The Importance of Good Service
As stated previously in Chapter 2, those companies in both manufacturing and service operations that provide outstanding service to their customers can achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace in today's highly competitive environment And good service begins when the customer first comes in contact with an organization and waits in some type of line or queue prior to being served. There are many factors that contribute to good service, such as the friendliness and knowledge of workers, but customers' experiences with waiting lines, which are often their initial encounter with a firm, can significantly feet their over all level of satisfaction with the organization Providing ever faster service, with the ultimate goal of having zero customer waiting time, has recently received managerial attention for several reasons. First in the more highly developed countries where standards of living are rising time becomes more valuable as a commodity and consequently customers are less willing to wait for service As a result customers in many cases are willing to pay a premium price to those firms that minimize their waiting time (See OM in Practice box on Disney's Theme Parks) Another reason for this increased emphasis on providing fast and efficient service is the realization by organizations that how they treat their customers today significantly impacts on whether or not they will remain loyal customers tomorrow This differs from the past when the treatment of customers in the present was viewed to be independent of any potential future sales. This antiquated perspective has persisted because the impact of future customer behavior does not appear anywhere on the firm's financial statements. Finally advances in technology especially is information technology have provided firms with the ability to provide faster service than was previously possible. Fax machines, computers, e-mail. and satellite communications provide firms with this new capability to respond faster to the customer.