Joined: 24 Aug 2009
, given: 46
Please evaluate my issue discussion [#permalink]
21 Nov 2009, 11:57
“As technological development continues to intensify business competition, the quality of customer service is likely to become the only sustainable source of competitive advantage.”
Explain what you think this quotation means and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with it. Develop your position with reasons and/or specific examples drawn from history, current events, or your own experience, observations, or reading.
The recent technological development has definetely intensified the business competition. The common strategies such as product differentiation, price differentiation etc are hard to sustain.The technology is providing oppurtunities for both small and large players in the market to match competitors products in all aspects including price.In the given situation, the author is suggesting that the quality of customer service is the only sustainable source of competitive advantage.
Althogh customer service is an area of competitive advantage , the advancement in technology has made it easy for all players in the market to match their quality of the customer service with their competitors. The people factor in the customer service has largely reduced nowadays. For instance, Because of the latest developments in neural networks, Interactive voice response system has become more intelligent and comprehensive to handle most of the customer needs with utmost quality than a human service representative..So customer service may or may not create sustainable competitive advantage
In such time of technogical advancements, I see innovation as the key differentiator and a a great source of competitive advantage. For instance, although there are multiple players in the market, companies such as 3M , who are still the market leaders in most of their products due to their culture of innnovation.Apple, for instance, stands ahead of their competitors as all their products are innovative and are hard to replicate or match.Even though there are thousands of brands of MP3 players, nothing has matched the iPod.
Moreover, since customer satisfaction has become common goal of all industry, companies should be willing to go beyond customer satisfaction to create customer delight.Apple is again a best role model in creating customer delight.Players like dell and HP are strong in the notebook computers sector, however,the indulgence created by Apple's MAC book is the best user experience one can ever offer.
In summary, Customer service is an important factor to be successful in any industry and may also give some competitive advantage. Innovation, even in the function of customer satisfaction, may be the mantra of business in the future and best serve as a sustainable source of competitive advantage.