services marketing ch. 2 customer gap

customer gap
the difference between customer expectations and perceptions
expected service
standards or reference points that customers bring into the service experience – what they believe should happen.
perceived service
subjective assessments of actual service experiences.
provider gaps
These gaps need to be closed to close the important customer gap. They occur within the organization that provides the service.

1. listening gap
2. service design and standards gap
3. service performance gap
4. communication gap

listening gap
difference between customer expectations of service and company understanding of those expectations.
listening gap causes
– Inadequate customer research orientation
(insufficient customer research, not focused on service quality, not utilizing market research)

– Lack of upward communication
(not enough interaction bet. management/customers, employees/managers, too many layers bet. contact personnel/ top management)

– insufficient relationship focus
(lack market segmentation, focus on transaction not relation, focus on new customer over relationship customer)

– Inadequate service recovery
(don’t listen to complaints, don’t make amends when things go wrong, no recovery mechanism during failures)

service design and standards gap
Difference bet. company understanding of customer expectations and the development of customer-driven service designs and standards.
service design and standards gap causes
1. Poor service design (unsystematic, vague)
2. Absence of customer driven standards (lack of customer-driven service standards, no service quality goals)
3. Inappropriate physical evidence and servicescape (dont have tangibles in line w/ customer expectations, design doesn’t meet customer/employee needs)
physical setting where service is delivered
physical evidence
everything from business cards, internet presence, equipment, facilities used to deliver service
service performance gap
discrepancy bet. the development of customer-driven service standards and actual service performance by company emyployees
customer-driven standards
operations standards set to correspond to customer expectations and priorities rather than to company concerns like productivity/efficiency
service performance gap causes
1. deficiencies in human resource policies
(ineffective recruitment, role conflict, bad employee job fit, lack of teamwork, empowerment)

2. Failure to match supply/demand
(over rely on price to smooth demand, inappropriate customer mix)

3. Customers not fulfilling roles
(customers lack knowledge of roles/responsibilities, customers neg. impact each other)

4. problems w/ service intermediaries

(channel conflict over objectives/performance and costs/rewards. Hard to control quality/consistency, tension bet. power or control)

retailers, franchisees, agents, brokers,
communications gap
difference bet. service delivery and service providers external communications.

– discrepancy bet. actual and promised services

communications gap causes
1. lack of integrated services marketing communications
(view each external communication as independent, absence of strong internal marketing program)

2. Ineffective management of customer expectations
(not educating customers)

3. over-promising (in advertising, personal selling, physical evidence cues)

4. inadequate horizontal communications (bet. sales/ operations, adv. and operations, different policies across units)

5. Inappropriate pricing ( high prices raise customer expectations)

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