Can you picture customer service without telephones? This technology was invented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell and certainly made it easier for customers to communicate with businesses. Before the telephone, the only way to contact a business was to physically visit and meet with staff or to send a letter or other form of post. Of course, it’s far easier to ignore a letter sent from an irritated customer far away. The telephone (eventually) is what empowered the customer to reach the businesses they dealt with regardless of location and time.
In the decades since, customer service has developed through similar technological milestones. This evolution includes switchboards, rotary dial phones, call centers, interactive voice response systems, email, social media, and AI-supported customer interactions. However, the biggest shift in customer service might not be technology at all. Rather, it’s the general concept of customer service as a two-way conversation.