Managers of business must be aware of the environmental trends that can give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. They must deal with market and environmental forces more effectively than their competitors and must consistently perform “something” of high value that their competitors cannot achieve or perform as well. Customer Service is one such “something” that can give businesses a competitive advantage.
Business Week’s March 5th article, “Customer Service Champs” highlights twenty-five businesses that excel at providing customers with a level of service unmatched by their rivals. Their commitment to adding value to their products and building lasting relationships with their customers give them an advantage over their competition.
I think the missing link in business today is a good customer service ethic, business take their customers for granted. Making customer satisfaction a factor in setting pay is a great way of making sure that everyone is invested in providing the best customer service. Having employees experience what their customers go through is another. I think that businesses that take care of their customers and sincerely care about them will have a competitive advantage in the market place.
One such company that I believe that excels at customer service is Southwest Airlines. In 2001 Southwest Airlines (number thirteen on Business Week’s list) created a new executive customer service position. This position manages all communications with their customers in the event of a flight disruption (McGregor 54). This proactive approach demonstrates Southwest Airlines commitment to their customers.
McGregor, Jena. “Customer Service Champs.” Business Week 5 March 2007: 52-64.