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Service Sector Management

Topic: Service Gap and Gap Analysis Model Submitted to: Prof. Mr. Chitnis Academic Year:- 2011-12

Submitted by: Anupam S. Mardhekar Roll No.: 167

TYBMS

Service Sector Management


Topic: Tourism services with reference to Cox & Kings Ltd. Submitted to: Prof. Mr. Chitnis Academic Year:- 2011-12 Submitted by: Anupam S. Mardhekar Roll No.: 167

TYBMS

INTRODUCTION

Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who "travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty-four (24) hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited". Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2008, there were over 922 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 1.9% as compared to 2007. International tourism receipts grew to US$944 billion (euro 642 billion) in 2008, corresponding to an increase in real terms of 1.8%. As a result of the Late-2000s recession, international travel demand suffered a strong slowdown beginning in June 2008, with growth in international tourism arrivals worldwide falling to 2% during the boreal summer months, and this negative trend intensified as international tourist arrivals fell by 8% during the first four months of 2009. Tourism is vital for many countries, such as the U.A.E, Egypt, Greece and Thailand, and many island nations, such as The Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives and the Seychelles, due to the large intake of money for businesses with their goods and services and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. These service industries include transportation services, such as airlines, cruise ships and taxis,

hospitality services, such as accommodations, including hotels and resorts, and entertainment venues, such as amusement parks, casinos, shopping malls, various music venues and the theatre. Types of tourism Wildlife tourism India has a rich forest cover which has some beautiful and exotic species of wildlife some of which that are even endangered and very rare. This has boosted wildlife tourism in India. The places where a foreign tourist can go for wildlife tourism in India are the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo Ghana National Park, and Corbett National Park. Medical tourism Tourists from all over the world have been thronging India to avail themselves of cost-effective but superior quality healthcare in terms of surgical procedures and general medical attention. It is expected that medical tourism in India will hold a value around US$ 2 billion by 2012. The city of Chennai attracts around 45% of medical tourists from foreign countries. Pilgrimage tourism India is famous for its temples and that is the reason that among the different kinds of tourism in India, pilgrimage tourism is increasing most rapidly. The various places for tourists to visit in India for pilgrimage are Vaishno Devi, Golden temple, Char Dham, and Mathura Vrindavan.

Eco tourism Among the types of tourism in India, ecotourism have grown recently. Ecotourism entails the sustainable preservation of a naturally endowed area or region. This is becoming more and more significant for the ecological development of all regions that have tourist value. For ecotourism in India, tourists can go to places such as Kaziranga National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park. Cultural tourism India is known for its rich cultural heritage and an element of mysticism, which is why tourists come to India to experience it for themselves. The various fairs and festivals that tourists can visit in India are the Pushkar fair, Taj Mahotsav, and Suraj Kund mela.

Company Profile Cox & Kings is the longest established travel company in the world. Its distinguished history began in 1758 when it was appointed as general agents to the regiment of Foot Guards in India under the command of Lord Ligonier. By 1878, C&K were agents for most British regiments posted overseas, including the Royal Cavalry, Artillery and Infantry, as well as the Royal Wagon Train and the Household Brigade. The Royal Navy was next and in 1912, The Royal Air Force came under its wings. Between 1750's and 1950's, Cox & Kings was witness to an exciting era in Indian history, and, in its own way, helped to shape it. In 1947, the British administration departed, but bound by strong ties to India, Cox & Kings stayed on and flourished. Today, Cox & Kings is a premium brand in all travel related services in the Indian subcontinent, employing over 800 trained professionals. Its India operations are headquartered in Mumbai and have the status of a limited company. It has over 12 fully owned offices in India across key cities such as New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Hyderabad, Pune, Goa, Nagpur and Jaipur. The worldwide offices are located in UK, USA, Japan, Russia, Singapore and Dubai. It has associate offices in Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and Australia.

