Customer Service Isn’t a Cost, It’s an Investment

Businesses are continually faced with costs.  Each and every company has a unique set of expenses associated with what they do on a day-to-day basis, from infrastructure to material costs.  These costs cannot be avoided, as they are required to operate.  All too often customer service gets lumped into the cost bucket.  Companies around the world are now realizing that when customer service is treated like an investment, not a cost, the bottom line benefits are incredible.

Customer service can take many forms, depending upon your business.  Larger companies may have banks of ringing telephones, while smaller companies may have one person fielding every customer service issue.  Whatever your situation, there are costs associated with it.  The word ‘costs’ has a negative connotation, which makes customer service a target to slash when the black line dips a little closer to becoming a red line.  On the other hand, ‘investments’ are likely safeguarded, as they’re investments that offer a return.  Should your customer service be a cost or an investment?

With the rise of social media and the ease of relaying poor experiences across the web, one unsatisfactory phone call can lead to a flurry of negative Yelp reviews, Twitter mentions, or a number of other headaches.  These negative situations will inevitably increase if you are continually trimming your customer service budget.  Customers are smart.  They will not give their money to those that don’t deserve it.

Approaching customer service as an investment ensures that employees have the proper resources for delivering solutions and keeping your customers happy.  This could include resources for items such as: allowing the team to attend a customer service seminar or upgrading your customer service incident tracking software.  Your employees and your customers will be unhappy if you are continually cutting your customer service budget.

This doesn’t mean you should mindlessly pour money into your customer service department.  Part of investing is knowing when and where to invest.  Prudent managers find what works and they concentrate on those areas.

The ideal solution for understanding when and where to invest in your customer service department is a customer service survey.  Simply ask you customers and they will tell you where they are running into issues as well as where you are excelling.  The information obtained from these surveys allows you to create an initial list of investment opportunities.  After selected investments have been made and changes implemented, re-survey periodically to gauge the success of your improvement initiatives.  Contact NBRI to start investing wisely in your customer service department.