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Customer Relationship Management Chapter 1: The Customer Service Profession

Customer Service
The ability of knowledgeable, capable, and enthusiastic employees to deliver products and services to their internal and external customers in a manner that satisfies identified and unidentified needs and ultimately results in positive word-of-mouth publicity and return business.
Service Industry
A term used to describe businesses and organizations that are engaged primarily in service delivery. Service sector is a more accurate term, since many organizations provide some form of service to their customers even though they are primarily engaged in research, development, and manufacture of products.
Product
Something produced or an output by an individual or organization.
Customer-Focused Organization
A company that spends energy and effort on satisfying internal and external customers by first identifying customer needs, then establishing policies, procedures and management and reward systems to support excellence in service delivery.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Concept of identifying customer needs: understanding and influencing customer behavior through ongoing communication strategies in an effort to acquire, retain and satisfy the customer. The ultimate goal is customer loyalty.
Service Sector
Refers to organizations and individuals involved in delivering service as a primary product.
Cottage Industries
The term adopted in the early days of customer service when many people started small businesses in their homes or cottages and bartered products or services with neighbors.
Service Economy
A term used to describe the trend in which businesses have shifted from primarily production and manufacturing to more service delivery. As part of this evolution, many organizations have developed specifically to provide services to customers.
Telecommuting
A trend seen in many congested metropolitan areas and government offices. To reduce traffic, pollution, and save resources (e.g. rent, telephone, and technology systems) many organizations allow employees to set up home offices and from there electronically communicate and forward information to their corporate offices.
Downsizing
Term applied to the situation in which employees are terminated or empty positions are left unfilled once someone leaves an organization.
Networking
The active process of building relationships and sharing resources.
Globalization
The term applied to an ongoing trend of information, knowledge, and resource sharing around the world. As a result of a more mobile society and easier access to transportation and technology, more people are traveling and accessing products and services from international sources than ever before.
Business-to-Business (B2B)
Refers to a business-to-business customer service.
Offshoring
Refers to the relocation of business services from one country to another (e.g. services, production, and manufacturing).
Outsourcing
Refers to the practice of contracting with third-party companies or vendors outside the organization (usually in another country) to deliver products and services to customers or produce products.
Deregulation
Occurs when governments remove legislative or regulatory guidelines that inhibit and control an industry (e.g. transportation, natural gas, and telecommunications).
E-Commerce
An entire spectrum of companies that market products and services on the Internet and through other technology, and the process of accessing them by consumers.
Customer Satisfaction
The feeling of a person whose needs have been met by an organization.
Customer Service Environment
An environment made up of and influenced by various elements of an organization. Examples are delivery systems, human resources, service, products, and organizational culture.
External Customers
Those people outside the organization who purchase or lease products and services. This group includes vendors, suppliers, people on the telephone, and others not from the organization.
Internal Customers
People within the organization who either require support and service or provide information, products, and services to service providers. Such customers include peers, co-workers, bosses, subordinates, and people from other areas of the organization.
Organizational Culture
Includes an element of an organization that a customer encounters.
Human Resources
Refers to employees of an organization.
Deliverables
Products or services provided by an organization.
Delivery System
The method(s) used by an organization to provide services and products to its customers.
Learning Organizations
A term used by Peter Senge in his book The Fifth Discipline to describe organizations that value knowledge, education, and employee training. They also learn from their competition, industry trends, and other sources, and they develop systems to support continued growth and development in order to remain competitive.
Service Recovery
The process of righting a wrong or correcting something that has gone wrong involving provision of a product or service to a customer. The concept involves not only replacing defective products, but also going the extra step of providing compensation for the customer’s inconvenience.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
United States governmental agency established to assist small business owners.

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