Some examples of the gap model of service quality are when a brochure is not a factual representation or when employers are not specific enough with their employees. This gap model of service quality, or SERVQUAL, is defined as the difference between the perceived service and the expected service.
In 1985 a group of authors, Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, developed a service quality or GAP model. There are five different service GAPs that were identified by them.
- The Knowledge Gap - this is the gap between consumer expectation and management perception. Simply put, it is when customer wants or desires are incorrectly perceived by management.
- The Policy Gap - when management incorrectly translates the service polices of the company into guidelines for employees, this falls into the policy gap. Some examples are a poor service design or an ambiguous service design.
- The Delivery Gap - this gap represents the weakness in employee performance. It is defined as the gap between service quality specification and service delivery.
- The Customer Gap - when customer expectations and perceptions differ, there is a customer gap. Some factors contributing to this one include insufficient marketing research and not focusing on demand quality.
- The Communication Gap - this happens when companies raise consumers' expectations and do not deliver. Customers are disappointed when the promised service does not match reality.