Customer service at a glance

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Once upon a time, the term customer service was introduced to the public. There was no exact date for that, however, as historians would just recall its inception as something "as old as time," or has been around for so long, ever since people started buying products and availing of services from merchants.

During those days, this term only suggested action. It was all about the "service," the "interaction" between the vendor and the buyer. It was a mere act, like calling a set of footsteps a "walk," a concoction of circling hip and hand movements a "dance."

Yet things came to change when contact centers became a reliable strategy for engaging customers, when businesses became brands and commerce was institutionalized and regulated. During those days, because everybody wanted to sell, every business began choosing colors, typefaces, and symbols to be associated with their name so that consumers could distinguish them from their competitors.

These days marked the day when "businesses" became "brands." And these days also saw how the mere action word "customer service" turned into a significant segment of branding itself, of a business' brand reputation. From that day on, and as how we see it now, it has completely veered away from its antiquated definition of merely being a term that implies "the brand's providing service to customers." The modern day has it that it's now "a series of actions designed to improve and elevate the level of customer satisfaction."

Customer satisfaction, indeed, is that term that changed how we perceive customer support. While back in the day it was all about the exchange of money for products and services, brands today inject something from it to make the transaction worthwhile and worth-remembering. Brands do this by satisfying customers, by giving them the best purchasing experience they could ever have.

The customer service element is present in every nook and cranny of a business' strategy—from their call center departments to the clerks, to field sales representatives to delivery personnel.

Perhaps, in a sense, this term has been overly bruised by how marketers, business experts, and economists overused it on their blogs, white papers, and theses insofar as its real meaning has been obscured over time. Possibly this might be the reason why many businesses still can't get its core essence.

As time goes by, a lot of psychological analyses and elements have been injected to the term that it became more difficult to grasp. Yet, at the end of the day, it must be remembered as how simple as early merchants defined it at their time and how it created a delightful connection between businesses and customers when "branding" became an important matter to sell: customer service is simply giving the customers a delightful and remarkable experience as they buy—from the moment they decide to purchase to the time they clasp the product in their very hands.

And should a more confusing definitions of this term comes in the offing, just remember these words and you'll never be forgetful again: customers, experience, and satisfaction.

Open Access BPO is a fast-rising outsourcing firm located in Makati, Philippines. We offer unique inbound customer service solutions to our worldwide clientele. Know more about our other services by visiting our website and Google+ page.