We've addressed the issue of customer service as a profit center rather than a cost center a few times, but it's such an important topic that we wanted to address it again. Happily the great folks at Constellation Research feel the same way, and have published an informative research paper on exactly this topic. You can access the full report here, or read on for the highlights.
According to Constellation, investing in customer care can boost ROI in 6 areas:
1. Reducing customer support costs by increasing first contact resolution
Every time a customer has to contact your support center more than once costs you unnecessarily. For the sake of comparison, let's say a single contact costs you $100. If a customer resolves their issue with you at the first contact, the cost of that solution is $100. If they have to contact you 3 times about the same issue, the cost is $300 PLUS the opportunity cost from that agent spending time re-addressing an issue rather than solving a new one.
2. Increasing agent productivity by lowering average handle time
Similarly, if you can reduce the time it takes to solve (handle) an issue you automatically increase your agent's productivity. If an issue used to take 10 minutes to resolve, and implementing customer support software reduces that time to 8 minutes you've increased their efficiency by 20%. Multiply that across the number of agents and volume of issues they handle, and you'll see a significant increase in profitability.
3. Increasing self-service/call deflection/knowledge base efficiency/FAQs and reducing agent-related support costs
The more your customers are able to serve themselves, the less your agents will spend time answering simple and repeat issues. Increase your customer self-service options, make use of ticket deflection and improve your knowledge base and FAQs to reduce your agent-related support costs.
4. Reducing or eliminating agent training
Using a collaborative customer support software
can greatly reduce the amount of agent training needed, and that's great because training is one of the largest (and least recognized) expenses in any company. Internal collaboration and group-based ticket management allow new agents to learn from their peers while addressing customer issues quickly and efficiently.
5. Improving existing processes or eliminating redundant processes/steps
By spending the time and money to improve your customer service, you will naturally identify inefficient or outdated processes and redundancies. The right customer service software should also help you improve these, thereby increasing efficiency and improving ROI. In fact we truly believe that choosing the right customer support software will pay for itself!
It's also important to remember that on the flip side the cost of poor customer care is significant - according to Microsoft's Global Customer Service Report 62% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand this year due to a single poor experience. You don't want to be one of those businesses that are losing customers now do you?