5 Gap Model of Service Quality With Examples

5 Gap Model of Service Quality With Examples. Gaps Model. Service Quality Gap Model Example. Gap Model of Customer Satisfaction.

Gap Model of Service Quality

The gap model of service quality refers to the five gaps model that describes gaps in service quality of the organization’s customer experiences and service quality. In 1985, four scholars, namely A. Parasuraman, Valarie Zeithaml, and Leonard L. Berry, introduced the gap model of service quality in the Journal of Marketing manuscript titled “A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Further Research.” It is also known as the service quality gap model.

This model articulates the gap between customers’ expectations and the organization’s service. It assists service-providing companies in identifying customer satisfaction in different stages of the service delivery process. The service quality will be high when the customers’ perception meets the expectations, but the quality is low when the customer’s perception cannot meet the expectations. The five-gap model of service quality ensures the organization’s total quality management thoroughly.

Gap Model of Service Quality- 5 Gap Model of Service Quality With Examples. Gaps Model. Service Quality Gap Model. Service Quality Gaps. Gaps Model. 5 Gaps of Service Quality. Gap Model of Customer Satisfaction.
5 Gap Model of Service Quality

Servqual Gap Model

SERVQUAL model evaluates the gaps between clients’ expectations and perceptions of service quality with five major service dimensions: reliability, assurance, tangibles, empathy, and responsiveness. The Servqual model of service quality assesses the customers’ expectations and perceptions; therefore, many scholars call it the Servqual gap model. Hence, many service-providing companies utilize the gaps model to identify and improve clients’ satisfaction. The Servqual gap model or the five gap model of service quality represents a customer-satisfaction framework. However, the Survqual model is also known as the five service quality dimensions.

5 Gap Model of Service Quality

The 5 Gaps in Service Quality are
  1. Knowledge Gap
  2. Policy Gap
  3. Communication Gap
  4. Delivery Gap
  5. Customer Gap

5 Gap Model of Service Quality With Examples

Gap- 1. Knowledge Gap

The knowledge gap in service quality refers to the gap between customers’ expectations of the company and its action of providing that service. It identifies what customers want from the industry and what the company typically offers to the customers. This gap can grow if management doesn’t focus on the customer’s expectations thoroughly.

Many reasons can increase the knowledge gap, for example:

Firstly, the knowledge gap in service quality increases when the industry does not carefully focus on what customers expect. Secondly, the knowledge gap increases due to a lack of upward communication and customer interaction. Thirdly, the preliminary market analysis also raises the knowledge gap.

The additional reasons for increasing the knowledge gap:

  • Less focus on relationships.
  • Failure to understand customer complaints.
  • Lack of interaction between management and customers.
Knowledge Gap in Service Quality Example-1

The user of Netflix wants to see the upcoming movie trailers on the Netflix official website. However, Netflix shows only the movie list on the site without knowing the customer’s expectations.  So, Netflix would suffer this knowledge gap if it did not provide upcoming movie trailers on the site. Netflix’s organizational management fulfills the gap between customer perception and expectation to achieve competitive advantages.

Knowledge Gap in Service Quality Example-2

Consider a hotel chain that prides itself on offering exceptional customer service. The management team conducts regular customer satisfaction surveys to gauge guests’ perceptions of their stay. However, despite consistently receiving positive feedback on staff friendliness and cleanliness, the surveys reveal a recurring complaint about slow response times to guest requests.

Upon further investigation, the management team discovers a knowledge gap between guests’ expectations and the organization’s understanding of those expectations. While the hotel staff is trained to prioritize tasks based on urgency, they may not be fully aware of guests’ specific expectations regarding response times for requests such as room service, housekeeping, or maintenance.

Gap 2: Policy Gap

The policy gap is the difference between management perceptions of customer needs and the translation of those perceptions into service delivery policies and standards. This policy gap appears because of the dissimilarity between what the customer wants and what management provides for the customers.

Many reasons can grow the policy gap, for instance:

Firstly, the policy gap in service quality rises when the company is not committed to providing quality services. Secondly, the lack of task standardization extends the policy gap. Moreover, the lack of goal setting raises this gap.

