Service quality and the congruency of employee perceptions and customer expectations: The case of an electric utility



Understanding how the quality of customer service is impacted by employees is essential to managing and improving customer service quality. This article develops a model that looks at the relationship between a series of two important customer service gaps. The first series of gaps (service provider gaps) is a result of the difference between consumers' and employees' expectations based on various dimensions of the customer service encounter. The second series of gaps (service quality gaps) occur when a difference exists between consumer expectations and the service they actually receive based on specific aspects of the customer service encounter. This study found a positive significant relationship between these two series of gaps. This significant relationship provides empirical evidence as to the importance of keeping employees informed about the expectations of consumers. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.