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There has been a key shift over the last 20 years in Customer Service Technology, brought about by the rise of the internet and word of mouth marketing. Let’s take a trip through history.

In the late 90’s and early 2000’s live chat software was coming into the limelight. The internet was booming and mobile phones were becoming prevalent. Instead of the traditional methods, Customers now had the power to communicate with companies by instant message.  Businesses knew in order to stay competitive they had to begin computerizing. This led to a boom in the need for customer support software – the birth of Online Help Desks.

Online Help Desks allowed companies a single point of contact for users to gain assistance, answers to questions, and solve problems. Help Desk Technicians became a vital part of the IT workforce, as they keep the technologies that organizations rely on to do business up to date, running smoothly, and assist end users with their computer hardware and software.

Moving a few years down the track we come to the 2010’s. Social media was all the rage.

On this new platform customers could use their social feeds as a channel to communicate with companies. They used this to great effect as people were not timid about posting their complaints on their Myspace and Facebook pages. This brought about a larger focus on the customer.

The act of embracing this customer-centric approach was more than just doing the right thing – it also proved to be one of the most effective marketing tools around. Being able to turn a previous Customer Care Cost into a one of the most effective revenue generators was a game changer, profits went up alongside public opinion!

Now we are entering an age of self service and automation. With the advent of Self-Service customers have been empowered to serve themselves quickly and without the need for human interaction, foreshadowing future technology ahead. Surely readers have been to a site that pops up a chat box, “How can we assist you today?”. Today’s customer service technology is incredible. We’ve got chatbots, artificial intelligence, self learning machines, and augmented reality bringing vast changes to the industry.

So what does future technology hold? How can business predict what will come next? I believe we will see technology soon that we once only saw in science fiction, but only time will tell.