There is no single agreed clear definition of customer service. Intuitively it is clear that end users will give a variety of responses depending on their current needs and the service they are commenting on. "Good service is having a studio available when I want it and at a sensible price", "Good service is being offered a decent cup of coffee when Im working late". Leopard and Molyneux (1994) suggest that customer service is the quality of the marketing mix. Or where the marketing mix is similar for a number of products, then the key differentiation could be the "feel good factor" where companies strive to add something extra to their transactions with their customers.
The common theme running through all the definitions of customer service reviewed is of customer satisfaction, that is meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Pitt, Nel et. al. (1992) propose the following definition based on work by Parusaman, Zeitham and Berry (1985)
"Service Quality as perceived by a user depends on the size and direction of the gap between the expected service and perceived service, which in turn depends on the nature of the gaps on the service providers side, associated with the marketing, design and delivery of services."
Which summarises it well.