Understanding the Customer Experiences from the Perspective of Guests and Hotel Managers: Empirical Findings from Luxury Hotels in Istanbul, Turkey


Cetin G., Walls A.

JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY MARKETING & MANAGEMENT, vol.25, no.4, pp.395-424, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/19368623.2015.1034395
  • Journal Name: JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY MARKETING & MANAGEMENT
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.395-424
  • Keywords: customer experience, guest experience, experiential marketing, experience design, luxury hotels, phenomenology, TOURIST EXPERIENCE, SERVICE QUALITY, CONSUMPTION
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Customer experience has been acknowledged as an important factor affecting positive customer behaviors such as loyalty and recommendation. The hospitality industry is also considered to be among the experience-intensive services. This study aims to explore hospitality experiences from guests' and managers' perspectives through a qualitative study. A total of 33 luxury hotel guests and 14 hospitality managers in Istanbul, Turkey, were interviewed to determine factors affecting guest experiences. The content was then analyzed according to two major factorsphysical environment and social interactionsunder which eight major categories were grouped. The findings imply that ambiance, space/function/amenities, design, and signs/symbols/artifacts may be considered main themes under the physical environment factor, whereas under the social interactions factor, the guests' experiences can be grouped under interactions with staff (professionalism, attentiveness/customization, attitude) and interactions with other guests. The results offer valuable insights to managers regarding dimensions of guest experiences and possible misperceptions. The study also suggests various implications and directions for future research.