How to Measure and Improve Your ROI for Customer Support

In any business, there are typically two types of departments — cost centres and profit centres. Most companies categorise customer support as a cost centre because they believe that customer support does not bring cash to the table. This is a huge misconception that exists even today because companies think that to grow their business they need new customers. Though acquiring new customers is crucial to any business, retaining existing customers costs you less money. Here are three numbers for you to consider.

  • Acquiring a new customer is 5x more expensive than retaining an existing customer.
  • Your chances of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while it is 5-20% to a new customer.
  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25-95%.

The efforts that you need to put towards these outcomes comes mainly from your customer support teams. Your customer support teams are the ones that engage with your customers directly and more often.



Companies also think that it is okay to run a business with an inefficient customer support team and tools. Imagine this — there are 30 or over more companies out there that offer the same service or products just like you. What is the probability that your customer will not abandon you for your competitor? After all, the products that you and your competitor sell are the same. At Freshdesk, we often talk about how customer support is crucial to any business to the point that it is a key differentiator for businesses. We believe that customer support is a profit centre and an investment in the right kind of support tools and people.

Customer support is built on three pillars — support agents, support processes, and customers. What binds all of these together is the helpdesk software as a way for customers to communicate with your business. If done right, customers will return for more business, do word-of-mouth marketing, and of course add to your profits.

Now that we have agreed on the importance of customer support and why it is an investment, let’s look at how you can calculate ROI. There are three main steps to measuring ROI in customer service.

  1. Identify key metrics
  2. Set your ROI hypothesis
  3. Test and refine

But hey, wait! Instead of getting into the nitty gritty of using extensive data sheets and formula, how about you use this simple ROI calculator to know what value you can derive from customer support? And I can tell you about three of our customers who implemented a helpdesk system and not only improved their ROI but were also able to measure it.

Applian Technologies

Applian Technologies develops and provides world-class, affordable streaming media recording software for Windows and Mac users with a customer base of around 700,000 paying customers in addition to those who use its free products.

The Problem — Inefficient Multi-product Support

One of the biggest challenges they faced was supporting multiple products (30) in an efficient manner. Supporting a large customer base is tricky, so they wanted to make sure that the only time customers contacted them directly was when they were not able to find whatever they needed to resolve their query on their own. But when it comes to multiple products, getting self-service to work in a way that is neither confusing nor misleading to customers can be a challenge.

The Solution — Set up a Self Service Portal for Each Product

This led them to set up a self service portal for every single product. That way, customers could locate the product they were using and see only related knowledge base articles as opposed to combing through a huge combined repository. They were effectively able to smooth out the self-service experience, streamline the support process and reduce the cost for their organization.

Learn how Applian Technologies reduced ticket volume by 15%


Hamleys of London Limited is the finest toy shop brand in the world. The chain has ten other outlets in the United Kingdom and also has more than 60 franchises worldwide.

The Problem — Scale After-scale Customer Care 

The key challenge at Hamleys was to match the level of after sales care that customers of Hamleys expected in a highly competitive market as their customer service team scaled. They wanted their support tool to enable their agents to work faster. Automate manual repetitive tasks freeing up their agent time to concentrate on customers. Automate ticket tracking helping the team stay on track by improving SLA adherence and reducing overdue tickets.

The Solution — Streamlined Workflows and Gamification

Hamleys effectively optimized the customer support operations. Workflows were streamlined and made efficient. Support agent’s performance was tracked and gamification was implemented which allowed agents to assess their performance on a day to day basis.

By reducing manual efforts for agents, SLA adherence improved. With admins spending less time on manual reporting tasks, this freed up time for management to think strategically about their customer service, which started to impact positively on customer satisfaction levels. Agents were able to measure their performance using helpdesk analytics  and gamification which encouraged them to provide even better customer service

Learn how Hamleys reduced their support costs by 50%


Jamberry is a global beauty brand which started off with do-it-yourself nail wraps by three sisters  Lyndsey, Christy and Keri in 2011. Jamberry has a large customer base it supports around the globe along with 40,000 consultants who are part of their business model. In their growth stage they tried to manage support in-house which was disorganized, chaotic, and extremely difficult to find insights to guide their support to success. Hence their next move was to outsource their support till 2015 but finally ended bringing back their support in-house using Freshdesk.

The Problem — Personalizing Customer Using Workflows

The main challenge at Jamberry was they needed to support different set of end users i.e the customers and the consultants needed totally different conversations and workflows to support them efficiently. Depending on the end user, a different support experience had to be designed to ensure that no confusion or bottlenecks developed.

No longer the support team was  sifting through one pile of support requests to get insights about their support landscape. They configured Freshdesk to divide tickets into groups, or by country letting agents drill deeper into the problem and add more categories to the tickets. This greatly helped with reporting giving them insights into myriad ways—guiding their activities in productive directions.

Support at Jamberry soon had  a better system, enabling speed and responsiveness. Instead of having a workforce trained on everything, they created specialists which was possible by deploying automatic ticket routing. They are able to track how much time agents spend on tickets—to understand call length etc. helping them greatly to understand their current situation, thereby enabling them to zero in on training areas and setting realistic goals.

Learn more about how Jamberry reduced cost per ticket by 25%

We can see that deploying helpdesk software in the right manner has enabled these brands to streamline their support and save time and costs effectively. Also analytics has enabled them to track their improvements and measure the true value of support to the business. Empowering their support teams to showcase the true potential of customer support.

See how you can improve your helpdesk return on investment — Try the ROI Calculator Now