What is the Gap Model?? The Gap Model is when Customers compare the service they ‘experience’ with what they ‘expect’ and when it does not match the expectation, a gap arises. There are
various types of gaps in service delivery and quality;
GAP 1: Gap between consumer expectation and management perception: arises when the management or service provider does not correctly perceive what the customers wants or needs.
GAP 2 : Gap between management perception and service qualityspecification: this is when the management or service provider might correctly perceive what the customer wants, but may not set a performance standard.
GAP 3: Gap between service quality specification and service delivery: may arise pertaining to the service personnel. This could arise due to there being poor training, incapability or unwillingness to meet the set service standard.
GAP 4 : Gap between service delivery and external communication: consumer expectations are highly influenced by statements made by company representatives and advertisements. The gap arises when these assumed expectations are not fulfilled at the time of service delivery.
GAP 5: Gap between expected service and experienced service: this gap arises when the consumer misinterprets the service quality.
To try and solve the gaps, companies have to understand what SERVICE QUALITY is and the components the makes it work viable;
Reliability-This is where a company demonstrates it’s ability to be dependable, to deliver on promises, to have accuracy and be consistent in terms of expected service.
Responsiveness-Basically, the act of being helpful and prompt. Sounds simple but very crucial to customer loyalty.
Assurance-This when the company, through it’s employee, can demonstrate competence, courtesy, credibility and security wen dealing with the customer.
Empathy-consists of good communications skills, understanding the customer, easy access to solutions and providing personalized attention.
Tangible- Physical evidence, something that can be seen and is descriptive..
Understanding the gap and making SERVICE QUALITY a part of everyday company functions will enable companies to do what customers are expecting them to do. Customers compare the service they “experience” with what they “expect” and when it does not match the expectations, a gap arises.