n International Retail and Marketing Review - Customer service : quo vadis?

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN :



The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the status of customer service. The objective is to stimulate debate in this area and to indicate possible future areas for research in connection with customer service implementation. The approach followed is that of a conceptual paper based on a synthesis review. The findings show that, according to theory, customers are central to organisations. However, organisational performance is judged by the economic results the organisation achieves. In essence these statements show that a balanced view should be maintained between the customer and the organisation if long-term prosperityis to be assured. Accordingly, research has shown that those organisations that succeed in balancing stakeholder demands and integrating the right mix of a host of multifaceted variables impacting on customer service do indeed achieve success. However, not all organisations are successful in implementing customer service. Although executives indicate that they are paying increasing attention to their customers, they still do not understand them fully, which limits their success. The fact that executives do not fully understand their customers can be attributed to a number of factors, the most important being the fragmented presentation of customer service, ostensibly to simplify the complexity associated with this concept. A holistic approach is needed that balances stakeholder demands while including the right mix of variables that affect customer service. This holistic approach needs further investigation.

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