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You are required to choose a recent service failure experience you have encountered.

You are to apply service quality and customer satisfaction theories learnt in class and analyse the service experience. You are then required to develop a service recovery strategy and customer service function that will assist in improving the customer post purchase behaviour and promote customer loyalty.

Your report must include following,

· Clear description of service delivery failure incident/scenario. Include analysis of the roles and scripts of the service personnel

· Based on theory studied in weeks 9-12, identify type of complaint, root cause.

· Propose a service recovery program and strategies for your chosen incident.

· Recommendations for maintain customer loyalty and retention in the same context of your incident/scenario.

Description of service delivery failure incident

Service Failure can be defined as a disruption of normal course of action which fulfills a requirement and or give the satisfaction to the final consumer. Key to success of a service company is the relationship that it creates and maintains with its regular customers. If any organization faces any problem then service users will become very dissatisfied and they will complain (Sørensen, Sundbo and Mattsson, 2013). The service firms need to implement effective strategies to handle these issues and situations. This report is focused on analyzing a service failure situation that has been experienced in a restaurant. In this, there is an application of different service quality and customer satisfaction theories to the given situation. Furthermore, it proposes service recovery strategies which can be used by any service company to avoid the situation of service failure. At the end, recommendations are provided for maintaining customer retention and loyalty in the above scenario.

Service Failure Incident 

Recently, I have visited a new restaurant for giving treat to my friends where I have faced a negative service encounter. We have arrived to restaurant at 6:30 PM to beat the rush. The service personnel greeted us and guided use to the dining area. One of the staff members gave the food menu and wine list and told that he will be coming back. When I read the menu, I overheard other people discussing about the dinner choices of menu. I could not get those food items in the menu. The people at the restaurant were busy in cleaning the tables and taking orders while we waited patiently. At the restaurant, I have seen that there was not enough staff to serve the orders of guests. Moreover, I was in awe situation when I saw the waitresses using her hands in placing garnishments into drinks and one of them smelt the drinks before serving to the visitors. It indicates that they were not professional at their work and they were not trained properly in preparing the food and drinks ordered by restaurant visitors. By seeing these things in the restaurant, we left the place without having drinks or food.

Overall, it was a service failure incident for me that made me and my friend very dissatisfied. It was a negative service encounter for us. The above incident shows that restaurant staff and waitress played a vital role in this service encounter. There failed to satisfy the needs and demands of their customers as they are compromising on providing effective quality of service at restaurant.

Identification of complaint and root cause based on theory

Type of Complaint

By analyzing the situation, it can be stated that it is an instrumental type of complaint that is expressed for the objective of changing an undesirable state of affairs. At this restaurant, there were the issues related to service delivery, employee scarcity and professionalism in offering food services (Magnini and Simon, 2016). These are the issues which are undesirable and they can be changed by the management team of restaurant.

Root Cause

In this situation, the root cause of this negative service encounter is explained below:


It can be stated that the management team of this responsible for this service failure. In this situation, the source of failure is service provider and service firm. At restaurant, the customers are facing the issues due to shortage of employees and professionalism in food preparation. There was ineffective management of employee’s shift that delayed the order taking and serving time for visitors (Wilson, 2012).


Yes, the cause of this service failure likely to recur. This is the cause that can be recurring in the future with other customers also. If restaurant management team will not be able to have enough staff and conduct hospitality management training program for its chefs and waitresses. Otherwise, it can cause dissatisfaction to other guests as well.


No, responsible party (restaurant management team) did not have control over the reason behind this service failure.

SERVQUAL Modell is a model that is designed to capture the expectations and perceptions of customers of a service along five dimensions which are believed to show quality of service. It is used to compare the performance of service quality with the service quality needs of customers. The gaps in organization’s service quality can be identified (Mostafa, et al, 2015). To understand this gap, five dimensions of service quality are discussed below:


Tangible shows the physical facilities, equipment, personal resources and communication. At chosen restaurant, there were so many things in tangibles which create dissatisfaction to customers like preparation and serving of food at restaurant and issues related to food menu etc. They were not professional in preparing the ordered food.


By looking at this component, the visitors can analyze the ability of restaurant to offer the services timely and accurately. They will evaluate that restaurant is offering services on pre-determined time. The chosen restaurant was failed to fulfill this expectation of customers as they were not paying more attention on visitors. It can dissatisfy the visitors to avail the services of restaurant. It indicates that there is gap in the customer expectations and service offerings.

