27 January 2011

Customer service intimacy

customer service intimacy

Customer service intimacy

Customer service is entirely about meeting clients expectations and needs. Companies invest very significant amounts of money to finance the gathering of data based on questionnaires and purchasing habits. The most sophisticated are now moving to lifestyle analysis in order to develop more holistic offers.
But what about the mood? A "know your client intimately" initiative should allow companies to find out what clients want now and adjust their services accordingly.

Picture courtesy of Ashford Daly Photography with our thanks -

20 January 2011

Customer service definition

How to define customer service? 

Agreeing an universal customer service definition is not an easy task. Numerous procedures, books and manuals illustrate the excellent contributions made to come up with the best customer service definition. The formula is then applied to the business environment in an attempt to define a rigid framework for customer service. However, whilst some rules are important to safeguard the customers and the companies interest, more emphasis should be placed on creating the right environment for employees, thereby vastly improving their job satisfaction. With a touch of training to shape their customer service skills, staff with the right attitude will do wonders.

customer service definition
Customer service definition?
Update November 2013:
In order to assist people looking for a comprehensive definition of customer service we have collated a few below:
  • definition #1 (source: wikipedia): "Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase."
  • definition #2 (source: business dictionary.com): "All interactions between a customer and a product provider at the time of sale, and thereafter." 
  • definition #3 (source: yourdictionary.com): "The definition of customer service is the assistance that customers receive from a company or its sales staff."
  • definition #4 (source: WordIQ.com): "Customer service is the set of behaviors that a business undertakes during its interaction with its customers."
  • definition #5 (source: Turban 2002): "Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation."
  • definition #6 (source: Oxford British Dictionary): "The assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services."
Looking at the above, the interesting common thread coming out is that customer service is all about interactions, during and after the sales process in order to satisfy customers.

So bringing it together, our customer service definition is:

 "Interactions with customers during and after the sale of a product or service in order to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction"

Update February 2016:

Checking on this post, it appears that one source have changed their definition:
- dictionary.com is now using: "assistance and other resources that a company provided to the people who buy or use its products or services" 

We also have a new definition: -
- from investopedia.com: "The process of ensuring customer satisfaction with a product or service"

These last two changes have not lead us to change our definition which remains:

 "Interactions with customers during and after the sale of a product or service in order to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction"

Update May 2023:

For completeness and given the emergence of AI which will play a key role in customer service before too long, here is an AI generated customer service definition:

"Customer service is the assistance and advice provided by a company to its customers. It can be provided before, during, or after a customer makes a purchase. The goal of customer service is to provide customers with a positive experience and to resolve any problems they may have."

Interestingly the AI generated definition is actually very close in sentiment to our aggregated definition. AI refers to company which we omit as the service can be provided by organisations which are not companies. It refers to assistance and advice but sometimes none as such is provided, it could simply be an interaction like welcoming a customer in a shop. It refers to pre, during and post purchase which is valid, we are therefore extending our definition to include pre-purchase service. New definition is now:

 "Interactions with customers before, during and after the sale of a product or service in order to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction"