EFFECT OF INTERNAL CUSTOMER CARE ON EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION IN TANZANIA’S SMALL AND MEDIUM HOTEL INDUSTRY ENTERPRISES (Published)
This article presents the findings of the study carried out in Tanzania on the influence of internal customer care on the satisfaction of employees. The hotels, which largely depend on customer care for their success in the hospitality industry, were used as a case study. The paper utilises data generated in two phases. The initial data was originally collected by the author during postgraduate diploma studies at the University of Dar es salaam in 2007. Supplementary data was collected between June and December 2012 using semi-structured and descriptive study. A sample of 79 respondents was selected purposive. Based on the literature, the author developed a conceptual framework for analysing the relationship between internal customer care and employee satisfaction. Although customer care has become a celebrated concept in the existing literature, the application appears limited largely to taking care of the buyer at the expense of the internal customer, the employee. Indicative qualitative responses of the employees in the current study show that those hotels, which honoured internal customer care boosted their employees’ morale and commitment, thus leading to job satisfaction, which is a crucial factor in promoting quality service in the hotel industry. On the other hand, hotels that downplayed and overlooked the significance of internal customer care mainly had employees who expressed a low degree of job satisfaction and just served external customers as strategy of protecting their employment and keeping their contractual obligations.. On the basis of these findings, the study recommends that hotels in this East African country need to invest strategically in internal customer care as a way of augmenting and promoting external customer care.