Proposed service recovery program and strategies


Responsiveness is an important component that the visitors at restaurant can use to analyze its services. The above-mentioned service failure incident shows that staff at restaurant was not showing the willingness to help the visitors when even the restaurant was not busy. They have delayed in taking the order that create dissatisfaction among guests. It is very important for a hospitality organization to help the guests with excellent and quality services in order to make them loyal (Amin and Nasharuddin, 2013).


To analyze this aspect of service, the visitors will look at the courtesy and behavior of management team and employees at restaurant. At this restaurant, the behavior of staff was not good and they were ignoring the customers. The waitresses were not professional in preparation of food and drinks. For restaurant, it is significant for service organization staff to have knowledge and courtesy to convey the loyalty to visitors. In this, training program can help the staff to improve their skills.


Empathy refers to provide the personal caring and attention to all visitors in service organization. Through this aspect, the guests analyze that how this restaurant provides individualized services. The above situation shows that this restaurant needs to provide more attention to its customers (Raghubalan and Raghubalan, 2015).

Thus, the above theory indicates that the above organization is failed to provide the satisfactory services. It showcases that there was the differences in the perception of customers and significant of service attributes.

Service recovery strategies for the above incident are stated below:

Compensatory Strategies:

In order to overcome this situation, the restaurant should implement this strategy so that it can eliminate the service related dissatisfaction among customers. The service organization should provide different compensations and benefits to the customers who have experienced negative service encounter. The service failure can be overcome by providing coupons, discounts, and upgrades and gratis. It will help the restaurant to regain dissatisfied customers (Hoffman, Kelley and Rotalsky, 2015).

Restoration Strategy:

In addition to above, the food organization can implement restoration strategy also under which it can make corrections in its services. Under this, it should hire more skilled and experienced employees so that they can provide improved service experience to its customers. It should conduct training program for its staff so that they can learn about food preparation and serving techniques.

The above service recovery program and strategies will assist the restaurant to provide satisfactory services and successful service encounter to its visitors (Ryu and Lee, 2017).

After analyzing the above scenario, it is hereby recommended that this restaurant should use effective strategies to retain the customers and improve loyalty among customers. The restaurant staff should learn from the recovery experience and customers and make the changes in its service delivery process. It should develop a proper perspective as per the needs and demands of customers. They should stay in touch with the customers like they should wish them on their birthdays and anniversaries (Wilson, 2012). Moreover, the restaurant should improve the skills and behavior of its employees so that they can satisfy the customers. One of the most effective ways to retain the customers is that this restaurant should take customers’ feedback and consider their complaints. It will assist the restaurant to retain customers for long term and increase their loyalty towards its services.


In the limelight of above discussion, it can be concluded that service failure can be defined as disturbance in the services. The organizations need to use service recovery strategies so that they can provide satisfactory services to its customers. The above report includes the service incident which had adverse impact on the customers’ perception and satisfaction level. In modern business environment, each and every service organization should adopt effective practices and strategies to provide excellent services to customers.


Amin, M., and Nasharuddin, S. (2013) Hospital service quality and its effects on patient satisfaction and behavioural intention. Clinical Governance: An International Journal, 18(3), 238-254.

Hoffman, K.D., Kelley, S.W. and Rotalsky, H.M., (2015) Restaurant service failure and recovery analysis. In Proceedings of the 1994 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference (pp. 193-193). Springer, Cham.

Magnini, V. P., and Simon, C. J. (2016) A Hotel Manager’s Handbook: 189 Techniques for Achieving Exceptional Guest Satisfaction. Apple Academic Press.

Mostafa, R.B., Lages, C.R., Shabbir, H.A. and Thwaites, D., (2015) Corporate image: A service recovery perspective. Journal of Service Research, 18(4), pp.468-483.

Raghubalan, G. and Raghubalan, S, (2015) Hotel Housekeeping: Operations and Management, Oxford University Press.

Ryu, K. and Lee, J.S., (2017) Examination of restaurant quality, relationship benefits, and customer reciprocity from the perspective of relationship marketing investments. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 41(1), pp.66-92.

Sørensen, F., Sundbo, J., and Mattsson, J. (2013) Organisational conditions for service encounter-based innovation. Research Policy, 42(8), 1446-1456.

Wilson, A., Zeithaml, V.A., Bitner, M.J. and Gremler, D.D., (2012) Services marketing: Integrating customer focus across the firm (No. 2nd Eu). McGraw Hill.

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