Companies have long been in the driver’s seat with their customer relationships; determining what to offer, how to access the offer and the price customers need to pay. However, technology’s increasing integration into more facets of everyday life has allowed new-age disrupters to transform this paradigm. Customers are challenging how big business interacts with them and businesses that don’t adapt will be left behind.
The connectivity skipping stone & the evolution of customer service
Communication has had an impressive evolution. The pace and frequency of their innovation iterations is similar to that of a skipping stone along a calm body of water, increasing rapidly with each skip.
When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone it gave customers the ability to talk to companies about their interactions, positive or negative. This allowed companies the ability to scale the customer feedback loop, it was around this time when the first customer service teams were created.
Over the next 100 years, technological innovations to the telephone and subsequent integrations with computers helped productivity scale even further. By the 1970’s customer service measures were commonplace for sales representatives to ensure the sustainability of their sales practices.
This technology also fueled customer expectation and what would become their expanding influence on marketing strategy, price positioning and advertising messages among many others. It was no longer sales teams responsible for customer happiness but also marketing, and in the mid-90’s a new term was coined: Customer Engagement.
When smart phones entered the market, it poured gasoline on this trend. The internet and social media had a home in everyone’s pocket, and Customer Engagement soon made way for the shiny new term; Customer Experience (CX). CX’s philosophy is that everyone in the company is responsible for customer’s wellbeing from legal to finance and operations to HR and all inbetween.
The next skip
Technology is not slowing down. Innovations are evolving and becoming more mainstream everyday. The companies that can seamlessly integrate these into their product and brand are winning, and winning big.
Over the next 100 years, technological innovations to the telephone and subsequent integrations with computers helped productivity scale