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Customer service

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.

According to Turban et al. (2002)[1], “Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation."

Its importance varies by product, industry and customer; defective or broken merchandise can be exchanged, often only with a receipt and within a specified time frame. Retail stores will often have a desk or counter devoted to dealing with returns, exchanges and complaints, or will perform related functions at the point of sale.

Customer service may be provided by a person (e.g., sales and service representative), or by automated means called self-service. Examples of self service are Internet sites. The experience a customer has of a product also affect the total service experience, but this is more of a product direct feature than what is included in the definition of customer service.

Customer service is normally an integral part of a company’s customer value proposition. From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to generate income and revenue[2]. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement.

Some have argued[3] that the quality and level of customer service has decreased in recent years, and that this can be attributed to a lack of support or understanding at the executive and middle management levels of a corporation and/or a customer service policy. Others, like CEO Michael G. Faith (Mike Faith), believe that providing a high level of customer service, which he refers to as Customer Love, is the only way to grow your business in these times. Faith recently spoke at the Inc. Growco Conference on the subject of using customer service to grow your business.[4]

1.  ^ Turban, Efraim (2002), Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0131854615 

2. ^ Paul H. Selden (December 1998). "Sales Process Engineering: An Emerging Quality Application". Quality Progress: 59-63. 

3. ^ Dall, Michael; Bailine, Adam (2004), Service this: Winning the war against customer disservice (1st ed.), Last Chapter First, ISBN 0975371908 


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia