Turning Customer Support From a Cost Center to a Revenue Driver


Traditionally, customer support has been viewed not as a call center, but as a cost center. And for good reason. Between hiring agents, and hosting all types of hardware, software, and other infrastructure needs, customer support has typically been seen as one of the more expensive arms of the enterprise. However, a major shift is underway.

The emphasis being placed on the customer experience has never been higher. According to the 2019 State of Service report by Salesforce, 80% of customers now consider experience with a company to be as important as its products. While departments such as sales and marketing are more commonly seen as the primary externally facing teams within an enterprise, a strong argument can be made that no one has more frequent and meaningful interactions with your customers than customer support.

The fact of the matter is that customer support is sitting on a wealth of knowledge and feedback that’s critical to not only keeping the current customers you have, but if used correctly, and combined with the right technology, can attract new ones as well. Here are three ways to turn customer support from a cost center into a significant revenue driver in the enterprise.

Increase Customer Retention and Loyalty

As mentioned, support agents are likely interacting with customers more than anyone else within the enterprise, and at a critical time. Customers typically do not reach out to support when everything is going well, and a negative support experience can easily lead customers to consider a new product or service altogether. Conversely, a support agent who is able to resolve an issue in a fast, personalized, and efficient manner can be the last line of defense and the difference maker in whether a customer stays or leaves.

At the same time, with the right information and the right tools at their fingertips, support agents can not only keep customers brand loyal, but identify potential upsell opportunities as well. By leveraging tools such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, agents can have better insights not only why customers are reaching out, but also information such as who they are, their purchase history, previous support interactions, and more. With more context on hand, agents can identify opportunities to better educate customers on product lines and functionality, as well as introduce new features, enhancements, and even new products that they believe would benefit the customers overall experience.

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A Customer Data Center for the Entire Enterprise

The data collected and feedback gathered by customer support is not only essential for support agents when trying to turn a customer’s negative experience into a positive outcome, it can also be extremely valuable to other parts of the organization. One example of this is the ability to provide direct and real-time customer feedback to product and engineering teams so they can fix, enhance, or reshape the product and its features. This data can be extremely valuable to sales and marketing teams as well as it can help to better identify upsell opportunities, new target markets, and enhance messaging and go-to-market strategies.

Customer experience data is not only critical for arming support agents with more context on customers, but it can also help support organizations be more strategic in how they shape and staff their teams. By being able to better identify peak hours as well as frequently used channels, support supervisors and executives can better allocate resources to reduce wait times and meet customers on their preferred channels. Over time, this not only can have a substantial impact on shaping the customer experience, but can significantly reduce expenses.

It’s All About the Cloud

In the enterprise, the shift towards the cloud is well underway. For many, cloud-based solutions are no longer an option, but a requirement. While other teams and departments might have transitioned to the cloud sooner, customer support is now starting to see first hand the benefits of moving to a Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) solution.

Cloud-native, CCaaS platforms offer reliability, scalability, maintenance, and upgrades and enhancements in a way that on-premise solutions simply cannot. Whether it is expanding support’s digital footprint by adopting new channels, or easily rolling out updates and enhancements to every agent, CCaaS platforms make it easier for agents to have the latest and greatest at their fingertips without needing to break the bank on implementation, maintenance, and training.

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While customer support has typically been seen as one of the more expensive arms of the enterprise, support agents, supervisors, and executives have everything they need to not only showcase the value that support can bring, but the revenue that it can drive. As the movement to the cloud continues, and the value placed on customer experience grows, support teams that are able to create brand ambassadors and champions and share their data with other teams will be the ones able to truly show the importance and impact customer support can have on the enterprise.



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