The Influence of Internal Customer Care on SMEs Employees’ Satisfaction: The Case of Hotel Industry in Tanzania (Review Completed - Accepted)
This article presents the findings of the study on the influence of internal customer care on satisfaction of employees. The hotels, as a business sector that largely utilizes customer care as a success factor was used as a case study. The paper utilizes data, which was 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. Based on the literature, the author developed a conceptual framework for analyzing the relationship between internal customer care and satisfaction of employees. The data show that customer care has become a celebrated concept in the existing literature, but the concept and its enticement is limited to taking care of the buyer at the expense of the internal customer, the employee. Indicative qualitative responses of the employees who were involved in the study show that those hotels, which honored internal customer care succeeded to improve employees’ morale and commitment, and thus leading to satisfaction. On the other hand, hotels that underplayed internal customer care proved that their employees were just saving external customers as away of protecting their employment and keeping their contractual obligations; on the other hand, they expressed a low degree of job satisfaction. The study recommended that hotels need to strategically invest in internal customer care as a way of augmenting external customer care.