Read the case carefully and then answer the problems which follow.
Case study: UNMET EXPECTATIONS
Naigani Island Resort is a tourist resort found on Naigani Island, one of the hundreds of islands forming part of Fiji Islands. This former British colony can boast of some of the best beaches and resorts in the world. It is not surprising that tourism is at present one of the pillars of the economy. However tourism, being a highly people-centered activity, ignoring this fact can have disastrous consequences.
Mrs Jones was born and brought up in the Fiji Islands. She studied abroad and did an MBA, with specialization in marketing. Subsequently she settled in Mauritius. In 1993 she visited Fiji, together with her family. It has always been her dream to spend a few days on an island resort and she was determined to fulfill her dream this time. By her nature, she likes to lookaround before making up her mind. Finally she opted for Naigani Island Resort. She remembered that her closest friend had spent his honeymoon on this island years ago. She did wonder then what the place looked like and this was an opportunity to satisfy both her curiosity and dream. From what she gathered from the agent, the place was paradisiacal and this was supported by the pamphlets given to her. She booked a bungalow for three days for her family and close relatives.
The group, consisting of seven adults and three children, left for Naigani on 4th December. After 45 minutes by van and a boat ride of 60 minutes, they reached the island. They were received by the traditional sound of drums. They were allotted a bungalow at the far end of the island. It consisted of several rooms, enough to accommodate everyone.
The rooms seemed not to have been cleaned since the last party left. There was no air conditioning. A kitchen was there, but no cooking facilities were provided. The group did not have intention of eating in the restaurant and they had brought along the necessary foodstuffs. They did manage the first day with prepared food they had with them. The beach was filthy, a far cry from what everyone had expected. Besides one could only go in the water at certain times of the day. The Island was electrified by a generator and in order to save on fuel, it was switched off by eight o’clock. The rest of the night was spent in the dark, killing mosquitoes and without fan. One lady had a one year old baby and she had to go all the way to the reception to get her vacuum flask filled with hot water. Mrs Jones and her sister complained several times to the manager about the lack of facilities but things did not improve.
The next day the Group managed to cook food by using firewood, collected during their stroll round the Island. For most of them two days were enough and on the third day Mrs Jones was left in the bungalow, only with her husband and five-year old son. The family, ignoring the various shortcomings of the place, made the best of their stay on the island.
The next day the three took the return journey by boat and then by the Resort’s van. The fare of the travel by the van had to be borne by the passengers. Mrs Jones refused to pay the fare and she was taken to the Head office in Suva city. There she met the owner of Naigani Island Resort. She voiced out her complaints. The owner agreed that the complaints ware all justified. He admitted that he had received similar complaints in the recent past. For him the problem was a problem of PEOPLE. He apologized for the inconvenience caused and offered Mrs Jones a complimentary card. The offer was for a family of three, who could spend one week-end at Naigani Island Resort, free of cost. The offer was valid for one year. He added that he would ensure that the problems faced by her and her relatives would not repeat. Mrs Jones was dropped home in the van. She was happy about her bargain.
Mrs Jones handed over the pass to one of her sisters, who had never visited the island. She was requested to make full use of the offer. However the ordeals of the group at Christmas was too strong a deterrent. The offer went waste !
(Prepared by B. Abacousnac, based on a true event.)
problem 1: Answer the following problems :
a) In which business is Naigani Island Resort?
- What is physical evidence ? How important is it in a business as the one mentioned in (a)?
- According to you did the Resort in general and the bungalow in particular ignore the elements constituting physical evidence?
Support your answer with facts from the case.
c) According to the owner the problem was PEOPLE .
Discuss the importance of People in the provision of the service discussed in the case.
- What is service failure ?
- Was there service failure in the case? Justify your answer.
- What is the profile of someone most likely to complain?
- Did Mrs Jones have the profile of a complainer? Justify your answer.
- What do you understand by the term service recovery? What is the main role of service recovery?
- Did the owner handle the complaint well? Was the customer satisfied?
- Propose a complaint handling process, which the owner of Naigani Island Resort can develop and implement in his organization.
- What do you understand by the positioning of a firm or Service?
- How was Naigani Island Resort positioned in Mrs Jones’ mind before her stay on the Island?
- Did the positioning change subsequently and if so how?
- describe how can a service provider like Naigani Island Resort, use positioning in its marketing strategy.