Hospitality and tourism

 Topic: As a service manager, in a perfect world, 100% of customers would proactively communicate with service firms when there were instances of failure or dissatisfaction. Once the service manager was aware of the customer dissatisfaction, the service manager would take steps to resolve the customer concerns, and the customer would be once again satisfied with the service experience. Do customers proactively communicate instances of service failure and dissatisfaction to their service provider? Why or why not? When a service failure occurs, what are the key steps a service manager should include in their service recovery? I have added in a template to follow, please try to use 3 different forms of research methods to cite (video, article, scholars article)


Service Failure and Recovery in the Hospitality and Tourism Sector

Service managers in the hospitality and tourism industry get complaints often from clients or customers regarding the services they receive, which could be either positive or negative. Service failure defines service performance that fails to meet the expectations and needs of a customer. Service failure or a company’s inability to meet client expectations leads to customer dissatisfaction and defection. Examples of failed service experiences include low-quality services, employees’ rude behaviors, and late deliveries. These results in customers not receiving what they are promised when checking into a hotel, restaurant, or travel agency. According to Mattila and Ro (2008), failed delivery systems lead to the largest number of service failure cases. In case of a service failure, do customers proactively communicate with the service managers about them, and if so, what steps do the managers take to mend these problems. It is crucial to analyze and discuss whether customers proactively communicate about service failures to service managers and the steps undertaken for service recovery.

Service Failure

When visiting a hotel, lodging, or a bed-and-breakfast, customers expect to receive the best service or as promised by a specific establishment. Failure to meet customers’ expectations leads to complaints regarding the business. In some cases, if the service failure is high, customers proactively communicate with the service managers regarding the establishment’s inability to keep its promise or even meet the basic services. Customers make lengthy reports regarding the quality of the services that had been promised versus what they received, reflecting their dissatisfaction. They make these complaints to receive compensation or get better services. Some customers do not bother to communicate with service managers regarding the failure of a hotel or an agency to provide quality services. Many businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry can provide better services. Therefore, in case of service failure, some individuals do not waste their time complaining but check out from that establishment or agency and go to another business. According to Snow (2010), poor performance in a business also reflects leaders’ failure to manage the operations more effectively. With this in mind, businesses and managers should aim to provide better services even when they do not receive complaints since not all individuals want to waste their time going to court or seeking compensation.

Service Recovery

Customers most often react proactively to service failures. Therefore, service managers or an entire business must take the necessary actions to mend their mistakes upon receiving a complaint. Service failure is common in the hospitality business; well, human is to error. However, recovering from such failures is challenging, and not many managers can handle the situation efficiently. Nevertheless, for every service failure, the service manager can take the necessary steps for service recovery. First, the service manager and other involved individuals should apologize and ask for the customers’ forgiveness (Shrestha, 2017). Here, after failing to provide the expected services, the manager can listen to the client attentively about what happened. After this, they apologize sincerely and genuinely. They can also provide the client with a full explanation of what led to the service failure. Secondly, the service manager should go over the complaint with the client. It is crucial always to analyze a complaint and find it is missing any information. This helps to understand and identify who caused the failure because, in some cases, the customers may be in the wrong and give false complaints. Here, the manager can also locate customers’ expectations and desires after experiencing the service failure.

The manager should then try to fix the problem and follow up with the results. The third step of service recovery involves trying to fix the failure with the most appropriate alternative and following up with the client (Shrestha, 2017). Here, the manager tries to determine if the establishment can improve or enhance the hotel’s quality of services or compensate a client. If it is compensations, the business can refund or return the money for the services not met. Lastly, the service manager should document and record the problem in detail. This step involves recording the complaints and problems experienced and the training of staff members for similar problems that may occur in the future. In other words, the experiences from the service failure inform the decision made regarding certain services and the training given to employees in a specific sector or department. According to Shrestha (2017), the most effective action for preventing service failure from recurring is documenting the problem experienced for thorough analysis and discussion during company meetings. 

Table 1

Service Failure Service Recovery
Some of the common examples of service failure include: 

  • Providing low-quality services to customers
  • Employees’ rude language and behaviors towards the clients
  • Late deliveries 
After receiving a complaint, the  manager should: 

  • Apologize to customers 
  • Analyze or go through the complaint with the client
  • Try to fix the problem using a suitable approach
  • Document the problem and measures taken



Service failure defines a business’s inability to meet customer expectations. Rude behaviors and inadequate delivery services may be examples of service failure in the hospitality and tourism industry. Depending on the situation, customers may or may not proactively communicate or report service failure to the service manager. Nonetheless, those who do most likely demand compensation or better services. A service manager can handle the recovery process by first apologizing to clients, analyzing the complaint, fixing the issue, and documenting the entire experience. Empathy and quick thinking may also be efficient solutions for handling failures and connecting with customers. However, taking the above steps would be most appropriate for service failure, especially in large businesses. 



Mattila, A. S., & Ro, H. (2008). Customer satisfaction, service failure, and service recovery. Handbook of hospitality marketing management, 297-323.

Shrestha, S. (2017). Service failure and service recovery |

Snow, D. (2010). Customer Service Failure Equals Leadership Failure [Video]. YouTube.