Why Service Stinks--A Critique

Essay by LedgeUniversity, Bachelor's February 2004

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Why Service Stinks:

A Critical View and Interpretation

Diane Brady proclaims in BusinessWeek magazine that service stinks. Through a series of examples presented from the consumers' view, she illustrates how customer service has become a privilege of the elite group of an organization's most profitable customers, leaving the average Joe at the back of the line, bottom of the heap, and last on the waiting list. Let's get one thing straight first, in terms of Brady's article, service does, in fact, stink; however, service stinks for good business reasons and only stinks where organizations can afford it to stink.

Brady's words have a strong air of discontent around them. She seems discontent with customer service from firms involved in segmenting customers and servicing them according to their value to the organization. The research and critical thinking invested in this paper has found that Brady is right, service stinks, but that is not always bad.

In fact, giving the right customers less or poorer service so resources can be directed toward better service to more profitable customers makes good business sense. Obviously some businesses are simply not in touch with their customers and do too little to reduce the gap between customer expectations and perceived service delivery, but in Why Service Stinks and this critique, the focus is on organizations who intentionally show preferential treatment to customers with the greatest customer lifetime value.

Of course, making a sweeping statement such as "service stinks" or even "service doesn't stink" may hold some water but can't be reasonably applied to every situation or organization around the world. That being said, one can make conclusions about the general state of customer service in our day-to-day lives in North America. Just do a quick search on Google or your favorite search engine for "service stinks"...