Product and Services The principal services offered by the company are: Destination Management Outbound Tourism Business Travel Incentive & Conference Solutions Domestic Holidays NRI Trade Fairs Foreign Exchange Insurance OFFICES & REPRESENTATIONS: Cox & Kings operates in 20 countries through branch offices, subsidiaries, representative offices, franchised sales shops as well as through our global network of sales agents. The company has 12 branch sales offices in India located in Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Pune and Goa. The company has appointed over 100 franchisees across 20 states covering 70 cities. The companys extensive network of 185 GSAs and PSAs covering all major towns and cities of India enhances its reach. PRINCIPAL SERVICES OFFERED BY THE COMPANY: Cox & Kings is amongst the largest players with its range of specialist options. Innovative packaging, pricing and marketing have been the hallmarks of its success over the years. Among its many products are Leisure Travel- Domestic (Bharat Deko), Inbound & International, Corporate Travel, MICE, Trade Fairs,

Visa Processing and Foreign Exchange. The Outbound Tours is segregated into Duniya Dekho (escorted tours), FlexiHols (customised tours), Luxury Escapades (unique & luxurious travel) & NRI (catering to Indians across the world). Leisure

Cox & Kings is amongst the first travel organisations to brand domestic holidays - 'Bharat Deko'. Under this brand we market exclusive products that range from religious pilgrimage tours

education tours, weekend breaks, activity holidays, spa holidays, budget holidays, summer and beach retreats, train vacations, coaching and touring holidays.

Inbound Travel business promotes India as a tourist destination. The company caters primarily to the high-end segment of the inbound market and conducts a range of group and individual tours throughout India for its clients from across the world. We provide destination management services and cover all aspects of ground tour management such as hotel bookings, air/ rail ticketing, roundtrip, airport transfer, land arrangements, excursion planning, meet and greet services, event planning, meetings and appointments, conference management, private air charter, etc.

We also provide specialised services to foreign participants visiting India for international meetings, conferences, ad hoc incentives and exhibitions and cater to domestic conferences and corporate incentives as well. Additionally, we provide ground related services to international cruise companies touching Indian shores with a provision for shore excursions. This segment is growing at close to 25 per cent.

Cox & Kings is amongst the largest players with its range of specialist options. Innovative packaging, pricing and marketing have been the hallmarks of its success over the years. Among its many products are:

We design and market escorted tours to group travellers under one of our flagship brand Duniya Dekho. These are ready made packages where a group of travellers is escorted by a tour manager. The customer chooses a specific tour from the array of choices offered to suit his budget and preferences. These group tours cover some of the world's most enchanting places such as Australia, New Zealand, Europe, U.S.A., Canada, Far-East, Middle East, South Africa and Mauritius. These are specially designed for the value traveller. Duniya Dekho recently launched a series of premium group holidays Luxury Escapades with travel destinations like Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Far East and Africa.

These are targeted at the more discerning Free Individual Traveller (FIT), where every holiday is customized as per the convenience of the traveller. FIT can make its FlexiHol travel plans by selecting its travel destination and holiday option (ranging from romantic holidays, exotic cruises, family vacations, etc.), identifying travel interest (i.e. explorer, family, romance or explorer) and sharing his preference of sightseeing, airline and hotels. The destinations range from Europe, Australia and New Zealand, USA and Canada, Far East and South East Asia.

This innovative niche caters to the crme de la crme and this concept in holidaying unveils one destination after another, laced with sinful indulgences and fine living. One can experience the finest luxury hotels and the most exclusive entertainment avenues of the world.

Indians across the world have always yearned to travel with a quality tour operator that understands its diverse needs be it culinary preferences or holiday options. The NRI division caters to such travellers primarily from the Middle East, Europe, USA, Australia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. Business Travel

The Corporate or Business Travel has witnessed a change from the traditional travel agency mode to total travel management mode. In this mode, the objective is to minimize the total travel budget for the corporate while maintaining the service standards. The Corporate Travel market is a highly competitive market with presence of both domestic and international travel companies. We believe our brand recall is very high amongst over 200 corporate clients, including major domestic and multinational companies. It is affiliated with Radius Inc., the world's largest conglomerate in business travel, as their Indian partner. Leveraging the partnership with Radius, Cox & Kings can offer travel fulfilment services to corporate clients in India and overseas. Trade Fairs Cox & Kings Trade Fairs ensures that you make the most of your business trip and that the smallest of details are taken care of, right from confirmed accommodation, city centre hotels during the fair period, and city tours to technical add-ons such as factory visits, buyer-seller meets and much more, all at the most attractive prices. Backed by a phenomenal trail of awards and expertise, Cox & Kings offers outbound tour management facilities and an array of value-added services that can arrange and handle the most complex and exacting business trips anywhere in the world. Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Leisure travel is increasingly being used as an incentive tool by many organizations to convey appreciation for recognizing achievers. It has dual benefits, one by providing a holiday that enables an executive to unwind and recharge and the other serving as a reward for excellence that inspires the team.

