SERVQUAL Model: Service Quality And Quality Management

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Service quality is a fundamental feature of any service which formulates customer satisfaction and retention. Service quality is a comparison. The comparison of what a customer expects to what the company delivers. The company’s performance should meet or exceed the customer expectation for successful retention of customers. The service quality model or the SERVQUAL model was first proposed by Valarie A. Zeithaml, A. Parasuraman, and Leonard L. Berry for the first time in 1985. This model emphasises requirements for quality service delivery as well as identifies ‘gaps’ which create delivery lapses. These unsuccessful deliveries create marketing flaws which negatively affect the acceptability and preference of a service.
Researchers have identified
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The figure 4.1.1 is the proposed diagram showing and briefing all gaps in a service delivery. This figure has been proposed by Parasuram et al. in 1985.
The SERVQUAL model suggested mainly five gaps. GAP 1 arises when service provider fails to rightly perceive the customer wants and needs. For example, a service provider say a restaurant marketer perceives the quality of food as a customer’s primary need but the customer could be expecting a staff responsiveness and efficiency. This brings the gap 1 in service quality.
GAP 2 is a result of differences in perception of the management to customer expectations and specification about service quality the provider proposes. The provider realises the customer needs and perceives to fulfil it but fails to specifically bring out necessary arrangements for its fulfilment. For example, considering the first case, the service provider understand the customer’s expectation of staff responsiveness and instructs the staff of the same, but fails to train the staff to fulfil expected service. GAP 3 rises as quality specification and service delivery contrast with each other. This arises due to failure of service personnel to successfully carry out the functions. For example, when a hotel advertises on friendly staff and the experience with staff is not satisfactory a gap is
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They are intangible. Hence, trust is a major factor in its reception and acceptance. Consequently, service quality and perception of service quality is a vital factor in the success of service delivery. Service quality benefits the organisation as it creates differentiation which in turn compliments the firm in developing exclusivity. This strategy guarantees competitive advantage to the firm. Service quality also retains customers. Understanding customer expectations and preferences through market research enables the service marketer to strategize his service delivery thereby confirming customer satisfaction and retention.
Peter Drucker, Austrian-born American management consultant opined that the purpose of any business is to “make and keep a customer.” Retention of a customer is important in marketing as it costs less compared to acquiring a new customer. Also in this age of globalisation, the increasing competition could only be tackled by efficient retention strategies. Relationship marketing becomes a topic of importance and discussion in the

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