The Three levels of Organizational Involvement with Respect to Customer Service

Customer service is used within an organization to elevate the level of customer satisfaction and improve business relationships with the customers. It increases competitive advantage and improve the company’s supply chain outcomes by creating value to the end consumer.

Within an organization customer service can be viewed from three distinctive ways or levels, each requiring a different level of commitment and involvement by the organization. The three levels of organizational involvement with respect to customer service are:

  • As an Activity: the first level of involvement of a company with respect to customer service is to look at customer service as an activity. In this case, the customer is provided the basic services that they need to close a business transaction. Some of the services at this level include billing, invoicing, product handling, and processing claims. The importance of this level is that it helps an organization to meet their business obligations and become responsible for addressing customer problems through a customer service department.
  • As a Set of Performance Measures: at this level, customer service is viewed as specific performance measures that should be achieved. For example, at this level of involvement the company can focus on a percentage of orders to be processed within a given period of time. A company that has this level of involvement will feel that their customer service is effective if they meet the performance measures that they have set.
  • As a Philosophy: in this level of involvement with respect to customer service, a company sees customer service as an organization-wide commitment to superior customer service. It is a philosophy that cuts through all departments and levels of management. This view promotes total quality management and promotes strategic synergy across the organization.

In conclusion, the first level of involvement views customer service as a mere activity that requires the least involvement from management. This level is necessary, but not sufficient to create value for the customer. The customer service activities in the first level are mere transactions.

In the second level, customer services are viewed objectively as ways of measuring customer service performance and using the measurement as a benchmark for improvement. Although this level helps in improving customer service, it is not sufficient to achieve customer service excellence or exceed the customer’s expectations.

The third level is needed to create customer delight, exceed the customers’ expectations and achieve customer service excellence. Customer service should be seen as an organizational philosophy that plays a central role in value creation to promote competitive advantage.

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