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Customers and their perception towards service are considered as a determinant of service failure, and so, service failure and its prevention must be looked into from the perspective of the customers. This paper presents a customer-centric service failure prevention framework, which aims to provide a holistic way of service failure prevention by integrating service delivery assessment and failure analysis from a customer perspective, encompassing failure identification, assessment and prioritization of failures as a basis for corrective actions. Customer journey, service clues, and customer oriented-FMEA are employed to develop the proposed framework. The approach was applied to an enrolment process showing that using customer journey assists in determining customer processes, needs, wants and touch points in the service, and when used together with service clues further facilitates systematic and effective unveiling of potential failures that are important to customers. Assessment of failures and its prioritization with customer perspective leads to better prioritization that is reflective of the voice of customers. The case study shows that higher risk is imposed by actions emanating from the employees, reinforcing further that service failures not only concern functionality of the service but equally important also are the encounter of customers with service employees and the environment.


Food business has become a popular trend for entrepreneurs these days. However, it seems that many entrepreneurs do not know how important is the first impression and the services offered to their guests. Consequently, many restaurants have a generally poor service, and therefore, many are closed as soon as they are opened. This study concerns more on how the first impression works in a fine-dining restaurant; hence, restaurateurs will able to know how to build on a customer’s good first impression. Previous studies, experts’ opinions, and the theories related to the topic of this study were referred and used in this study. The study was carried out in restaurant ‘C’, located in Tampere, Finland. Samples were collected from the guests who visited the restaurant ‘C’. This study contributes new knowledge regarding the first impression, and how it affects the customers’ decision behaviour as well as three different types of service clues (mechanic, humanic, and functional clues) and how they influence the customers’ perception.