Customer Service for Business Success

Abstract

As markets have become flooded with products and services that are weakly differentiated, businesses have shifted their focus on strategies that boost their success. One major strategy is customer service. Mainly, customer service relates to customers’ satisfaction of their needs through services provided with care, sensitivity, and efficiency. Notably, customer service is achieved through the provision of quality products and services, price differentiation, and reliable, timely service delivery.

Presumably, the provision of quality goods and services, price differentiation, and reliable, timely service provision have a positive effect on business success. The proposal will rely on qualitative analysis whereby a review of prior studies relating to the role of customer service on business service will be done. Based on the conventional theory, the findings of the proposal are anticipated to show that customer service has a positive impact on business success.

Introduction

Currently, markets are flooded with many products and services that are weakly differentiated. Mainly, businesses have the capacity to copy products and services from their competitors. Besides, many products sold in the market perform relatively similar tasks. For instance, both LG Washers and BrandsMart USA washing machines provide consumers with similar services. In this regard, product differentiation does not inform the choice of product or service among the customers in the market.

On the other hand, due to the lack of product differentiation, the selection of commodities in the market is highly influenced by customer service. According to Gibson, customer service entails the quality of a product or service, reliable, timely service provision, and reasonable prices (achievable through price differentiation) (6). In this regard, businesses use customer service to differentiate themselves from their rival companies in the marketplace in order to achieve success.

Literature Review

The customer service may be defined as “the process of satisfying the customer, relative to the product or service, in whatever way the customer defines his or her need, and having that service delivered with efficacy, compassion, and sensitivity” (Gibson 6). As Tansky, Heneman, and Greenberger note, the fundamental goal of customer service is to produce timely solutions to customer needs, resolve their complaints and problems, and create a desirable interaction environment with products and services (126). Although the primary objective of customer service is to create customer satisfaction, good customer service implies disparate things to different customers. For instance, an international flight that leaves and arrives on time is excellent customer service to a busy traveling executive.

Notably, working with a reliable office supply store that maintains a good inventory of products on hand and delivers dependably is excellent customer service to a harried executive administrative assistant. Further, competent, and caring advice from the career advisor on the best course of study is the best service for a college student entering a new school. However, in reality, “the only perspective that matters is the customer’s concept and perception of good service at the time it is needed and delivered” (Gibson 6). The main customer service variables identified in this proposal are the role of quality products and services in business success, the role of price differentiation in the business success and the role of reliable timely service provision on business success.

The Role of Quality Products and Services in Business Success

The creation of a superior experience for the customer via delivery of quality products and services is one major step in which retailers can improve their opportunities for developing successful businesses. In the context of internet retailing, Doherty, Shakur, and Ellis-Chadwick argue that “service quality should be conceptualized, broadly, as the degree to which the consumers’ serves needs have been met” (52).

Notably, over the last two decades, many studies demonstrated the role of product and service quality in shaping customer behaviors and experiences. Specifically, such studies have shown that the quality of goods and services have a positive impact on a range of customer based success measures such as customer trust, customer intention to buy and customer satisfaction (Doherty, Shakur, and Ellis-Chadwick 52). In this case, this proposal hypothesizes that the quality of products and services has a positive impact on the success of the business.

The Role of Price Differentiation in the Business Success

Pricing of goods and services is a major determinant of customers’ response towards their purchase or consumption. According to Vogel and Paul, “some retailers insist on price consistency across channels (e.g. Ann Inc., Kohl’s Corp.), but successful multichannel players such as Walmart, Tesco, and AT&T differentiate their prices across online and offline channels” to provide unique services to their customers (126).

Companies use price differentiation strategies to appeal to different customer segments that show dissimilar willingness to pay. As Vogel and Paul note, customers pay prices that correspond to their maximum willingness to pay, and in this case, the profitability of the seller increases because of higher revenues, ideally without associated costs to implement the price differentiation (127). Notably, price differentiation can maximize the profitability of a firm in the markets where customer tastes are diverse, and inter-consumer arbitrage is hard. Thus, this proposal hypothesizes that the price differentiation has a positive impact on the business success.

The Role of Reliable Timely Service Provision on Business Success

Mainly, many customers prefer to use or purchase products and services from firms that provide timely services. Notably, individuals who work with busy schedules will choose to travel on flights that reach their destination on time in spite of the charges. According to Fierroa, Polob, and Olivánb, customers feel more Indebted to firms that respond quickly to their needs, manage their complaints efficiently and replace or repair faulty products promptly (200).

In this regard, customer satisfaction is achieved through the timely provision of desirable services and at the same time, a prompt address on emerging complaints. Again, Fierroa, Polob, and Olivánb note that appropriate provision of products and services creates satisfaction to customers who in turn become prescribers through a generation of positive attitudes to the company. Overall, positive attitudes from customers enhance brand reputation and image; hence, they assist in attracting new customers. Thus, this proposal hypothesizes that reliable timely service provision has a positive impact on business success.

Methodology

The proposal will rely on qualitative analysis. Notably, a review will be done on studies handling the three identified variables in the literature review, which include the role of quality products and services in business success, the role of price differentiation in the business success, and the role of reliable timely service provision on business success.

The prior studies will include book and journal articles from business related databases such as Science Direct, Academic Search Complete, Emerald, and Business Source Complete. Particularly, the proposal will compare and contrast arguments from different studies as a way of establishing common ground. In short, it will attempt to extract conventional meanings from the arguments made in the previous studies (Monette, Sullivan, and DeJong 432). In this regard, the main arguments from the studies on each variable will constitute the conclusive findings.

Expected Results

Notably, some studies findings and arguments regarding the role of consumer service on business growth will be positive. On the other hand, other studies findings and arguments on the role of consumer service on business growth will be negative. However, based on the conventional theory that good customer service promotes business growth, the expected results of the proposal are that timely provision of services, provision of quality products and services, and price differentiations enhance business success through increased sales and profitability.

Conclusion

The primary objective of customer service is to expedite solutions to customers, resolve their complaints and problems, and create desirable interaction environment between the customers and products (and services). Mainly, customer service plays an important role in the success of the business through reliable timely service provision, price differentiation, and provision of quality products and services. In particular, customers’ satisfaction through timely provision of quality services enhances brand reputation and image; hence, promotes business success through increased sales and profitability. Overall, customer service, which is realized through quality products and services, timely provision of services and price differentiation, promotes the success of business.

Works Cited

Doherty, Neil F., Mahani Shakur, and Fiona Ellis-Chadwick. “The Role of E-Service Quality Management in the Delivery Business Value.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 27 (2015): 52-62. Print.

Fierroa, Jesús Cambra, Iguácel Melero Polob, and F. Javier Sesé Olivánb. “From Dissatisfied Customers to Evangelists of the Firm: A Study of the Spanish Mobile Service Sector.” Business Research Quarterly (BRQ) 17.3 (2014): 191–204. Print.

Gibson, Pattie. The World of Customer Service. 3rd ed. 2013. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning. Print.

Monette, Duane R. Thomas J. Sullivan, and Cornell R. DeJong. Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

Tansky, Judith W., Robert L. Heneman, and David B. Greenberger. Human Resource Strategies for the High Growth Entrepreneurial Firm. Greenwich, Campaign to Suppress CT: Information Age Publishing, 2006. Print.

Vogel, Julia, and Michael Paul. One firm, “One Product, Two Prices: Channel-Based Price Differentiation and Customer Retention.” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 27 (2015): 126-139. Print.