1.2 Societal Revolutions – The Engines of Market Change
In 1760, the Industrial Revolution started in England and brought an extension of services defined by more products, the need for more employees and more demands.
Everything began to be measured by scales; therefore, shop owners were buried in high orders, fighting against new arrivals and new competition – big, industrial machinery. Machines were introduced into the production process around this time, and they could perform tasks faster than one individual and on a larger scale. The mechanical field blossomed, and with it, machinery soon pushed the traditional, homemade businesses away.
By this time, business owners started to hire sales specialists to handle client orders and solve logistical issues. Also, innovations in the communication field encouraged business owners to spend more on customer service. Innovations like the telephone appeared by 1894, and it soon became a popular device in most households. Consumers had the opportunity to reach out further and faster to business owners. Since customers were able to reach businesses from a distance; businesses also had to find a way to send their products from a distance. Therefore, delivery services began to evolve as well.
Following the Industrial Revolution, manufacturers continued to invent new machines that would enhance the economic engine; their actions led to another powerful switch that improved business management and customer services – TECHNOLOGY.
Impact of the technology on the market
Call centers appeared around the 1960s and were used to answer and solve client issues. Some years later, the first email system became functional, and soon the World Wide Web had properly revolutionized the business environment. Customers now had instant access to products. Markets expanded, requiring more resources and goods, and international commerce opened the doors to exotic places and products. Buyers could now choose what was best for them from a wide variety of items.
For a very long time, good customer service simply meant meeting orders, regardless of the quality of products. With the changes in mass production, such as new competition and expansion, however, customer behavior changed. The market became diverse in products, price, and quality, giving clients the chance to be picky or to change their preferences and tastes easily.
From the 2000s onwards, business dynamics have changed a lot. The Internet became a replacement for real shops; orders can be issued and delivered without waiting in line for long periods. These days, a sales department has to deal with much more than just registering orders; this department has become fragmented into a marketing department and a public relations department. Many companies also have online shops.