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One of the main features of the modern business world is the high level of competition that continues to increase. This tendency can be explained by the existence of beneficial conditions for the development of small and big companies. Globalization, technological revolution, and intensive international discourse serve as the major facilitators of the rise of various industries and companies. Additionally, the shift in people’s mentalities preconditioned the higher level of independence and the desire for self-actualization. For this reason, the constant appearance of new companies that try to enter various markets is the trend of contemporary society. It contributes to the rapid evolution of multiple spheres of human activities as demand begets supply; however, it also means that to remain competitive, firms have to devote more attention to issues that might guarantee their future development. In this regard, excellent customer service, as one of the fundamental aspects of clients’ satisfaction, becomes one of the most potent tools that should be utilized by companies to achieve high-performance levels and beneficial outcomes.
Analyzing the increased significance of customer service, the central factors preconditioning its growing importance should be outlined. First of all, modern society can be determined as the consumer one. It means that the consumption of proposed goods is one of the central features that should be considered by various industries to satisfy the constantly growing demand for new commodities (Goetsch & Davis, 2015). At the same time, the availability of numerous products means the existence of a wide choice and multiple options for clients. Under these conditions, to sell a service or a certain object to a group of clients, companies should correctly realize their diversified demands for it. In other words, customization and focus on particular cohorts of people along with the segmentation of the market became an integral part of the modern business world. Furthermore, regarding the fact that the majority of companies recognize this idea, the need for the creation of long-term relations with customers and their loyalty becomes the only possible way to win the rivalry.
From this very perspective, the idea of excellent customer service emerged in terms of the growing competition between the most influential companies acting in various market segments. The constant broadening of the target audience is a key factor preconditioning the future success of corporations, stable income, and growing interest in its products. That is why trying to generate a competitive environment, representatives of organizations start to adhere to new individualized and flexible approaches ensuring that every customer will remain satisfied with the offered products, services, or other items suggested by firms (Hill, 2017). The given method preconditioned the rise of a completely new strategy of working with individuals emphasizing the fundamental role of their satisfaction and its direct correlation with the results of any corporation. In such a way, the idea of outstanding customer service became topical.
The significance and the scope of the term precondition the existence of multiple definitions. The broadest one states that service excellence can be determined as the focus on the provision of services that exceed clients’ expectations and delight them (Asif & Gouthier, 2014). It becomes a fundamental element of any organization’s sustainability and development as it creates conditions that demanded the cultivation of customer loyalty and profitability (Asif & Gouthier, 2014). In such a way, there is a direct correlation between the level of customer service and the company’s success and ability to compete with the closest rivals. However, despite the seeming simplicity, the term remains a complex and challenging issue. First of all, because of its acceptance by multiple firms and the existence of diverse needs, there are no standardized approaches to the implementation and addressing of these issues in business organizations (Marquardt, 2015). The existing guidelines outline the essential factors impacting the success of implementation and results, but there are many other issues affecting every particular case.
The existing methods, such as business excellence models (BEMs) or European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), also do not outline direct and universal guidelines on how to implement these strategies into the work of companies and achieve success (Asif & Gouthier, 2014; Marquardt, 2015). The existence of the given tendency can be explained by several factors. First of all, the diversity mentioned above means that every case should be investigated separately, and only some general trends can be outlined. It is preconditioned by the existing differences in clients’ demands mentioned above. Every company working in a particular sphere faces the need for improved performance and customer loyalty that can be achieved only by fulfilling their requirements. For this reason, all existing models of customer service excellence emphasize the focus on individuals’ needs as a key factor to attain success. At the same time, there are multiple challenges related to the creation of an effective strategy and its integration with the functioning of a certain company.
