M.Comm. / The supposition was made that when customer service is not formally planned and managed, it could result in customer service, as a competitive strategy, not being optimally exploited due to it being done in an unco-ordinated, disorganised and ad hoc manner. The aim of this study is to set guidelines for customer service and management to ensure that customer service, is optimally exploited as a competitive strategy. This study commences with a theoretical framework followed by empirical research. During the theoretical study, customer service was defined and related theoretical aspects discussed. Emphasis was given to the conditions for applying customer service in the enterprise including the service quality model of Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1988). General management tasks were defined and the content of each task briefly discussed. Thereafter, the principles of these tasks were applied to customer service management. A customer service model was formulated, which integrated the theory of customer service and general management tasks. The model is based on the assumption that customer service management can be applied at executive, functional and operational level. A questionnaire was designed with the theoretical review as foundation. All facets of customer service management were analysed and questions were posed to determine the extent to which local banks comply with these management principles. The questionnaire was sent to the top ten Commercial banks in South Africa, selected according to the size of their total assets. The completed questionnaires were then analysed with the following results. The management tasks satisfactorily applied in customer service management are: planning, organising and leading. Management tasks that are not satisfactorily applied in customer service management as a result of all the gaps identified are: control, motivation, discipline, communication, delegating, decision making and the management of information. This indicated that customer service is not always managed on a formal and structured way because some of the management tasks are neglected. None of the general management tasks should be neglected as the omission of one of these tasks may lead to an ineffective management process. A customer service manager should thus continuously focus on each one of these management tasks to ensure that they are effectively carried out. If all the management tasks are performed out effectively, and are not neglected or ignored, the management process will be completed satisfactorily and improved results can be expected. The enterprise will therefore have a continuous competitive advantage over its rivals and the primary objectives of a enterprise, namely optimization of income, can thus be attained.
|17 August 2012
|Van Wyk, Gert Stephanus
|South African National ETD Portal
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