Group Assignment 2: Literature Review
Literature Review on Customer Service Management
One among many of the definitions given to customer service by Jay Kandampully (2012) in his book “Service Management: A New Paradigm in Retailing” are “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 expectations.”As the service industry’s importance has started to rise, things like customer service, relationships and experiences have become important aspects to service companies in order to achieve success. Customer service offered by the service sector needs to differ from the manufacturing sector due to its nature. In the manufacturing sector customers are able to evaluate the business based on the actual tangible good and may not care much for the augmented services provided with it, except for maybe in the case of cars, however service providers need to manage their customer service in the best possible way as that is the bases they will judged on. Service sector’s need to consider employee behavior, service scape and quality service in order to create a positive image in the minds of the consumer. An example of bad customer service is given through Apple due to their poor technical support, but however are able to get away with it due to their attractive nature. However Zappos.com and Bed Bath and Beyond are two companies that are directly opposite, one offers free shipping and 365x7x24 customer support while the other offers 100% satisfaction assured and free return shipping; and positioned right in between these two is Dell computers (Kandampully 2012).
Customer Service Management
Managing customer service has become most essential now more than ever, customers today are well educated and are very careful about what they purchase. Companies dealing in similar areas or providing homogenous services can use customized customer service to differentiate their services. According to Nyanisa Manjavu (2004) “quality and customer service have become a way of life rather than, short-term projects that can begin and end at will.” Some customer service management strategies mentioned are: * Motivate staff well for best attitudes from employees.
* Make part-time employees feel as part of the overall team. * Produce efficient and well organized systems to deal with variability of services. * Due to the importance of the customer service function, adequate resources need to be allocated to it. * Employee’s performance targets must be clear and realistic so as to encourage high standards of the service. (Manjavu 2004)
Some of the ways service organisations can create value for its customers is through continuous improvement of service quality, encounters and satisfaction:
Service quality refers to how the firm’s performance compares to the general expectations of the customer. The SERVQUAL model used in Srinivas Durvasula’s(2005) study is one of the most cited models proposed by Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1985), five dimensions have been recognized to describe service qualities: tangible, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. Also a 22-item scale was developed to measure these five dimensions (Durvasula, Lysonski and Mehta 2005).
The two main definitions for service encounters used in Durvasula’s (2005) paper are first off "a period of time during which a consumer directly interacts with the service” and “it is the collectivity of service encounters that is evaluated by the customer and not a single interaction per se”; both are said to be broad definitions in nature. This has become very important when determining customer satisfaction and its impact on service quality, service encounters can occur as...