In today's troubled economy, path to profit from product sales often leads to aggressive cost cutting, especially in a critical component within the service supply chain: customer service. Typically treated as a necessary cost center, customer service often is deferred or ignored in pursuit of lower costs.
Being optimistic, a company might position this as a temporary strategy, planning to restore customer service levels when sales improve or the economy recovers.
Companies should embrace customer service to attract new customers, at the same time taking advantage of opportunities to meet, even exceed, existing customers' expectations. More often than not, however, such plans never are realized. Those with responsibility for vital customer service and support are redeployed elsewhere; re-assigned to "do more with less," or leave the company. Revenue that could be generated and potential profits earned by a management about-face with respect to customer service is lost.
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