The Analog-Digital Shift:
Before 2000, you were likely irrelevant if you weren't discussing grievances or sharing tales of loyalty in person. Physical presence was the dominant "channel." Flash forward a decade, and the phone - initially a landline, then predominately that portable cellphone - became our lifeline to brands. By 2010, 80% preferred the phone, but notice how quickly it peaked and plateaued. Why? The market grew tired, seeking even more convenient modes to vent, inquire, or connect.
Era of Impatience:
Enter e-mail and chat. The age of waiting was over; we wanted solutions yesterday. For 15 years, starting in 2000, e-mail grew steadily in popularity as a service channel. It provided a paper trail for our inquiries, although we had to wait for that reply. By 2015, e-mail started losing its appeal, as instant gratification began to enter as a pop-up window on a website. Businesses were forced to adapt or perish. They had to be where the conversation was, or they weren't in the conversation at all.
Social – Where Brands Are Built (or Broken):
By 2015, social media wasn't just about sharing photos on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter. Social was where brands were built, massacred, and sometimes resurrected. It was initially the wild west of customer interaction - unpredictable, unforgiving, but undeniably influential. Brands realized: Miss out on this, and you're handing your competitors an advantage. Now, social platforms are recognized as a formal service channel and are likely here to stay.