The service industry interacts with our lives on a daily basis. Services can be defined as deeds, processes and performances. When considering the differences between products and services, intangibility and the fact that a service cannot be touched, tasted, viewed or tried on are terms often used (McColl-Kennedy & Kiel 2000). Services differ from goods in essentially four ways: (1) intangibility; (2) inseparability; (3) heterogeneity; (4) perishability (Kotler, Brown, Adam, Burton, Armstrong 2006). To deliver a quality service, managers also pay attention to the importance of tangibles that support service delivery as well as service delivery blueprinting. Managers must also accept that service failures occur and be able to develop strategies to address failures (Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons 2001). The purpose of this essay is to argue the importance of assessing service quality within an organisation. This paper will firstly explain the relationship between the customer and the concepts of inseparability and heterogeneity. The paper will secondly examine the dimensions of service quality and how these particular dimensions can create a service quality gap. Fitzsimmons & Fitzsimmons (2001) propose that a service ‘quality gap’ is created when there is a difference between customers’ expectations of a service and the perceptions of the actual service that is delivered. Thirdly the paper will demonstrate the application of the Service Quality Gaps Model. A case study that explains a below standard customer service encounter will be used. The essay will conclude that delivering quality service is a constant challenge for organisations and the Service Gap Quality Model is one framework that can help an organisation maintain service quality. Products or goods are first produced, then sold and finally consumed at a future point in time. Services are considered inseparable, the service provider and the customer must be present for the transaction to occur....
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