Common food items shifted from a resource to branded products with significantly added value. For instance, we don’t just buy “chocolate” now; we buy “M&Ms” or “Kinder”. We don’t just buy soda, but we buy “Pepsi” or “Coca-Cola”.
When learning about customer service, remember that today we must create personalized or customized products. Products need to have a story or transmit a feeling to which consumers can relate. We can easily see this after hundreds of years of continuous development; however, in the past, the need for branded products appeared gradually due to mass production. Companies had to be very visible in the big, crowded international market.
As the lines of production increased and kept on increasing even after the technological revolution, products became divided, categorized and valued differently. Products were developed, added, changed, modified, and constantly improved to attract more buyers, keep the old ones and win new ones.
Remember that around 1700, the production process shifted to the constant improvement of products to appeal to customers. Today’s managers invest in new technologies to enhance their production lines and also use diverse tools for attracting clients –such as gift giving, free products, special events, donations to charities or online websites where they offer discounts and bonuses.
The shift from production-focused to customer-focused practices includes all industries. Books, for example, shifted from informational papers to complex genres where information is categorized into science, religion, news, psychology, fiction, etc. – and fiction can be further expanded into more categories. Clients are passionate readers who frequently choose books based on cover, length, and price. This is important for customer service because it shows us that besides the appearance of the content, we can also modify the content itself. We now have audiobooks and eBooks that convert traditional readers into modern readers. Fewer and fewer people read hardcover books. This shows us that the shift of the market is still ongoing and that it can transform consumer behavior as much as it changes the structure of companies.
The automobile industry is another strong example of a shift that changed both manufacturer behavior and customer behavior. In terms of transportation, cars are now necessary for many people. Different brands have emerged because of mass production and externalization of markets. Manufacturers are constantly exploring various functionalities for cars to suit their clients’ needs – for example, family cars accessorized with special seats for babies or pets, business cars, or cars designed for people with disabilities. Automobile companies have complex departments with expertise in customer care where sales and after-sales statistics are run to perfect their products.