Customer Service is always key to the success of every organization. It is not enough for companies to have good sales strategies but neglecting, on the other hand, their customer retention efforts through poor customer service. It is equally important for companies to manage their existing clients by taking care of their needs right after the sales had been closed (Clark 1). By ensuring post-sales customer satisfaction, it is highly likely that the company’s sales would increase and thereby boosting further the company’s business. This paper aims to showcase the service philosophy and service standards that a car rental service provider company has developed that will be implemented within the organization. These philosophy and standards hope to guide all the stakeholders of the company in ensuring the best quality service to both its internal and external customers. 1. Service Philosophy: Vision and Mission Statement The company’s vision, in this case, is to be the country’s number one service provider in car rental services through the provision of excellent and quality customer service to both its internal and external clients. Its mission, on the other hand, is to deliver outstanding service to all their customers by ensuring the utmost safety and convenience of their clients, bringing them to their destination in a timely manner and meeting all their clients’ needs to the best of their abilities. The company aims to train and equip all its employees, especially the front-line staff, to become efficient in handling all their clients and addressing all their concerns in a professional manner affording respect, courtesy and sensitivity to the customers’ needs. 2. Service Standards Service standards are important for companies as they “help define what a customer can expect and remind management and employees of the challenges and obligations that they face” (Paternoster 1). It is critical to help fulfill the goals of the company in terms of how they will deliver quality service to its customers. These standards are vital not just for the existing customers but even for the company’s potential customers, its employees and members of its management team. Service standards, furthermore, are usually defined in terms of timeliness, accuracy and appropriateness (Paternoster 1). Companies that create these sets of standards take into consideration the size, diversity and complexity of the business. In this paper, the service standards we have drafted for the company detail standards not just for the external customers of the organization or its clients, but also address the needs of its internal customers or its employees, suppliers and other service providers. Addressing the needs of the company’s internal customers, particularly the employees, is very important since these employees act as frontliners in servicing the needs of its external customers or clients. If employees are dissatisfied and unhappy with their jobs due to issues that are not being addressed by management, their dissatisfaction and unhappiness will translate into poor performance which will definitely affect their service to the customers. 2.1 External Customers These are some of the service standards that the company has drafted to guide the employees in dealing with the customers: 1) Greet the customers with a smile and in a courteous, polite and professional manner; 2) When a customer walks in, acknowledge him or her with an eye contact even if you are assisting another person; 3) Answer queries promptly and as accurate as possible and in the event you are unfamiliar with the question, refer them to your manager; 4) Attend to the customers’ needs until they have been addressed and never leave the customer attended; 5) After the transaction has ended, request the customer to accomplish a customer survey form; 6) Make sure to thank the customer before they leave and inform them to call if there will be any problem that may arise. After the transaction with the customer is finished, it is helpful for the company to have the customer fill up a post-service customer satisfaction survey (Lotich 1). The data they will collect from the survey will assist them in finding out their strengths and, more important, their areas of improvement in terms of their dealings with their customers. After knowing their weaknesses, these should be addressed by coming up with developmental programs or trainings for the employees addressing the areas they need to work on. This way, constant improvements are being made for the level of customer satisfaction they intend to achieve. Here is a list of questions that the company has formulated for their customer satisfaction survey: 1) What is the name of the customer service specialist who attended to you?; 2) When did you go to our shop?; 3) What particular branch did you go to?; 4) How did you find our specialist in terms of his or her appearance and demeanor?; 5) How did you find the over-all appearance of our shop? 6) How were you greeted when you arrived in our shop?; 7) How long before any of our specialists approach you?; 8) How did our specialist attend to your needs?; 9) Describe any instance where you feel that the specialist was disrespectful, impolite or inattentive to your needs.; 10) Describe your over-all experience when you came to our shop. 2.2 Internal Customers Given that the company’s internal customers are also equally vital to the success of the organization, it is important to assess what their needs are in order to perform effectively. It is also key to find out how important, for them, their jobs are and how they see their performance. Management should then address any areas of concerns they have and also work on improving the quality of their employment with the company. Considering they are the frontliners of the company, any unresolved issues they have may lead to poor performance that may eventually cause negative effects to the business. Here is a list of questions to get our needed information from our internal customers: Customer Service Staff: 1) What do you like most about your job?; 2) What do you like least about your job; 3) What tools, trainings or support do you need to be more effective with your job?; 4) What rewards or incentives do you think is appropriate for you to better perform your job?; 5) What do you consider as the most rewarding in your current job?; 6) How do you see yourself with the company?; 7) What is your ultimate goal in your career? Sales Staff: 1) What do you like most about your job?; 2) What do you like least about your job; 3) What tools, trainings or support do you need to be more effective with your job?; 4) What rewards or incentives do you think is appropriate for you to better perform your job?; 5) What do you consider as the most rewarding in your current job?; 6) How do you see yourself with the company?; 7) What is your ultimate goal in your career? 3. Conflict and Problem Resolution Procedures In the event of conflict between employees, efforts should be done to resolve the conflict between the affected employees. If needed, the direct superior or manager should intervene and mediate between the conflicting employees. In the event it is not resolved, the conflict should be raised up to the Human Resources department where proper authorities will be convened to address the issues and help resolve the conflict. 3.1 Considering that customers would like to be treated well, not just during the sale transaction but moreso after-sales, it is vital for companies to have a customer-centered service philosophy (Atkinson 1). This philosophy will serve as their basis in developing their customer service policy. Unfortunately, there are companies that commit the mistake of neglecting their after-care customer service. Their only goal was to close the deal but thereafter forget their clients already. They do not have any customer service policy that would enable their frontliners to address the problems of their clients. For some companies, they do not have a customer service unit or even have their staff trained to handle customer service. It is really not required to form a department or unit dedicated for customer service, especially, for small or starting companies who still could not afford. But it is best for these companies to provide training to selected staff that would act as their customer service specialists at the same time. Sad to say, for companies that do not care enough to value the importance of customer service to their businesses, it is highly likely that they would see a decline of their customers that may eventually lead to the demise of their companies. 3.2 Sales and customer service are two important units in the company. Both of them directly interact with the company’s clients and are interdependent (“Sales and Customer Service” 1). For the company to be successful, both units should be effective. A company could not have a winning sales team but with a disastrous customer service support staff. On the other hand, an excellent customer service unit may not be that relevant if the sales division is inefficient. If these were the case, the customers are ultimately affected. Efforts should then be made by management in order to address the problems.
Atkinson, Roy. “The Philosophy of Customer Service.” The Economist. n.d. Web. 20 April 2015. Clark, Cynthia. “Frontliners’ Role in Attracting and Retaining Loyal Customers.” 1to1Media. 22 March 2012. Web. 20 April 2015.
Lotich, Patricia. “Example Customer Service Standards.” The Thriving Small Business. 2 April 2013. Web. 20 April 2015.
Paternoster, Leon. “Setting Customer Service Standards.” The Institute of Customer Service. 28 June 2010. Web. 20 April 2015.
“Sales and Customer Service”. Total Professions. 01 February 2009. Web. 20 April 2015.