Communication in an organisation is an important factor that is meant to promote relationships among the shareholders and the key participants. It is through communication that one party can be able to send a signal to the other party, on them cooperating for a mutual benefit (Aswathappa 2005). Communication in the business world can either be an internal communication or external communication. The internal communication is meant to promote coordination within the workforce of a given business organisation on an attempt to increase efficiency and enhance a push toward the attaining of the organisation's goals. External communication involves the general communication of the organisation to the public, where the information flow is either from the public to the organisation or from the organisation to the public. The public might be requiring some information about the operations of some organisation on them making some decisions, more especially concerning the organisation's products and services. An organisation may also need information from the public, that will enable the organisation to adapt some desirable qualities and practices that will enable it serve the public satisfactorily (Wood 2000).
Communication, and more especially the one that involves the flow of information between an organisation and the public, creates a public relation between the organisation and the public. This is enhanced through the organisation sending information to the public through various means and and at the same time receiving information from the public as a response or an inquiry. The information from the public can be used by the organisation for the purposes of decision making, that will enable the organisation to serve the public according to their expectations.
The paper addresses on how to develop a communication plan, that is meant to improve an organisation profitability through an increased customer base. The discussion is based on the hospitality industry, that is the Boulevard Hotel in the London (http://www.boulevardhoteluk.com/). The Boulevard Hotel is located at the heart of London, which is just a few minutes walk from Paddington Station. The paper starts by first looking at nature of the hospitality industry, the significance of effective communication in the industry, the logical framework of the communication process toward achieving the objective of the Boulevard hotel, the communication plan, the evaluation of the various phases of communication plan and then lastly the designing of the budget.
The hospitality industry is a service provider and the same time a producer of goods. The main goods produced are food substances. The industry involves a one on one interaction with the public, that make a large portion of the industry customers (Khanka 2007). The relationship that is created between the customers and a specific restaurant determines the the customer's loyalty following their experience while in the restaurant. The customers who are served according to their expectations are certain to come back expecting to receive a same treat. The customers whose experiences in the restaurant were not pleasing are certain not to come back because they will be expecting to receive the same nasty treat. Therefore, public relation is important in the hospitality in an attempt of the Boulevard hotel trying to create loyalty.
The hospital industry provide a site over which the public can seek pleasure and also access some goods for consumption. The consumers in the industry have varied preferences and tastes, where the desire for various customers are likely to differ. Following the varied tastes and preferences, the Boulevard hotel requires a communication channel that is meant to provide the Boulevard hotel's personnel with the informations related to the desire of each customer. The channel of communication will provide an information about the best possible ways on how to treat a given customer if customer satisfaction was to be attained with an aim of creating loyalty among the customers (Ruler and Vercic 2004). The channel of communication between the customers and the Boulevard hotel need to be accurate, in the sense that, it should convey information as provided from the source and the response should also be got clearly if the communication was to be effective.
Following the impact of customer experience in the hospitality industry, there arises the need for the Boulevard hotels operating under this industry to initiate a communication channel over which they will be receiving information from the public on how they expect to be treated while in the restaurant's premises. The communication channel will provide information to the Boulevard hotel about the desires of the customers, for the purposes of decision making (Frey 2002). This is directed towards ensuring customer satisfaction, in the process of creating customer loyalty. The customer loyalty will ensure the Boulevard hotel's profitability in the current and the future because of the retained customers. This will be reflected in a less restrained income flows across the trading periods, that imply n average improved performance of the organisation. The loyalties that have already been created are also likely to improve the Boulevard hotel's customer base following the possibility of the retained customers advocating for the Boulevard hotel's services and goods to other members of the public (Roberts 2004). It is cheap to maintain the old customers than getting new customers because the the the old customers already have enough information as pertains to the services and the goods of the Boulevard hotel. This will have an impact of reducing the Boulevard hotel's operations, that will be reflected in increased profit margin. Boulevard hotel will be expected to invest more in the process of supplying information and convincing new customers compared to the old customers. The only information that the old customers need is the changes in price, and the quality of the services and goods provided by the Boulevard hotel. Therefore, the communication is meant to enable the Boulevard hotel to access information from the customers. The information will be used for decision making on how to treat the customers on creating loyalties. The loyalties created through this process will improve the Boulevard hotel's performance through the increased sales.
Following the nature of the hospitality industry, the purpose of communication is to first create awareness about the existence of the Boulevard hotel and the products that Boulevard hotels offers. Then after creating creating public awareness, the Boulevard hotel is expected to collect information from the customers while in the business premise. The last stage involve the collecting of information from the customers on departure. The communication process will take place in three phases. The three phases are provided as follows;
The main purpose of creating public awareness is to inform the public about the existence of the Boulevard hotel, the products that it offers, the quality, the location, and the prices of the products and services offered. The theme of the Boulevard hotel will also be spelled out at this stage, where the theme is the bottom line of the general experience that the customers are likely to expect from the Boulevard hotel. At this point the Boulevard hotel will target the general public. The means that will be used for transmitting the information will be the mass media, that will include the radio stations, the Internet and the print media.
