Investigating the Importance of Customer Service
Over the past thirty years Customer Service has been evolving, and will continue to do so the more we practice in organisations. The significance of customer service does not go unnoticed. There are many attributes involved to make it successful in practice. Customer Service has to be a team effort and not just the responsibility of the staff dealing with the public directly. Most customers have the option to go elsewhere is the quality of service is lacking, which in my opinion makes good customer service a source of competitive advantage. In this assignment I have looked at different aspects of what customer service brings to a company.
I have researched customer service in its past and have done a comprehensive summary on an organisation I have chosen to illustrate how customer service is used in present day and the significance in evolving customer service in the future. Exploring subjects such as the importance of customer service and the different categories of customers an organisation have contact with on a daily basis. I will demonstrate customer service policies in reference to my chosen organisation and the practice of customer service in practice using customer charts, mission statement and the staff roles
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The importance of customer service can never be underestimated as it is a vital part of any business. Customer service can be defined as the delivery in which the service you give is received, whether that is before, during or after a customer purchase. The goal of this is to increase customer satisfaction by the trait and manner in which the product or service is given. (Wikipedia (2012) ‘Customer Service’)Goods were scarce in the late 19th and early 20th century, it was because of this that workshop owners were able to produce what they wanted and the public had no choice but to purchase what they offered.
This time was known as the production era, and it was at this time the main focal point for business was mass production. This meant that corporations wanted to create goods in great amounts but at low cost with a fast rate of production. For example, if a company was selling arm chairs, the arm chair in question would be produced in one fabric, with one colour and one design with no options to change. During the mid-1920’s into the early 1950’s it was believed by manufacturers that they needed to persuade customers to buy their products.
This was known as the sales era as the needs of the supplier were greater than that of the customer, or offering customer satisfaction. It was from the 60’s-70’s that businesses embarked on the thought that customers are different, and aggressive selling techniques were to be avoided. They began to rethink their attitudes towards the customer, finding out what they wanted rather to force them to buy a particular product. Every person/family is uncommon, with singular taste whether it is in decor, food, cars, holidays etc. which gave corporations insight that the customer was the key part of their business.
In the 1980’s, customer service branched out getting customer feedback to make products of variety. This meant that companies were now meeting the needs and wants of customers and delivering on that product. Relational marketing was now used by businesses as it focuses on their dedication to customers and the service they provide to be of high standard, and to generate customer loyalty as result. Harrell (2002) defines relationship marketing as progressing and preserving relational exchange successfully by collaborating reciprocal connections between customers, organisations and other participants of mutual benefit.
(Twomey 2012, p. 1/2) Customer service is extremely important in modern organisations. It does not matter what merchandise you sell or the service that you provide, the question you need to ask is how happy are my customers? Customer service is constantly being improved, what companies practiced one or two years ago is not what they would practice today. The coined saying “the customer is always right” is obsolete as far as today’s standards go. In my opinion the phrase should be “keep your customers happy, and your business will be happy”, as this would be more relatable in modern organisations.