The additional reasons for increasing the policy gap:

  • Shortness of customer service standards.
  • Inadequately described service levels.
  • Failure to continually update service level standards.
Policy Gap in Service Quality Example- 1

Netflix will suffer from the policy gap if it uploads the upcoming movie trailers after releasing the movie. People want to watch the movie trailer before releasing the film. So, Netflix should be more responsive to the customers and commit to uploading the film trailer soon.

Policy Gap in Service Quality Example- 2

For example, a telecommunications company that advertises 24/7 customer support to assist subscribers with any service-related issues. The company’s policy dictates that customers should be able to reach a live representative at any time, regardless of the day or hour. However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that there is a policy gap between what is promised and what is delivered.

Customers frequently report difficulties in reaching a live representative outside of standard business hours. Despite the company’s policy of round-the-clock support, they often encounter long wait times, automated messages directing them to visit the website or call back later, or even outright unavailability of customer service agents during evenings and weekends.

To address this policy gap and improve service quality, the telecommunications company implements the following measures:

  1. Staffing Adjustments: The company hires additional customer service representatives to cover peak call times, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. This ensures that there are enough agents available to handle customer inquiries promptly.
  2. Technology Upgrades: The company invests in advanced call center technology, such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems and chatbots, to handle routine inquiries and provide basic assistance outside of regular business hours. This helps reduce wait times and improve the overall customer experience.
  3. Training and Empowerment: The company provides comprehensive training to customer service representatives on effective communication, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution techniques. Agents are empowered to resolve issues quickly and efficiently, even during non-standard hours.
  4. Monitoring and Feedback: The company implements systems to monitor call volume, wait times, and customer satisfaction levels in real time. Management regularly reviews this data to identify trends, address bottlenecks, and make continuous improvements to service delivery.

By closing the policy gap between its stated commitment to 24/7 customer support and the actual provision of that support, the telecommunications company can enhance service quality, build customer loyalty, and maintain a competitive edge in the market. This example underscores the importance of aligning organizational policies with customer expectations to deliver consistent and reliable service.

Gap 3: Delivery Gap in Service Quality

The delivery gap is the dissimilarity between the standard of the company’s service delivery policies and the service’s actual delivery. The delivery gap in service quality arises when the company cannot maintain the standard of products and services provided to customers. This gap may occur because of the communication gap, poor technology, and inappropriate supervisory on productions in the industry.

This gap occurs because of many reasons in the industry, for example;

Firstly, the lack of teamwork to deliver services or products triggers an increasing delivery gap. Secondly, the employee’s lack of knowledge about the product or service grows the delivery gap. Thirdly, insufficient human resources extend this gap.

The additional reasons for increasing the policy gap:

  • Role ambiguity and role conflict are unsure of your remit and how it fits others.
  • Poor employee or technology fit – is the wrong person or system for the job.
  • Inappropriate supervisory control or lack of perceived control – too much or too little control.
Delivery Gap in Service Quality Example-1

Netflix may experience this gap if it uploads a lower video-quality film. Customers prefer to watch movies with high-quality regulations like HDR. However, Netflix streams films with 4K at 2160p, which reduces the delivery gap.

The Following Example Has Been Adapted From ChatGPT 3.5
Delivery Gap in Service Quality Example-2

A delivery gap in service quality occurs when the actual service delivered to customers falls short of what was promised or expected.

For example, you order a package online and the estimated delivery time provided by the company is two days. However, the package doesn’t arrive until four days later. In this scenario:

  1. Expected Service: The company promised a two-day delivery service.
  2. Perceived Service: You perceive the service as poor because it took four days instead of two.
  3. Delivery Gap: The difference between the promised two-day delivery and the actual four-day delivery represents the delivery gap in service quality.

Factors contributing to this delivery gap could include logistical issues, delays in processing orders, or inefficient delivery routes. Such gaps can lead to customer dissatisfaction, reduced loyalty, and negative word-of-mouth.