The majority of research papers have a common perspective on the issue. They assume that customers’ desires and needs are a basic requirement for the work of any company as they have the right to an adequate level of service (Asif & Gouthier, 2014). At the same time, the existence of superior, or excellent service, can become a pleasant experience and a factor creating a positive association between a brand and a provided product. The frequency of these experiences directly depends on the industry, products, and current market demand (Asif & Gouthier, 2014). However, every company should try to create conditions that contribute to the emergence of such moments as the key to the future evolution of organizations. Even satisfied customers can quit because of various reasons. For this reason, moments of delight or some positive emotions become critical for the work of any firm, and they ensure that individuals will want to experience these feelings again and return to the same service providers.
Regarding the given idea, the customer service excellence model presupposes that there are four elements that should be observed to achieve the desired goal. These are “delivering the promise, providing a personal touch to the service, devoting extra effort, and dealing well with problems and queries” (Asif & Gouthier, 2014, p. 514). These activities can be performed via the managerial effort and appropriate organization of the companies’ work. To deliver what is promised and act effectively in various situations, managers should have specific systems that can help to solve unexpected situations. These mechanisms of service recovery are critical for models of excellence as they guarantee that clients’ demands will be fulfilled in any case (Asif & Gouthier, 2014). The given framework becomes one of the possible ways to ensure better functioning. The given excellence model is one of the existing methods to achieve service excellence, which is one of the goals of modern companies.
From another perspective, the achievement of customer service excellence is closely related to the basic principles of total quality management (TQM). Discussing the given model, specialists outline the fact that to achieve high satisfaction levels and guarantee that they will remain high, any organization should engage in the constant improvement of all aspects of its operation (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). One of the possible ways to achieve it in terms of the given paradigm is the increased attention to leadership and decision-making focused on offering better solutions to customers and involving all employees in continuous quality improvement activities (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). For this reason, the idea of customer service excellence is also related to the creation of a special culture and climate within an organization as not prepared employees can demonstrate resistance to change and low preparedness levels, which can deteriorate results and precondition the appearance of multiple undesired changes (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). In other words, the quality culture should be cultivated in any organization that is focused on the gradual increase of clients’ satisfaction level and the creation or generation of high loyalty levels, which is the desired goal of any corporation.
Among various organizations, there are many approaches that are used to improve their relations with customers. For instance, there is a focus on customer retention as this very strategy is not so expensive and can help to achieve positive results (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). At the same time, speaking about customer satisfaction levels, there is no need for too strict economic measures as they can repel customers from the company and create the opposite effect. That is why there is a critical demand for the achievement of a balance between spending and the creation of effective measures that can help to improve all aspects of the firm’s work. It will help any organization to evolve and create outstanding customer service that will attract new clients.
In such a way, accepting the unique role of customer service excellence in the functioning and evolution of any company, there are multiple opportunities for its implementation. First of all, in accordance with the dominant opinion and the relevant statistics, companies characterized by the high level of clients’ loyalty and devotion have more opportunities for becoming successful (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). It can be explained by stable income and its growth. Under these conditions, the creation of an excellent model of customer service becomes a key to the achievement of desired goals and generation of the competitive advantage. That is why the successful implementation of any excellence model acquires the top priority. The main aspect of the improvements in this area is the focus on clients’ delight (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). It can be achieved via that systematic approach to upgrading and alignment of a continuous process of upgrading all fields related to customer service.
At the same time, any company that tries to build excellent models should possess increased flexibility. The ability to adapt to the constantly changing demands of clients and provide them with the services they want is vital for the above-mentioned concept of delight. The desired level of preparedness to all possible requirements can also be attained due to the upgrade or creation of certain systems and structures such as better feedback service or public relations units that are fundamental for the discussed field. In other words, customer service excellence also requires significant, and numerous alterations in the way organizations work because of the scope of this field and its significance for outcomes.
