Role of communication and coordination in the service delivery process

By Saloni Agarwal & Priya Chetty on June 24, 2020

Service providers who attempt to create and provide value to their customers find it essential to deliver services of high quality (Grönroos and Ravald. 2011). Services of significant-quality attract customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term profitability (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000). A study by Joseph (2016) explains service delivery as an act of providing a service to a consumer. Therefore, the service delivery process is a procedure allowing the distribution of service. Service processes differ across various organizations. However, there exist some important elements that are common for all. These elements include communication and coordination of activities in the business, which play a crucial role in defining the effectiveness of the service delivery process.

Role of communication in enhancing the service delivery process

In their study, Bolorinwa and Olorunfemi (2009) highlighted that effective communication is crucial for enhancing task performance in an organization. A systematic communication stream builds credence and openness among the employees, leading to high productivity (Sayki-Baidoo, 2003). Efficient internal and external communication leads to positive growth of the business (Emojorho, 2010). For organized service delivery, the practices of human relations must be maintained. Communication enhances the service delivery process in the following manner:

Building and maintaining relationships

The smooth flow of information between internal and external clients and employees is vital for achieving common goals. Open communication, either in the form of oral or written, clearly explains roles and responsibilities to workers and encourages them to ask for help if required. By developing a robust positive environment at work, the productivity of the service delivery process is enhanced (Joseph, 2016).

Treating and solving complaints

Complaints arising due to human or technical errors are beyond one’s control. Therefore, active communication amongst the people in the workplace boosts confidence to share ideas concerning progress to the management. This leads to the two-way flow of feedback from top to bottom on the hierarchical chain and vice-versa. It not only encourages conflict resolution but also builds up trust between the service provider and receiver. This eases the flow of services between the parties (Pomfowaa and Agyekum, 2018).

Managing expectations

Customers are an essential element of any service delivery process. Free communication with them is necessary not only for making the process useful but also for constructing buyer loyalty in the business. In the service delivery process, it becomes crucial to receive and recognize the needs of the customers and present them with exceptional customer service by acknowledging their questions. This will guide the organization towards a better judgment regarding service distribution (Owoeye and Dahunsi, 2014).

Timely delivery with constant improvements

Every service delivery process has a predefined set of rules and regulations that need to be observed to guarantee the successful completion of the task. Strong communication skills are necessary to convey either the particular method of carrying out a job or the result of underachieving the target. Research has shown that communication flows beyond the writing of a memo and circulating it. It is about expressing the expectations and policies of the business and learning about their impact on the employees (Zeithaml et al., 1988).

Case example to showcase the role of communication in the service delivery process

The aim of the Ekiti State University Library in Nigeria was to provide the public with information as per their needs. This service process was not complete without the cataloging and classification of the information. However, the library staff and the users of the information failed to communicate effectively. Both parties lacked knowledge of the English language which was the official language of communication. In addition to this, the library professionals had conceived a notion that they were not required to communicate with the users, and the users limited their interaction in the fear of being shut down. A study by Owoeye and Dahunsi (2014) concluded that efficient communication in the library lessened frustration among the employees, increased productivity, enhances the spirit of cooperation, and presents a better understanding of the task to be accomplished. After being a part of the study, the staff of the Ekiti State University Library was willing to communicate with the users to meet their information needs. A proper communication system was developed in the library to benefit the users.

Role of coordination in the service delivery process

In a service delivery process, several employees consolidating the work are involved in carrying particular tasks, dependence on which is managed by coordination (Malone and Crowston, 1994). In simple words, coordination is essential for covenanting businesses to supervise their relationships adequately. Leigh (2008) explains coordination in the service delivery process as “the connections between services or between people and services to improve outcomes for individuals, families, communities, and societies.” Some of the service delivery requirements attained by coordination are:

Developing collective mind

Diversity in knowledge takes place in an organization in the form of various workers employed. To bridge and interrelate the experience in the organization, coordination is essential for the entire ladder (Tsoukas, 1996). Coordination activities athwart the organization are crucial for uninterrupted flow to expertise to assure the existence of ‘right knowledge in the right place at the right time.’ This helps in delivering valuable services to consumers.

Improving performance

Process performance is the best criteria to measure the capability of service delivery (Cooprider and Henderson, 1990). Higher client coordination would result in a greater exchange of information and would lead to improved service quality (Gopal et al., 2011). Coordinating service delivery can decrease complications, improve service standards, and produce a foundation to yield attainable outcomes to the users (Flaxman, 2009). Interagency coordination enabled multifaceted, ongoing interventions to enhance wellbeing (Dwyer et al., 2004).

Internal problem solving

To achieve a continuous flow of services, it is essential to integrate the activities, understanding, and goals of interdependent members by incorporating strategies and patterns of behavior (Rico et al., 2011). This can be done by ensuring that the team functions as a whole. Implicit coordination takes place when team members anticipate the actions and needs of their peers and task requirements, and dynamically adapt their behavior.

Ensuring widespread services

Service delivery coordination represents a means of accelerating referrals and collaboration between services to supply superior assistance (Flaxman et al., 2009). The addressal of needs in a holistic manner maintains the comprehensiveness of the service delivery process. Coordination of activities among the workers and service receivers straightens the service delivery process, ultimately leading to a firm standing of the organization.

Case example to showcase the role of coordination in the service delivery process

One of the reasons for the success of the 9/11 attacks in the United States was the extensive pre-attack surveillance on prominent properties, housing several major financial institutions, such as the Citicorp Building in the New York City. This was due to the fact that many facilities were idle with very little supervision and security on the ground. To steer clear of such circumstances in the future, the managing director of a commercial real estate company, Tishman Speyer, presented a proposal for the coordination and sharing of the data on building ownership and management with the Government authorities. The aim of this proposal was to generate collective knowledge about the ownership of the houses, thereby quickly identifying the people responsible for the management of a given building’s physical security. Such information proved useful for the Department of Homeland Security in times of an emergency. Coordination thus helped towards a smooth service delivery process, in this case, prevention of any such casualty.

Role of communication and coordination in service delivery process
Figure 1: Role of communication and coordination in service delivery process


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Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).


Being a master’s student at TERI School of Advanced Studies with a specialization in Economics, working in the field of research and data analysis has become my second nature. This interest grew with the numerous research projects undertaken as a primary requirement of the course in the form of Critical Reviews, Policy Briefs, Literature Reviews, and Literature Surveys.

My recruitment with the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) as part of my summer internship helped me learn the importance of the prequel of any fieldwork, namely desk research. Under their guidance, I aided in the writing of two crucial papers regarding the path that the country is to follow to achieve its Paris Agreement Goals. The job also sharpened my data extraction and cleaning skills, as it was a preliminary requirement for the writing of the papers.