There is a great piece in the Post-Bulletin on what customer service is, and what it takes to deliver it. See the original article.
I particularly liked the quote: “Customer loyalty isn’t measured by the number of satisfied customers going out of your business today. It is measured by the number of loyal customer who return to your business tomorrow…” Very true.
When companies make efforts to improve their customer service performance, there is always a payback that you can see right away. But the really big gains are the ones that are tougher to measure. When people ask me how they can justify the cost of improving their customer experience, I always suggest they look at it the other way around – what is the cost of not improving your service levels?