Service failure and complaints management in higher education institutions


  • Steven Kayambazinthu Msosa Mangosuthu University of Technology



Service failure; complaints management; customer expectation; higher education institutions.


The higher education sector has evolved over the past decade due to the ever-changing needs of students who are its primary customers. As a result, most students have to deal with unmet expectations which subsequently lead to service failure. Even though service failure cannot be eliminated, higher education institutions are expected to provide an effective complaints management system to resolve student problems and service failure incidents. This study analyzed service failure and complaints management in higher education institutions. A quantitative, descriptive, and cross-sectional study was undertaken using 430 full-time students across three public universities in South Africa. The findings of this study showed that students encounter various forms of service failures in institutions of higher learning with the majority experiencing service failures in respect of funding and academic registration. Also, most of the students were generally satisfied with the complaints management system. Thus, this study can help institutional managers to understand service failure incidents confronting the sector. Furthermore, the study provides an opportunity for institutional managers to assess the effectiveness of the complaints management system and make improvements to ensure a better student experience


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How to Cite

Msosa, S. K. (2021). Service failure and complaints management in higher education institutions. International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478), 10(3), 514–521.



Learning & Education