Quality of service delivery

It means the right services are provided to the right people at the right time in the right manner. How to determine the quality of service? A comparison of expectations and performance is used to determine service quality.

Factors affecting customer’s expectation

  • Personal needs
  • Previous experiences.

Expected and perceived service levels may not always be equal, resulting in a gap.

Five gaps could result in poor service quality for customers

First gap:

Between consumer expectations and management perceptions: This chasm occurs when management fails to recognise what the customers want. For example, while hospital administrators may believe that patients want better food, patients may be more concerned with the nurse’s responsiveness.

This gap may be for the following reason

  1. A lack of marketing research
  2. Information about the audience’s expectations was misinterpreted.
  3. There isn’t a lot of research on demand quality.
  4. There are too many layers between front-line workers and upper-level management.

Second Gap:

BETWEEN MANAGEMENT PERCEPTION AND SERVICE QUALITY SPECIFICATION: Even if management understands what the customer wants, they may fail to set an appropriate performance standard. A good example is when hospital administrators tell nurses to respond to a request ‘quickly,’ but don’t specify how quickly.

The gap may have the following reasons:

  1. Inadequate planning processes
  2. A lack of commitment from management
  3. Service design that is unclear or ambiguous
  4. A non-systematic approach to developing new services

Third Gap:


Service personnel may be undertrained, incapable, or unwilling to meet the set service standard, resulting in a gap.

The gap may be the ave following reasons: 

Human resource policies that are ineffective, such as ineffective recruitment, role ambiguity, role conflict, and an ineffective evaluation and compensation system

  1. Internal marketing that is ineffective
  2. Inability to match supply and demand
  3. Inadequate customer training and education

Fourth Gap:


  • Management statements and advertisements have a significant impact on consumer expectations. When these assumed expectations are not met when the service is delivered, there is a gap. For example, the hospital depicted in the brochure may appear to have clean and furnished rooms, but it may be poorly maintained in reality, failing to meet the patients’ expectations.

 The gap may have the following reasons

  1. Over-promising in a public relations campaign
  2. Mismanagement of customer expectations
  3. Failure to perform by the specifications

Fifth Gap:


This chasm occurs when customers misinterpret service quality. A physician, for example, may continue to visit the patient to demonstrate and ensure care, but the patient may interpret this as a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Assessing the quality of service includes following the steps

  1. Determining parameters
    1. Setting standards of performance
    1. Measuring actual performance
    1. Comparing actual performance with standard performance

Standard- actual performance= quality


  1. Reliability: the ability to deliver on a promise consistently and accurately.
  2. Assurance: the ability of employees to convey trust and confidence through their knowledge and courtesy.
  3. Empathy: providing customers with compassionate, one-on-one service.
  4. Responsiveness: a desire to assist customers and provide prompt service.

Features of quality service delivery

  • Responsive
  • Convenience
  • Timebound
  • Transparent
  • Accountable
  • Participatory
  • Efficiency and economy
  • Effective grievance redressal mechanism
  • Quality standards
  • Equality and equity

Problems with quality service delivery

  • Inaccessibility
  • Inequality
  • Poor quality
  • Delays

Reasons for poor quality

  • Secrecy
  • Lack of standards
  • Lack of enforceable rights
  • Lack of awareness
  • Lack of accountability mechanism
  • Lack of interoperability
  • Rigidity
  • Lack of capacity
  • Coordination

Administrative reforms made for quality service delivery

  • Right to information
  • Citizen charter
  • Public service guarantee act MP
  • Sevottam model
  • Digital India mission
  • Aadhaar
  • DBT
  • Twitter seva by railways
  • Lokpal and lokayuktas


Quality Service Delivery Reform can be achieved by:

  1. Progressively re-engineering services to better meet people’s needs. These universal services will become easier to access and use, reducing the burden on people, with more of the work happening ‘behind the scenes’. Processes will be simplified, allowing people to undertake more transactions at a time and place of their choosing.
  2. Participatory Governance
  3. Implementing a customer needs assessment framework to identify people who need more intensive support by drawing on existing information about a person’s circumstances and asking questions to identify the services they need.
  4. Customised service delivery
  5. Self-managed: People Who can independently access and navigate services without support or assistance.
  6. Assisted: People who, at certain times, are unable to self-manage as a result of a particular circumstance and require additional assistance to access or interpreting services.
  7. Managed: People who require services to be coordinated into a support plan to meet compliance obligations or other obligations such as parole conditions or child protection issues.
  8. Intensive: people facing significant disadvantage or multiple complex challenges who require coordinated assistance.
  9. Implementing a customer relationship management system to give staff a broader view of a person and their dealings with the department and to provide a consistent view of a person’s information to help identify the services they need, with the appropriate privacy protections in place.
  10. Transforming contact to provide better access to services regardless of location and circumstances through:
  11. Improved mobile and outreach services to people in rural and regional areas, and to others who are isolated.
  12. Co-locating offices to provide one-stop-shop access to departmental services and extend the reach of the department; and
  13. A single telephone number and website to improve access to the department’s information and services through a single point of contact.
  14. Implementing streamlined customer registration and proof of identity arrangements that improve convenience for people while protecting their personal information, so they only need to prove who they are or tell their story once when accessing services, with their consent or where legislation already permits.
  15. Integrating Human Services agencies into a single department of state to better enable the departments to contribute to policy development and bring together key corporate and enabling services to drive efficiency, freeing up resources for frontline services.
  16. Bringing together the department’s frontline service delivery networks into a single customer-facing network to provide coordinated support to people. Staff will receive more training and will be able to deliver tailored services at the local level. Services will be delivered through a combination of shop fronts and specialist service centres (telephony and processing).
  17. Implementation of a work management system to optimize the way work is allocated to staff based on capacity and skills.

Other suggestions

  • Social accountability
  • Single window mechanism
  • Performance related incentive
  • Satellite technology

Systemic challenges

  1. Lack of transparency
  2. Monopoly
  3. Complex processes and weak institution
  4. Poor prosecution

Non-systemic challenges

  1. Displacement of values
  2. Politico business nexus
  3. Cash economy
  4. Meek protection to whistle-blowers.
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