At America's Service
IN THIS SUMMARY
Many service firms are paying a high price in lost business due to mediocre service, while few firms are truly oriented toward quality customer service. Businesses often don't understand customers and their priorities, and rarely have elective quality control programs. Management systems are often an active impediment to quality service, and many managers adhere to outmoded management concepts wholly unsuited to a service environment. Service is generally neglected in businesses. Too often, advertising slogans are substituted for real changes in customer service. Although service is becoming more and more a competitive factor, few companies have undertaken the difficult task of service management. Service management is a total organizational approach that makes quality of service the number one driving force of the business. The entire organization should be doing whatever is necessary to see things from the customers' point of view and satisfy their needs. The service management approach begins with a commitment from management, seeking to build a service culture that will suffuse the organization. Satisfied customers are assets-the only assets that really count in the long run. Management needs to examine every episode in which customers come into contact with any aspect of the organization in order to ensure that customers come away from these interactions with a favorable impression of service quality.