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 Analysis> Gap Analysis – What is it?


Gap analysis involves reviewing the quality of a company’s customer service and identifying the gaps.

The gaps are the difference in what is the expected customer service and the customer service that is delivered.  Where there is a mismatch in the expectations and delivery of customer service the causes need to be determined. There are 4 areas to explore for gaps and a 5th sums up the overall position. These gaps are:

GAP 1
Is the difference between the customer’s expectation and what management perceives the customer’s expectations to be.  This can arise because insufficient research has been done to establish the customers requirements or these requirements have not been communicated accurately within the business. The way to address this is to undertake a survey of both customer and the management to identify the differences (e.g. the gap).

 GAP 2
The difference between management perceptions of what customers expect and the specification that managers have drawn up, or failed to draw up, spelling out what service delivery actions are required.  This can result from inadequate management commitment and or interest or failure to specify what is required. Therefore, the issues need to be addressed.

 GAP 3
Arises from a mismatch between service delivery required by management and actual service delivery provided by front line employees. There are many possible causes for this gap.  Some causes are due to inappropriate technology, staff not trained, poor teamwork, inappropriate controls and methods. Appropriate standards therefore need to be put into place.

 GAP 4
Arises from the difference between actual service that is delivered and the messages that customers are receiving from the company about the service. This is due to poor internal communication and lack of knowledge about the systems.  Some times it’s due to over promising. It is therefore better to under-promise.

 GAP 5 – the overall position
Is looking at the impact of all the gaps in service. All the gaps, where there is a difference between what is expected and what is delivered should be reviewed to identify all the improvement opportunities.

Providing a quality customer service means satisfying customer expectations. Therefore work needs to be done to close the gaps that have been identified. Or the company needs to change the customer’s expectations.

 

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