Customer service

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Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees "who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest".[1]

From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization's ability to generate income and revenue.[2] Customer service also plays a crucial role in both increasing and maintaining customer loyalty,[3] the tendency of a customer to repeat doing business with a company in the future. One good customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer holds towards the organization.[4]

Customer support[edit]

Customer support is a range of customer services to assist customers in making cost-effective and correct use of a product.[5] It includes assistance in planning, installation, training, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and disposal of a product.[5] These services may even be done at the place in which the customer makes use of the product or service. In this case, it is called "at home customer services" or "at home customer support."

Automated customer service[edit]

Customer service may be provided by a person (e.g., sales and service representative), or by automated means,[6] such as kiosks, Internet sites, and apps. An advantage with automated means is an increased ability to provide service 24 hours a day, which can, at least, be a complement to customer service by persons.[7]

An increasingly popular type of automated customer service is conducted through artificial intelligence ("AI"). The customer benefit of AI is the feel for chatting with a live agent through improved speech technologies while giving customers the self-service benefit.[8] Another example of automated customer service is by touch-tone phone, which usually involves IVR (Interactive Voice Response) a main menu and the use of the keypad as options (e.g., "Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish", etc.).[9]

However, in the Internet era, a challenge has been to maintain and/or enhance the personal experience while making use of the efficiencies of online commerce. "Online customers are literally invisible to you (and you to them), so it's easy to shortchange them emotionally. But this lack of visual and tactile presence makes it even more crucial to create a sense of personal, human-to-human connection in the online arena."[10]

An automated online assistant with avatar providing automated customer service on a web page.

Examples of customer service by artificial means are automated online assistants that can be seen as avatars on websites,[7] which enterprises can use to reduce their operating and training costs.[7] These are driven by chatterbots (also called "chatbots"), and a major underlying technology to such systems is natural language processing.[7]


The two main ways of gathering feedback are customer surveys and Net Promoter Score measurement, used for calculating the loyalty that exists between a provider and a consumer.[11]

Instant feedback[edit]

Many organizations have implemented feedback loops that allow them to capture feedback at the point of experience. For example, National Express in the UK has invited passengers to send text messages while riding the bus. This has been shown to be useful, as it allows companies to improve their customer service before the customer defects, thus making it far more likely that the customer will return next time.[12]


Some argue [13] that the quality and level of customer service has decreased in recent years, and that this can be attributed to a lack of support or understanding at the executive and middle management levels of a corporation and/or a customer service policy. To address this argument, many organizations have employed a variety of methods to improve their customer satisfaction levels, and other key performance indicators (KPIs).[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Buchanan, Leigh (1 March 2011). "A Customer Service Makeover". Inc. magazine. Retrieved 29 Oct 2012.
  2. ^ Paul H. Selden (1998). "Sales Process Engineering: An Emerging Quality Application". Quality Progress: 59–63.
  3. ^ Jeon, Gye Hyun (2008). "The effects of cosmetic purchasing customer's complaint handling behavior on service satisfaction and loyalty". doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.26180.55685. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Teresa Swartz, Dawn Iacobucci. Handbook of Services Marketing and Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
  5. ^ a b > customer support Archived 2018-07-23 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 2011
  6. ^ "10 reasons why AI-powered, automated customer service is the future". Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  7. ^ a b c d Kongthorn, Alisa & Sangkeettrakarn, Chatchawal & Kongyoung, Sarawoot & Haruechaiyasak, Choochart (2009). "Implementing an online help desk system based on conversational agent". Bibliometrics Data in: Proceeding, MEDES '09 Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems. New York, NY, USA: ACM. ISBN 978-1-60558-829-2.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link) doi:10.1145/1643823.1643908
  8. ^ Goebel, Tobias. "Google Duplex's Conversational AI Shows a Path to Better Customer Service". Simpler Media Group. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  9. ^ Tolentino, Jamie. "Enhancing customer engagement with interactive voice response". The Next Web. Retrieved 2020-05-17.
  10. ^ Solomon, Micah (4 March 2010). "Seven Keys to Building Customer Loyalty--and Company Profits". Fast Company. Retrieved 29 Oct 2012.
  11. ^ Mandal, Pratap Chandra (2014). "Net promoter score: a conceptual analysis". International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy. 8 (4): 209. doi:10.1504/ijmcp.2014.066899. ISSN 1478-1484.
  12. ^ "Lunch Lesson Four - Customer service". BBC News. October 3, 2003. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  13. ^ Dall, Michael; Bailine, Adam (2004). Service this: Winning the war against customer disservice (1st ed.). Last Chapter First. ISBN 0-9753719-0-8.
  14. ^ "Performance Management and KPIsLinking Activities to Vision and Strategy". Retrieved 2018-08-31.