The Gaps Model of Service Quality is an important consumer marketing framework for market-oriented companies to apply towards continuous service improvement.

In “A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and its Implications for Future Research,” leading service researchers identified five major service related gaps that face service focused organizations. These gaps and related research services from OC Marketing Analytics are outlined below.

Gap 1: Misunderstanding Customer Expectations

Gap 1 is the difference between what customers expect and what managers think customers expect.

Make better business decisions with OC Marketing Analytics. Over a decade of experience keeps your surveys clean and unbiased, giving you the accurate insights that you need to target new markets and keep your customers happy.

Gap 2: Misspecification of Service Standards

Gap 2 is the difference between management’s understanding of customers’ expectations and the specifications set forth by managers for delivering service.

  • Managers should design services in a way that is consistent with information provided by customers.

Design better services with OC Marketing Analytics. Service blueprinting is the method of simultaneously depicting the service process, points of customer contact, and evidence of the service from the customer’s point of view.

Gap 3: Incorrect Application of Service Standards

Gap 3 is the difference between service design standards and the implementation of these standards by day-to-day actions of employees.

  • Managers need to audit the customer experience to make sure it lives up to the service standards.
  • Mystery shopping and post-transaction surveys are common ways of identifying ways to close Gap 3.

OC Marketing Analytics research professionals will assist you in laying a foundation for revenue growth through increased knowledge of your target markets, stronger relationships with customers, and the ability to make more profitable marketing decisions.

Gap 4: Poor Communications and Unkept Promises

Gap 4 is the variance in delivery of the customer experience and related communications to customers. All too often organizations exaggerate what will be provided to customers, raising customer expectations and harming customers service perceptions.

  • Communications should discuss the likely case rather than the best case.
  • Advertising research (testing messages) and survey research combine to aid in closing Gap 4.

Close Gap 4 by measuring satisfaction and brand perceptions and by testing new product and ad concepts. Become more competitive in the minds of customers by assessing the customer perceptions that are critical to your business.

Gap 5: Non-Competitive Service Perceptions

Gap 5 is the distance  between a customer’s perception of a service experience and their own service expectations. Customers expectations have been shaped by word of mouth, personal needs, past experiences (with both your company and others), and communications from your company.

  • Routine post-transaction surveys are an easy way for organizations to measure customer perceptions of service.  Survey research is critical to assisting management with this crucial task.

Manage service perceptions with OC Marketing Analytics. Acting on customer insights from even the more passionate minority will provide long-term value and strengthen your relationship with all customer segments; it is essential that you know what’s going on in your customers’ minds.

Not sure where to start? Just ask.

OC Marketing Analytics would love to discuss your research and service design needs.

If you have questions about our services or would like guidance on further defining your needs, give us a call at 714-212-6812 or email

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