Are You A Cost Center Or A Profit Center?

by Ashish Mohanty    Sep 18, 2017

cost profit

In a digital economy, customer experience [CX] is the new currency. CX is at the epicenter of the success of any engagement across industries. According to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Organizations should understand that flawless post-purchase customer support is the key component of a well-crafted customer CX strategy. Amidst all the evolution and innovation in the technology industry, the key differentiator for companies is the personal care and support that they offer to their customers.

Increasingly, technology companies are looking at ways to deliver customer support services around the connected home sector. Demand for cross-platform consumption of media and content is opening further revenue opportunities for OMEs and service providers. Organizations are experiencing enormous difficulty in improving CX, with limited support budgets. With the steady increase in the number of devices, and growing needs of users, support costs are prone to shoot up.  

To add to the woes of the product industry, product revenues are declining due to the growing popularity of the anything-as-a-service (Xaas) model and the dramatic increase in competition. Moreover, traditional, reactive support budgets are shrinking. Opportunities that enable the creation of additional revenues to subsidize costs have become the need of the hour. Therefore, there is intensified pressure on support functions to step up and generate top line revenue growth for businesses.

Recalibrating Investments in Technology

Until now, the core objective of most customer service and support engagements has been to reduce cost, automate back-office business processes and manage support remotely. Driving revenue for customers seemed unthinkable. Vendors seldom discussed solutions where the value proposition was around helping customers generate new revenue streams and augment growth opportunities. Majority of organizations are yet to realize the hidden potential of their customer support function to transform into a growth catalyst.

In the current scenario, not many companies are paying enough attention to new age solutions which have the prowess to mitigate challenges in generating revenue. Also, there are not many ideal solutions in the market that are future proof.

The key is to design a customer-specific support solution that helps companies enhance customer experience and convert their CapEx-heavy support function into a profit-making function. Organizations need pre-packaged support solutions that include customer service, self-help, knowledge base, analytics and operational expertise. The service should be built on a revenue-sharing approach, aimed at transforming a cost center to a profit center and converting non-revenue generating calls into revenue streams for the connected homes sector.

Support Center into a Profit Center

A robust, sophisticated tech support service such as Premium Tech Support (PTS) is the best possible remedy to all these business problems. PTS is the ideal pre-packaged solution that provides the entire gamut of services from supporting consumer products to managing infrastructure and deploying networks. This should be a subscription based model that generates significant revenue, while creating superlative customer experiences at the same time.

This rebrandable tech support solution effectively leverages the transforming power of digital, automation, analytics, artificial intelligence, omni-channel support and machine learning.  Cognitive computing and digital analytics (including predictive and consumption analysis) embedded in PTS, enables unearthing of deep insights into the behavior and needs of customers. Advanced machine-learning capabilities identifies issues and correlates them across multiple parameters in real time. Organizations are able to use this solution to manage customer environments, and also proactively identify, fix and self-heal issues via automation independently. It has the ability to trigger alerts to contact center managers whenever there is a need for action.

PTS’ subscription based model can earn significant revenue share for businesses, as they get a share of revenue for each subscription that is sold. For example, if the agreed share percent is 30%, the company will earn $30 million out of every $100 million,that is earned through the sale of subscriptions.

Powered by Omni-channel and Mobile Support

PTS provides omni-channel support which lends a single view to all customer interactions and conversations. It converges traditional and digital channels in the context of the customer journey, resulting in new revenue opportunities. It empowers customers to start an activity in one channel and transition seamlessly to another.  

In a tech support environment, omni-channel support will bring transformational benefits with higher responsiveness to evolving customer needs. The solution will provide a 360-degree view of customer engagement, interactions and effective multi-channel management. Consequently, the customer will get quicker resolution with seamless experience across all channels.

Mobile support in PTS will act as an instant digital touchpoint for customers to escalate device issues, optimize services and enable payments. It would help them procure new services through the mobile app resulting in additional revenue for the customer.  

In addition, it would also enable customers to stay connected with their customer base and help increase brand recall. It would give customers the privilege to access DIY tools, receive product and firmware updates, information on new product releases, and promotional offers on products and services.

Driven byDigital Analytics

Digital analytics helps in determining customers’ next best action. Advanced analytics solutions are used to surface new patterns and influence customers’ purchasing decisions. It provides intelligent insights into customer propensities, resulting in enhanced CX and new business opportunities.

Digital analytics in PTS coherently amalgamates data, processes, analytics tools and visualizations. This enables faster time to insight, and enhances the quality and reliability of insights through exploratory and self-learning models. Therefore, it would help to improve business outcomes through data driven decisions.

A recent Gartner survey reveals that customer experience is fast becoming the new battlefield and the pressing mandate for organizations to achieve sustainable success. A specialized customer support model powered by robust analytics, fuels top-line revenue growth and creates new avenues for profit, apart from nurturing long lasting customer relationships.

[The author is Senior Vice President Consumer Services & Head International Centers- CSS Corp.]