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What is Customer Service? A Look at It's History & Future - A Better Answer - Blog

What is Customer Service? A Look at It's History & Future

The idea of better customer service dates back to the 1760s, where customer support teams emerged as a result of the industrial revolution. 

The reason customer service started is the same reason it exists today: knowing what your customers want (and how the customer experience changes over time) will help your business grow.

What Is Customer Service?

Customer service is the quality of support you offer any customers that connect with a representative of your brand. It’s about those interactions—you have to make them positive ones. It includes everything from rep personality, politeness, and helpfulness to modern issues, like maintaining minimal wait or hold times. 

Keeping your customer service in tip-top shape will increase satisfaction with your brand and create loyal customers—poor customer service can hurt your business by frustrating customers and tarnishing your reputation. 

It’s your best opportunity to show buyers you care. Use it to your advantage.

The History of Customer Service

The Invention of the Telephone and Rotary Dial

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell patented the electric telephone. Before that point, people had to bring their product back to the store and simply hope the owner would accept the return. 

In 1894, the telephone switchboard was invented, which was a huge help for businesses that connected with customers over the phone. Then, in the 1920s, rotary dials were implemented, helping companies act as an operator by connecting dialed numbers to the proper phone line. 

These innovations were not only more efficient, they helped businesses offer higher quality service to their customers. 

The Call Center and the 1-800 Number Come on the Scene

Call centers were created in the 1960s. Now, companies could take more calls while offering better customer service. In call centers, employees answered and resolved customer issues so other staff could focus on different tasks.

In 1967, the all-important 1-800 number was announced by AT&T, which allowed customers to call a specific number for a company without the hassle of calling collect or dealing with an operator. Cutting out redundant steps reduced frustration for all parties.

The Invention of IVR

Another springboard for better customer service was IVR, or Interactive Voice Response. These systems allow you to call in and simply say “yes” or “no.”They guide callers to the correct person who can answer their question, rather than bouncing them around to irrelevant or dead ends.

The Internet Changes Customer Service

Let’s fast forward to the modern day (we’re getting closer!). In the 1990s, the internet became public, delighting callers and businesses alike by opening up a plethora of better customer service options. Customer service software made it easier to answer larger volumes of issues. Customers were happy, quicker than ever.

Social media took off in 2008 and opened up yet another support avenue to customers. 

Service opportunities have never been more abundant, and companies are taking advantage—so make sure you’re keeping up with your competition.

Who Invented Customer Service, Anyway?

The inventor of customer service isn’t documented, but the title is often unofficially given to Alexander Graham Bell. His telephone took customer service to another level. 

Without telephones, modern businesses couldn’t build quality relationships with their customers.. When people can’t get in touch, their questions or concerns can’t be answered—hurting sales as well as customer satisfaction.

The Future of Customer Service: How to Offer the Best at Your Company

Complete customer-focus is key to building successful relationships and creating a loyal following.  One way to offer better service is by staying (virtually) open 24/7. 

If you don’t want to give your current employees weekend or night shifts, you can bring in the help of a call center service provider.

Provide instant gratification whenever possible—in other words, no “we’ll get back to you in 48 hours.” If people think they can get a faster response elsewhere, they will leave—and you’ll lose a potential sale.

Soon enough, AI will enable products that “fix themselves.” At the same time, phone call volume will decrease, while instant messages increase. A good call center can handle this change—their competitive advantage lies in their ability to bring cutting-edge innovation to their clients’ customer service departments.

It’s always best to put the customer in control of where customer service experiences happen. Make the process as convenient as possible, whether they prefer phone calls, texts, emails, or instant messages..

As technology advances and service offerings develop, industries are becoming more heavily focused on customer satisfaction than ever before. If you’re not offering amazing customer service, you’re losing business.

Still have doubts? Download our customer service toolkit to learn how you can start offering more excellent service to your customers and boost  sales and customer retention.


Publish Date: November 22, 2020 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide Speech Technology


Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.
PH: +1 (512) 333 4634

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

Call Tracking Metrics

Execute automated actions based on words spoken by your customer.

Our intelligent word detection and transcription tools make it easier for you to decipher the content of your customer conversations and automate action based on those insights.

Transform the audio of your calls into speaker-organized scripts so you can easily search your call log for specific words from a conversation, or automatically detect when words of intent are spoken by your customer.

Listen in on and highlight common patterns in order to execute triggers to initiate a new action or workflow, such as emailing a manager if the word “cancel” is spoken on a call. You can also set up to automatically redact content from a transcript, such as sensitive health information transmitted on a call.
PH: 8005771872


Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)
PH: +61404697151


Advanced speech recognition and natural language expertise that routes callers by simply asking ‘how can I help you?’. It allows customers to use their own words to ask for what they want and steers them to the right place.

Menus are eliminated altogether and contact centres can use a single inbound telephone number.
PH: 01442 458300

MattsenKumar LLC

SmartSpeech – The Best In Class Speech Analytics Software

An all-inclusive speech analytics application that enables you to visualize your audio using state-of-the-art speech recognition, transcription, and text analytics technologies.
PH: +91 99026 10044


InTone Suite - Emotion Detection via Voice Analysis
InTone™ is a voice analysis tool geared to detect genuine emotional and cognitive reactions regardless of the speaker’s language or chosen intonation.
It integrates into existing contact center environments and provides realtime indications of both client and agent emotional reactions throughout all ongoing calls. This unique set of indications assists managers and call center representatives to truly understand the client, improve call center performance, easily detect angry calls, elevate training efficiency and provide a tailored customer experience in every single call.

Nemesysco's contact center technology is also available in API and SDK forms.
Please visit our website for information about our product portfolio.
PH: +972-9-9605894

Voci Technologies Incorporated

V-Blaze Speech to Text
Our GPU-accelerated, AI-based technology enables you to deliver greater insights to the contact center by transcribing audio into analyzable text.

- Transcribe large volumes of recorded audio quickly
- Integrate transcripts with your analytics or business intelligence platform
- Reduce your hardware footprint and minimize total cost of ownership
PH: 412-621-9310


Voxjar is your one-stop-shop for driving better phone calls with your customers. We're a modern Conversation Analytics and Call Coaching Platform.

- Custom Charts and Dashboards give you the freedom to analyze calls from the highest level down to the details of each conversation.

- AI-Powered Speech Analytics transcribes, searches, and analyzes your reps' phone conversations, at scale.

- Quality Assurance and Call Coaching tools let you evaluate and improve agent performance with a human touch.

- Long term recording storage for historical analysis

All of these together provide the holistic, easy-to-use software that you need to manage a modern call team and create better con...
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View more from A Better Answer

Recent Blog Posts:
How to Deal with the 5 Most Common Types of Customer Service CallersNovember 30, 2020 5:00 AM
What is Customer Service? A Look at It's History & FutureNovember 22, 2020 5:00 AM
Why Your Company Needs a Virtual Receptionist | Tips for Small BusinessesNovember 15, 2020 5:00 AM
Outsourcing Customer Service vs In-House Solutions | A Guide for Small BusinessOctober 30, 2020 5:00 AM
How to Help Your Call Center Reduce Wait Time and Abandoned CallsAugust 30, 2020 5:00 AM
Celebrating Hildie's 40th Anniversary With A Better Answer!August 20, 2020 5:00 AM
Why Having an Answering Service for Your Hospice Services is Extremely BeneficialJuly 30, 2020 5:00 AM
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How to Motivate Your Call Center Agents and Boost MoraleFebruary 25, 2020 5:00 AM
How to Do Customer Service the Right Way: Say Goodbye to Automated MessagesFebruary 20, 2020 5:00 AM

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