Another implication of excellent customer service in companies is that it contributes to better leadership and decision-making patterns. The effective way to achieve high levels of performance is to start from improvements in the sphere of management and leadership that serve as the basis for any successful strategy and future achievements (Kanji & Wallace, 2000). For this reason, the discussed concept has a beneficial impact on the essential spheres of any organization’s work and contributes to their improvement. Better leadership parameters affect people’s performance and their motivation to work, which is critical for desired outcomes. That is why the current approach to the creation of the environment characterized by customers’ delight and their satisfaction with the provided services presupposes the radical reconsideration of the basics’ of companies’ functioning.
Furthermore, speaking about the implications of customer service excellence in organizations, it is critical to mention that effective monitoring and evaluation systems are required to guarantee that introduced changes have a positive impact on the work of the company and, which is even more important, are welcomed by clients who benefit from the focus on their delight and measures that are implemented to guarantee that all their requirements will be understood and appropriately analyzed. That is why the effective data collection system is also another factor preconditioning the successful implementation of various service improvements. Considering the fact that the central idea of any change is the promotion of delight among potential clients, managers and leaders should be ready to respond to any alterations in the target group and provide appropriate reactions.
Altogether, from the theoretical framework offered previously, it becomes clear that the concept of excellent customer service is critically important for the work and development of any modern organization, regardless of the sphere. However, the complexity of relations with clients and diversification of their demands mean that the appropriate changes in the structure are fundamental. At the same time, implications for the existing excellence models are rather broad and include various benefits guaranteeing that the creation of the appropriate environment is critical for any successful company. Among the possible implications, one should also mention a significant increase in the overall effectiveness of companies because of the ability to delight clients (Naidu & Reich, 2018). For the modern business world, it becomes a central factor demanded to win the rivalry and compete with other actors. Moreover, the discussed framework is closely related to the brand’s image and its popularity among individuals. The ability to meet diverse demands helps to improve the reputation and contribute to the future evolution of the firm. For this reason, another implication of customer service is the desire to repair or enhance the existing attitude to the company.
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Summarizing the idea of excellent customer service, it can be determined as a set of measures that are introduced by the company, its leaders, and managers with the central goal to delight clients and guarantee high levels of loyalty and devotion among them. However, the complexity of the task also means that radical systematic changes of all structures are demanded to create a paradigm that will function in various conditions and help to achieve desired goals. The existing guidelines on customer service do not offer an ideal approach that works in any situation because of the multiple demands among clients. At the same time, there are many excellent models that presuppose a focus on the most critical issues demanded to align the effective work of a company.
Applying the idea of service excellence to modern companies, it should be noted that the central aspect is the necessity to meet the existing demands for the diversification and customization of all services and products that are presented to the market. The old approach presupposing only the focus on the quality of products is replaced with a new one outlining the high role of clients’ delight (Marquardt, 2015). This tendency can be considered a reflection and continuation of the paradigm that the needs of the client are central for any business. For this reason, there are attempts to create a system that will be able to satisfy all existing requirements and offer multiple opportunities for improved cooperation between all stakeholders.
Altogether, excellent customer service is one of the fundamental elements of any modern company that wants to remain prosperous and play leading roles in various market segments. For this reason, the utilization of different models offered regarding the desired goals becomes the possible way to create an environment characterized by enhanced cooperation between clients and management and their delight. This trend is one of the dominant tendencies in the modern business world as it creates the basis for future evolution and development.
Asif, M., & Gouthier, M. (2014) What service excellence can learn from business excellence models. Total Quality Management, 25(5), 511-531.
Goetsch, D., & Davis, S. (2015). Quality management for organizational excellence: Introduction to total quality (8th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.
Hill, N. (2017). How to measure customer satisfaction (2nd ed.). London, England: Routledge.
Kanji, K., & Wallace W. (2000) Business excellence through customer satisfaction. Total Quality Management, 11(7), 979-998.
Marquardt, A. (2015). Concepts and realization of customer delight. International Journal of Sales, Retailing and Marketing, 4(5), 3-13.
Naidu, S., & Reich, A. (2018). Collective action and customer service in retail. ILR Review, 71(4), 986–1001. Web.