Using the Gaps Model of Service Quality to Understand and Manage Service Quality

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What are the theoretical and practical issues (both pro and con) with using the Gaps Model of Service Quality to understand and manage service quality?

Servicers in the markets always face the challenge from the judgment of service quality by customers. Service quality, generally is taken satisfy customers into account, so that it is a critical factor from the perceptions of customer. It is the primary goal to providing a high quality service and customer satisfaction of the service industry currently (Huang, Huang & Chen 2003). According to Zeithaml, Bitner and Gremler (2013), the quality of service is judged based on the elements which are the perceptual outcomes of the customer, process of the service delivery and the physical environment of the service. In the last decades, marketers, managers and researchers has worked on this major issue and hope to create customer value, increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, but they still have confused about how to approach the endless topic to deal with the customer manners. From the studies by researchers, they develop several models to understand customer manner for measuring the service quality. One of the well-known models to measure the service quality is the gap model of service quality. This model is focused on the different between the perception and expectation of customer and different between customer and provider. To explain the gap model of service quality, it is important to understand the conception of service quality, and then to identify the customer gap and provider gap in the gap model. In the following, after a brief introduction of the gap model of service quality concept, examples of the theoretical and practical issues presented to pinpoint the problems to approach the gap. This essay will discuss the theoretical and practical issues with using the Gaps Model of Service Quality of the 20 century to understand and manage service quality in today.

Using service quality conception to measure the service is popular trend in the world. Service quality has been accepted as the conception which provided to customer will influence the international business performance and determine the level a firm will approach, and it becomes the important strategy in a company (Huang, et al. 2003) As we know the determining factors of the service quality, it is focused on the customer perception reflections of the service delivery to evaluate the dimensions of service. Outcomes, process and physical environment are the three key factors of quality that will effect on the customer’s perception. For example, when customer comes into a bank to ask for finance service, the hall, counter, the waiting zoon and decorative style are the physical environment of the banking service environment that will affect customer’s perceptions at first sight; then how to deal with the customer’s requirement of investment or saving, answer the questions and the way to communicate with customer is the process of banking service delivery; and the outcome is the degree that the service achieve customer’s expectation. Although it is pointed the elements, customer’s manner is the most changeable, it can be affected by other customers, memories, and experiences. If the performance doesn’t approach customer’s expectation, services provided less quality than the satisfaction, it leads customer dissatisfaction happens (Shahin 2010). That’s why service quality should be taken in to consideration and measured if marketers want to locate problems build distinct standard of the service delivery.

Therefore, it is necessary to introduce the gap model of service quality to make a clear outlook of the gap between customer’s expectation and service performance. The gap model of service quality includes numbers of gaps, and the important gaps are the customer gap and provider gaps. Customer gap is to identify the difference between what customers expect and what do them percept (Zeithaml,...
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