You are on page 1of 38


The Gaps Model of Service Quality
Chapter 2

This Chapter Objectives are to:
1. Introduce a framework called the gaps model of service quality 2. Demonstrates that the gap model is useful framework for understanding service quality in an organization. 3. Demonstrate that the most critical service quality gap to close is the customer gap, the difference between customer expectations and perceptions. 4. Show that the four gaps occur in the companies, which we call the provider gaps, are responsible for the customer gap. 5. Identify the factor responsible for each of the four provider gaps.

Theory Of The Gaps Model In Service Marketing .

Based on exploratory studies of service such as executive interviews and focus groups in four different service businesses the authors proposed a conceptual model of service quality indicating that consumers¶ perception toward a service quality depends on the four gaps existing in organization ± consumer environments. Texas A&M and North Carolina Universities. . Zeithaml.History of the Gaps Model  The gaps model of service quality was first developed by a group of authors. Berry. Parasuraman. at Parasuraman. in 1985. They further developed in-depth measurement scales for inservice quality in a later year. Zeithaml.

For instance. Gap 2. . and it will be unfavourable when the specifications of the service delivered are not met. Gap 4)  The magnitude and the direction of each gap will affect the service quality. Customer Gap = f (Gap 1.Theory of the Gaps Model  Perceived service quality can be defined as. Gap 3 will be favourable if the delivery of a service exceeds the standards of service required by the organization. Gap 3. the difference between consumers¶ expectation and perceptions which eventually depends on the size and the direction of the four gaps concerning the delivery of service quality on the company¶s side. according to the model.


The Gaps Model  The Customer Gap: The difference between customer perceptions and expectations Results from Provider Gaps .

The Customer gap Expected Service Customer gap Perceived Service .

Customer Expectations are the standards or reference points that customer bring into service experience often consist of what customer believes should or will happen. . Customer Perceptions are subjective assessment of actual service experiences.

advertising. and we will devote virtually . . word of mouth communications. competitive of feelings).Customer gap cont¶d The sources of customer expectations are marketer controlled factors (such as pricing. sales promises) as well as factors that the marketers has limited ability to affect( innate personal needs. Broadly it is the goal of services marketing to bridge this distance.

Provider Gap 1: Not knowing what customers expect  Inadequate marketing research orientation Insufficient marketing research Research not focused on service quality Inadequate use of market research .

Provider Gap 1: Not knowing what customers expect  Lack of upward communication Lack of interaction between management and customers Insufficient communication between contact employees and managers Too many layers between contact personnel and top management .

Provider Gap 1: Not knowing what customers expect  Insufficient relationship focus Lack of market segmentation Focus on transactions rather than relationships Focus on new customers rather than relation customers .

Provider Gap 1: Not knowing what customers expect  Inadequate service recovery Lack of encouragement to listen to customer complaints Failure to make amends when things go wrong No appropriate recovery mechanisms in place to service failures .

Customer driven standards  are operations standards set to correspond to customer expectations and priorities rather than to company concerns such as productivity or efficiency. .

sometimes believe that customer expectations are unreasonable and unrealistic. They may also believe that the degree of variability inherent in service defies standardization and therefore that setting standards will not achieve desired goal .Provider gap 2 exist in service organizations for a variety of reasons. . Those people responsible for setting standards. typically management.

To do so. incompleteness. frontline employees.Provider gap 2 cont¶d  Because service are intangible. subjectivity and bias. they are difficult to describe and communicate. This difficulty becomes especially evident when new services are being developed.  One of the most important ways to avoid provider gap 2 is to clearly designs services without simplification. . and behind the scene support staff) be working with the same concepts of new service based on customer needs and expectations. tools are needed to ensure that new existing services are developed and improved in as careful a manner as possible. It is a critical that all people involved (managers.

Standards are absent (quality of service as perceived by customer will is likely to suffer)  When Service Standards do reflect (quality of service as perceived by customer will is likely to enhanced)   .Provider gap 2 cont¶d  The quality of service  When Service delivered by customer contact personnel is critically influenced by the standards against which they are evaluated and compensated.

and facilities used to deliver service. equipment.Provider gap 2 cont¶d  Physical evidence we mean everything from business cards to reports. .  Servicescape the physical setting where the service is delivered. internet presence. signage.

