Managers have to match Perceived Service with Expected Service or Customer Expectations with Customer Perceptions in order to successfully achieve customer satisfaction. GAP Analysis helps the managers to analyse the gaps between customer expectations of service and customer perception of service. A manages identifies these gaps and minimizes them to improve service delivery and service experience.
Expected services or Customer expectations are standards that customers bring into service experience i.e Basic expectations of the customers from the service. Perceived Service or Customer Perceptions are perceptions of the consumer about the service after having the actual service experience.
The GAP analysis helps in closing the gap.
According to the GAP Model a consumer`s quality perceptions about a service is influenced by five distinct gaps occurring in the service delivery and the organization.
- Gap 1 – It is the difference between customer expectations and organization`s understanding of those expectations.
- Gap 2 – It is the difference between organization`s understanding of customer expectations and development of customer driven quality standards.
- Gap 3 – It is the difference between the developed standards and the actual service provided by the organization.
- Gap 4 – It is the difference between the service delivered to customers and the external communications made about the service.
- Gap 5 – It is the difference between the expected service and the perceived service.
Reasons for GAP 1
- Inadequate market research
- Lack of upward communication in the Organization
- Insufficient focus on customer relationships
- Not knowing what customer expects
- Inadequate service recovery
Reasons for GAP 2
- Poor service design
- Absence of customer driven standards
- Lack of management commitment to satisfy the customer
- Lack of intangible evidence
Reasons for GAP 3
- Human resource problem
- Failure to match Market demand and Market supply
- Customers are unaware of their roles and responsibilities
- Service intermediaries problems
Reasons for GAP 4
- Lack of integrated service marketing communications
- Ineffective management of customer expectations by managers
- Over promising by the organization
- Inadequate horizontal communication within the organization
GAP 5 > The extent of this gap depends upon the quantum of the first four gaps.