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19 Oct
2020

Singapore’s Historic Raffles Hotel Reopens Following two-year: Marketing Management Assignment, RMIT, Singapore

Category:ACADEMICIAN

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Project Details:
Singapore’s historic Raffles Hotel reopens following two-year makeover Singapore’s historic Raffles Hotel has officially reopened to guests following extensive renovations that left the hotel completely closed for about two years.
During a recent visit to the hotel, just days prior to its official 1st August reopening, the excitement among staff is palpable — and no one is more thrilled than general manager Christian Westbeld to see their years of conceptualizing and hard work finally on display to the world.
“We think this will never be done again on this scale,” he tells CNN Travel. “We’ve taken this renovation very seriously and we’ve put a lot of effort and time into it. The extended time it took has been wisely invested.
“The hotel is a lot fresher. Areas look a lot brighter, they look a lot lighter, they look a lot more inviting and approachable, which is something that we wanted to achieve. We wanted to re-look at luxury — not being stiff, formal and intimidating but rather engaging and conversational. It’s very comfortable and beyond anything that is available in Singapore.
Question 1
a) Discuss the four (4) characteristics of services in the context of Raffles Hotel, including how they have implemented or could implement strategies to overcome the challenges posed by these four characteristics of services. for question 1a. highlighted in yellow are some info from textbooks and research.
Background of Raffles Hotel Service (Before the renovations):
Raffles Hotel emphasizes on personalized services and insists on a high staff to guest ratio of 2:1.
By providing sufficient resources, the hotel’s management ensures that the staff is not overstrained so that the high level of customer care expected from them is not compromised.
Staff is encouraged to interact with guests in order to get to know each guest’s preferences and needs, so as to deliver personalized services.
They are also trained to observe and attend to the smallest needs of guests.
Raffles Hotel employed a differentiation-based focused strategy targeting at upscale customers.
This strategy is successful because the target market niche is wealthy enough to be profitable and offers good growth potential. They are extremely rich and will not consider other top-end hotels to be alternatives. They are willing to pay a big price premium for the very finest items and top service available.
– Raffles  Hotel outperforms all the other hotels in almost all the attributes: service, location, sleep quality, room maintenance, value for money cleanliness.
– 79% of Raffles hotel customers gave the highest rating for overall hotel satisfaction.
Intangibility 
Means:  service provider’s task is to “manage the evidence,” to “tangibilize the intangible.”. Service companies can try to demonstrate their service quality through physical evidence and presentation.
Raffles hotel commitment to service is evident in: “As part of this commitment to service, all guests now have their own butler, who is the main point of contact and will disseminate requests to the appropriate team, from airport transfers and spa appointments to restaurant reservations and room service.” Guests can request assistance from their butler via the DigiValet app on the in-room tablets, which handily control the TV, lights, and air-conditioning as well.
Pros: Singapore will spot the tangible changes as soon as they step foot in the lobby, which no longer has a front desk. → Customers will check in to the hotel via online (Applications/website) → This implies that front desk staff can be assigned to other areas which require more support to which this enhances the service quality and efficiency
Cons: However, for those consumers who aren’t tech-savvy, is there someone assisting them with the check-in procedures? Will the butler be the one assisting them since they are their main point of contact?
Since butler is the main point of contact for the customers, what if consumers do not possess those phones that enables them to download applications? Let’s say they own a very old Samsung phone? How will they contact the butler?
Raffles Hotel’s ultra-touristy Long Bar, inventor of the original Singapore Sling
It is a mechanical sling shaker used in the hotel’s legendary Long Bar to help prepare the famous Singapore Sling cocktail.
The machine can mix up to 18 glasses of the cocktail at once, reducing the time taken to make each one from about eight minutes to under three.
Variability
The passage did not mention anything with regard to Raffles hotel creating a customer information and service database or employing customers’ suggestions and complaint systems to monitor customers’ satisfaction.
Does that mean that Raffles Hotel only monitors all suggestions/complaints via booking app/online booking website? Because if that’s the case, then it may affect the chances of some consumers wanting to book the hotel. Since the hotel is expensive, seeing negative reviews may cause customers to rethink if they stay at Raffles for Hotel will be value for the money.
Even though Raffles Hotel has been renovated to a more modernized look, they did not specifically mention anything with regard to Butler (the main point of contact) going through training to exhibit the six service quality: competence, courtesy, credibility, reliability, responsiveness, and communication → As a result, will there be variability among different butlers in terms of the service quality/efficiency?
Perishability
Demand-side: 
Unsure if Raffles Hotel provides its customers: complementary services such as cocktails/drinks provided to waiting for customers
Supply-side:
Raffles Hotel implements the Digitvalet Guest Room Management System (GRMS) to increase productivity and combat manpower issues and does the work of about three staff.
GRMS allows butlers to respond more quickly to guests.
“Previously, guests would press a service call button and a butler would arrive at their door within a few minutes to attend to them,”
guests can ask for the butler to call them and relay their requests over the phone rather than waiting for a butler to arrive at their room
Intangibility 
–  service provider’s task is to “manage the evidence,” to “tangibilize the intangible.”
– Place, people, equipment, communication materials, symbol, sign
Variability
3 steps firms can take to increase quality control
Invest in good hiring and training procedure
highly skilled professionals or low-skilled workers. Better-trained people exhibit six characteristics that improve service quality: competence, courtesy, credibility, reliability, responsiveness, and communication skill
Standardize the service-performance process throughout the organisation
Service blueprints can be helpful in identifying potential “pain points” for customers, developing new services, supporting a zero-defects culture, and devising service recovery strategies.
Monitor customer satisfaction
Perishability 
the service provider’s task is to “manage the evidence,” to “tangibilize the intangible.”
Strategies to produce a better match between service demand and supply:
On the demand (customer’s) side:
Differential pricing
Non-peak demand
Complimentary service
Reservation system
On the supply side:
Part-time employees can serve peak demand. Colleges add part-time teachers when enrollment goes up; Peak-time efficiency routines can allow employees to perform only essential tasks during peak periods. Paramedics assist physicians during busy periods.
Increased consumer participation frees service providers’ time. Consumers fill out their own medical records or bag their own groceries.
Shared services can improve offerings. Several hospitals can share medical-equipment purchases.
Facilities for future expansion can be a good investment. An amusement park might buy surrounding land for later development.
Singapore’s Historic Raffles Hotel Reopens Following two-year: Marketing Management Assignment, RMIT, Singapore

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