In today’s language the term “service provider” is often used generally to describe the company or organization from whom you get your Internet, phone and/or TV service. The emphasis seems to be on ‘provider’ not ‘service.’ It seems, in many cases, the service providers have forgotten the importance of providing service to their customers. They want to collect the money from their customers, but many do not actually provide real service.
Seth Godin wrote a cogent post about the importance of making the customer happy. In response to an experience he had calling a customer service organization, he wrote:
It comes down to the leadership through which the attitude is established in an organization. Focus on becoming a service provider and you will make people happy.
The Product Management Perspective: The importance of customer service in product management cannot be overstated. To the extent product managers focus on understanding and serving their customers their products will do likewise.