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Customer support “Is it a cost center or a profit-making center?

Customer support “Is it a cost center or a profit-making center?

Customer support is no more a cost center. It is actually a profit center.

I recently chanced upon an article comparing Customer Success to Support. The one that caught my attention in this article was “Customer success generates revenue while customer support is tagged as a Cost Center”. Traditionally, businesses have looked at customer support as an expensive division of the organization. It is considered a necessary evil. However, with more emphasis on Customer Experience(CX) these days, the tides are changing.

In today’s digital world, customers are empowered with technology than ever before. With a post, not more than 30 words, they either promote or destroy the brand. More than anyone else in the organization, they are constantly engaged with customer support. Hence, there is a need for businesses to realign their strategy. A couple of points to be considered during decision-making.

Focus to increase the customer satisfaction level

When problems reported by customers are effectively handled to their satisfaction, they tend to scale up your business more than those who haven’t reported a problem.

Customer problems are indeed opportunities.

The business has to look at customer problems as opportunities. It helps to narrow down and fix the services or products or business processes. It is an opportunity to increase customer experience and add revenue to the organization.

My experience

Having imbibed this quality of looking at every problem as an opportunity, I was assigned a difficult task to retain an unhappy customer. I had one last chance here to overturn the situation. From my discussion, I identified that the customer and his team were unaware of the complete capability of the service. After listening to their concerns, I empathized with their current situation and offered a two-day product level training. This training brought in the necessary product awareness which helped them realize the potential of the service. During the course of this interaction, flaws in business service were identified and fixed. This resulted in improving the overall experience of the service. As an addendum to the existing service, further opportunities were identified resulting in an upsell.

In conclusion, businesses have to come out of this old school thought that customer support is a cost center. This division is a treasure house as it holds critical data about your customer and their experience which provides immense value for your product, marketing and sales team – DIKW.

by rameshkumarramachandran

Customer Officer | Revenue Expansion | Saas, Cloud Computing, Go-To-Market, Startups

14th November 2019

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  1. Varsheni

    Very rare do I see people speak about customer support and the importance on how it keeps the business revenue going.

  2. Dinesh Putti

    Hi Ramesh, Firstly congratulations on your new venture, post my review on the article below are my thoughts/opinions.

    I totally agree with you Ramesh as customer support should not be tagged as a cost center. They are the back bone and front face representing every organization, resolving customer issues, making them use the product capabilities to the fullest.

    Improving the product defects by raising problem tickets (Jira Cards), closely working with engineering and product team to get the product enhanced in every release of the product further making it successful.

    In my professional journey when I was working in support, we were not been given with monetary and other benefits as most of the other employees were receiving, the reason stated by higher management is that, we are a cost center but not generating revenue to the firm. Hence support is not elegible to receive such benefits, such a discrimination was not at all acceptable and every one should be treated equal, be it support or any other team.

    I totally agree to your point as support is no more a cost center, as they are indirectly responsible for revenue generation and management should recognise the efforts put in by support in adding value to the organisation by resolving the customer problems and making them continue using their services. In my view thay play a major role in BUSINESS CONTINUITY.

    Final thoughts as every company should recognise, change the trend that’s being followed. Further should not treat support as a cost center because as I have stated in the beginning they are the back bone and front facing of every firm. And I completely agree with your conclusion.

    • rameshkumarramachandran

      Thank you, Dinesh.

      I appreciate for sharing your experience. Times will change as there more emphasis on Customer Experience.




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