VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Definition of Customer Service

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Before we can define Customer Service we need to understand the meaning of these two words:

  • Customer
  • Service

Who is a customer? Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines a customer as:

  • “One who regularly or repeatedly makes purchases from a trader;
  • a purchaser;
  • a buyer”.

or alternatively

  • “A person with whom a business organisation has dealings; i.e. the customers of a bank”

However, nowadays the term customer is increasingly used to refer to anyone who receives a service from someone else. This is particularly true for you. As a tour guide you provide services. Isn’t it?

What is service? Service can be described as providing help or support. So customer service is about helping and supporting the people whom we recognise as our customers.

You are often a customer!

Each of us will be somebody’s customer, lots of times every week and we meet many people whose job is to provide us with a service.

Here are just a few examples:

  • When we approach the Municipality for its services, we are the customers of the Municipal Council;
  • When we seek personal information and advice from other Ministries/Departments;
  • When we go to the police station to report theft we are the customers of the organisation;
  • When we visit the doctor, dentist or hospital, we are the customers (patients) of the health department/Ministry or private provider.

As customers, we come into contact with different persons providing a particular service. These include

  • Manual workers;
  • The reception staff/messengers;
  • Support staff;
  • Administration staff;
  • Professionals and Technical staff [The doctors, dentists, engineers or nursing staff, teachers, etc].