Customer Service Levels. What Do Customers Value?
Customer service refers to the activities that aim at meeting the needs of the customers. The overall objective of any customer service strategy is to bring about customers satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is a very important barometer for measuring the extent to which the needs of customers are met by a business organization. Without good customer service a business organization is at risk of loosing market of its products or services because of the fact that most of the customers will have lost confidence in whatever is offered by that organization. Therefore good customer service is essentially a fundamental pillar in any profit making business organization.
Before deciding on the right customer service strategy to adopt it is vital to identify the main cause of dissatisfaction in customers. It is vital for the organization to define and understand well what constitutes customer satisfaction. There are factors that actually determine customer satisfaction in an organization. These factors can be looked at from a perception of attributes that customers would wan to associate products or services with. (Nigel, 55)
This includes the quality of the product. Most customers are sensitive towards the quality of products coming from a company and this plays a crucial role in satisfying their needs. The way of packaging products will also influence satisfaction with well packaged products impacting more on customer’s confidence. Price of the products is a very crucial attribute of customer satisfaction because it actually determines the affordability of the products. Affordable products have been known to satisfy the needs of customers.
Other factors concern the way the management or the company officials respond to complaints from customers especially on counterfeit or other related issues. This would also boost or undermine customer satisfaction. (Bob,23 2001)
The way a company delivers on its promises especially concerning brand of its products is also an essential factor in developing a good customer service strategy. If the company promises are adhered to this creates more confidence in customers since their needs have been met by the fulfilled promise. Delivery on the expected brand is a way of bringing out the uniqueness of a company and it is key to customer satisfaction. The overall communication in an organization is also a factor that contributes towards customer satisfaction. The attitudes and issues concerning accessibility also come into play and influence satisfaction in customers. (Bob,26 2001)
It is vital for an organization to use the appropriate tools for the purpose of identifying the current and future expectations of customers. This can be achieved through market research and telephone interviews with the potential customers. The organization can still use tools such as making personal visits to individual customers and gain from the first hand information provided by the customers on where they would like improvements. (Nigel,78) Customer surveys can also be of help to the company especially on product quality. The tools should be chosen after evaluating the current available resources in the organization plus the customer base for the organization in a specific market. Finally it is important to note that good customer service is essential if at all the company it to maintain its competitive advantage and overall position in that market.
It will cost the company less to keep and maintain the existing customers than to start looking for new customers. This is because loyal customers boost the business and are important in as far as recommending the company plus its products to other potential customers. (Bob, 2001)
Nigel Hill, Handbook of Customer Satisfaction Measurement. Web.
Bob Gardner ,What Do Customers Value? – (Quality Progress – 2001).