The quality of service is said to be the gap between customer expectations and the actual performance they receive. (Parasuraman et al, 1994. Tsang and Qu, 2000). When customers are pleased with the service they receive, they are likely to patronize the hotel again and again, which reduces advertising costs. In particular, previous studies have shown that the quality of service offered by front line personnel has a great impact on levels of customer satisfaction (Dunaway, 2002: McKenna, 2002). Furthermore, customer loyalty at hotels may be largely dependent on the quality of housekeeping services and the room itself. (Kandampully and Suhartanto, 2000. Parasuraman et al, 1991). These are some of the important elements that have been identified in the literature as contributing to customer perception of quality in service.
In developing a survey instrument, McDowell(2006) points out that the method used must set out a comparison between the theory vs the reality, which is the need identified that is to be examined in the survey. In this case, the theory identifies two important elements that are crucial in customer perception of service. They are (a) the quality of front line services and (b) the room and housekeeping services. The need identified in this study is to examine how these elements may be applicable specifically in four star hotels. On the basis of this, the survey instrument is to be designed.(McDowell, 2006:30-54).
In developing face validity for the questionnaire, it is necessary to address the following aspects – what is the need to test the items through the survey? Why do we need to ask these questions and how should they be asked? In this survey, the need that has been identified is that of testing perception of service quality in four-star hotels. The service quality is very important because four-star hotels are more expensive, therefore customers expect higher levels of service from these hotels.