay in?” Service Expectations After reading the raving customer reviews and news articles of the receptivity of customers to the trackside hotels’ F1 packages, Mr. Tang develops a positive prepurchase expectation and zone of tolerance of what to encounter upon arrival and during his stay at the hotel. Purchase Decision Mr. Tang selected Swissôtel The Stamford after an evaluation of the following key attributes that are important to him. In terms of location, Swissôtel The Stamford is one of the best choices as it is in the heart of the world’s first night street circuit provided guests with a myriad of superb vantage points from its luxurious guest rooms and food & beverage outlets, boasting the most extensive views of the Formula One racetrack all round. The Fullerton is also ideally placed for the action, as the hotel is located trackside at the extreme hairpin Turn 13 of the closed-street circuit. Guests on the Fullerton's rooftop lounge get an incomparable view of the track, together with multiple flat-screen monitors showing close-ups of the race. Marina Oriental lost out to 25 24
  26. 26. Swissôtel and Fullerton in terms of p ro x i m i t y t o t h e F 1 c i rc u i t . Comparing the shortlisted hotels Swissôtel and Fullerton, Swissôtel proves to be the better of the two in terms of proximity to the racetrack because in 2011, it was reputed to house sponsors and teams from BMW Sauber, Ferrari and Honda, and played host to numerous VIPs and dignitaries during the F1 season, so its location should be more central to where all the action would be. The fact that it had staged numerous stellar corporate events and activities, which saw top international celebrities and worldclass Formula One drivers such as Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, walk through its doors, affirmed his decision. In terms of providing exclusive or personalized benefits for the F1 hotel guests to ensure a unique and memorable experience, Swissôtel The Stamford proves to be a superior option due to its excellent track record. The BMW Sauber F1.07 racecar displayed at its lobby was a favourite photo-spot, captivating both passers-by and guests within the hotel in 2011. Hotel guests enjoyed special collectible F1 amenities which they could take home as souvenirs after the race. Earplug sets were placed in every room, whilst guests at track facing rooms and suites were given a set of binoculars and treated to racecar chocolates as part of their turndown service. More than 7,500 of these commemorative F1 items were given out during the F1 weekend, leaving guests with a memorable F1 experience at Swissôtel The Stamford. The benefits offered by Fullerton like exclusive racing cocktails: The Fullerton Hairpin and Monte Carlo Hairpin (see inset image), both created by the head bartender of The Fullerton’s Post Bar, in 2011, paled in comparison. Since Marina Oriental and Grand Park City Hall did not offer privileges not specific to the F1 context in 2011, Mr. Tang does not expect them to do so in 2012, and therefore eliminated these two hotels from his consideration set. The package cost for 3 nights’ stay with F1 tickets at Swissôtel was S $4,250++ for each F1 package in 2011. For Fullerton, it cost S $2,000++ for a Courtyard Room and S$3,500++ for a Quay Room overlooking the circuit. For Marina Oriental, it was S$9,999++ for each F1 package in the Premier Suite. Grand Park City Hall’s package stood at S$580++ per night for Superior Room and S$600++ per night for Deluxe Room. Reviewing these costs, Mr. Tang is delighted that Swissôtel’s pricing falls within the median, which matches his willingness to pay. from the taxi, a doorman promptly opened the taxi door and greeted t h e m c o u r t e o u s l y. M r. Ta n g informed him that they were hotel patrons who wanted to check into the hotel, and the doorman swiftly gestured to the bell boy to help Mr. Tang unload their belongings and transport the luggage to the lobby. The four of them were ushered into the warmly lit lobby. Mrs. Tang and the children took a seat on the couch while Mr. Tang proceeded to the check-in counter with their hotel booking confirmation slip. There was no queue at the checkin counter, and Mr. Tang’s booking details were verified and processed within a matter of 2 minutes. He was presented with the room key by a smiling service personnel who wished him an enjoyable stay at the hotel and an exciting weekend ahead. Throughout the entire stay, Mr. Tang and family spent most of their time within the hotel premise, except a few occasional visits to Raffles City Shopping Centre. Service Encounter Stage Post Encounter Stage On 21 September 2012, at 6pm after work and school, Mr. Tang and family arrived at Swissôtel in high spirits. They chose to take a taxi to the hotel because of driving because they did not plan to spend much time outside the hotel and t h e F 1 c i rc u i t . F u r t h e r m o re , Swissôtel is conveniently located to the F1 race track and to the Mass Rapid Transit station Cityhall so transport would not be an issue even if they decide to spontaneously decide to travel to other parts of Singapore during their hotel stay. The check-out process was a smooth and hassle-free one because of the queue configuration. The bill presented to him accurately reflected the goods and services the family had consumed during the hotel stay. The frontline staff asked if he would like to fill up a feedback form, to which he gladly obliged. When the family left the lobby, the doorman efficiently flagged a taxi. The bellboy loaded their entire luggage into the taxi swiftly and thanked them for patronising Swissôtel. When the family of four alighted 26 25
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