Why You Should Treat Your Contact Center Like a Profit Center

The classic debate whether contact centers are a revenue center or cost center.

  • If they’re a revenue center, then they should be managed with less concern over spending.
  • If a cost center, then focus on achieving service levels for the lowest cost.

It’s a serious consideration. In a recent WiserOwl survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers, 99% said that contact centers are an important part of a company’s customer service, with nearly half (47.4%) feeling they are extremely important.


In today’s economy the stakes have gotten higher. In 2019, Forbes wrote that poor customer service costs businesses $75 billion per year. To remain competitive, one solution has proven to work — treat your contact center like a profit center.

a Cost Center mindset diminishes customer experience

Thinking about your contact center as a cost center is a recipe for underperformance.


It means that you’ll always be looking for ways to run as lean as possible, optimizing investments in agents, training, and technology to levels that just meet service level and CSAT goals. And while on paper this looks business smart, the pursuit of cost optimization can disrupt customer engagement, drive up turnover, and result in a roller coaster customer experience.



In summary, rationalize contact center decisions on costs can diminish your customer base. You may even go so far as to outsource your contact center. But that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be helping your business.

Being a Revenue Center means chasing the uncatchable

Managing your contact center as a revenue center is powerful, but proving it can be difficult. Even passionate believers are hard-pressed to create a direct line of sight to revenue dollars that doesn’t cross into sales and marketing efforts. Put another way, unless your business offers a service that is purchased or subscribed to like AppleCare, or your business is entirely online and not self-service, then your contact center doesn’t unilaterally generate revenue.


So, while you may be able to buy a tool or expert to develop a model of how much revenue your contact center drives, the reality is that there are too many marketing channels and variables in the sales process to build a continuously trusted answer. But this isn’t the real problem.


The real problem is a revenue model cannot definitively align contact center spending to an ROI that can be managed in near real-time. Any ROI offered is well after the fact and includes so many variables that can be attributed to positive and negative outcomes.


The bottom line is if you manage your contact center as a revenue center, you end up with financial answers that few senior leaders trust. And while those answers may be acceptable when company revenues are strong, there will be down periods, and that’s when the c-suite must scrutinize every dollar and make hard decisions.

Indications Your Contact Center is Pushing Water Uphill

Here are some indicators a contact center needs financially fact-based answers:

  1. Approaching executives based on who “get’s it” or “doesn’t get it”, and then tilting metrics to suit their perceptions. This is super high risk.
  3. Claiming a revenue number to rationalize spending. Super high risk.
  5. Pursuing industry contact center benchmarks. This forces decisions based on a different company’s leadership, culture, brand promise, and customer. Super expensive, and super high risk.

Conclusion: Manage your contact center like a profit center

Businesses need contact centers, and they should be treated like a profit center.


To get there, contact centers need to understand how much value they are generating for their business, and then how much it costs to generate that value. They must bridge the gap between finance and customer service to identify instantaneous value for the business while achieving service level goals and improving the customer experience.


WiserOwl contact center customers who view performance like a profit center increase their business value over 80% and reduce the cost to generate that value more than 50%.


Would You Like To Go Beyond Traditional Metrics, And Treat Your Contact Centers Like Profit Centers?

Too see how financially optimized your contact center is performing, WiserOwl can provide a view of your operation without impacting data privacy issues, in 30 days or less. Don’t waste your next big decision!