Service Marketing Gap Analysis

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The unique requirements of the additional 3P’s—people, physical evidence, and process are driven by the particular characteristics of service—intangibility, inseparability, variability, and perish ability. These characteristics also pose more marketing complexities which require different management activities.

All services are experiences—some are long in duration and some are short; some are complex and others are simple; some are mundane, whereas others are exciting and unique. (Wilson, Zeithaml, and Bitner, 2008) The delivery process of the service has been entitled the Servuction System by Langeard and Eiglier. They argued that a bundle of benefits are delivered through both visible and invisible parts which create an experience for
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Customer expectations are standards or reference points that customers bring to the service experience whereas customer perceptions are subjective assessments of actual service experience. The difference between customer expectations and perceptions is referred as the customer gap which is the central focus of the gaps model. The customer gap identifies service performance problems but does not determine the causes of the problems; it is the four provider gaps that help management identify where service quality has failed. Service firms need to close the gap between customer expectations and perceptions of the actual service received if they want to satisfy their customers with quality service and build long term relationships. (Wilson, Zeithaml, and Bitner, 2008)

A recurring theme in service companies is the difficulty experienced in translating customer expectations into service quality specifications that employees can understand and execute. The difficulty can be interpreted as three difficulties: the difficulty for managers who are not in direct contact with customers in large organization to understand the customer needs; the difficulty in getting the right balance between imposing service standards and still allowing the staff to be natural; the difficulty managers faces in selecting and
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