We’re often reminded to “learn the lessons of history”. Paying close attention to past events, it has been said, teaches us some very important things—in the hopes of not making the same mistakes. Just as such lessons try to help us avoid another world war, did you know that history lessons can also help us avoid neglecting to dish out customer service?
History buffs among you may have read about the beginnings and evolution of customer service. For those thinking that customer care was invented by some call center seeking attention, sorry, but you’re sorely mistaken. In fact, the concept of customer service has been with us since the beginning of time—or at least for as long as man started trading, bartering, and selling and buying goods and services—long before the whole concept was coined.
In those days, one did not just call up their horseshoe maker’s call center to complain about getting the wrong shoe size; clients needed to ride back to the next town to do this. As the telephone, internet, email and Facebook came about, however, things likewise became more high-tech and evolved into what we now know it to be today. While the methods of communication and interaction evolve, one thing has remained the same: clients have always demanded that each of their needs (and wants) be addressed.
Imagine the inconvenience of riding through a dusty road just to have a pair of jeans made (or going back to pick them up several days or weeks later). Or what about the time when one had to make a phone call to make a doctor’s appointment—back when the phone lines were not as reliable as they (supposedly) are today or when a switchboard was still used instead of today’s automated and high-tech systems. While these may seem prehistoric compared to today’s means of Tweeting your woes about sloppy mobile data signals to your mobile phone provider’s Twitter customer service account, the essence remains the same—it’s all about wanting some “love”.
As technology and communications continue to evolve, rest assured that new customer service platforms and channels will likewise come about. Don’t ignore the changes—and most importantly, serving your customers’ needs. Who knows? They might just teleport their way into your office one day and give you a piece of their fuming mind.