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Service Recovery in Hotels

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Service Recovery process is the best method followed in Hospitality organization by increasing the loyalty of customers towards the organization. This process helps the employees in meeting the expectations of eth customers and building their satisfaction level. This dissertation is conducted mainly to identifying the importance of service recovery in hospitality organization, and helps in making the relationship with customers. The main aim of this dissertation is to identify and investigate the problem, which is faced by employees in solving the grievances of customers and using the service recovery process. The research ahs focused over the aims and objectives, which are explained in the first chapter of research study. Followed by this chapter, other chapters are explained in sequential manner. 

Literature review is also carried out in this research, which sheds the light on the thoughts of researchers in relationship with the dissertation questions. The research methodology is conducted, where survey is conducted through the questionnaire that is taken into consideration for making the dissertation more authentic. The responses of both primary and secondary data are highlighted in the data analysis and finding section. The results of the findings are concluded in the sound manner, so that the reader can get the good understanding about the service recovery process followed in hospitality organization. At last, recommendations and conclusion is drawn that helps in analyzing the overall research on the reaction of customers about service recovery process and employees, which follow this method. A reflective statement is also provided in this dissertation that explains experience of researchers while conducting this dissertation.


The given dissertation is based on the service recovery in the hospitality industry. The research is based over the importance of service recovery whenever some failure occurs in order to meet the customer expectations. Service recovery is the crucial part of the hotel operations and it is important that this task should be done in the efficient manner (Andrews, 2011). The research study embraces the primary and secondary research; in the primary research literature review is undertaken and in secondary method survey method is used. In the research methodology section various research approaches, methods, sampling, and ethical considerations are discussed.

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1.2 Background of Research

The concept of service recovery has been discussed in the research with relation to hospitality industry. The hospitality industry has been categorized as a service based industry. The hospitality industry is focussed towards providing and delivering exceptional customer services. The importance and relevance of concept and process of service recovery by the hospitality organisations can be seen at times when they fail to deliver quality services and on par to customer expectations, and has been realized in the recent years (Hayes and Ninemeier, 2008). This research is aimed at studying and understanding the concept of service recovery as an effective process and tool for the hospitality industry

In the current scenario the concept of service recovery is very vital in the growth and development of the hospitality organizations has strengthened significantly. The concept of service recovery has reinforced the operations of the service recovery in hotels, and has acted as the key driver for the promotion and long lasting relationships of the customers and hospitality organizations. Many hospitality organizations are implementing the concept of service recovery for the purpose of long-term development programs (Clow and Kurtz, 2003). The strong relationship of the hotels with that of the customers for long-term relationships is necessary for the development of the hotels. Cooperation with the customers in the position of service failure is essential practice for the purpose of the growth of the company and retention of the customers. The concept of service recovery is related with the systematic approach to proactively request feedback while responding in a manner that creates loyalty and utilizes the facts and information to make the organizations improvement (Smith, 2007).

Service recovery can be defined into four steps or can also be said as a four-stage process. The first step in the process is the identification of the service expectations of the customers that have not been met. This is the main step of the whole process. The identification of the unsatisfied expectation is the most difficult step (Prideaux, Moscardo and Laws, 2006). After the evaluation of he unsatisfied expectations the problems must be resolved. This is the step, which is mainly known as the service recovery. This is the step in which the hotel will evaluate and analyse the root cause of the problem (Barlow and Moller, 1996). The hotel industry is the highest service providing industry, in which there is the maximum interaction of the people with the customers so there are maximum chances of mistakes and faults by the staff, which can only be resolved by the concept of service recovery process (Andreasen and Best, 1977). 

The concept has drawn the attention of the researchers in the hospitality industry and also the academicians in the recent period. The concept of the service recovery has been developed as the business practice and also as a marketing strategy in the recent past. The single most important factor, which that causes the service failure in the hospitality industry, is the nature of the service product itself. It increases the possibilities of errors and service failures and thus needed the service recovery concept to be applied (Berry and Parasuraman, 1991). It has also been seen that the customers also have to participate in the production and distribution of services. The report includes the benefits of the service recovery, like increased customer loyalty, positive word of mouth communications and marketing and so on. The service recovery also plays an important role in the customer retention in the competitive market place. There are also several service recovery strategies that can be taken by the organization to win back the customers after the occurrence of the service failure incidents (Bolfing, 1989).

The service recovery was a plan, which is used as the means for dealing with the telecommunication problems or recovering the particular services. A lot of the studies have pointed that the service recovery can also be used in various industries worldwide (Bowen and Lawler, 1992). The importance of the service is growing world wide in all the areas of service, because the poor service experience have often led to the loosing of the customers by the companies, which leads to a loss in the customer life time value. While the favourable recovery of the services have led to higher customers satisfactions and also increase in the loyalty intentions of the customers then in the condition of the perfect services. This is usually referred as the service recovery paradox (Prideaux, Moscardo and Laws, 2006). 

