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STUDENTS’ CORNER - 97

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Customer Service
Customer is always right. This is the most powerful and meaningful guiding slogan for a successful business. No business can survive without customers and all complex marketing strategies can be said to have two major functions: To attract new customers to offset the possible exit of some existing customers; To retain the existing customers. These two objectives cover the basics of the business strategies.
The end of customer service is nothing less or nothing more than customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer is generally a sure source of business, that is, a sure source of revenue for the company.
Customer service describes the relationship between the product and the customer primarily in three levels: Promise, Perform and Please.  The company records its promise of quality to customer satisfaction through appeals using the media, advertisement and agencies; once the customer buys the product, it performs its promise and thereby pleases the customer persuading him into customer loyalty to the product of the company.  In other words, relationship is built progressively offering service to the customer. The product offers support to the customer before and after the purchase of the product. A contented customer is usually a constant customer.
Unlike in the recent past when a customer decided upon price, or service, today the customer has matured and demands overall experience which is what we discussed earlier, the experience of Promise, of Performance and of Pleasure. Only when all these essential attributes are taken care of, the product will do well in the environment of stifling competition.  Without facing competition no business can survive for long. And competition compels quality of total experience.
Bad customer service pushes out the customer and it is said that acquiring new customers cost about 6 times more than retaining an existing customer. Any additional unplanned expenditure corrodes the bottom line of the company. In today’s digital explosion, customers know everything about your product and about other companies that offer the same product. And it is reported that today’s customers tend to expect more and more; with the result, competition among the companies of the same segment with the same product offering gets keener day by day. Another very important fact that must not be made light of is negative aspects of any product experience move faster among the digital buffs. Against this backdrop of potential threats to bad experience of a service or a product, the good thing today is customers are willing to pay more for better experience. They tighten the purse for a bad product but the purse is generous when it encounters better product or service.
All this goes to underscore the extraordinary importance of customer service and next, we shall see in what ways the customer service can be maintained at a profitable level.