Traditionally, service provisions have been based on very broad assumptions of what customers want, rather than taking into account the real requirements of customers or at least customers’ perceptions of what they require.
The key to achieving a successful customer service policy is to develop appropriate objectives through a proper framework by that includes liaison with the customer, and then to measure, monitor and control the procedures that have been set up.
There are several major points that need to be considered. One is the definition of customer service and another is its measurement. It is also important to understand that customer service and customer service requirements can and will differ not just between industries and companies but additionally between the markets segments a business might serve.
There are few companies that do not recognize the importance of the provision of good customer service. One way of considering customer service is to differentiate between the core products itself and the service elements related to the product.
The service elements, which can be called the ‘product surround’, represent the availability of the product, the ease of ordering, the speed of delivery, and after-sales support. It is recognized by the marketing departments of many companies that the product surround elements are very important in determining the final demand for a product. In addition, these aspects often represent only a small percentage of the cost of a product.
Customer service is inextricably linked to the process of distribution and logistics. Within this process, there are many influences that may be relevant to customer service. These range from the ease of ordering to stock availability to delivery reliability. A rather more complicated approach can also be used by packers and movers as a conceptual model of service quality.
Finally, there is the need to balance the level of service provided with the cost of that provision. The downfall of many a service offering is often the unrealistic and unrecognized high cost of providing a service that may, in the event, be greater than is required by the customer.
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