Some might argue that you need to deliver what customers value and others might say that the customer is always right. The Parasuraman Gap model takes these issues into consideration and presents the issues facing businesses when delivering services or goods to customers.

A few years ago I was introduced to the Parasuraman Gap model, (Parasuraman A, Zheitmal VA, Berry LL. SERVQUAL: a conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. J Mark. 1985;49(1):41-50.) You can find a nice discussion on it here.

What is so complicated about keeping a customer satisfied?

There are masses and masses of tools and strategies available to organisations to manage the sales pipeline. The important purpose of the sales pipeline is to ensure that the customer gets what the customer expects. To satisfy this need it is important to understand how easily the service delivery process can be inadvertently put off course. In short, the customer expectations need to be met.

Take on the five service quality gaps to enhance your customer focus:

Hierarchical gap – Expected service compared to management perception of customer expectations.
Lost in translation gap – Management perception of what is to be delivered compared to service actually delivered.
Attention to detail gap – Service specified compared to service delivered.
Marketing gap – Service delivery compared to what we tell the market.
Moment of truth gap – What was delivered compared to what was expected.

Business Excellence principles suggest that leadership and strategy must be aligned. The next thing after getting your leadership and strategy right is to ensure that your service delivery model is also aligned with them.