Call center history is beneficial to consider when analyzing call center affection toward different companies over time. Contact and call centers have become a crucial part of every business that helps in connecting the customer and the company representative. Let’s take a look at the historical aspects of call centers and see its affection for any business.
Early Call Center History
Although the first use of the telephone as a marketing tool dates back to the early 1900s, when businesses began using telephone directories to organize and sell customer lists, the first call center agents were housewives in the 1950s. That was the starting of call center history. These ladies worked from home, calling friends and neighbors to try to sell baked goods to earn extra money for the household. This situation evolved in the 1960s, with the advent of more sophisticated dialing technology and training.
Call Center History At The End Of The 20th Century
Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, call centers were established to support tasks such as receiving product orders, confirming airline reservations, and providing sales assistance. Large companies quickly noticed the success of call centers and their impact on business. Call centers specific to these companies quickly began to be set up. They provided agents providing both information and support to customers, as well as telemarketing activities. In 1985, Direct Line, an insurance company, was the first company to begin selling insurance policies entirely over the telephone.
As the phenomenon spread, many companies quickly followed this economic model. They saved time and money because they no longer needed numerous representatives and local offices to engage with their customers. With continued advancements in technology, the emergence of the Internet, email and cable television, new communication channels and call center opportunities have continued to open up for businesses and retailers. And that’s what we’re going to see just below.
“Call” or “Contact” ?
It is companies that have begun to change the subtle designation: instead of “call centers,” they describe customer care points as “contact centers“. Customers can now contact organizations through various means such as email, forms on the company’s website and by telephone. The growing number of contact centers indicates not only the use of more channels to communicate with end users, but also the growing expectations of companies in this area, including the need to evaluate the effectiveness of agents’ work.
Over the years, new challenges have emerged enriching the call center history. People began to find it increasingly unacceptable to be told how to contact their service providers and retailers. Consumer preferences for communicating with such organizations quickly began to shift to new instant messengers, chat, social media and also web channels. They have therefore forced contact centers to evolve and adapt to these new communication requirements, and the 2010s are characterized by an era of multi-channel communications.
Cloud technology provides flexibility and security to users, allowing them to integrate multiple communication channels into a single platform. End users can now place an order online, simply paying for a service during a phone call. They can track their order status via SMS and express their opinions on social media.
Think About Different Channels
Habits and social patterns change a little more each year. Thus, companies must evolve and comply with the new demands of the general public. The call center history is involved in every way because the essence of these activities is to answer people’s questions and needs. Contact centers face several significant challenges. They must support companies and organizations by helping them achieve their ambitions. At the same time, they have the task of responding to communication trends. And yet, they must exceed end-user and customer expectations. Fifty years ago, all you had to do was make a phone call. However, in today’s era of digitalization, it is not enough for contact centers to simply answer the phone.
Today, many customers expect communication flexibility from contact centers. As the motto goes, a happy customer makes a happy business. Technology and people will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible. So, it will benefit many people, including the contact center itself.
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