Nerd For Tech
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Nerd For Tech

The Impact of Technological Advancement and its Influence on Customer Service Pre 19th Century till Date

Evolution of Customer: Dreamstime.com

Customer service is now like a walk in the park — because of technological innovations. Nowadays, you can call contact centers and get responses immediately, use self-service channels to resolve complaints, buy and shop online effortlessly… It’s this likely ‘cos of digitalization, it didn’t just come to bear.

Customer service has evolved over the years, recounting from the old days of long walks to factory sites to today’s “get it done in one touch” digitalized era.

Before the 19th century, customer service was still in its worst primitive stage. This was the period where customer support depended on handwritten or machine typed letters sent through a snail postal system, else, the Customer will have to travel long distances to stores or factories to make a purchase or lay complaints.

Regardless, the birth of the Telephone in 1876 changed the communication process between customers and businesses for life. Although, in the early stage of its invention, the telephone was not widely used for mass communication, because they worked in pairs. The introduction of Switchboard in 1894, changed the ball game and made it possible to make multiple telephone calls. Then the Rotary phone in 1920.

Decades passed and the telephone was the major means of providing customer support, even until the emergence of call centers in 1960 that allowed multiple operators to attend to customers’ queries in one location and later on, came toll-free lines in 1967.

Customer service witnessed a monumental change with the introduction of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems in the 1970s, which allowed phone callers to interact with systems without the intervention of operators.

IVR Systems became more popular in customer service because of the emergence of the Internet, Software development, Social media, helpdesk, help pages, and live chats in the 1990s-2000s which changed the course of customer service for good.

With the increased popularity of the internet, customers no longer need to visit shops to buy or lay complaints, everything could be done from the comfort of their couch.

As a result of the recent changes, Companies found interest in investing in computer telephony integration, where all communication-related data and voice will be unified into one place. IVR systems even up to date are still the predominant means of delivering customer service support to clients in most countries of the World.

The 21st century saw the boom and wide acceptability of social media and the role of Artificial Intelligence in Self-service.

The year 2010 saw an increased appreciation of social media as a personal channel of communication for customers. Social media gave room for a direct relationship between customers and businesses. Customers on social media can write public reviews and make direct contact with companies, making the delivery of customer service fast, efficient, and reliable.

Coupled with the integration of automation bots to enhance delivery of effective customer service support through different methods such as improved IVRs, Visual IVRs, and Online Chabot to offer personalized self-service options through Omni-channels.

The emergence of AI technologies in customer service has scrapped several cons witnessed by customers and businesses over the past years and is paving new paths for a more enhanced customer experience. Although it’s yet to be widely embraced by businesses, the future of customer service relies on automated self-service.

It’s no News that customers now want a personable service experience and effortless interaction. And these can only be achievable through the adoption of technological changes.

Customers are in steady desire to handle every aspect of their life independently, from shopping to payment, to even determining the desired channel to be used. While this drive is on, it’s indisputable to say that the future of customer service depends on tech advancement and that consequent technological developments will continue to mold and shape customer service.

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Oku Cobham

Oku Cobham

Content writer || copywriter ||