Provider Gap 2: Not Having the right service quality designs standards customer Absence of customer-driven standards Lack of customer-driven service customerstandards Absence of process management to focus on customer requirements Absence of formal process for setting service quality .

undefined service designs Failure to connect service design to service positioning .Provider Gap 2: Not Having the right service quality designs standards  Poor service design Unsystematic new service development process Vague.

Provider Gap 2: Not Having the right service quality designs standards  Inappropriate physical evidence and servicescape Failure to debelop tangibles in line with customer expectations Servicescape design that does not meet customer and employee needs Inadequate maintenance and updating of the servicescape .

Provider Gap 3: Not delivering to service standards  Deficiencies in human resource policies Ineffective recruitment Role ambiguity and role conflict Poor employee-technology employeejob fit Inappropriate evaluation and compensation systems Lack of empowerment. perceived control. and teamwork control. . empowerment.

Provider Gap 3: Not delivering to service design standards  Failure to match supply and demand Failure to smooth peaks and valleys of demand Inappropriate customer mix Overreliance on price to smooth demand .

Provider Gap 3: Not delivering to service design standards  Customers not fulfilling roles Customers lacking knowledge of their roles and responsibilities Customers negatively impacting each other .

Provider Gap 3: Not delivering to service design standards  Problems with service intermediaries Channel conflict over objectives and performance Channel conflict over costs and rewards Difficulty controlling quality and consistency Tension between empowerment and control .

.Provider gap 3 cont¶d  Provider gap 3 is the discrepancy between development of customer driven service standards and actual services performances by company employees.  Standards must be backed by appropriate resources ( people.  Narrowing gap 3 by ensuring that all the resources needed to achieve the standards are in place reduces the customer gap. and technology) and also be enforced to be effective that is employees must be measured and compensated on the basis of performance along those standards. system.

Critical Inhibitors closing to Gap3  Employees who do not clearly understand the roles they are to play in the company management  Poor employee selection  Inadequate technology  Inappropriate compensation and recognition  Lack of empowerment of teamwork .

Provider gap 3 cont¶d  These factors all relate to the companies human resource function and involve internal practices such as recruitment. motivation. and organizational structure to deliver better service performance. If the customer do not perform their roles appropriately. . feedback. even contact employees and intermediaries are 100 percent consistent in their service delivery. these issues must be addressed across function ( such as with both marketing and human resources)  Another important variable in provider gap 3 is the customer. job design. the uncontrollable variables of the customer can introduce variability in service delivery. training.

Provider gap 3 cont¶d  Customer can also negatively influence the quality of service received by others if they are disruptive or take more than their share of a service providers time. and brokers. franchisees.  A third difficulty associated with provider gap 3 involves the challenge in delivering service through such intermediaries as retailers. Understanding customer roles and how customer themselves can influence service delivery and outcome is critical.  . agents.

Provider Gap 4: Not matching performance to promises  Lack of integrated services marketing communications Tendency to view each external communication as independent Not including interactive marketing in communications plan Absence of strong internal marketing program .

Provider Gap 4: Not matching performance to promises  Ineffective management of customer expectations Failure to manage customer expectations through all forms of communication Failure to educate customers adequately .

Provider Gap 4: Not matching performance to promises  Overpromising Overpromising in advertising Overpromising in personal selling Overpromising through physical evidence cues .

Provider Gap 4: Not matching performance to promises  Inadequate horizontal communications Insufficient communication between sales and operations Insufficient communication between advertising and operations Differences in policies and procedures across branches or units .

Important applications of the model are as follows: . namely the customer gap and the provider gaps. The latter is considered as internal gaps within a service firm.Applications of the Gaps Model  First of all the model clearly determines the two different types of gaps in service marketing. This model really views the services as a structured. integrated model which connects external customers to internal services between the different functions in a service organization.


2). The gaps model of service quality gives insights and propositions regarding customers¶ perceptions of service quality. The model helps predict. generate and identify key factors that cause the gap to be unfavourable to the service firm in meeting customer expectations. 3. Customers always use 10 dimensions to form the expectation and perceptions of service quality (Fig. 2.The 10 determinants of service 1. .