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...