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


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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.

Source: https://www.abetteranswer.com/blog/what-is-customer-service-a-look-at-its-history-future

Publish Date: November 22, 2020


2021 Buyers Guide Inbound Call Handling Services

 
1.) 
2Ring

2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse
2Ring Gadgets for Cisco Finesse, offered in three bundles (standard, enhanced, premium), empowers supervisors and enables agents to become more efficient.

Supervisors are able to handle everyday tasks on their own from within Cisco Finesse: reskill agents, view detailed information about agents and customer interactions in real-time, receive alerts about important call center events (RONA, Calls in Queue, ..), send messages to agents, or even change wallboards on the fly. Be flexible to provide help when needed.

Agents gain all the features that they need to serve customers faster - repetitive tasks are automated, alerts about important call center events pop-up on top of all the appli...
(read more)

2.) 
3Fiftynine

Branches
Calls are received by the right person or department. The right corresponding information is shown to the agent which makes that appointments are handled quicker and more secure.

3.) 
Agara

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.

4.) 
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.

5.) 
Connect Assist

Contact Centre Services
We’re a specialist Contact Centre business and market leaders helping socially focused organisations deliver quality support to their clients and service users. We do this by providing 24/7 helplines, software solutions and consultancy services.

Since launching in 2006, we’ve operated at the sharp end of customer service, supporting some of society’s most vulnerable people. We’ve pioneered in our space to become a specialist in helplines, whilst using the most advanced communication and database technologies available.

Our social mission has remained a constant throughout, providing many meaningful career prospects and growth opportunities to people within our local communities and fur...
(read more)

6.) 
Jointly International Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Front office is your Company’s first line of customer interaction and serves as the mirror of your business. Focus on your core business and let our competent staff handle your various front office needs such as:

* Customer Service via chat, email or phone
* Technical Support via chat, email or phone
* Helpdesk
* Virtual Assistant/Receptionist
* Answering Service
* Lead Generation
* Appointment Setting
* Verification
* Surveys
* Debt Recover, Collections

7.) 
MattsenKumar LLC

Contact Center Outsourcing
By catering valuable, usable and enjoyable customer service, businesses can increase their CSAT Score and Customer Retention Rate. We help organizations to provide quality customer service through varied channels like email, phone and live chat. Ensuring quality after-sales support is our USP and we rely on proven approaches to ensure quality customer service.

8.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED
The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring

9.) 
Vads

VADS Inbound Contact Center
VADS Inbound Contact Center Services provide live operators who answer incoming calls as you would yourself. A team of professional script writers is available to help you script a greeting and experience programmers will set up a time and money saving program. Our unique approach to call center services is client-focused, and takes each project’s unique needs into account to our client’s satisfaction. We offer solution as part of our service to keep you in touch with your client and drive sales.

- Customer Service
- Walk In Center
- Service Desk

10.) 
Technosys IT Management

Customer Support
Technosys IT Management Bpo, the business process Outsourcing, gives end-to-end transformative administrations for its customers over the globe. The organization's coordinated IT and BPO arrangements approach empowers it to open business esteem crosswise over ventures and administration lines, and address business challenges for its customers. Using inventive business perfection structures, progressing profitability changes, process reengineering, mechanization, and front line innovation stages, Technosys IT Management empowers its customers to accomplish their cost diminishment goals, enhance process efficiencies, upgrade viability, and convey unrivaled client encounter

11.) 
Tru29 Outsource Solutions Inc.

Front Office Solutions
Any part of your business operations that requires constant end-customer facing task is an essential part of your business.

This task requires a good customer experience results for every customer interaction. Our extensive experience in handling Front Office related tasks can help you focus on your core business while being cost-efficient at the same time.
 



View more from A Better Answer

Recent Blog Posts:
5 Thoughts You Need To Stop Ignoring When It Comes to Customer ServiceAugust 19, 2021
How To Provide 24/7 Customer Service Without Working Around the ClockJuly 22, 2021
How AI Is Changing the Customer Service SpaceJune 28, 2021
Virtual Assistant vs. Answering Service: Which Is Right for You?June 22, 2021
6 Most Common Call Center Myths DebunkedJune 21, 2021
Live Chat vs. Phone Support: Choosing the Right One for Your BusinessJune 21, 2021
Tips To Help Improve Your Company’s First Call ResolutionMay 30, 2021
The Importance of Stellar Customer Service for E-Commerce BusinessesMay 25, 2021
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