We cater to all aspects of conference organizing, business meetings, event management, seminars, exhibitions, product right from the pre-event preparations, during the event itself and through to post-event settlements. We have been constantly introducing innovative events and making suggestions to make every conference eventful and memorable like elephant polo matches, gala dinners in fairy tale castles and steam train journeys in princely carriages amongst others. Forex Cox & Kings is amongst the leading retail forex dealers in the country. We were one of the first travel companies to be granted the license as the Authorised Dealer - Category II under the new licensing regime. The enhancement of status from FFMC to Authorised Dealer Category II opened a wide spectrum of activities which we can undertake; foremost among them is the ability to transact outward remittance requirements. The remittances or other exchange facilities for students pursuing studies abroad, medical treatment overseas, migrant travellers, salary and wages to crews on ships visiting in India, subscriptions for overseas publications, seminars, organizations membership are some of the new businesses which we can undertake in addition to providing foreign exchange service to Leisure Travellers and Corporate / Business Travellers. This places Cox & Kings in league with Authorized Dealers like Foreign Exchange Nominated Banks to cater to the requirements of a whole host of customers. It works with more than 100 corporate clients and caters to its large leisure base. Cox & Kings Online

Cox & Kings has developed an online portal, which is a web enabled dynamic system that includes holidays, sightseeing, cars, hotels, transfers, insurance and other ancillary travel services. Most of the products and services are available on a real time basis and is backed by a 24x7 call centre. With the company's online access system, one can complete all processes using just one window, just one simple booking system.

Gap analysis
Gap analysis generally refers to the activity of studying the differences between standards and the delivery of those standards. For example, it would be useful for a firm to document differences between customer expectation and actual customer experiences in the delivery of medical care. The differences could be used to explain satisfaction and to document areas in need of improvement. However, in the process of identifying the gap, a before-and-after analysis must occur. This can take several forms. For example, in lean management we perform a Value Stream Map of the current process. Then we create a Value Stream Map of the desired state. The differences between the two define the "gap". Once the gap is defined, a game plan can be developed that will move the organization from its current state toward its desired future state. Another tool for identifying the gap is a step chart. With the step chart, various "classes" of performance are identifiedincluding world-class status. Then, current state and desired future state are noted on the chart. Once again, the difference between the two defines the "gap". The issue of service quality can be used as an example to illustrate gaps. For this example, there are several gaps that are important to measure. From a service quality perspective, these include: (1) service quality gap; (2) management understanding gap; (3) service design gap; (4) service delivery gap; and (5) communication gap.

Service Quality Gap.


Indicates the difference between the service expected by customers and the service they actually receive. For example, customers may expect to wait only 20 minutes to see their doctor but, in fact, have to wait more than thirty minutes.

Management Understanding Gap.


Represents the difference between the quality level expected by customers and the perception of those expectations by management. For example, in a fast food environment, the customers may place a greater emphasis on order accuracy than promptness of service, but management may perceive promptness to be more important.

Service Design Gap.


This is the gap between management's perception of customer expectations and the development of this perception into delivery standards. For example, management might perceive that customers expect someone to answer their telephone calls in a timely fashion. To customers, "timely fashion" may mean within thirty seconds. However, if management designs delivery such that telephone calls are answered within sixty seconds, a service design gap is created.

Service Delivery Gap.


Represents the gap between the established delivery standards and actual service delivered. Given the above example, management may establish a standard such that telephone calls should be answered within thirty seconds. However, if it takes more than thirty seconds for calls to be answered, regardless of the cause, there is a delivery gap.

