History of Answering Services
Have you ever wondered how answering services came to be? Although we can’t say for certain exactly who started the very first answering service, we know it evolved from the way phone calls were handled in the early days of telephony.
It is believed that the first service began in 1923 in connection with answering calls for doctors. These services were utilized because Doctors needed to know if a patient were to have an emergency, but unlike now, they didn’t have access to a mobile phone. The answering service was created for taking messages after hours so that any emergencies could be dealt with immediately.
This was all influenced by the way the telephone companies handled calls at the very beginning in 1878. Calls were patched through according to people’s names before numbers were even available. When the first private answering services were established, clients were referred to as “numbers” and given their messages when they called in. From there, the evolution to switchboards within companies terminated the need for personnel on this level as the main telephone companies became automated. And, the introduction of answering machines that could be connected to your telephone eliminated the need for “live” answering services for most individuals or small businesses.
Over the years, modern call centers, automated answering machines and voicemail have taken over the business that answering services previously held, but now with a renewed desire for more personal service to satisfy the needs of clients and customers, answering services are again in great demand. The need to connect with a live person has always been important and now it is more than ever. There is nothing like being able to speak with a real person and get answers immediately and know that your call is important. As they say, history repeats itself and it certainly is true!