1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY: The continues growth of hotels and restaurants industry in Ghana of late have demanded for recruiting competent employees who have the in-depth knowledge and good human relationships with customers. This... more
1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY: The continues growth of hotels and restaurants industry in Ghana of late have demanded for recruiting competent employees who have the in-depth knowledge and good human relationships with customers. This requirement affords the employees the opportunity to interact with potential customers during the provision of customer services. For the past 10 years, customer service has become a major area of interest to Management of hospitality outlets and researchers in full service hotels and restaurants. Customer service has a resilient influence on promoting hospitality services which in the end leads to higher profitability margin (Baum, 2006). According to Mcquity, Finn and Willy (2000) A customer is someone who receives or consumes goods or services and has the capacity to select different product when the needs arise. Again, Turban et al, (2002) also assert that a service entails all activities and responses that customers recognise in their buying. This can be considered as the provision of service to customers before, during and after purchase of any products or services. Customers' in this modern world are not only concerned in the product or service they purchase but all the additional elements of service purchased from the owner or supplier. Much attention should be drawn when they enter a retail outlet and lodging complaints at the front desk or customer care unit. Satisfied customers are looking for unforgettable and dynamic experiences like good reception, excellent interpersonal communication and high quality of service where it counts. There is therefore the need for customer service in the organisation's like restaurant operations to develop loyal customer base and improve relationships with customers, since, loyal customer when satisfied repeat his/her visit and also promote the business through word of mouth recommendations. Customer service plays a vital role in the hospitality industry. Prominent amongst them is attracting new customers while maintaining existing ones. Many managers of the hospitality industry have however lost focus of this, as a vital component of the service delivery system. However, discovering this essential area is worth being researched upon. This is because customer service to most Ghanaians is an element linked to only big hotels and restaurants in Ghana. Poor customer service delivery is now a major problem especially in restaurant and other place of relaxation (Ghana Tourist Board, 2008). This appears to be as a consequence of inadequate technical knowhow and unskilled human resources recruited for such jobs. Abstract: Good customer service is one of the keys to success in any business, but is particularly important in the hotel and restaurant industry, where guests expect to receive quality service and warm reception. This research work assesses the contribution of customer service as a promotional tool in the hospitality industry in the Bolgatanga Municipality of Ghana. The qualitative research approach of data collection was used to capture the opinions, feelings, and experiences of respondents. Management and employees from the selected restaurants were selected using simple random and purposive sampling techniques to choose fifty (50) respondents from some selected restaurants in the Municipality. Questionnaires were the main instrument adopted for the study. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies, percentages counts were used and the results presented in tables using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software package. The study revealed that good and quality services were being offered to customers in most of the restaurants. Also, further findings indicated that some of the restaurants had special techniques in place to lure customers to their restaurants. The study also revealed that (58%) of the services provided by restaurants in Bolgatanga Municipality promote the operations of the restaurants. However, customers' complaints were also embraced by restaurants where most customers complained about the poor services provided by restaurant's and the poor customer and staff relationships of the restaurants. It was recommended that Management should pay attention to customers' complaints in order to satisfy their expectations. Further, management of restaurants should regularly conduct research activities in order to keep regular track about customer satisfaction level.