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Report: Survive Tough Times with Better Customer Service

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January 29, 2010

Report: Survive Tough Times with Better Customer Service

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Are Americans being more careful how and where they spend their money?
Put it this way: Are you?
A new report, “Research Priorities for the Science of Service,” from the Center for Services Leadership at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University suggests one way to keep customers happy.

The report puts forward the notion that “all businesses are service businesses,” and that services dominate the economies of advanced countries. As a result, the report finds that governments, academic institutions and businesses are calling for an increased focus on the science of service to direct and support emerging business models.
Customer service blogger Dave Parks notes that in certain industries, “the big players pay little attention to going the extra mile in ensuring a positive customer experience. Take the airline industry, for example. When was the last time you departed an airplane and said, “Wow, what a wonderful experience – I can’t wait to do that again!”
Right, Dave, me neither.
“Service providers’ ability to deliver a consistently superior customer experience can provide them with a clear competitive advantage and strong brand loyalty -- a fact that has been validated by several recent consumer surveys,” Parks said..
“Services have become a driving force in economies around the world, with less growth happening in products and manufacturing,” said Stephen W. Brown, executive director of the Center for Services Leadership, adding that the report is “meant to be a real guidebook on how to create and deliver valuable services and how to provide great customer service.”
The center's member firms include Boeing, Charles Schwab & Company, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard Company, Honeywell Aerospace, IBM (News - Alert) Global Services, Marriott International, Mayo Clinic, PetSmart, Sony Electronics, Southwest Airlines and State Farm Insurance Company. Companies who, you know, have a knack for keeping customers hanging around through thick and thin.
The report, Brown said, is the result of 18 months of in-depth interviews and surveys, including contributions from more than 300 executives and academics.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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