Skip to main content

The History of Call Centers

Call centers date back to the 1960s, when Private Automated Business Exchange (PABX) was installed in the UK-based Birmingham Press and Mail to have rows of agents receiving customer calls. In the early 1970s, telephone booking systems were patented, and telephone headsets became popular based on televised NASA events.  


Key Highlights of Call Center History

Call centers have continually evolved across the decades:

  • 1970s: Call center technology used for telephone sales, reservations, and banking services

  • 1980s: Toll-free numbers increased agent efficiency and call volumes

  • 1990s: Call centers became contact centers using multiple methods of communication

  • 2000s: The internet brought more computerization and automation

  • 2010s: The cloud developed along with mobile wireless technology modernizing call centers 

  • 2020s: Artificial intelligence (AI) tools and virtual agents assist agents and provide expanded customer support 

Old Phone on Desk

Cloud-Based Agility

Moving to the cloud will allow for faster, easier deployments, seamless upgrades, flexible scalability, and reduced capital expenditures associated with on-premises systems.


Connected Journeys

The contact center should support customer journeys across web chat and social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and others.


Omnichannel Unification

Shoppers will be coming in from many different channels, so it will streamline the customer experience to route interactions using the same logic.

Partner Banner Icon

Customer Context

Agents must begin the conversation right where the customer left off online. When the customer’s needs are transferred to an agent in real time, your brand is creating a seamless transition from web to contact center. Remove customer stress, unneeded customer repetition, wasted time, and deliver a world-class customer experience



Customer relationship management (CRM) system integration can improve the shopper experience by using CRM data to find the last person spoken to, use shopper purchase history to find the best expert, etc. In addition, once the connection occurs, your staff can access past interaction history and CRM information to understand the customer’s journey and deliver a more personalized experience.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI can deliver next- best-action recommendations and assist in responses that will improve conversion rates, increase shopping cart value, and speed up responses.

Legacy icon

Real-Time Management

Supervisors should monitor messaging interactions in real time and assist if needed, even if they are not in the same location.


AI & PCI Compliance

Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) can automate payment processing across digital channels and reduce your compliance risk by collecting sensitive customer data without revealing it to a human agent. Make sure that the IVAs can easily integrate with your payment gateways.


Have more questions?