Verizon means "to reach higher," which is a Latin word derived from "Altus." Verizon is a telecommunication company formed through a merger of two companies: Bell Atlantic and GTE. (Rust & Lemon, 2001) Verizon described as a venture which applies technological and networking abilities to design, build, and operate with global networks, mobile telephoning and information systems that facilitate excelling and business growth in the organization. (Boulding et al., 1993) Primarily, Verizon focuses on reaching out to more customers through advertising and promoting its products. For instance, Verizon Wireless creates awareness of its high quality products and services through television and other communication media to lure and keep hold of their customers in the United States. (Boulding et al., 1993) This paper outlines the basement for service science - the Gaps Model of Service Quality. Also, the article provides a general overview of the Gaps Model of Service Quality and manifest how critical aspects of the Model have advanced due to dynamical changes in technology. The paper will analyze the Verizon Service Marketing Strategies and how the company has used the Gaps Model to complete the Gaps.
World widely this Model has been applied through industries and companies can establish strategies necessary for delivering quality services to potential customers as well as integrating customer focus through functions thus ensure the provision of baseline for service as a competitive strategy. (Brown & Swartz, 1989) Dynamical changes in technology have immensely brought about the evolution of the nature of service, and concurrently has impacted strategies for closing every function of quality gaps. Business entities no longer interested in high quality products but also anticipate for high quality customer service. Primarily, the Model aims at meeting or exceeding customer expectations and in a similar manner. Customer Gap is the primary topic which depicts a gap between customer expectations and perceptions of the service as delivered. Ultimately, the main objective is to close the gap by having met or exceeded customer expectations. (Brown & Swartz, 1989)
The four customer gap involves the dissimilarity between customer expectations and perceptions. These four gaps are also known to be "provider gaps" - each representing the probable cause responsible for the firm's failure in meeting the customer expectations. Outlining the four gaps below: (Gap 1) - failing to listen to the customers; (Gap 2) - failing in designing of services required to meet the expectations; (Gap 3) - performance and service delivery dereliction and (Gap 4) entails the failure to communicate service promises appropriately. The logic of the Model suggests that the customer Gap is a function of any of the four provider gaps.
Customer Gap- the significant dissimilarity between customer expectations and perceptions in which many businesses have complete blindness concerning what customers are expecting of them. This incidence might lead to a massive loss of customers within a short period since once customers tend to be convinced by another supplier about their perception, they don't take a second thought of leaving.
Gap 1: The Listening Gap - a scenario where exactly what the consumers expect is unknown. There are various reasons why this gap might arise within a business: lack/ poor management on customer interactions, poor communication between management and the service employees, insufficient research in the market, incomplete relationship focus and giving a deaf ear to the customer complaints.
Gap 2: The Design and Standards Gap - a state that the company does not have perfect service designing and standardization. Existence of this Gap might be as a result of lack/poor customer service standards, unprofessional defining of service levels, and reluctance in regular updating service level standards.
Gap 3: The Service Performance Gap - the company is failing to deliver per service standards. The Gap may occur due to: inadequate policies in human resources, mismatching of supply and demand, insufficient information concerning the product to the employee, weak team working strategies in delivering the service or products.
Gap 4: The Communication Gap - a condition where there is mismatching of performance and promises. This Gap involves giving what is promised through advertising to customers by the company. This Gap might be brought about by Overpromising, inadequate communications between operations and team responsible for advertising and also by focusing on external communication as separate to internal processes.
Gaps Model of Service Quality
The Gaps Model has distinctively been outstanding and more so adaptable in bringing about changes to businesses globally. Initially, just a few technological companies regarded themselves as service businesses; thus, the Model's message directed to classifying them as traditionally servicing business entities which also extends to date. Also, there exist a rapid development of the technologies that have impacted a little in how services are communicated, designed, and delivered with types of innovative servicing, which currently availed to the customers. (Boulding et al., 1993) Fundamentally, technology has relieved the real-time interpersonal requirement which is translated to easy accessibility and services are globally delivered and consumed irrespective of time factor or geographical locality even though some of these changes were not detected or yet reflected in the earlier development of the Gaps Model.
Information Technology has impacted the nature of services mostly on how they are delivered, the practical innovation concerning service delivery and service management. It is worth taking note that concerning the Gap Model of Service Quality to cub the Customer Gap which is the most threatening Gap to the company then there needs to close the other four Gaps in the Model. (Boulding et al., 1993)
Verizon Company has established places for transacting with their customers through the 4Ps. With such regions identified, the company's distributing activity of its products is simplified. The company has employed these venues to facilitate distribution of their products and create a platform where they can reach out to their customers and transact: stores and authorized retailers, official websites, allowing distributors, opening of new offices, online and other media platforms. (Brown & Swartz, 1989)
Verizon has applied the component of marketing mix which specializes the strategies and methodologies used in promoting the company's services and products. The company has the capability of captivating and retaining their loyal customers, thus outdo the competitors. Below are promo methodologies used: Advertising, sales promotion, personal selling of products, and public relations. (Malhotra & Kubowicz, 2013)
Verizon company employees have ventured into pricing strategies for optimum performance of their products in the telecommunication and other markets which are relatively close: premium pricing strategy and value-based pricing strategy as discussed. (Rust & Lemon, 2001) Verizon service marketing company has provided a platform of bridging the Gaps in the Model by strategically advertising their services to the customers through various media platforms. The company has even gone further to the application of wireless networking to reach out to a range of customers who are prestigious to such networking. (Brown & Swartz, 1989)
It is with no debate that Verizon marketing they make use of value-based pricing strategy, which widely establishes the price points and price ranging regarding customer's perception and expectations on the product value. The pricing of Verizon products is partially determined on how potential customers on the target value of the product. Even though the value-focusing pricing strategy has created much awareness. (Malhotra & Kubowicz, 2013)
Verizon has applied various strategies to provide a listening ear to their customers by diversifying their modes of reaching out to them irrespective of their locality through distribution in their products, financial status through pricing strategy and also through promotional Mix they can lure and maintain more customers. (Rust & Lemon, 2001)
The organization has been assured of building long-term and healthy relations with their customers since they have already built trust with their service provision. With promotion strategies where new offices are sited in the marginalized and also authorizing the retailers which ensure continuous service and product provision. (Brown & Swartz, 1989) I would recommend that for Verizon to improve and maintain the standards of service providing in bridging the Gaps of the Model they need to engage the youth and young age children with activities like sports, hiking, and music festivals, among others in creating more awareness in the society.
In conclusion, when a company points out the Gaps Model in the Service Quality, they rest assured that the company shall be meeting the customer's anticipation concerning the products. Verizon has attained the objectives through strategizing their plans.
Boulding, W., Kalra, A., Staelin, R., & Zeithaml, V. A. (1993). A dynamic process model of service quality: from expectations to behavioral intentions. Journal of marketing research, 30(1), 7-27.
Brown, S. W., & Swartz, T. A. (1989). A gap analysis of professional service quality. Journal of marketing, 53(2), 92-98.
Malhotra, A., & Kubowicz Malhotra, C. (2013). Exploring switching behavior of US mobile service customers. Journal of Services Marketing, 27(1), 13-24.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research. Journal of marketing, 49(4), 41-50.
Rust, R. T., & Lemon, K. N. (2001). E-service and the consumer. International journal of electronic commerce, 5(3), 85-101.
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