of perception gaps (2)|
The Gale model
Gale has introduced a seven-phase model for a value element life cycle. The phases in his model are:
Latent. Feature is not visible or obvious.
Desired. Feature is recognised, but not commonly used.
Unique. Predecessor has it. Some impact on customer choice.
Pacing. One supplier has considerable lead. The feature has a major impact on customer choice.
Key. Differences in performance determine competitive advantage. Feature might be niche or power.
Fading. Competitors have caught up. Nobody has remarkable competitive advantage because of feature.
Basic. Every player on the market has the feature. It has no impact on customer choice if present.
Gale's model emphasises the first few phases of the life cycle before the market actually exists. This might be fruitful when analysing very new products or businesses.
Clearly any service delivery model must take into account more than just the current expectation gap. It must also be constructed in such a way as to monitor changes in expectations and deliver against these changing requirements. However, as the other models show, service quality is the product of a complex mix of factors. In consequence it is clear that effective service delivery will rely on monitoring the life cycles of many different elements, and that new elements will be introduced all the time.
Sadly none of the models offer sufficient detail to analyse how a particular initiative will affect service quality and how the effect will change with time. I prefer the GAP model because it has the most detail. However the concept of a life cycle for value elements and the consequential need to regularly review the service offering also needs to be considered.
Remember: It's all in the mix - and yesterdays "nice to have" is tomorrows "must have".