The Power of Words: A Case Study of Service Language in an Australian Five-Star Hotel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Service organisations rely heavily on employees’ abilities to communicate well with guests and adapt their communication to situational requirements of encounters. Considered a critical soft skill, effective interpersonal communication is mainly dependent on processes of dialogue between employees and customers or guests, and consequently, employees’ spoken communication skills and their use of service language. Although critical to superior service design and management, the diverse ways in which employees talk and interact with customers or guests often receive limited managerial attention. This case uses empirical data from five-star hotels to present a detailed scenario of how hotel employees use service language in the fictional case of Hotel Millennium. The service language model underpins the case as a theoretical framework, enabling students to critically analyse the complexity of talk and interaction used during service encounters by applying the various constructs of the model. This will allow students to explore strategies to enhance service language in service design, delivery and management and ultimately improve the soft skill of interpersonal communication.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase Based Research in Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Events
EditorsMarianna Sigala, Anastasia Yeark, Rajka Presbury , Marcela Fang , Karen A. Smith
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
PublisherSpringer London
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-16-4671-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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