HISTORY OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

The modern concept of customer service has its roots in the Craftsman Economy of the 1800s, when individuals and small groups of Manufacturers competed to produce arts and crafts to meet public Demand. Individual orders were booked for each customer and supplied according to his/her taste and demands. The economies were small and so were the transactions. The manufacturer was able to meet the customers on one to one basis and talk to customer to understand the minute details. Customer care and service were highly personalized. But then the economics swing was setting in. The technology was increasing and so was it difficult to cater to the individualistic needs of the customer. Gradually, the era of mass production came in. The advent of Mass Production in the early 20th century, followed by an explosion in the demand for goods after World War II, increased the power of suppliers at the expense of consumers, and thus reduced the importance of customer service. History tells us that customer service as a concept was kept aside in the cell. The manufacturers could produce what they could and these goods will find their way to customers on their own. Infect, it was the age of demand exceeding supplies. There was no need for customer service as an activity or as a tool for promotion or enhancement of markets.
But things never remain the same for long periods of time. A shift in this balance began in the 1970s, as international competition increased, and the dominance of western manufacturers was challenged, first by Japan, then by Korea, China and other developing economies. New world emerged with these Eastern economies taking to tremendous growth Producers responded by improving the quality of their products and services. They introduced to the world entirely a new concept—the concept of simplicity and convenience and economy to the world The economic boom of the 1990s again increased the power of suppliers who, while not completely reverting to lower standards of service, were able to be more selective of which customers to serve, and of what levels of service to provide. The overall quality of customer service in society and in specific industry- will continue to be determined by the relative balance of power between suppliers and consumers; it will improve as competition becomes more intense, and decline as competition decreases. We have to asses the global situation today and derive that we are facing a new development. Briefly, the product similarity is making it more a challenge today than ever before, to upgrade customer services to get an edge over the competitors. The technology is not only developed but also has assumed the position of universality. Global trade is now much more than ever before. Hence customer services and development is the only answer we have before us. We know more about this.

customer relationship management marketing  HISTORY OF CUSTOMER SERVICE

Strategic Advantage through Customer Service:

A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. Customer service can be such a difference. It is very difficult to control, and therefore difficult to imitate. It is difficult to control because of its variability. The level of service may vary greatly between two providers in the same organization. It may also vary from one moment to another, even as delivered by the same provider. The difficulty is compounded in multi-unit operations: in addition to variability within units, there is also variability among units.
Challenge and Opportunity:

That is both the challenge and the opportunity. The consistent delivery of superior service requires the careful design and execution of a whole system of activities that includes people, capital, technology, and processes. The few companies that can manage this system do stand out, and are sought out. This is the foundation of their sustainable competitive advantage.

Customer Service Culture:

For an organization’s members to deliver superior service consistently, they must be acculturated, i.e. instilled with the concept and spirit of customer service. We ought to create within our organization, the culture of customer service thru constant education and training. We ought to highlight the following constantly to our employees and make them work towards creation an environment of customer service. Infect, all our efforts should be directed towards that

  • Values –the results of good and effective customer service should be appreciated by all and adopted for its good value
  • Traits –to provide customer service, we ought to have some human traits—such as helping, courtesy and provision of services
  • Patterns –the pattern should be a part of operation—customer service pattern
  • Behavior and of course our behavior should be such that it renders customer service as a routine work and not just specially undertaken

The Mechanisms of Acculturation include:

What is acculturation? It means when norms and practices are adopted as a part of culture. Like anything we adopt in a society, admired and accepted by many people, as a part of a specific culture. Similarly, we can make customer service as a generally accepted and admired practice of management norms in an organization. Let us look at these factors:

Recruitment:

The customer service begins with recruitment of manpower—it means that the people we finally select should already have traits of service and should be willing to do so

Training:

We then start training tool- we must train staff from time to time and systematically training on customer services. In training, we must also hire outside sources for training courses and program

Empowerment:

This means that we should empower through written job descriptions employees for certain responsibilities and jobs. They should be encouraged to contribute their thoughts

Accountability:

And of course held accountable for their assigned jobs and responsibility, we even rate employees in their annual appraisals on customer service performance, which was not the proactive before.

All this within the framework of an organization’s ideology of service We look into some of the most critically impotent areas in CRM—we call it today the starting point of CRM—we have got to be very careful in these areas and take utmost care to do it a right thing, right at the outset

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