Chapter 4: The Impact of Customer Service on Employment
We mentioned in the first chapter that customer service impacts the business world through the three pillars: management, customer care, and employees. Next, we discussed how companies change full structures depending on client service and how customer care determines the evolution of a business according to the positive or negative reactions of the clients. Furthermore, employees are an extension of the company that communicates directly with the customers. Employees are often required to deal with rapid changes as the consumer’s demands change.
It is highly relevant for us to look at how customer service influences employment because it helps us better understand the dynamics of the business world. Moreover, we can see how an employee’s place in society changes due to interaction with the clients.
The picture illustrates the development of the employee’s status, as well as his skills. In the past, before some of the world’s most significant events such as the Industrial and Technological Revolutions or the World Wars, the employee was a person taken into service by a business owner. We are not referring here to slavery, which was a primitive form of employment and has existed since the ancient times. However, even in the ancient times, there were specialized persons under the service of kings or wealthy people; these persons were doctors, priests, architects, and tailors.
Employment at that time was defined as paying for a provided service with no additional benefits.
In the past, the employee was a man who could do more than one job. Most employees were looking for a job so they could provide for their families. The employee wasn’t necessarily educated or specialized in one job but could do deliveries, accounting, cleaning and so on. This kind of person was hired by most business owners because the pay was lower and the level of service was simpler. On the other hand, a “jack of all trades” was able to do more jobs at once, at a decent level. That person could be, for example, a carpenter, house painter, and gardener – all at the same time.
In contrast, the present day employee is a source of knowledge and expertise. He or she should have various personal skills and competencies but one or two major specializations. Also, level of education influences their salary value, so nowadays employees pursue at least one MA degree to receive more money from their company. This means educated expertise and more professional skills. In the present day, employees are focused on developing a career in a certain specialization.
The most visible change in employment happened after the global events that we’ve mentioned in the previous chapters. Employees were contracted under a legal agreement that contained both their duties and rights, just like today. The working hours were longer, and they were working under poor conditions to increase production. When business owners faced a higher demand for products, they also noticed that tired and hungry employees performed poorly and the whole production was affected. In heavy industries, the change in employment happened later because employees were not communicating directly with the customers, and therefore it was easy to remain focused on production. However, in the front office departments, the need to improve employee wellbeing became more and more visible because the employee interacted directly with the client. Business owners started to provide health insurance, and stable paid leave systems to avoid sickness and low performance.
The changes in employment occurred as the consumer’s requirements became more complex. Clients began to impose certain conditions upon employees. These conditions required the development of both professional and personal skills. Companies have to continuously update their customer service and especially their employees’ skills to please the clients. Today, customers expect speed, viability, and reliability.