Virgin Atlantic Airways is a British airline owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. In December 1999 the Virgin Group decided to sell 49% of the airlines company to Singapore Airlines, which means that Virgin still owns the majority consisting of 51%. In 2006 Virgin Atlantic carried 4.9 million passengers placing them in seventh place amongst UK airlines. One of the main rivals of Virgin is British Airways whom have been in bitter rivalry ever since Virgins inception in June 1984. Virgin Atlantic is a growing airline that continues to improve each year and is considered as a luxurious flight with great customer service and value for money. (Wikipedia 2007)
Importance of service
Unlike consumer goods such as mobile phones, airline transportation cannot be measured, tested and verified in advance to assure quality. What is being sold to consumers is merely a performance and hence the criteria for measurement would be complex and would not be precise. Services that involve a high labour content are known as heterogeneous in definition means that the performance varies from customer to customer and day to day. The quality of interactions between people will vary from a daily basis and cannot standardised to ensure uniformity the way quality of goods that are produced in manufacturing company’s can. Finally the quality of the service occurs during service delivery when the interaction between customer and provider takes place. Only customers are able to judge quality of service. (Delivering quality service by Valerie A Zeithaml)
The gaps model is used in determining the problems of the service in a particular organisation and shows the criteria on how to go about in solving those problems. It is a widely used model used by service organisations. There are four main gaps:
Gap 1: Not knowing what customers expect
Knowing customers expectations is one of the most important factors in enabling...