Total Quality Management
Customer care has been identified as a vital component of success or companies and “a commercial must” (McAtersney, 1999). Effective customer support and care is an important aspect of businesses irrespective of whether a company is related to the manufacturing or services sector (El Sawy and Bowles, 1997). Researchers have found that companies are giving increasing importance to their customers and are looking for more ways to create value for them with the intention of changing their relationship with customers from “one of selling and order taking” “into one of solution finding and partnering” with the intention of facilitating long term customer relationships through customer care, support and services (El Sawy and Bowles, 1997).
With the help of effective customer care, organizations are able to adopt the “improvement driven” approach and use all the information gained from the customer including inputs on manufacturing defects, design problems, new product ideas, competitive rates and other such information which is passed on to relevant departments and utilized for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of their products (Wilhelm and Rossello, 1997). Additionally, managers and personnel who interact with customers use optimal customer care to establish long term relationships with their customer in order to gain their loyalty for longer periods of time, which ultimately helps the company in building a substantial base of satisfied customers which results in healthy customer renewal rates (Wilhelm and Rossello, 1997).
Optimal customer care is provided by “creating value-maximizing networks” by managers to enable respond to their customers with a “speed, accountability and responsiveness unmatched by their competitors” (Wilhelm and Rossello, 1997). It also enables managers to engage customers in “continuous product and process improvement” with the help of which they can “pursue long term, information driven strategies” which places them for “sustained marketplace success” (Wilhelm and Rossello, 1997). In this competitive market, managers and organizations believe that “every customer contact creates value” and view customers not as a means of conducting another business transaction with them, but rather “in terms of lifetime profitability” on the basis of which they promote and stress the need to engage in continuously learn about the customer’s needs, problems, issues and look for ways and means to resolve them (Wilhelm and Rossello, 1997). Thus, customer care today is not simply a means of promoting recurring business transaction; rather an effective means to build a competitive edge over competitors, which can be used to improve products and services and ensure lifetime customer loyalty and value.