The importance of service recovery is associated with the increasing competition in the industry and the increasing demands and expectations of the customers. An unsatisfied customer moves to the other service provider, so the service providers are of the view to provide the customers with high quality services ad if the services are not proper then to recover those services, which are not up to the mark as per the customer expectations (Boshoff and Leong, 1998).

1.3 Research Problem

The problem for the research is to evaluate and identify the role of service recovery process in the hospitality industry and what role does service recovery play in retaining the customers and maintaining customer’s loyalty. There is an increasing competition in the hospitality industry and provides a need to the hotels to implement adequate service recovery processes.

1.4 Aims and Objectives

Aims: The aim of the research is to examine the significance of the service recovery in meeting the expectations of the customers in the hospitality industry. The research aims to analyse the problems related with the dissatisfaction of the customers and aims to provide the appropriate solutions of the problems, so that customer loyalty could be regain. The research also gives an insight about the performance of the hotels, which depends on the satisfaction of the customers.


  • Specific – The objective of the research is to underline the service recovery and its importance in the hospitality sector. The research also focus over the relationship between the satisfaction of the customers and service recovery, along with this the research also evaluate the different service recovery practices used in the hospitality organizations. 
  • Measurable – To achieve the satisfaction level of the customers various service recovery methods are undertaken so that desired level of customer satisfaction could be achieved. The customer loyalty towards the hospitality organization is also measured through the examination of the relationship pre failure and post failure. 
  • Achievable – The set objectives are achievable as the hotel staff is trained in handling the grievances issues and problem related with the customers. The customer complains are tackled frequently. The service recovery methods are effective in handling the problems, and emotional and knowledge approach is used by the organizations. The hotel organizations are also financially sound in solving out the problems. 
  • Realistic – The set objectives are quite realistic, as customer dissatisfaction problems occur within the hospitality organizations and every organization adopt some or the other methods to resolve such problems. The solutions of these problems are very important from the point of view of hotel operations, as reputation of the hotels depend over it. 
  • Timely – The objective of the hospitality organizations is to solve such problems whenever they occur so that customers as well as the hotel don’t face any type of problems. Neither the customer satisfaction is lost, nor is the reputation of the hospitality organization lost. Through the best service recovery methods grievances of the customers are solved. Front line employees present in the hotels are aimed to handle such issues and try to resolve them as soon as possible.

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1.5 Importance of the Study

The main focus of the study is put on the service recovery, which is provided to the customers at the time of failure. The study examines that some things might go wrong in this sector, to overcome this problem service recovery efforts are undertaken whose aim is to resolve the customer complaints, stress over retaining the customer satisfaction, and to explore the relationship between the on-going satisfaction, loyalty, and emotion of the customers towards the hotel. It is also important in understanding the relationship among the customer degree of loyalty before pre-failure with the on-going satisfaction and relationship among the emotion post recovery with the on-going satisfaction. The service recovery has an importance because service experiences often led the customers to switch between the service providers, which led the loss of lifetime customer value of the service provider (Carson, Phillips Carson, Roe, Birkenmeier and Phillips, 1999). There is also the relevance of the service recovery because this helps the hotels to increase their competitive value and also provide high quality services in second attempt after the failure of the first service attempt (Wood and Brotherton, 2008).

1.6 Significant issues, problems, and ideas

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The hospitality industry has analysed in the recent years that the demand by the guests or tourists for the customized and specialized services has increased. While the competition in the industry has also increased due to the entry of new entrants, who has increased need of service recovery to the hotels. The significant issue with relation to research is that satisfying a customer has become highly a difficult task, particularly when services are concerned. The problem is that the satisfaction level of the customers with relation to the services is generally lower as compared to the goods or products. The hotel industry faces high service failure and finds it difficult to avoid due to the high interaction of the customers with many service departments. So service recovery turns as a valuable tool or idea of marketing providing a second chance to the hotels to satisfy their customers.

1.7 Hypothesis of research

The hypothesis supports the research that through the service recovery the customer loyalty and satisfaction could be easily retained, improvement could easily be made in improving the quality of services provided by the hotels, and grievances of the dissatisfy customers could be solved. The hypothesis has been proved through the questionnaire. There is the possibility that some customer doesn’t get satisfied with the recovery, and they might complain again for the failure, and there is also a possibility that they don’t trust the hotel and hotel losses their loyal customers. A null hypothesis is used in the research in order to disprove the statement that service recovery don’t put the things back at their original position or customer could be satisfied with the recovery method (Al, 2006).


  • 1. Andreasen, A. R. and Best, A., 1977. Customers Complain-Does Business Respond? Harvard Business Review, [e-journal] 55 (4), Available through: [Accessed on 25 December 2011].
  • 2. Andrews, 2011. Sales & Mktg: A Tb For Hospitality Ind. McGraw-Hill Education. 
  • 3. Barlow, J. and Moller, C., 1996. A Complaint is a Gift. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
  • 4. Bergh, D. and Ketchen, D., 2009. Research Methodology in Strategy and Management. Emerald Group Publishing. 
  • 5. Berry, L. L. and Parasuraman, A., 1991. Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality. New York: The Free Press.
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