I found this Frances Frei and Anne Morriss perspective on [customer service] excellence refreshing. Please note particularly:
“In their new book, Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press), coauthors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss (MBA ’04) maintain that it is possible for organizations to reduce costs while dramatically enhancing customer service. That win-win approach involves “looking at your biggest buckets of cost and rethinking those strategically in ways that give your customers something they value,” notes Frei, the UPS Foundation Professor of Service Management.”
Following are several of the tough choices organizations must make to achieve customer service excellence, according to Frances and Anne:
• How do customers define “excellence” in your offering? Is it convenience? Friendliness? Flexible choices? Price?
• How will you get paid for that excellence? Will you charge customers more? Get them to handle more service tasks themselves?
• How will you empower your employees to deliver excellence? What will your recruiting, selection, training, and job design practices look like? What about your organizational culture?
• How will you get your customers to behave? For example, what do you need to do to get them to treat your employees with respect? Do you need to make it easier for them to use new technology?