Communication Gap.
This is the gap between what is communicated to consumers and what is actually delivered. Advertising, for instance, may indicate to consumers that they can have their cars's oil changed within twenty minutes when, in reality, it takes more than thirty minutes. IMPLEMENTING GAP ANALYSIS Gap analysis involves internal and external analysis. Externally, the firm must communicate with customers. Internally, it must determine service delivery and service design. Continuing with the service quality example, the steps involved in the implementation of gap analysis are: Identification of customer expectations Identification of customer experiences Identification of management perceptions Evaluation of service standards Evaluation of customer communications The identification of customer expectations and experiences might begin with focus-group interviews. Groups of customers, typically numbering seven to twelve per group, are invited to discuss their satisfaction with services or products. During this process, expectations and experiences are recorded. This process is usually successful in identifying those service and product attributes that are most important to customer satisfaction.

After focus-group interviews are completed, expectations and experiences are measured with more formal, quantitative methods. Expectations could be measured with a one to ten scale where one represents "Not At All Important" and ten represents "Extremely Important." Experience or perceptions about each of these attributes would be measured in a similar manner.

Gaps can be simply calculated as the arithmetic difference between the two measurements for each of the attributes. Management perceptions are measured much in the same manner. Groups of managers are asked to discuss their perceptions of customer expectations and experiences. A team can then be assigned the duty of evaluating manager perceptions, service standards, and communications to pinpoint discrepancies. After gaps are identified, management must take appropriate steps to fill or narrow the gaps. THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE QUALITY GAP ANALYSIS The main reason gap analysis is important to firms is the fact that gaps between customer expectations and customer experiences lead to customer dissatisfaction. Consequently, measuring gaps is the first step in enhancing customer satisfaction. Additionally, competitive advantages can be achieved by exceeding customer expectations. Gap analysis is the technique utilized to determine where firms exceed or fall below customer expectations. Customer satisfaction leads to repeat purchases and repeat purchases lead to loyal customers. In turn, customer loyalty leads to enhanced brand equity and higher profits. Consequently, understanding customer perceptions is important to a firm's performance. As such, gap analysis is used as a tool to narrow the gap between perceptions and reality, thus enhancing customer satisfaction.

The Customer Service Gap Model


Todays consumer has become increasingly demanding. They not only want high quality products but they also expect high quality customer service. Even manufactured products such as cars, mobile phones and computers cannot gain a strategic competitive advantage through the physical products alone. From a consumers point of view, customer service is considered very much part of the product.

Delivering superior value to the customer is an ongoing concern of Product Managers. This not only includes the actual physical product but customer service as well. Products that do not offer good quality customer service that meets the expectations of consumers are difficult to sustain in a competitive market. SERVQUAL (service quality gap model) is a gap method in service quality measurement, a tool that can be used by Product Manager across all industries. The aim of this model is to:

Identify the gaps between customer expectation and the actual services provided at different stages of service delivery Close the gap and improve the customer service

This model developed by Parasuraman, Zeithalm and Berry in 1985 identifies five different gaps:

The Customer Gap: The Gap between Customer Expectations and Customer Perceptions:
The customer gap is the difference between customer expectations and customer perceptions. Customer expectation is what the customer expects according to available resources and is influenced by cultural background, family lifestyle, personality, demographics, advertising, experience with similar products and information available online. Customer perception is totally subjective and is based on the customers interaction with the product or service. Perception is derived from the customers satisfaction of the specific product or service and the quality of service delivery. The customer gap is the most important gap and in an ideal world the customers expectation would be almost identical to the customers perception. In a customer orientated strategy, delivering a quality service for a specific product should be based on a clear understanding of the target market. Understanding customer needs and knowing customer expectations could be the best way to close the gap.

The Knowledge Gap: The Gap between Consumer Expectation and Management Perception:
The knowledge gap is the difference between the customers expectations of the service provided and the companys provision of the service. In this case, managers are not aware or have not correctly interpreted the customers expectation in relation to the companys services or products. If a knowledge gap exists, it may mean companies are trying to meet wrong or non-existing consumer needs. In a customerorientated business, it is important to have a clear understanding of the consumers need for service. To close the gap between the consumers expectations for service and managements perception of service delivery will require comprehensive market research.

The Policy Gap: The Gap between Management Perception and Service Quality Specification:
According to Kasper et al, this gap reflects managements incorrect translation of the service policy into rules and guidelines for employees. Some companies experience difficulties translating consumer expectation into specific service quality delivery. This can include poor service design, failure to maintain and continually update their provision of good customer service or simply a lack of standardisation. This gap may see consumers seek a similar product with better service elsewhere.

