Customer service is something we deal with every day, whether we want to or not. The history of customer service goes back decades, as long as there were businesses. We’re talking really long donkey years here. But essentially, here it is in brief.
Someone decided to start a business. A business relies on customers for its survival, and its essential existence. That meant providing service (go figure). Now when customer service first started, I can only imagine that there was no structure, or maybe there was. The evolution of what me now consider customer service started as early as 1793 in the United States, in the form of Loyalty programs. Sure, it has been around as long as there were traders, but let’s pick a point shall we.
Of course, this has evolved through the years, following technological advance. We live in time of amazing ease of communication. However, can you imagine when telephones first appeared on the scene? That’s right, that lead to the first customer service hotline.
Evolution of customer services aside. Have a look at the infographic for a little visual fun on that. The point is this. Customer service practices are an evolving thing. You’ve heard the terms before,:
“Business Need to Adapt.”
If you don’t evolve, you lose out.
How often have we come across often rigid, customer service structures? Business train their employees according to a structure according to possible scenarios, but here is where the ball is often dropped. They often don’t explain why certain things are done in a certain way. Expecting “people” to act like rigid “robots” to a particular situation will eventually cause a “404 error”. Customers are organic, living creatures, often looked at in terms of demographics when it comes to marketing. Yes, they do try to take this into account when it comes to customer service. But do they ever explain it in way that is assimilated into the working ethic of customer service personnel.?
With all the advances in modern tech, customer service can no longer be rigid. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (that’s seeing a resurgence thanks to current world situations), and so much more. Business need to be fluid in provide the best service possible. How personal can you get? How casual can you be? How do you turn a bad situation on its head, making it positive? Can you leverage social media?
The line between casual and stiff professionalism, is often blurred in most industries, this goes for customer services as well. The rigidity of the industrial age , no longer works at its best. This is the age of communication. So, shall we communicate?
Stay tuned for our next post on great examples of fluid Social Media Customer Service.