The History of Customer Service
To better understand the importance and the changing nature of customer service, it helps to understand the move from single channel to multichannel customer service as a key aspect of business success.
Before the telephone came into widespread use, customer service was largely provided in person or through the mail. The invention of the telephone gave organizations a new opportunity to stand out from the competition by providing better, faster customer service over the phone.
In the 1960s, the first call centers were developed, which evolved into customer service departments. With a dedicated customer service department, organizations could keep up with the latest customer service technologies and strategies, such as providing consistent training for all employees who interacted with customers.
Through the 1990s and early 2000s, the internet created many more customer service opportunities, or channels. Customers could not only call with questions, they could also go to a company’s website and send an email or, eventually, interact with the latest technologies such as chatbots.
Over the past decade, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have emerged as yet another channel through which customers can interact with businesses. More recently, emerging technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) are rapidly expanding customer service opportunities.