Customer Service is King
Someone once said your only competition is anyone that improves customer service. So let us play as if this is in the Business-Bible. Here are a few assumptions.
First, price does not matter up to a certain asymptote. Obviously, price must out weight value. Secondly, all businesses in a specific vertical are innovative or not innovative (no comparative advantage exists). This leaves us customer service as the last outpost.
Three Undeniable Outposts
Customer service, price, and innovative advantage are outposts in business. How well you manage, value, and nurture these outposts differentiates your product/service.
The inception of outsourcing, supply chaining, and technology created competitors that will likely beat your best defense at these posts. We can trim the fat and flatten our cost structure only so far e.g., Walmart, and we can only create what we know how i.e. other industries have the ability to create innovations that positively or negatively affect our innovations.
Err on the side of CS
In any case, we must err on the side of customer service. Customer service savvy professionals will dominate industries that once had zero need for the competency.
The day of the highly skilled, but deficient in customer service professional is fading; more valuable are the moderately skilled with appreciable customer service skills.
Through the eyes of a customer, a business, and the market must employees be able to look in order to be worthy of competitive wages. Without these lenses, you limit your earning ability. The last outpost is CS.