The Boulevard hotel will choose to advertise using the radio stations that are listened much by the public, following their reputable programmes. The advertisements in these radio stations will also be scheduled in the times when favourite programmes are being listened to. This will ensure a cost effective advertisement because it is likely to reach a large number of persons at a time. The scheduling of the advertisement is based on the assumption that the public is busy in doing other things other than listening to radio all day long, thus scheduling the advertisement in the time when a large number people is listening (Foster 2001). This will make the advertisement cost effective and significant in creating public awareness. The same strategy will be followed with the use televisions as a means for creating public awareness.
The Boulevard hotel will design its own website on which the Boulevard hotel profile will be given, the products offered, the expected experience and the prices of various products and services offered by the Boulevard hotel. Apart from the Boulevard hotel designing its own website, it will also create links to websites that are commonly visited including yahoo among other websites (Philips 2001). This form of communication will be effective following the technological changes that has occurred in the recent past, where most of the world population is glued to the Internet for both for information search and communication (Cutlip and Center 1992).
The use of print media will involve the making of advertisements through the major dailies that are accessible within the target region. The print media that will be used include the news papers, journals, directories among other related print media. The choice of the print media will be determined by the extend to which the media is popular, and this will be established by first undertaking a research on their popularity by the use of secondary information (Levine 1999).
This phase of communication is meant to collect information from the customer on arrival in the business premise. The aim of collecting information from the customer at this stage is to establish the customer's preferences and tastes. This information will be used to provide a preferential treatment to each customer. Treating customers in a preferential manner in relation to their varied preferences and tastes, will ensure that their experience while in the business premises is pleasing to them (Weintraub and Pinkleton 2006). This will ensure customer satisfaction. The Communication at this stage will be enhanced using different forms of communication that will include informal interviews and filling of questioners.
The informal interviews and the filling of questioners will be done by personnels who are well trained. The purpose for the exercise to be done by specialized experts is to eliminate the possibility of the visitors feeling bothered while being in the business premises. The interviewers will be acting as giving them directives and information but in an inquisitive manner, that will make the customers wish to spell out their desires other than asked directly (Baines, Egan, Jefkins and William 2003). That is, the interviewers will be acting as ushers in the Boulevard hotel, but with an aim of collecting the necessary information from the customers on arrival. The administering of the questioners will be presented in a friendly manner, that will create an image in the customer's mind that the administration of the questioners is meant to provide the Boulevard hotel with the information regarding their contacts. This will sound to the customer as being valued so much. However, the administration of questioner should be made a voluntary action, following an inducement by the interviewers in the form of attendants.
The collecting of information at the departure of visitors will be done in the form of an interview or filling of a questioner. The choice between the use of an informal interview or the administration of a questioner will depend on the customer's hurriedness on moving out of the business premise. The information collected at the departure of the visitors will be used by the management for decision making concerning the possible changes that need to be made to ensure customer satisfaction (Green 2006). The main questions at this phase include; how was their experience and how can the Boulevard hotel improve its services.
The second and third phases of communication are appropriate for the customers who are meant to stay in the business premises for a longer time, that is, over one hour. The visitors who bear a visit for less than ten minutes will be handled in a different manner on getting information from them. The attendants will be communicating with them while they are being served. That is, the conversations will be far fetched but aimed at collecting information. The attendants will start the conversation in a casual manner, aimed at making an inquiry on how they wish to be served.
The evaluation of the communication structure adapted by the Boulevard hotel will be done in various stages (Bland 2000). The evaluation of the first phase, that involves the creation of awareness will be done in the second phase of communication. The visitors will be asked on when and where they heard of the Boulevard hotel. This will provide an information on the most effective means of advertising. The information will be used for making choice on the best means for creating public awareness. The customer turnover after the advertisement will also be used as the measure for the first phase communication effectiveness.
Evaluation of the second phase will be done in the third phase of communication, where the customers will be asked of their experience in the business premises. This will provide an information about the extend to which their expectations were satisfied, depending on the information that they had given on how they wish to be treated on arrival. The third phase of communication that involve the collection of information on how to the Boulevard hotel can improve its services, will be evaluated through the number of loyalties that the Boulevard hotel will have attained for a specified period of time.
The communication budget will be elastic, implying that it will not be fixed. It will increase depending on the Boulevard hotel's productivity. This action is meant to control the excessive use of cash in communication that might affect the other operations of the Boulevard hotel. Adjustments on the budget will be guided by the effectiveness of various forms of communication. The approximated budget for the communication process will be based on the various channels that will be used that include radio broadcasting among other channels as identified above. The expenditure will be split into three phases of communication. The approximated budget that is meant to last for three months is as shown below;
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