This study was conducted through a questionnaire survey. The sample was taken from the front office staff of 10 luxury hotels across Mumbai. The sample comprised 105 employees from the front office staff of the hotels. The respondents were from managerial levels ranging from junior (less than four years work experience) to top management (more than 20 years of work experience). They were all well-educated (that is, Bachelor’s degree or more). The reason for choosing different respondents is to ascertain the competencies across a broader spectrum of managers. The sample was drawn using Judgment and Convenience Sampling.
The questionnaire had 16 items under five constructs. The constructs had emerged from the literature review undertaken in the beginning to understand the relevance of foreign language proficiency of employees of star hotels.
• Service attentiveness (4 statements)
• Customer Satisfaction (3 statements)
• Revenue Contribution through suggestive selling (4 statements)
• Career Progression and Job satisfaction (3 statements)
• Brand Image (2 statements)
DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSIONS
Service attentiveness has the highest mean of 4.27 (Table 1). This factor consisted of four dimensions – Redressal of grievances, Safety and Security, Medical emergencies and Empathy. The four dimensions on the questionnaire converging on this factor were rated using a five -point Likert-type response format anchored by 1 (strongly disagree) and 5 (strongly agree). Each of the dimensions in the factor was analyzed as per the percentage of responses under four headings – strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree and strongly agree. Out of these four dimensions Redressal of Grievances is ranked highest reflected through its highest mean of 4.35. Redressal of Grievances is needed in the dynamic and customer driven luxury hotel segment in the presently existing competitive Indian market. Customer satisfaction is the factor that is ranked second with a mean of 4.22(Table 1). This includes the three dimensions of – Greetings and Salutation, Creating a comfort zone, Anticipating Special needs. Out of these Creating a comfort zone is ranked highest reflected through its highest mean of 4.44. Creating a Comfort Zone goes a long way in putting the international guests at ease.
Career Planning and Job Satisfaction which consists of the dimensions of Enjoyable Work Profile, Promotion (Domestic Property) and Promotion (International Property) is ranked third with a mean of 4.09. Enjoyable Work Profile is given more importance with mean of 4.23. The respondents felt that interaction with culturally different international customers makes their job more enjoyable. Revenue Contribution which consists of the dimensions of Possibility of Upgradation of rooms increased usage of in-house recreational amenities, Encouraging guests to order variety of cuisines, Special packages and Discounts is ranked fourth with a mean of 4.02. Out of these Possibility of Upgradation of rooms is ranked highest with a mean of 4.15. Communicating with International customers in their own language enhances the possibility of upgrading the rooms (for e.g. moving from luxury suites to Presidential suites) thereby increasing revenue contribution. This is also helpful in attracting the customers through special packages and discounts (3.99). Brand Image as a factor has been ranked fifth with a mean of 4.01 and includes the dimensions of – Edge over competitors and Goodwill. The first dimension i.e. Edge over Competitors is ranked highest by the respondents with a mean of 4.04. Foreign language proficiency helps the organization in getting an edge over its competitors thereby strengthening the brand image.