Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Gaps Model of Service Quality

There is this popular framework that is related to service quality management, it is called The Gaps Model of Service Quality (I think: Zeithaml et al. (2000)). Briefly, the framework says that there is a group of gaps that eventually influence the difference between what the customer is expecting and what he/she is perceiving, which is also linked to the level of satisfaction of the customer.
  • Gap 1 is between what customer is expecting & what management 'thinks' customer is expecting
  • Gap 2 is between what management 'thinks' customer is expecting & the standard they chose to satisfy this expectation
  • Gap 3 is between the standard chosen by management & the product/service being delivered
  • Gap 4 is between product/service being delivered & what is being communicated about this product/service to customers
However, my post today is more of a reflection upon this model. An intriguing phenomena that I witness nowadays in this world, specifically related to the ideology of the extremists.
  • Gap 1: is the original source of information a flawless one or is this just an assumption? how accurate is this source? does it fit within the right context?
  • Gap 2: if the piece of information is being carried through a middleman, has this person fully and correctly understood this piece of information? has this person correctly explained this piece of information to its final destination? gap 2 is of course cascaded in case there was a group of middlemen (instead of one).
  • Gap 3: has the final recipient accurately comprehended this piece of information? any distortion along the way?
I am really shocked to see how people tend to underestimate the first two gaps and to totally exclude the third gap from the equation - which is related to their own understanding of things. I am also shocked to realize that the threat of extremism is not that far away. It is ok to make assumptions, as long as we keep in mind how devastating an inaccurate assumption could be. You know, there are gaps of knowledge too.
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