In my opinion, customer service is a term which is defined by: all services provided to your customer(s) in the normal operations of a business. According to the encyclopedia of Encarta, the definition of customer service is: any and all services performed for the customer(s) of a business which will help produce the sale of a good or service. Generally, customer service is defined by: all services that you provide to your customer(s).
The topic of customer service has more to it than a definition; therefore, we will expand on the topic of customer service, especially on how it relates to businesses.
A "customer-driven organization" is a business which is operational mainly for the purpose of its customers. In other words, it is a business or organization which strongly concentrates on making its customers totally satisfied. In all "customer-driven organizations" customer service is the most important aspect of the business definitely the most important service that they can provide.
Another aspect of customer service is customer perception. Customer perception, in my opinion, is the most important application when dealing with customer service because your customers' perception of your product or service is the starting point of your entire business. If your customers do not like your product or service, there is no purpose for producing that product or service Therefore, what your customers think about your idea for a certain product or service is the most essential aspect of customer service.
All profit seeking organizations are concerned about customer service because customers are what keep these organizations alive. Therefore, when organizations have poor customer service, they tend to lose their customers. Without customers, there is no purpose for any sort of money-making businesses. With this in mind, businesses try to keep their customer service programs as strong as possible so they are able to keep their customers and stay in business. A strong customer service program is difficult to maintain, mainly because of the high costs of these programs. According to the book The Ten Commandments of Business and How to Break Them, the key to efficient customer service is that "if you want the customer to be treated like a king/queen, you have to treat the people you manage like royalty." (Fromm, 17) In order to treat your employees like royalty, you must put forth some money.
Customers stop dealing with businesses that treat them poorly because they have the option of venturing somewhere else to receive better treatment and better customer service.
Customer complaints are especially good for business. Customer complaints are a major source of feedback. When a customer complains, they are stating what they feel is wrong with the business; therefore, if this error is corrected, that particular customer may be more apt to stay with the business.
All companies have both internal and external customers. External customers are usually customers who come in from the outside to conduct business with the organization. Internal customers are those who are a part of the organization and need assistance from a specific department.
In some businesses, the telephone plays a major role in having successful customer service. In many cases, the main contact businesses have with their customers is over the telephone. In my particular work experience, the only contact I have with customers is through the telephone.
According to the The Ten Commandments of Business and How to Break Them, the most insuring way to keep customers for life is to follow three steps:
- Produce a good product or service
- Keep good communications with your customers
- Provide the most successful customer service skills possible
Microsoft Encarta 1996 Encyclopedia, CD ROM
The Ten Commandments of Business and How to Break Them, Bill Fromm, 1991