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Definition of Customer Service?

Everything we do is driven by you!

If you were looking for a definition of customer service you probably wouldn’t think to start with a car advertisement. Well maybe you should think again! A well-known car manufacturer once ran an advertising campaign with the slogan: “Everything we do is driven by you.”

This was a clever way to illustrate what is probably the most fundamental aspect of customer service. That customers are at the heart of what they did – at centre stage.

But how might you define customer service more conventionally?

If you turn to the dictionaries you get definitions such as:

“The assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services.” (Oxford dictionaries)

“The way that an organization deals with customers before, during, and after a sale, and the activities involved in dealing with customers.” (Cambridge dictionaries)

The UK’s Institute of Customer Service partly defines customer service as:

“the sum total of what an organization does to meet customer expectations and produce customer satisfaction”

Definition of customer service

You could summarise these definitions with other common views which suggest that customer service is:

  • Providing assistance and advice.
  • All embracing – everything that an organisation does with and for the customer.
  • A department – a function in the organisation which responds to customer queries or issues.
  • Behaviours that demonstrate care – an attitude.

So it’s clear that your definition of customer service may be different from someone else’s. Some people see customer service as a process, whilst others will see it as a philosophy. Some may even see it as a calling.

A definition of customer service – centre stage or the driving seat?

Whatever your preference, we think the words of the advert provide some food for thought, if not a good working definition:

“Everything we do is driven by you” – points to the notion of customer driven services. This captures two ideas:

  1. Our products and services are yours to experience and value.
  2. Our thinking and ideas – what we might do next – are driven by your needs and aspirations.

So instead of just thinking about customer service, try thinking about customer driven service. This means more than putting customers at centre stage.

It means putting them in the driving seat!

Tell us about your favourite definition of customer service by sharing your comments below.

 

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