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Customer Satisfaction vs. Customer service: The (distinct) role of marketing and logistics

20 September 2021

Article by Beatriz Ribeiro, consultant, and Regina Paiva, trainee consultant in Industrial Engineering and Management.

Consumer-focused strategies have become a basic premise for organizations that aspire to growth and success. Today, the definition of success is not only about sharing the maximum value with shareholders, but sharing that same value with customers.

The level of demand from consumers is so high that it is no longer possible to summarize good service as good reception, good communication and after-sales service. Today it is much more than this – it’s flexibility, structure, service policy, technical monitoring, anticipation, availability, processing, delivery, warranty, complaints management, returns and everything that can contribute to customer loyalty.

Currently, we deal with a demanding consumer profile that is increasingly predisposed to choose another product or look elsewhere, even if this implies a higher cost. Consequently, service performance has to be analyzed microscopically and frequently, eliminating and reducing its uncertainties.

In the fight to win over customers, it is crucial to meet both their needs and their expectations. Many companies make the mistake of considering these concepts as a single indicator, often taken as synonyms, but that, in reality, are very different: customer satisfaction and customer service1.

Customer service: how to add value to products and services?

Initially, companies focused only on the product, production and quality. However, over time, they have been increasingly committed to the client, without prejudice to the previous variables. Profit was always seen as the primary objective of any business. However, to make a profit, it is essential to define service programs and policies that meet the needs of customers in a profitable way. And this is customer service1.

These are several strategies that converge towards a common objective: that of adding value to products and services. In fact, nowadays and more and more, the market's response can’t be centered only on the product's characteristics; it must also extend its area of ​​action to added services.

Customer service rests on three pillars. First and foremost, it is necessary to have what the customer wants, when he wants it - this is called availability. To ensure its existence, a security stock or a secondary warehouse with greater proximity to the customer can be used, for example, but whatever the strategy, it must be based on anticipating customer needs. Thinking about availability means not only considering space, capacity and volume of operations, but also analyzing the frequency of stockouts and their impact over time and the frequency with which an entire order from a customer is satisfied.

Next, we are faced with delivery times - compliance with delivery times, adaptability and anticipation, that is, cycle times, consistency, flexibility and failure management. Operational performance is at stake.

Finally, it is increasingly important to provide customers with reliable information in real time, particularly on order status. It is also crucial to continuously collect and measure data on availability and operational performance, making room for continuous improvement and the possibility of immediate reaction when necessary. Then comes the concept of logistical quality or reliability.

We see, then, that the concept of customer service is based on good organization and management of resources (human and material), whether during the service, or in its planning and dimensioning. It is, therefore, pure logistics!

Customer satisfaction: how to manage consumer expectations?

Customer satisfaction, on the other hand, enhances customer response and behavior, favoring an analysis of the controllable variables of the marketing mix. In other words, it is the answer obtained from the customer, given the manipulation of four factors: product, price, promotion and distribution.

Satisfaction is tied to a feeling and very dependent on the expectations generated, so it cannot be treated as an exact science. However, by providing a remarkable and differentiated service, the company works for a prominent position in relation to the competition, becoming attractive to customers.

Additionally, when a customer is satisfied, they tend to recommend good service, thus impacting the organization's reputation and popularity. In addition, customer feedback is an asset in assessing the areas where improvement is needed.

Fostering a relationship of trust and loyalty dampens customer turnover, as this is influenced by the overall quality of service. Acquiring a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than keeping an existing customer3, so the organization must focus on retaining its customers.

A relationship of trust allows, over time, to get to know customers and, consequently, customize marketing and service. Big data also allows companies to understand their customers and provide them with a unique and high-quality shopping experience, which encourages the emergence of new sales opportunities.

Customer satisfaction is achieved in several ways, but the essential is based on prioritizing the needs of your target audience and anticipating their preferences and desires. It is, as such, the result of a good strategy.

In line with this two-pronged strategy, our consulting services aim to add value through multifaceted strategies, enabling companies to gain a prominent position vis-à-vis the competition, culminating in richer experiences for clients.


1 Lambertet al. (1998). Fundamentals of Logistics ManagementMcGraw-Hill Higher Education.

2 Ballou, R. H. (2006). Gerenciamento da Cadeia de Suprimentos / Logística Empresarial5ª Ed. Bookman.

3 Gallo, A. (2014). The value of Keeping the Right Customers. Harvard Business Review. [Consultado a 26/02/2021]. Disponível em:

4 Nielsen. (2012). Consumer trust in online, social and mobile advertising grows. Article. [Consultado a 25/02/2021]. Disponível em:

5 Sanfilippo, M. (2020). How to Become a Customer-Centric Business. Business News Daily. [Consultado a 26/02/2021]. Disponível em:

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