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Service Channels in Customer Experience

The ones who work most “customer centric”, raise your hand!

We always place customer at the forefront of the current business models. And “Customer Centric” is the most popular and preferred concept used for this purpose. It can be applied in almost all aspects of marketing to express the rationale of various projects.

Like you can express that you are carrying out a big marketing campaign with a customer centric view, you should also state that you are implementing a technological improvement to finalize it within the corporation for the stake of customer centricity. Who else are we targeting if not the customer, considering the corporations are not social assistance organizations..?

In fact, customer centricity is just a tool described to carry the business process a step forward  from being viewed as the triangle of “producer”, “product” and “consumer” which is now bygone. After all the total number of “what” you sell is the most important determinant for both the partners and shareholders as well as the institutional investors. However, the subject that we still are trying to find an answer to is how we could increase that numbers and make the increase sustainable at the same time.

At this point, instead of producing new models I believe that it would be sufficient to try to understand our traditional Turkish values. Things will begin to change once we start believing that the main interlocutor is not the “consumer” but the “customer”.

We first discovered the concept of the customer theoretically, on top of this we developed methodologies such as Customer Centricity and CRM technologies.  In spite of this, the day we “really” comprehend that our patron is the customer, our model of doing business will change entirely in reality. Thus, we will permanently leave aside targeting the academic concept of “consumer” which serves the purpose of expressing the single type masses. We will embrace our customers.

Our Target is Customer or Consumer!

In theory, which one of the two concepts “consumer” or “customer” is preferred depends on the operational business models of the companies.  As for in practice, while companies prefer using the word “customer”, they generally conduct their operations worthy of the word “consumer”.

In short, customer signifies the choices, life style, consumption habits and expectations of a group with higher level of awareness. On the other hand consumer signifies the group regardless of individual awareness that consumes the mass production imposed on them. Here is an example from history, an magazine ad from the 1950s America says: “Your teeth will be much more white with ………. brand cigarette recommended by your doctor”.

Perhaps it is not necessary to look up the strategy books for customer centric point of view. If you pay a little attention you will observe that the traditional Turkish tradesman model, living on these lands is an expedient source for all customer centric textbooks.

It is sufficient to remember the attentive attitude of old school Turkish tradesmen towards the people they present service to, their customers, in order to apply the customer oriented approach. I believe there are not many commercial enterprises claiming to be more customer oriented than a foresighted Turkish tradesman that, for example, offers known, tasteful meals and appetizers. Let us not forget, the delicious meals of restaurants we brag about carry out exactly the same business model of that same tradesman that is all. The “Service Centric” model.

Multi Channel Management for Service Centric Business Model

The most important issue at this stage is, how will we reach the on-paper target points with customer centricity? In the basis of the customer centric model is dividing the customers into significant groups at manageable level and farming them. In this respect it can be said that the customer segmentation is a useful tool in terms of intensive marketing and sales activities. Especially instead of massive manoeuvres, 1-to-1 projects on customer groups may take us to a more specific target. On the other hand, in the ideal description of the concept of Multi Channel Management, the theorem of customer centricity is included and in fact it seems to be the main supporting base of the concept.

However, unlike the little Turkish tradesmen, in order to create excellence in the same customer “touch points” the corporations are directly connected to the support of the technology. The implementation of correct planning in Multi Channel Management comes at that stage. In other words, the excellent service of an experienced waiter to his customers also has to be reflected by a corporation over their own touch points as well. Regardless of their own segment, customers expect the same service and care from the restaurant they heard of. What is important here is that an experienced old school Turkish waiter is able to provide the same excellent service and to present alternatives with a humorous attitude and clear communication to the new customers even if he does not know the customer. He is aware that assuming a humble attitude when necessary will exalt his work and his workplace. In brief, unlike large organizations, he sees beyond smart mechanisms that will make difference in mass service by going to analytical groups.

From this perspective, the success of well-run tradesman restaurant initiative on customer satisfaction level is very clear. Considering that the factors providing human satisfaction are universal, then taking this traditional tradesman model a reference in multi channel touch points synchronization, will certainly make a creative difference. At the reached service level today, the competencies of the sales channels and mobile internet infrastructure is amply allowing this multi channel experience.

For this purpose, it will become compulsory to reduce the customer segmentation of the business model from organizational level to analytical level and improve the service thesis parallel to the touch point expectations of the customers. It will be important for institutions to restructure according to their service types and touch points with a “Service Centric Business Model” for a long term and permanent commercial success.

Thus, perhaps a local Turkish tradesman restaurant experience can add value to the way of doing business of large corporations in a way. Companies may also focus on pleasing their target areas with the same mindset of experienced waiters or that of the local tradesmen that are believed to serve delicious meals. At the same time they could aim their main performance criteria as carrying on the same satisfactory experience in all customer contact channels.


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