A GAP model approach refers to the following five Gaps of service quality in operations in which a Gap Model is split. (Parasuraman et al, 1985).
The diagram above outlines the customer service gap. Customer satisfaction refers to a person’s belief on the service provided to the. It describes whether the services accorded to them was a success or was it a failure. The expected service on the other hand refers to what your consumer wants whereas the perceived services is what they feel they have received. The gap is what Nordstrom Inc. is striving to close. Business enterprises should strive to ensure that customers receive what they expect(Nordstrom & Lattin, 2008). They should lay down procedures or steps that will aid in closing up the gap that exists.
The second Provider Gap, The Service Design and Standards Gap, is finding the middle ground, or understanding, of the customers’ expectations and meeting that with service quality specifications that employees can execute (Zeithaml et al, 2009). Virgin Mobile USA had to be able to provide uninterrupted phone service and tangible items that provided recognition of their brand to customers. Their phone service should be reviewed and compared with competitors’ services to ensure relevancy of their services to potential customers.
Source : Adapted from A. Parasuraman, Valerie Zeithaml, and Leonard Berry, “A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research,” Journal of Marketing, 49 (Fall 1985)
Sureshchandra, Rajendran and Anantharaman (2002) identified five critical aspects of service quality from the customers point of view namely core service/service product, human element of service delivery, systematisation of service delivery, tangibles of service and lastly social responsibility in order to conceptualise service quality. Table 1 will further provide an explanation to the five critical aspects of service quality as outlined by Sureshchandra et al (2002).
In today's competitive environment checking service quality is considered as an important strategy to retain the customers. Gap analysis is a tool to check the differences between standards set and service delivered.
Sometimes the service offered by a company doesn’t satisfy customers’ requirements. In order to join up with customers’ concept, managers can refer to Service Gaps Quality. There are 5 main gaps.
In today’s business environment, the success of a business depends a lot upon the level of satisfaction of its customers. Word of mouth, social media, all play an important role in creating a brand image of the product. In such a case, existence of a service gap can cause significant damage to the business of the company.
The gap is between service quality specifications and service delivery, where employees can improve to meet the standard set by Hyundai and leave up brand values. According to Dibb & Simkin, 2012 the specific employees dealt with, were front line staff which made customers feel that they were not welcome.
The customer gap is defined as the difference between the customer’s expectations of the service and the customer’s perceptions of the service, when the difference is negative it results in customer dissatisfaction (REFERNECE). Customer expectations are standards that customers bring into the service experience that they use as reference points to judge the performance of the service (REFERENCE), whereas customer perceptions are subjective assessments based upon the customer’s actual experience of the service (REFERNCE). The type of service encounters the customer experiences can affectively widen or narrow the customer gap (REFRENCE).
Parasuraman et al. (1985) suggest that service quality is judged on following parameters: tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy. Which service parameters do you think matters the
Palmer (2011) notes that factors like the building design, signage, sensory cues and processes create a holistic perception on the quality of the service environment. It is from this perception that a customer creates a ‘behavioural and emotional response’ and evaluates the quality they may receive from the service. A dentist may seem more approachable when compared to a possible competitor due to its furnishing, spaciousness, cleanliness and appearance of staff. This is because within the service industry, first impressions are essential and it’s the service environment which creates the first step towards the interaction of a service. Managers can use this understanding of consumer behaviour in order to understand service quality specifications, which is what gap 2 is based on. However Kelemen (2003) notes that a customer’s expectation are diverse and cannot be generalised or predicted with confidence. One customer may be attracted to hedonic displays whereas the other may be more suited to utilitarian displays; it is all quite subjective and is essentially based on the interpretation of the consumer. Gap 2 can also be critiqued due to the need of managers having to reduce doubt and set clear standards. Because of this management ideas have to be based on quality tools that appeal to the masses instead of the niche.
Generally speaking, the perceived service quality is a subjective term that captures the overall superiority of a product comparing with other products that satisfy the similar needs (Holbrook & Corfman, 1985). Sometimes, service quality interchanges with overall attitude whose definition is “a learned predisposition to respond to an object in a consistently favorable or unfavorable way” (Allport, 1935), and they are perceived as two similar terms to some researchers (Bitner, 1990; Zeithaml et al., 1988). Actually, either definition captures the subjective element in service quality. In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, some researchers argued that perceived service quality is based on the expectations and the actual service delivery (Boulding, Kalra, Staelin, & Zeithaml, 1993; Parasuraman et al., 1985), similar to the gap model in the customer satisfaction area (Olive, 1980). Specifically, expectations are customers’ subjective beliefs of the likely outcomes that a service provides (Oliver & Winer, 1987) while the actual service delivery is the objective factors that a service really provides (Boulding et al., 1993). The subjective nature of expectation and the subjective process in evaluating actual service delivery determine that service quality is a subjective term. Therefore, because of the heterogeneity (Edgett and Parkinson, 1993; Zeithaml et al., 1985), perceive service quality is difficult to improve with traditional quality control in service industry. In this