Gap 1: between consumer expectation and management perception
- This gap arises when the management does not correctly perceive what the customers want. For instance, hospital administrators may think patients want better food, but patients may be more concerned with the responsiveness of the nurse.
- Gap 1 may occur due to the following reasons:
- Insufficient marketing research
- Poorly interpreted information about the audience’s expectations
- Research not focused on demand quality
- Too many layers between the front line personnel and the top level management
Gap 2: between management perception and service quality specification
- Although the management might correctly perceive what the customer wants, they may not set an appropriate performance standard. An example would be when hospital administrators instruct nurses to respond to a request ‘fast’, but may not specify ‘how fast’.
- Gap 2 may occur due to the following reasons:
- Insufficient planning procedures
- Lack of management commitment
- Unclear or ambiguous service design
- Unsystematic new service development process
Gap 3: between service quality specification and service delivery
- This gap may arise through service personnel being poorly trained, incapable or unwilling to meet the set service standard.
- Gap 3 may occur due to the following reasons:
- Deficiencies in human resource policies such as ineffective recruitment, role ambiguity, role conflict, improper evaluation and compensation system
- Ineffective internal marketing\
- Failure to match demand and supply
- Lack of proper customer education and training
Gap 4: between service delivery and external communication
- Consumer expectations are highly influenced by statements made by management and advertisements. The gap arises when these assumed expectations are not fulfilled at the time of delivery of the service. For example, the hospital printed on the brochure may have clean and furnished rooms, but in reality it may be poorly maintained, in which case the patients’ expectations are not met.
- Gap 4 may occur due to the following reasons:
- Over-promising in external communication campaign
- Failure to manage customer expectations
- Failure to perform according to specifications
Gap 5: between expected service and experienced service
- This gap arises when the consumer misinterprets the service quality. For example, a physician may keep visiting the patient to show and ensure care, but the patient may interpret this as an indication that something is really wrong.