Ramada, like most mid-tier hotels, had become stagnant in customer service ratings. Management of Ramada Franchise Systems (RFS) knew that it was only a matter of time before ratings began to drop and true problems developed. RFS knew it was time to address the situation at hand. In doing so, RFS went to some of the leaders in customer service - Disney, Southwest Airlines, and Carlson Hospitality.
RFS knew up front that one of the largest obstacles was the fact that hiring processes varied from property to property, yet were eager to learn how to employ the right people and how to motivate those individuals. In planning, RFS wanted to include the "face-to-face employee input" with regard to hiring, training, and motivation.
To begin their approach, RFS must address the Management-Research Question Hierarchy to properly identify their dilemma and develop the management, research, investigative, and measurement questions. Based on the D.
K. Shifflet survey of customer satisfaction, RFS could accurately state their management dilemma as increasing customer satisfaction at their many properties.
With the dilemma stated, the management question would be how do we increase customer satisfaction? Research questions, which are the objective of the research study, would include - what can management do to improve customer satisfaction, how is employee attitude and motivation connected to customer satisfaction, should we add employee incentives to reward increased customer service ratings, and should we modify hiring and training procedures?The next step is determining the information decision makers need to know and answer to arrive at a conclusion - the investigative questions. Investigative questions would include how can we include employees in the decision making, how often should employees be awarded for their part in increasing customer service satisfaction, how should training be presented, and how involved should management be in training.