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Service Gap:

The gap between the service expected by the customer and perceived service by the customer is
called customer gap. We can say that service performance of the firm should match the customer
expectation to lead to customer satisfaction. According to the Gaps model proposed by A
Parasuraman, Valraie Zeithaml and LL Berry, the customer gaps in service quality dimensions such as
tangibles, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, competence etc. For the Shoppers Stop,
the following service dimensions are taken into consideration.

Service Dimension Features


Tangibles The physical facilities present inside the store like garments, tables,
appearance of personnel.
Responsiveness Willingness to help customers when they require certain variety or
product
Reliability The ability to provide the service, which is promised to the customer.
Assurance The ability to build trust and confidence in customers.
Empathy Knowing the customer preferences and good communication with the
customer.

These variables are used for assessment of service quality extended by the Shopper Stop to the
customers. The customer gap is calculated by outcome of other gaps such as

a. The Listening Gap b. The Service Design and Standards Gap c. The Service Performance Gap d. The
Communication Gap

a. The Listening Gap: There exists a gap between customer expectation of service and companys
understanding of those expectations, listening gap develops. The stocking of the inventories in the
Shopper stop is done by the past years data rather than the customers preferences. Listening is a
most important element to deliver the customized service for the customer. All the sales personnel
are not actively listening to the customer needs and responding to customer preferences, while this
is how exchange of information takes place and loyalty builds among the customers towards the
brand. Very less effort is made by Shoppers stop to develop relationship marketing which is integral
for retaining and promoting an effective customer base. In this aspect, customers are given the first
citizen card and loyalty points are added considering the purchases they make through shoppers
stop. This is the only CRM initiative by the Shoppers Stop, wherein the customers name, address
and mobile number of the customer is stored to the data base and offers are communicated via
mobile. These CRM initiatives should be improved to know the voice of customer and to provide the
customised service accordingly depending on the buying pattern.

c. The Service Performance Gap: This gap occurs because of the differences in development of
customer driven service standards and actual service performed by the service employees of the
company. As Shoppers stop is catering to the middle and upper class segment, customers tend to
have high expectations in terms of service provided in the store such as ease of availability of
different brands, service employees helping the customers and technological aspects in the
showroom. In order to perform these, Shoppers stop provides process and service personnel in
order to march actual service delivery matches with the customer requirements. But, there exists a
failure in service personnel and technology aspect. The issue of staff should be resolved by keeping
HR manager whereas now store manager is taking care of entire staff. The technology in store is also
matched according to the customer expectancy.