Customer Service Term Paper

Pages: 10 (4220 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 16  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Customer Service

It was during the early years of the 1990's that several important trends developed and these tended to dominate the organizations of that time. Some of them were globalization, and deregulation, and an amazingly rapid technological progress. These in turn made the 1990's customer-facing programs a strategic as well as an operating imperative, and also gave the organizations of the time a chance to show that they cared for their customers. However, today, almost all kinds of businesses are faced with newer and tougher challenges every day, and most managers are more often than not caught an increase in the pressure to increase revenue, as well as reduce costs, on one hand, and on the other, keep up with the demand made by the customer of today who is most definitely more informed than the customer of yesterday, and therefore demand better and newer products and services from the company. This type of situation is indeed prevalent in most companies today, and the inherent contradictions in customer interaction is present everywhere. (Thought Leadership, Transforming Customer Contact)

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One reason for this may be that most organizations today happen to rely on several outdated as well as unfocused customer strategies, and also operating models, and investment options, and this in turn means that most managers do not have any idea of the innate revenue potential of their customers, and do not understand the true cost in serving their customers well. On the other hand, there are certain executives who do understand what they need to change within the organization, but lack sufficient guidance and a solid plan on which to base the changes. It must be noted that newer approaches to customer care are absolutely necessary today, and most organizations would definitely benefit from such improvements wherein customers could be acquired as well as retained. (Thought Leadership, Transforming Customer Contact)

TOPIC: Term Paper on Customer Service it Was During the Early Assignment

Therefore, it is very clear that the customer is the most important element in a business organization today, and as the competition between organizations is fierce, and the customer of today enjoys a wider choice and more options than ever before, more and more companies are attempting to come up with innovative and effective strategies to not only acquire customers, but also to retain them for as long as possible. Some of these companies are Lillian Vernon Corp., Inc.com, Revco Drug Stores, Green Hill Farms, Aladdin's Auto Service Center, Sumerset Houseboats, and Stitching Post. (Best Customer Service Practices)

Lillian Vernon, the founder of one of the more important direct mailer businesses in America today, states that the secret to the success of her business lies in keeping her customers happy. She also says that when she was in the initial phase of starting her business, she was browsing through some magazines and attempting to find out what it was in the advertisements in that magazine that would appeal to a buyer most, and then she decided that she would sell a simple handbag, and a matching belt. Having placed an advertisement in 'Seventeen', a teenage magazine, she says that she was astounded at the response that it garnered. (Make Someone Happy, your Customer)

Immediately, Lillian went about recoding the names of all her initial fifty customers, along with their address, and certain other information such as whether or not they were planning to place a repeat order with her again. This important information was kept updated at all times, and Lillian states that she did her best to avoid duplications as well. Although she did not know it at that time, Lillian was indeed adhering to certain stringent and accepted procedures in selling a product; she conducted a market research by finding out what would sell, she then determined whether or not there was a market for that product, and then she maintained an accurate and perfect record of all her customers in a database of index cards. Therefore, she knew who her customers were, where they lived, what types of orders they had been placing, and whether or not they would place repeat orders. (Make Someone Happy, your Customer)

Lillian feels that this system that she had devised has served her well all these years, and has successfully brought her company Lillian Vernon Corp. into a leading company today, with more than 125,000 names on the original list of fifty names. This is Lillian's philosophy that the very foundation of a mailing list rests on customer loyalty and trust and this trust and loyalty is generally established whenever a company and its customers know and trust each other well. Lillian also states that as far as she is concerned, each and every customer out of the 21 million customers that she serves today, is a very real person to her, and not just part of some long list, and it also helps to keep a clear and detailed image of the typical customer in her mind at all times, as in this case, the customer would be a female with an upbeat attitude and simple values, with a need for personal space as well as time.

This is why the catalogues are designed in an old fashioned and homely type of way, and the typical customer would be attracted to this. If the customer were to be a 'bit happier' at her store than anywhere else, that customer would be more likely to tell her friends about her experience, and they in turn would tell others, and this means that whatever happens, one must see to it that the customer is kept happy. If the opposite happens, then it would be a loss for the company, because one unhappy customer may end up influencing ten more, and they in turn may influence many more, and this would be a great loss for the company. Selecting the right product, being completely honest with the customer, and welcoming any sort of communication between the customer and the management are all the important aspects of keeping a customer happy, and hereby improving one's business. (Make Someone Happy, your Customer)

Norm Brodsky, the CEO of Inc. 100, states that it is a common mistake many entrepreneurs make that they are indeed the very best at what they do, but the point is that these doses not in any way mean that they cannot get any better. There must be a constant striving to get better, and improve things, even if they do feel that they are the best. However, this does not mean that they must not feel pride in what they have achieved; pride in one's own company demonstrates the confidence that an entrepreneur has in his own company, and also shows his customers that he empathizes and feels for them, and wants to help them in his own way. Perhaps he is allowing his customers to save their money, or maybe making their lives better by selling one's product or service to them, or perhaps he offers them something that they cannot obtain elsewhere. However, these services must be better than the very best, as seen in the example the writer, Norm Brodsky gives. He says that his relatives owned an inn in upstate New York, and they believed that they were providing their customers with an exceptional level of service, and most customers, in fact, 96% of them, seemed to believe it as well. (The Inspector)

However, when the couple attempted to apply for a membership in an exclusive inn owners' association, according to which one has to be accepted by all the other members in the region, they were apprehensive, because of the practice of the association sending an Inspector who would act like a customer and conduct an inspection without the owners' knowledge. The couple went about preparing for the inspection, and each and every room was scrubbed clean and every aspect of the operation was checked not once but several times, as they waited for the inspector to turn up. Soon, the inn became so sparkling clean that the customers started to notice as well, and their ratings too went up as a result. The couple running the inn noticed that the inn was now operating on a completely new level, and they had in fact bettered their very best, in all their preparations for the inspector. Innovations became the routine rather than a rare occurrence, and everyone was happy, not least of all the customers. (The Inspector)

Another example of how to improve performance and to keep your customers happy in the process is seen in the case of Revco Drug Stores. This store happened to come up with a customer service improvement strategy that said, "Every Customer, every time." The principle behind it was that each employee of the store would ask themselves what they wanted to happen when the customer was in their store, every time, so that service could be improved. The management of the store listed out three most important things that the employee was supposed to consider when a customer entered… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Customer Service.  (2005, August 20).  Retrieved December 4, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/customer-service-during-early/1607

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"Customer Service."  20 August 2005.  Web.  4 December 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/customer-service-during-early/1607>.

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"Customer Service."  Essaytown.com.  August 20, 2005.  Accessed December 4, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/customer-service-during-early/1607.