Sample Marketing Essay on Gaps Model Analysis

Gaps Model Analysis

The company chosen for this analysis is FedEx Corporation incepted in 1997. FedEx is a leading player not just in the American courier industry, but also globally. Assessment of the chosen company is based on the five elements of the Gap model as below.  Gap 1 is the gap between the expectations of consumers and perception of management. Gap 2 is the gap between service quality specification and management perception. Gap 3 is the gap between service quality and service quality delivery. Gap 4 is the gap between service delivery and external communication, and Gap 5 is the gap between service provided and expected service (Lovelock and Wirtz 404). The report also entails the findings of an interview with a manager at FedEX. Moreover, the report has also made use of the Gaps Model to determine if the organization is deficient in any of the 5 gaps identified above. An analysis of the results and action plan for the firm has also been provided.

Under Gap 1, the manager at FedEx who took part in the interview was asked to assess the effectiveness of the process of communication between the management and employees at the company. On this, the manager replied that in the past, this gap was very prevalent at the company as FedEx was not in a position to fully meet customer’s expectations due to lack of proper understanding of their needs (Lovelock and Wirtz 404). According to the interview, this gap has emerged at FedEx since the organization had not developed a strategy of how best to interact with customers. This has in turn culminated in the management at FedEx making bad decisions. In addition, vital resources have not been allocated to those areas that need them the most. Other factors that have led to the emergence of Gap 1 include high level of bureaucracy at the company and lack of motivation to heed to customer complaints. The manager however noted that gap 1 was a non-issue as the problem had already been addressed.

In regards to the second Gap, the manager was asked to provide an explanation on whether there was any variation in the firm’s understanding of the kind of services customers expected to be provided with, and the existing standards of service delivery. According to the manager, FedEx provides customer-driven services in line with the existing standards. In addition, FedEx is also fully committed to fulfilling customer requirements (Christopher and Schwager, 2).

In regards to Gap 3, the manager was asked if there was any disparity between the design of customer-driven services standards how the firm performs. He replied that this gap did not exist in the organization and that proper measures had been put in place to ensure that FedEx provided customer-centered services. To close this gap, FedEx has ensured that they undertake effective recruitment of their employees, make use of modern technology, empower their workforce, and always aspire to deliver quality services to their customers. In addition, FedEx provides consistent quality of service to its customers through a wide range of products on offer (Christopher and Schwager 2). Additionally, FedEx boasts of effective HR policies such as employee empowerment, employee development programs, and precise hiring and recruitment exercises.

The manager identified Gap 4 (or the communication gap), as the major problem facing FedEx. When asked if there was any difference in the type of service that FedEx delivered and the company’s external communication processes, the manager identified the following core issues. Late deliveries by FedEx to its consumers, lack of preventative measures, limited control in the delivery process, inadequate feedback channels, poor inter-departments communication, and the deficiency of internal contact with other FedEx departments (Christopher and Schwager 2). The issues that led to Gap 4 include insufficient communication, over-promising in advertising and personal selling whereby the company promises what it cannot deliver on time, resulting in poor service delivery.

The fifth Gap, also referred to as the perceptions gap, is mainly concerned with communicating the quality of service delivered. According to the manager, this gap did not exist because the company has developed physical evidence and service environment cues that are consistent with the services it offers (Lovelock and Wirtz 404). In addition, technology has played a key role in preventing this gap. For instance, when dealing with complex services, FedEx keeps its customers informed in case of service delays. It also explains to customers what action is being taken to solve the problem. Furthermore, the company may provide necessary debriefing to the customers after the delivery has been made. This ensures that customers appreciate the quality of service provided by the company.

Action Plan

Gap 4 (communication gap) has emerged as the primary problem facing FedEx. The problem is threefold: (a) inaccurate personal and promising selling, (b) ineffective management of customer’s expectations, (c) struggles linked to horizontal communication. These problems have resulted to poor service delivery to the targeted customers.

            Lovelock and Wirtz (411) have proposed strategies to promote communication at FedEx. For instance, FedEx management can promote internal communication gap through effective relay of correct and realistic information and promises made to its customers. In this case, FedEx must communicate the type of delivery to be made to a customer and the time when such a delivery is to be made. The firm also ought to be realistic and specific with the promises it makes to customers. In addition, the management at FedEx need to find a better way of managing customers’ understanding of the contents of their communication. In case of any shortcomings, the company must explain this to its customers in real time, as well as highlight problems that are beyond its control (Lovelock and Wirtz 411). In regards to the strategies that have been put into place by FedEx to improve the communication Gap, the manager enumerated the following: (a) improving delivery notification vial emails and phone, (b) incorporate information systems feedback system, and (c) promoting horizontal communication that enhances regional meetings. The manager also further explained that the adoption of information systems at FedEx could provide the company with convenient access to customers’ feedback. In addition, it could also ensure that all the departments remain on the same page through effective communication measures (Lovelock and Wirtz 411; Christopher and Schwager 2). 

The proposed solutions have been implemented in phases. According to Christopher and Schwager (3), the strategy plan is beneficial to the company as effective communication ensures that customers appreciate the quality of service delivered to them. In addition, the incorporated electronic feedback systems within the communication system at FedEx have improved horizontal communication at the company. This is crucial in improving the gap between the kind of services that customers expect to get from FedEx and the service that they actually get.

From the interview conducted, communication gap emerged as the primary issue currently faced by FedEx. The gap has resulted in late deliveries, absence of interaction between different FedEx departments, lack of appropriate feedback channels, and lack of control over deliveries. However, the management has initiated certain actions to deal with this problem, including improved delivery notification via email, integrated feedback system, and improved horizontal communication. All the other gaps provided under the model framework are non-issues.

Works Cited

Lovelock, Christopher and Jochen Wirtz. Services Marketing-People, technology, Strategy. (7th Edition). New York:  Prentice Hall. Print.

Meyer, Christopher and Andre Schwager. “Understanding Customer Experience.” Harvard Business Review. Feb. 2007. Web. 09 Oct. 2015.


Appendix: Transcript

Q1: What is the effectiveness of communication between employees and the management?

A: The gap only existed in the past. We lacked accurate understanding with regard to their expectations; there was too much bureaucracy and lack of encouragement for listening to customer complaints. This is a non-issue.

Q2: Explain if there is a difference between the company’s understanding of customer expectations and of the company developed customer driven services and standard?

A:  We provide customer-driven service standards and it did fully focus on the customer requirements?

Q3: Is if there a disparity between the design of customer-driven services standards and actual performance by the company?

A: No. Proper measures have been put in place. We have employed modern technology, presence of empowerment, and quality service deliver to the customers.

Q4:Is there a communication gap in your company? Are there any difference between service delivery and external communications?

A: Yes. The company experiences late deliveries, lack of preventative measures, lack of control in delivery process by the management, poor feedback channels, poor communication with other departments, and the absence of internal interaction with other FedEx departments

Q5: How is the service quality communicated?

A: This gap does not exist.

Q6: What strategies have been in action to solve the communication plan?

A:  we have improved delivery notification through emails, phone, and Apps. We have also incorporated information systems feedback system, and (c) enhanced horizontal communication..