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Alt text: three customer service representatives working

The Evolution of Customer Service in Telecommunications

Customer service makes and breaks telecommunications. Half of customers say they switch to competitors after one bad experience with customer service. 


If you want to stay competitive, you need to be courteous, thorough, and kind to your customers. An easy way to win them over is to provide multiple tools for customer service. 


You can find the best methods for you by looking at the evolution of customer service over time. Here is a brief history of customer service in telecommunications and where things stand today. 

In-Person Visits

The first telecommunications companies did not emphasize customer service. Once the customer paid for services, their journey was complete. If they needed help, they had to go to the company during business hours and talk to someone. 


Department stores in the 1920s started the first official customer service operations. Consumers could stop by during business hours to return their products or get quick assistance from employees.


In-person visits are still crucial to customer service, especially if you’re a small company with one or two brick-and-mortar locations. You should have a receptionist greet customers as they arrive at your location and direct them to the departments they need help from. If you want customers to stay away from your office, you should make it clear on your website that they should not visit you. If you want to emphasize customer service significantly, you can start a hosted contact center for your customer service department.


Related: What Is a Hosted Contact Center?


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Alt text: a black telephone


As telecommunications became more popular, customers started using their telephones to call telecommunications companies. The first call centers were created in the 1960s. Customers were connected through off-premises extensions to these centers, and workers would handle their calls. 


In 1967, AT&T created the first toll-free telephone number, allowing customers to call companies directly. This was when customer service in telecommunications began in earnest. Companies started hiring employees whose only job was handling customer issues over the phone. 


Despite the rise of the internet, telephone customer service remains essential. 76% of customers use telephone calls to contact companies, 55 percentage points higher than the next highest contact method. Customers who speak directly with company employees are 27% more satisfied than people who reach an automated system. 


Hire as many people as possible to answer your phone calls. If you use a VoIP system, improve the call quality using high-quality routers and headphones. 


Text messaging is becoming a popular form of customer service, with 10% of customers contacting companies through texts. Enable text messages and allow your customers to contact you with questions, reviews, and comments. 


Want to set up a perfect telephone customer service system? Book a demo with SE Telecom’s telephone sales staff today! 


Government agencies developed the internet in the 1960s to exchange information on government computers. The World Wide Web developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it became popular in the mid-to-late 1990s. The internet boomed during the 2000s, becoming one of the main telecommunications tools.


E-commerce developed quickly in the 2000s, with major companies like Amazon starting websites early. The competition in e-commerce created major developments in customer service, with companies developing email addresses, contact forms, and websites to handle customer service problems. 


These tools remain popular, and you should continue to offer them. Start a shared inbox that allows your team to pool complaints and respond to them immediately. Hire employees who can read comments on your contact page and respond to them. Upgrade to 4G wireless internet so you have the fastest possible connections and can respond to customer complaints instantly.


Websites are crucial tools to direct people to the right customer service professionals. 47% of customers look at a company’s website before contacting them for customer service. Have a contact page where people can find your phone number, mailing address, and other information. 


Related: Internet Solutions


Self-service has its roots in manuals. Companies gave customers instructions on how to build and repair products so they wouldn’t be inundated with service requests. 


Self-service remains a prevalent type of customer service. Many people want to solve problems by themselves without talking to live agents. You can have a FAQ page on your website that goes over customers' common problems and how they can solve them. If problems require multiple steps, you can start a blog and write tutorials on how customers can resolve their issues. 


Need help setting up your self-service system? Contact the telecommunications experts at SE Telecom today!


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Alt text: a graphic depicting a chatbot


Scientists developed the first chatbots in the 1960s. They became prominent in the 2000s after the internet became widely popular. Telecommunications companies began using basic chatbots to handle complaints and direct customers to other website pages. 


35% of internet users use chatbots to resolve problems. However, some people find chatbots annoying, especially when chat windows appear on their screens. Chatbots should be one of several tools you use to handle your customer service. Keep messages you send to your visitors short, and refer your customers to employees for detailed solutions to problems.

Omnichannel Support

Omnichannel support is the most modern type of customer service in telecommunications. Customers expect to have multiple channels they can use for assistance. If they call a company’s phone number, they expect to have a self-service option and the ability to call an assistant for help. 


You can set up omnichannel customer support with a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system. Enable functions like advanced call management, which lets you direct, hold, and route calls. You can also create a virtual receptionist that can handle incoming calls and redirect callers to employees and departments they want. 


Related: 20+ VoIP Features You Can’t Live Without