Capstone Project: Customer Service Orientation

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[. . .] This means that the more people rely on mobile, the more that marketers and customer service needs to be focused on mobile as a key element of customer interaction. One of the most interesting aspects of this is that, increasingly, customers expect outbound communications (Leggett, 2014). Where at one point you might have had to pay a newspaper to publicize a deal and hope someone noticed, today customers have signed up to your Twitter feed specifically because they want such notifications. If you have a sale and don't send out a tweet, customers will actually get annoyed about this -- outbound communication has become a much more important element of the customer service experience in the mobile age.

Related to the outbound trend, customers are also increasingly turning to companies for time-saving. Thus, companies are expected to engage more with customers, and must be proactive in doing so. Consider if a customer posts on their Facebook a complaint about an airline -- maybe Delta lost their luggage or something. Many times customers will be dissatisfied but never contact the company. They will, however, tell their friends. That is what is happening when the customer makes a post like this. Now, the company has an opportunity to respond. It is worth remembering that with a high customer orientation has always valued the idea that complaints are opportunities to strengthen the brand and improve loyalty (Plymire, 1992; Tax & Brown, 1998). The idea is old, but the new trend is being able to access customer complaints that are not directed to the company.

Importance of Change

Making changes to a company's customer orientation can occur for a number of reasons, but ultimately poor performance is probably one of them. As the competitive environment evolves, companies need to adapt. When a new competitor enters the industry and the main differentiation that it has is superior service, that is something that will force a change from the other competitors. Even in the absence of changes to the competitive environment, many firms that previously didn't have a high customer orientation have realized that they can increase sales faster by improving their service standards. It is important to understand that for many companies this shift is incremental in nature -- most big companies have reasonable service levels. Companies with lousy service end up not having too many customers. So the change could be internally-driven if sales were below expectations or there was a customer service crisis.

Once the change has been made, it should be easy to incorporate into future plans. A firm that has established a customer orientation culture can then build on that culture fairly easily. While the current trends in customer service are mainly in technology, that might change in the future and companies will be compelled to adapt again. But the underlying culture is the most important part, because once that is in place the precise tactics by which the company will offer superior service can be implemented and changed quite freely. For any firm that is seeking to increase its customer orientation, it has to start with the organizational culture, right at the highest levels of the organization. It needs to be built into the company's DNA, starting with the CEO, and the organization's strategy. Then, customer service standards can be modernized.


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Tax, S. & Brown, S. (1998). Recovering and learning from service failure. MIT Sloan Management Review. Retrieved March 22, 2014 from

Zablah, A., Franke, G., Brown, T. & Bartholomew, D. (2012). How and when does… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Capstone Project:

APA Format

Customer Service Orientation.  (2014, March 23).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Customer Service Orientation."  23 March 2014.  Web.  16 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Customer Service Orientation."  March 23, 2014.  Accessed June 16, 2019.