Gap 4: Communication Gap

The communication gap refers to the difference between what the company advertises about the products and what the customer delivers. It occurs when the company cannot provide services or products according to the commitment. It is an essential dimension to maintain because it may lead to customer disappointment. The employees have to ensure an effective communication process is inevitable to reduce the communication gap in service quality.

This communication gap occurs for many reasons in the industry, including;

  • Over-commitment.
  • Lack of integration between communication and production department.
  • Inadequate communications between the advertising teams and the operations department.
Example of Communication Gap in Se

Netflix may suffer this gap if it cannot telecast the HDR video it promised to offer. So, Netflix should not commit to customers if they cannot stream HDR video on the site.

Example Adapted From ChatGPT 3.5
Communication Gap in Service Quality Example

A communication gap in service quality occurs when there’s a disconnect or breakdown in communication between the service provider and the customer, leading to misunderstandings, unmet expectations, or dissatisfaction.

For example, you visit a restaurant and inquire about the ingredients of a dish because you have food allergies. The server assures you that the dish is free of certain allergens. However, when the dish arrives, you notice one of the allergens listed in the ingredients.

In this scenario:

  1. Expected Communication: You expected accurate and clear information about the dish’s ingredients to ensure it’s safe for you to consume.
  2. Perceived Communication: The information provided by the server was incorrect or incomplete, leading to a misunderstanding.
  3. Communication Gap: The disparity between what you were told by the server and the actual ingredients of the dish represents the communication gap in service quality.

Factors contributing to this communication gap could include a lack of training for staff on ingredient awareness, miscommunication between kitchen and service staff, or inadequate systems for conveying accurate information to customers. Communication gaps like this can erode trust, lead to customer frustration, and harm the reputation of the service provider.

Gap 5: Customer Gap in Service Quality

The customer gap is the difference between customer expectations and perceptions of the service. This customer gap might appear if customers cannot understand the importance of the services and products.

In sum, the customer gap in service quality refers to the difference between customer expectations and perceptions of the service provided. It highlights how customers’ perceived service quality may deviate from their expected service quality. The customer gap also arises when clients misunderstand the service quality. Many organizations are unaware of this gap, losing many customers overnight.

Example of Customer Gap Adopted From ChatGPT
Customer Gap in Service Quality Example

For instance, you book a hotel room for a weekend getaway. Before booking, you expect the hotel to provide clean rooms, friendly staff, and efficient service based on their website information and reviews. However, upon arrival, you find the room to be dusty, the staff indifferent, and the service slow.

In this scenario:

  1. Expected Service: You expected a clean room, friendly staff, and efficient service based on the information provided by the hotel.
  2. Perceived Service: The experience of finding a dusty room, encountering indifferent staff, and experiencing slow service.
  3. Customer Gap: The difference between your expectations and perceptions represents the customer gap in service quality.

Factors contributing to this customer gap could include misaligned expectations due to misleading advertising, inconsistent service delivery, or failure to meet basic customer needs. Addressing this gap involves understanding and managing customer expectations, ensuring consistent service delivery, and actively seeking feedback to improve the customer experience.


The five gaps in service quality are Knowledge, Policy, Communication, Delivery, and Customer. The five gaps model of service quality is known as the gap model. The gap model of service quality analyzes gaps and problems between organizations and their customers. Customer gratification will come out if the industry adopts the gap model diagram, which is a significant factor for continual improvement as well as the business. Therefore, the service provides industries like hospitals, hotels, restaurants, entertainment & recreational companies, and education consultants and tourism agencies focus more on the gap model to improve customer satisfaction.

VALS Segmentation Model in Consumer Behaviour

VALS Model in Consumer Behaviour Examples. The Eight Segments of the VALS Model

VALS Model

The VALS Model refers to separating people into eight categories based on their lifestyles, psychological characteristics, and consumption patterns. It is also known as the Vals framework of psychographic segmentation, which segments people for marketing purposes. It is the most crucial framework for understanding clients’ values and lifestyles. Therefore, people call it the Vals audience segmentation model in consumer behavior. The VALS is the acronym for Values, Attitudes, Lifestyles, and psychographic factors.

