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According to Jamier L. Scott. (2002), “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 expectation."

Its importance varies by product, industry and customer; defective or broken merchandise can be exchanged/swapped, often only with a receipt and within a specified time frame. Retail stores will often have a desk or counter devoted to dealing with returns, exchanges and complaints, or will perform related functions at the point of sale.

Customer service may be provided by a person (e.g., sales and service representative), or by automated means called self-service. Examples of self service are Internet sites. The experience a customer has of a product also affect the total service experience, but this is more of a product direct feature than what is included in the definition of customer service.

Customer service is normally an integral part of a company’s customer value proposition. In their book Rules to Break and Laws to Follow, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. write that "customers have memories. They will remember you, whether you remember them or not." Further, "customer trust can be destroyed at once by a major service problem, or it can be undermined one day at a time, with a thousand small demonstrations of incompetence."

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. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement.

Some have argued 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.

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Quick Tip by . December 01, 2011
I'm part of a monthly blog chain whose topic this month is "gifts from the heart." Right now it's hard for me to actually think of something pleasant in a gift as I have been trying to take care of a billing problem with Verizon. So this will be my gift for you of a warning of doing business with a mega company and the promises that they make and don't keep, and how you might resolve the "service" issues.    This is not lack of payment on my part, rather it's getting money back …
review by . January 18, 2010
Expect nothing less than great customer service.
In the highly competitive world in which we live it simply makes no sense at all to deal with retailers, financial institutions or service providers who offer nothing less than top notch customer service.  There are just too many options out there to accept anything less.  SCORE or the SCORE Association was previously known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives.   SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to …
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