Almost every company talks at length about customer service and the need for excellence in satisfying the needs of its customers but very few put that talk into action. This is particularly true in the bottled water business.
The bottled water industry service a wide customer base with each company in the industry servicing many individual customers. The industry is characterized by a small number of very large firms and a large number of relatively small players with specific geographic niches. But all bottled water providers share the need to read more for customer service.
The Nature of the Business:
The bottled water business consists of the manufacturing and delivery of spring or purified water in small packages and larger containers such as 5 gallon bottles. The product is delivered in company owned delivery trucks or through common carriers directly to the site of the customer. Each bottled water firm in the industry makes an implicit promise to its customers that it will produce the highest quality product and deliver that product to its customers in the manner and time agreed upon.
Many, Many Customers:
The customer base in the bottled water is very diverse ranging from individual consumers with single bottle requirements to large multi cooler business accounts with significant water needs. Each customer has their own specific requirements and the needs of each customer in the customer base are as important as all other customers.
The Customer Service Promise and the History of the Business:
In the past, many firms in the industry have focused on process rather than customer service. Many firms acted on the belief that the product of a superior product completed the obligation to the customer. The customer promise however, included much more that a quality product and required additional services such as on time delivery, proper pricing, responding to additional delivery requests and other customer specific needs. One of the most important customer needs is the requirement to communicate customer concerns to the decision makers in any given firm.