Consumer service as a competitive advantage

By Priya Chetty on October 17, 2011

For any company, satisfying consumers is the main objective to have higher market share and competitive advantage over competitors. This article help readers to understand about consumer, consumer service and the role of consumer service in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by companies.


According to Kurtz & Boone (2010), p. 12, marketing strategies of any company should be aimed to fulfill consumers’ needs and want, and the outcome of this should be the consumer satisfaction.

Before going directly to consumer service as a competitive advantage, let us know what is consumer and consumer service according to different marketing experts.

Consumer: according to Tapan k panda, 2010, p. 57, a consumer is a person or an entity, who buy goods for personal consumption. A consumer purchase goods or services for personal usage.

Consumer service: the service provided by the companies to their consumers other than the sale of goods and services is a consumer service. For instance, providing after sale services such as solving the queries of the customer related to goods purchased is a kind of consumer service (p.13).

Consumer service as a competitive advantage

In the present cut-throat competitive environment, companies cannot be simply achieve their competitive advantage or higher market share through their effective marketing and product mix strategies.

Further, as of today, consumers are more educated and have enough information of alternatives available to them for each product they needed (Roger j. best, 2009, p. 33).

Thus, it is very important for the companies to have not only the better customer relationship with the customers, but also need to improve better and better services so as to have sustainable competitive advantage. These consumer services can be before and after sales services.

For an organization to improve consumer services, needs to work on the following:

  1. Add those members in marketing team who are people-loving.
  2. Give training on customer service to marketing team periodically.
  3. The team members must be given authority to make their own decisions.
  4. Customers must be allowed to give their feedback and finally get the customers off guard.


Customer service is important for achieving competitive advantage. By following the certain customer management rules and steps any organization will have competitive advantage with other benefits like higher market share, higher consumer satisfaction, and higher consumer retention level etc.


  1. Kurtz & Boone, 2010, “Principles of Marketing”, 12th Ed. Cengage Publications, pp. 12 to 13.
  2. Roger j. best, 2009, “Market- Based Management”, 1st Ed. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd., pp. 33.
  3. Tapan k panda, 2010, “Marketing Management”, 1st Ed. Excel books, pp. 57.
  4. Kotler Philip, Garyarmstrong, Prafullay. Agnihotri, EU Haque, 2010, “Principles of Marketing”, 13th Ed, Pearson Education Prentice Hall of Indi.
  5. Paul Baines, Chris fill, Kelly page, 2009, “Marketing Management”, 1st Ed. Oxford University Press.
  6. Ramaswamy V.S. Namakumari S, 2009, “Marketing Management”, The Global perspective- Indian Context Macmillan India Ltd.
  7.  Rajan Saxena, 2009, “Marketing Management”, 4th Ed. Tata McGraw Hill.

Priya is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Project Guru, a research and analytics firm based in Gurgaon. She is responsible for the human resource planning and operations functions. Her expertise in analytics has been used in a number of service-based industries like education and financial services.

Her foundational educational is from St. Xaviers High School (Mumbai). She also holds MBA degree in Marketing and Finance from the Indian Institute of Planning and Management, Delhi (2008).

Some of the notable projects she has worked on include:

  • Using systems thinking to improve sustainability in operations: A study carried out in Malaysia in partnership with Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
  • Assessing customer satisfaction with in-house doctors of Jiva Ayurveda (a project executed for the company)
  • Predicting the potential impact of green hydrogen microgirds (A project executed for the Government of South Africa)

She is a key contributor to the in-house research platform Knowledge Tank.

She currently holds over 300 citations from her contributions to the platform.

She has also been a guest speaker at various institutes such as JIMS (Delhi), BPIT (Delhi), and SVU (Tirupati).