Understanding the Customer Service Gap Model
Do You Understand the Needs of Your Customers?
We all want to be the experts at understanding our customers, but that isn’t always how it works. As a company, it’s easy to get stuck in one frame of mind. The customer service gap model explores the space between the service you provide the customer and their experience.
I’m sure we’ve all had instances where we thought things were going to be handled differently while interacting with a business. Whether that interaction was surprisingly better or worse than you expected it to be, it was probably something that shaped your opinion of that business. Therefore, the customer service gap model is such a valuable road map for businesses to utilize. Let’s get started!
The Customer Service Gap Model
#1 The Knowledge Gap
The first gap missed in the customer service model is based on the lack of knowledge between the company and its customer. This gap is formally known as the knowledge gap. The knowledge gap is created by the customer’s expectations of the service offered and the actual service the company delivers on.
#2 The Policy Gap
The second customer service gap model is the policy gap. This tends to be one of the more frustrating portions of the customer service journey. Why? It all stems from the disconnection between management and the consumer. When company policies are developed, it’s easy to forget about providing a sense of convenience to the consumer.
Remember, the customer must deal with your policies. So, make sure you:
- Provide quality standards for your customer service
- Clearly and simply define your policy terms
- Update your service level standards regularly
#3 The Delivery Gap
As the 3rd customer service gap model, the delivery gap is one that can make or break your customer retention rate. Let’s say your company worked hard marketing this amazing product, and now people are trying to make orders left and right. That’s great news! However, if you’re not prepared to delivery on the quality or the demand for the product, this success won’t last for long. Mistakes during the delivery process can include:
- Lack of supply & demand
- Unknowledgeable customer service
- Inconsistent employee training
#4 The Communication Gap
We’ve now reached the second to last customer service gap model. The communication gap is the space between what your company promised to delivery and what the customer received from you. One of the most common issues businesses run into during the communication gap phase is overpromising.
#5 The Customer Gap
The final piece to the customer service gap model is the customer gap. In this case, the customer may not always be right, or at least didn’t understand the service they were being provided. To simplify things, the customer gap is the difference between the customer’s expectations and perceptions. Here’s a list of questions to help you close the customer gap in your organization.
- Did our product or service deliver the advertised solution?
- Did our product or service deliver this solution in the way our customers anticipated?
- What was misunderstood or lacking from the end-result of our service?
Ready, Set, Go!
Now that you’ve gone through the customer service gap model, you are ready to start implementing these methods into your customer service strategy. Good luck!