The purpose of this book is to provide a comprehensive theoretical framework as well as practical strategies—not just for survival but for a true search for excellence in the uncertain and ever-changing world of customer service management.  The theoretical framework is based on the notion that customer service contains three key variables: a promise, a process, and people. After going through the step-by-step process of service management, the reader will have the necessary understanding and skill to choose the right strategy for the right circumstances, to design service processes, to identify the means and methods to implement these processes, and to measure the outcome.  

Looking Back on Service

Looking back on service

In manufacturing, a product is composed of hundreds or thousands of components. Similarly, services consist of hundreds or thousands of components. However, unlike a product, service components are usually not physical entities, but rather are a combination of processes, people skills, and materials that must be appropriately integrated to yield the “planned” or “designed” service.

—Goldstein, Johnston, Duffy, and Rao111


After completing this chapter, you should be able to

  • Identify key characteristics of service phenomena
  • Understand how service differs from manufacturing
  • Understand the importance of service for Western societies
  • Realize managerial implications of service organizations

The Importance of Service

Well into the second half of the 20th century, the industrial structure of Western societies was dominated by production of goods from ...

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