VALS-2 is the extended model that renames strugglers for survivors, actualizers for innovators, and fulfilled for thinkers.

However, demographic and geographic psychographic segmentation is the most significant market segmentation technique to divide people into identical subgroups.

In 1978, the research institute Stanford established Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to develop a VALS (Values and Lifestyles) typology to categorize American consumers. In 1989, they created a quietly modified system that considers individuals’ lifestyles, psychological characteristics, also consumption patterns.

Different between VALS and VALS-2 Model

VALS model includes the following eight elements: Survivors, Makers, Believers, Achievers, Strivers, Experience, Thinkers, and  Innovators, 

Similarly, the VALS 2 Model divides people into eight categories: Strugglers, Strivers, Makers, Believers, Achievers, Experience, Fulfilled, and Actualizers.

VALS Framework Examples
Eight Segmentations of the VALS  Model are:
  1. Survivors
  2. Makers
  3. Strivers
  4. Believers
  5. Experiencers
  6. Achievers
  7. Thinkers
  8. Innovators
VALS Segmentation Model in Consumer Behaviour- VALS 2 Model
Figure 1: VALS Segmentation Model in Consumer Behaviour

1. Survivors/ Strugglers

Firstly, Survivors or strugglers are financially needy people. In contrast to innovators, they are low-skilled, educated, without strong social bonds, and passive. They avoid risk because of feeling powerless. It seems like their prime motive is to meet safety and security demands.

For example, students are survivors because they are financially needy and powerless.

2. Makers

Makers are practical people with strong traditional values, constructive skills, self-sufficiency, and enough income. They live within a conventional context of family, practical work, and also physical recreation. Makers are suspicious of new ideas, politically conservative, and respectful of government authority but resentful of government intrusion on individual rights.

For example, religious leaders have traditional values and live in society’s traditional context.

3. Strivers

Strivers are attracted to others who exhibit qualities they don’t have but admire. They inquire about motivation and self-definition. They expect to achieve goals through wealth and often feel that life has dealt them a bad hand because of the less money. Strivers feel easily bored because they are very impulsive.

For example, an unemployed person is looking for a job after completing graduation. Therefore, job seekers are real-life examples of strivers.

4. Believers

Believers belong to a very conservative and profoundly moral mentality similar to makers. They seem like makers because of having conservative and traditional values. They follow established routines organized by the family, social and religious organizations. Their income, education, and energy are enough to meet demands.

For example, an adult person retired from government service. The retired person is an example of a believer.

5. Experiencers

Experiencers are young, energetic, enthusiastic, impulsive, and rebellious. They seek a variety of excitements but are politically uncommitted and highly ambivalent about what they believe. They like being associated with outdoor, sports, recreational, and social activities.

For example, a teenager is an example of an experience in the Vals segmentation model.

6. Achievers

Actually, achievers are work-oriented successful people. They like to feel in control of their lives. They are also deeply committed to work and keep promises to family, society, and career. Achievers respect authority because they prefer to keep the promise but are politically conservative.

For example, an employed person is an achiever. The CEO of the company, artist, political leader, and businessman is the example of achievers in the Vals segmentation model.

7. Thinkers/ Fulfilled

Thinkers are enough adults, mature, well-educated, professional people with satisfying incomes. They stay current with international and national events and are often tended to increase their knowledge. They are usually calm and self-assured because they depend on their decisions.

For example, a successful businessman is an example of a thinker in the Vals segmentation model.

8. Innovators/ Actualizers

Finally, Innovators are highly successful people with self-esteem and considerable resources compared to strugglers. Innovators are supervised by both their principle and the dreams around them. They want to be government and business leaders because they have enormous power and social consciousness.

For example, a political leader is an innovator who can change society with power. Therefore, a political leader is an example of an innovator in the Vals segmentation model.


The Eight Categories of the VALS Segmentation Model are survivors, makers, strivers, believers, experiencers, achievers, thinkers, and innovators. VALS Framework has become a crucial strategy to target audiences for political campaigns and product marketing. Many organizations conduct digital marketing campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.