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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business Communication | 2015
Thesis number: 14018
Enhancing communication in service delivery. Case: Property managers.
Author: Sillanpää, Santeri
Title: Enhancing communication in service delivery. Case: Property managers.
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: viestintä; communication; yritysviestintä; business communication; palvelut; service; suhdemarkkinointi; relationship marketing
Pages: 82
Key terms: property managers; maintenance services; stakeholders; service communication; value co-creation; relationship marketing
Objective of the Study:

The objective of the study was to examine the Finnish residential property managers' experiences and desires on communication regarding to the case company's maintenance service. The target stakeholder group, property managers, is particularly examined as they are considered to perform an important role as intermediaries with influence on the procurement process of the final customers, housing companies. In addition, the study considers how the employees of the case company perceive the conditions and supporting processes for service delivery. The study aimed to answer two main research questions: (1) What are the crucial touch points that have an apparent impact on communication and dialogue between property managers and the case company? (2) How could organizational support be improved in order to ensure favorable interactions with the customers?

Methodology and the Analytical Framework:

The study utilized a single-case study approach with qualitative research strategy. The empirical data was collected from two primary sources: customer interviews and interviews with the case company's front-line employees. The two methods for conducting interviews were customer focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The conceptual framework of the study consisted of two main elements: (1) managing services from holistic perspective and (2) communication in services.

Findings and Conclusions:

The results of the present study can be divided in three main findings: (1) condition assessments reports and long-term repair plans are seen as a mutual value-enhancing tool for sharing information regarding repair needs, (2) good communication especially related to service breakdowns is crucial in terms of trust and directly linked with service experiences, (3) active dialogue with the local employees, especially maintenance supervisors, is important because it enables creation of mutual understanding on technical matters and consolidation of value-creating customer relationships. The findings suggest that the case company should invest especially in dialogue-enhancing communication activities through transparent platforms and human interaction enabling sharing of relationship specific knowledge.
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