There were the inventions that acted as solid stepping stones in the evolution of the history of customer experience. These are honorable mentions that deserve credit. Their work made and still makes a difference in how customers are served in today’s business world.
1876: The Telephone Invention by Alexander Graham bell
This was the most remarkable transformation in the entire history of customer care support evolution. Despite the modern telecommunications and technology that has brought about the multichannel era of customer experience, the effect of telephone invention still reigns. Just like other recently established means of customer interactions, the telephone invention brought an end to the need of traveling several miles in order to contact local businesses, despite being one of the earliest milestones.
1760: The Concept of Scale
Well, perhaps you may be wondering how the “scale” concept transformed the evolution of customer experience evolution. The truth is that this changed the way business was carried out. A new way to determine the value and pricing of products was born and these needed customer service teams. It was at this moment that the daily interaction among traders took a new shape. The scope of trade expanded both in the number of traders and the goods exchanged.
1888: Invention of Automatic Telephone Exchange by Almon Strowger
Strowger, a hot-tempered man invented the automatic exchange telephone after his competitor handled the funeral of his friend. He then made a call and accused the operator of misdirecting his call. Out of anger, he slammed the phone on the floor and at that given moment, he came up with the idea of an automatic telephone exchange, which was commercialized in 1892. Several years later, his invention saw a real shift in customer support evolution. Traders could communicate without going through operators.
1970: Invention of the IVR
This invention marked a significant breakthrough in the journey of customer care history support development. Customers were now able to key in commands and streamline the calling phone tree process. The dawn of IVR later led to digitized speech technology that personalized the entire customer support experience.
65 A.D.A Self Service by Heron of Alexandria
This was a brilliant mathematician and engineer who made the first vending machine. Wonder how the whole issue of self-service came about? It all started from this vending machine that was meant to prevent people from stealing holy water. The machine made use of balancing lever which applied the principle of pressure that varied depending on the coin. You couldn’t, therefore, take more holy water than you paid for. This is a valid proof that customer service has been in existence and evolving slowly over history from the days of ancient Rome. From his invention, millions of self-service businesses are in operation today. I am pretty sure the idea of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) must have come from here.
The Mail Order Catalog by Sears and Roebuck
Sears and Roebuck were the two geniuses that made the most out of the railway era. They introduced mail order catalog that traders used to find the goods they needed. Orders would be placed and months later the train would arrive with the requested goods. This is where the door-to-door delivery began from.
For instance, Italy’s royal family received door-to-door hot pizza from Raffaele Esposito, one of the most famous pizza chefs by then. Traders enjoyed the convenience associated with this service as they could receive goods even when the weather condition was extreme.
1990: Customer Relationship Management
CRM was one single most transformational invention that made a real shift in customer service history. Companies were overwhelmed with this invention as it reduced the business-customer gap that existed before. Tracking and analyzing the behavior of customers was now a dream come true. It was this enviable invention that made it possible to reward loyal customers and take customer support standards a notch higher. The easy access to information made it possible to enhance efficiency in service delivery.