Sunday, January 07, 2007

Defining Customer Service

How do you define customer service? There are indeed many ways to define customer service, but they are generally divided in to two categories. Customer service as defined by a particular business and customer service as it is defined by the customer.

In a business context the cost of customer service is defined as an expense and is often limited to basic services in terms of cost allocated to the cost of sales. In other words it is a function of the sales cycle or sales process most often defined by the marketing department. Even in the event that there is customer service representation the terms and policies are still determined in terms that support the over all sales cycle. Even in manufacturing or in service based companies this is true.

In terms of the customer experience, customer service is defined by the customer. Now, true every customer is different, but the service can be defined by customer segmentation or groups. When the customer defines the terms of service it is independent of the sales process and is need based with a focus shifting away from the sales cycles and sales drivers.

Which is better? It depends on the focus of the business and organisation that uses it, but if you are truly customer centered you will define your customer service and subsequent policies by the later. This applies to all sizes of businesses and organizations.

The customer fulfillment cycle is what really drives long term customer loyalty, increased sales cycles and long term increased valuation.

How are u defining customer service is it bringing you closer to your customers or pushing you farther away?

As always we invite your comments and insights

As always we invite you to share your comments and feedback.