The Delivery Gap: The Gap between Service Quality Specification and Service Delivery:
This gap exposes the weakness in employee performance. Organisations with a Delivery Gap may specify the service required to support consumers but have subsequently failed to train their employees, put good processes and guidelines in action. As a result, employees are ill equipped to manage consumers needs. Some of the problems experienced if there is a delivery gap are:

Employees lack of product knowledge and have difficulty managing customer questions and issues Organisations have poor human resource policies Lack of cohesive teams and the inability to deliver

The Communication Gap: The Gap between Service Delivery and External Communications:
In some cases, promises made by companies through advertising media and communication raise customer expectations. When overpromising in advertising does not match the actual service delivery, it creates a communication gap. Consumers are disappointed because the promised service does not match the expected service and consequently may seek alternative product sources.

Case Study: Amazon.com


Amazon.com provides books, movies, music and games along with electronics, toys, apparel, sports, tools, groceries and general home and garden items. Amazon is a good example of an online business that tries to close the service gaps in order to thoroughly meet consumer expectations.

Understanding Customer Needs


From the time the consumer starts to shop at Amazons online store, Amazon will attempt to understand their expectations. From when a customer first makes a product selection Amazon creates a consumer profile and attempts to offer alternative goods and services that may delight the consumer. The longer the consumer shops at Amazon, the more the company attempts to identify their preferences and needs.

Customer Defined Standards


When a consumer buys a product from Amazon they selects the mode of delivery and the company tells them the expected number of days it will take to receive their merchandise. For example: standard shipping is three to five days but shipping in one or two days is also available. The company has set standards for how quickly customers are informed when a product is unavailable (immediately), how quickly customers are notified whether an out of print book can be located (three weeks), how long customers are able to return items (30 days) and whether they pay return shipping costs. These standards exist for many activities at Amazon from delivery to communication to service recovery.

Service Performance
Apart from defining their service delivery, Amazon goes one step further and delivers on its promises. Amazon performs! Orders often arrive ahead of the promised dates; orders are accurate and are in excellent condition because of careful shipping practice. Customers can track packages and review previous orders at any time. Amazon also makes sure that all its partners who sell used and new books and other related items meet Amazons high standards. The company verifies the performance of each purchase by surveying the customer and posting scores that are visible to other customers. Managing promises is handled by clear and careful communication on the website. Every page is very easy to understandand to navigate. For example the page dealing with returns eliminates customer misunderstanding by clearly spelling out what can be returned. The page describes how to repack items and when refunds are given. The customer account page shows all previous purchases and exactly where every ordered item is in the shipping process Amazon strategy has been well received by its customers and the Amazon brand is known worldwide.

Examples of Gap analysis: Eg1. Ford Motor Co., for example, utilized gap analysis while developing an employee benefit program. While management may believe it has a handle on employee perceptions, this is not always true. With this in mind, Ford's management set out to understand employee desires regarding flexible benefits. Their cross-functional team approach utilized focus groups, paper and pencil tests, and story boards to understand employee wants and needs. Their team, consisting of finance, human resources, line managers, benefits staff, and consultants, identified gaps in benefit understanding, coverage, and communications. As a result of gap analysis, Ford implemented a communications program that gained employee acceptance. Eg2. Cocac Cola has dominated the soda drink market for decades. Yet, in the early 1980s Coca-Cola decided to introduce 'New Coke' (some of you will remember, many of you won't.) The taste for 'New Coke' was supposed to be a modern taste that the 'consumers wanted.' Nothing could have been further from the truth. Coke sales plummeted. Management had clearly misunderstood their market and had made a series of poor decisions as a result of their misunderstanding.

Conclusion
Effective product management is a complex undertaking which includes many different strategies, skills and tasks. Product managers plan for creating the best products and operational excellence to maximize customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. Recognising and closing gaps offers high quality customer service to the consumer and helps them to achieve their goal whilst maximising market position, market share and financial results through customer satisfaction. It also helps managers to identify areas of weakness and make improvements to a companys service delivery.