The authors of this study proposed a revised gap model to evaluate and improve service quality in the Taiwanese hotel industry. The gap analysis method involves defining the present state, the desired target, and the gap in between. Gap analysis aims to look at ways to bridge the gap through backward chaining logical sequences. This method was used as a method in hopes of offering better direction in developing and improving service quality.
The authors argue that hotel organizations have difficulty in adequately assessing and improving service performance from a customers' perspective. Organizations struggle in identifying which factors customers consider most important with regards to service quality. The authors explain that although the gap model has its limitations, it remains the leading measure of service quality. Gap analysis in the hotel industry with regards to service quality traditionally focuses on customer perceptions of service vs. expectations. With gap analysis, management gains an understanding of customer expectations. This insight helps influence design, development, and delivery of the service.
The authors argue, however, that evaluation of service quality should not only be based on customer perceptions, but also employees, managers, and service providers. Gap analysis of service quality perceptions vs. expectations from the perspectives of customers, service providers, and managers provides valuable insight into needed improvement at multiple levels within the organization. The aim of this study was to explore gaps at these additional levels.
The study found 5 gaps influenced tourists' evaluations of service quality. Findings revealed that Gap 1 (management perceptions vs. customer expectations) and Gap 9 (service provider perceptions of management perceptions vs. service delivery) were more critical than other gaps in affecting perceived service quality, highlighting service delivery as the main area of improvement to increase service quality.
The authors provided a revised Gap conceptual model (pictured below) to better understand and measure gaps of service quality. The model provides a functional relationship, illustrating the combination of gaps and the decomposition of service activity.
This study illustrates how gap analysis can be effectively applied in problem solving. The study uses gap analysis to gain a better understanding of the current state (perception) vs. the desired state (expectations) at multiple levels within the service delivery hierarchy. Traditional research focused exclusively at the gap between customer perception and expectation. This study revealed overlooked gaps at other levels influencing service quality (employee, managerial, service provider, etc.) The authors also provide a helpful conceptual model to illustrate the connection and combination of multiple gaps.
In complex problems, there are multiple gaps between the desired state and current states. This study illustrates that gap analysis should not be merely perceived as 1 broad gap (current state vs. desired state). Aiming to bridge 1 broad gap through back-chaining logistical sequences is messy and difficult. Gap analysis should rather break down each gap into multiple gaps in order to facilitate more effective problem solving. By breaking down the current state and the desired state into different pieces (gaps), it easier to understand micro-level problems and the necessary steps needed to bridge those gaps to meet ones goal (desired state).
Source: Applying Revised Gap Analysis Model in Measuring Hotel Service Quality