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What Is the Return on Investment of Customer Service?

  • Ben Smith - Chief Operating Officer, Athletic Greens
  • Aug 23, 2021
  • 7 minute read

Ben Smith is the COO at Athletic Greens & Chair of SUBTA’s Operations Committee. Athletic Greens is an essentialist nutrition brand that powers infinite human potential on a daily basis.

If you’re considering investing in customer service, then you might not be sure about how much money to spend. How do you know that it’s the right choice for your company?

That’s why we’ve put together this article. In it, we’ll review how investing in customer service pays off across the following topics:

  1. Retention
  2. Saving Cancelations
  3. Positive Word of Mouth
  4. Lessened Negative Impact
  5. Employee Retention
  6. More Innovation and Improved Branding
  7. Improved Web Designed
  8. Improved Communications

In the end, customer service can reach an impressive return on investment (ROI) and boost your business to become more successful than ever.

Read on to learn more about how investing in customer service can benefit your company.


One of the most critical reasons investing in customer service achieves a high ROI is its effectiveness in improving customer retention. By focusing on your relationships with your existing subscribers, your company will be more successful, faster.

Why is this? 

When you first start using your digital marketing strategy to make customers aware of your business, you’re putting a lot of money into reaching them. You’re paying for Facebook and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. You’re also putting a lot of work into branding your business and creating content to draw potential subscribers.

Doing additional market research to get to know your customers and investing in data solutions to learn more about them also costs money. Once you’ve finally reached your targeted audience, you’ve already invested a lot of money and time into getting customers interested in your subscription e-commerce company.

If you don’t provide your new subscribers with high-quality customer service, then they’ll go to another company that does — wasting all of that money you invested in them.

However, if you do focus on providing great customer service, you’ll retain these customers (and your initial monetary investment). Additionally, they’ll likely become loyal subscribers, which will also help your business grow.

As you can see, improving your customer service just so that you can retain your current customers will already provide you with an incredibly high ROI.

Saving Cancelations

When you’re running a subscription e-commerce company, your business depends on customers keeping their subscriptions going. This is the main way you make a profit, so you need to be aware of what your customers need to keep them from canceling.

Focusing on customer service will help you keep your subscribers happy. And if your current customers are happy, then they’ll be a lot less likely to cancel their subscriptions. As a result, you’ll save by having fewer cancelations of your subscriptions — an undeniably positive impact on your ROI.

Positive Word of Mouth

One of the best ways your business can grow is through word-of-mouth marketing. No matter how much money you invest in marketing, people trust recommendations from friends and family over a pretty ad. Reviews from friends and family are far more trustworthy than a review from a stranger or from the company itself.

As you invest in customer service, you’ll be better equipped to keep your customers happy. And when they’re happy, they’ll feel loyal to you and enjoy the e-commerce subscriptions you provide them. You’ll see a higher ROI when they spread the word to their friends and family about your company. You’ll get new customers from these referrals without having to spend an additional dime on marketing efforts.

Lessened Negative Impact

Despite your best efforts, there’s always a risk that a customer might have a negative experience with your company and choose to move to another one. However, you can still spin this negative into a positive.

When you invest in customer service, you can use it to learn why customers choose to stop buying from you. Identify the issues your former subscribers complained about and fix them. You won’t lose other customers for those same reasons.

Whether you request feedback from customers when they unsubscribe or follow up with an email or phone call later on, this additional piece of customer service will benefit your business in the long run.

This simple strategy will improve your ROI by preventing you from losing future customers. By focusing on improving the customer experience wherever it was lacking, they’ll stick with you.

Employee Retention

One of the most surprising ways you can improve your ROI by investing in customer service is employee retention. Even though the focus of customer service is your customers, it has a positive impact on the experience of your employees, too.

Think about it this way: If customers are frustrated with their experience with your company, then they might lash out at one of your employees. This might be over the phone or in an email.

Without a focus on customer service, your customers will likely continue to feel frustrated — and continue to lash out at your employees. If this continues over time, your employees will eventually begin to feel impatient, too.

After all, shouldn’t their jobs not be complicated by the unpleasant experience of dealing with angry, irritated customers — especially when it’s not necessary? If you don’t solve this issue, your employees will consider leaving your company for another one.

Losing employees can be very costly. In fact, according to Gallup, U.S. businesses lose a total of $1 trillion every year because of voluntary turnover. By simply investing in your customer service, you can make your staff happier, allowing you not to have to invest in hiring new employees.

More Innovation & Improved Branding

When you focus on improving customer service, you will likely search for innovative ways to connect with your customers. For example, you might start using chatbots so that you’re available to your current customers 24/7.

Additionally, you might improve your branding so that your website, social media profiles, and content are more cohesive and accessible to your current customers.

For example, you might identify that your customers prefer that you use a certain color scheme and specific fonts. As you cater to your customers, your company will experience the added benefits of being modern and accessible to not only your current customers, but also potential new ones.

This innovation contributes to your ROI because you’ve invested in these strategies to improve customer experience, which will make them more likely to stay and talk to their friends about your business. 


Improved Web Design

Another aspect to focus on when optimizing your customer service is improving your web design. If you send out surveys asking customers what they enjoyed about working with you and have access to data about website visits, you can see where your website is doing well—and where it needs work.

Additional potential customers who come across your website will no longer have to wait for a slow website to load, get frustrated by messy design, or not be able to access it on their smartphones. As a result, your company will see growth both because potential customers are coming back and because new ones are drawn in to your website’s improved design.

Another benefit of improved web design is that it helps boost your SEO (search engine optimization).

When you have good SEO, your business’s website content shows up higher on search results online. As you can probably imagine, the higher your website shows up, the more likely it is you’ll get new customers.

Improving your website’s speed and design and optimizing it for phone access will improve your existing customers’ experience. It’ll also make you more accessible and desirable to potential customers.

Improved Communications

When you focus on making your customer service the best it can be, you improve your communication with your subscribers. 

Whether this means creating an app, improving your language in newsletters, or making agents available 24/7, your efforts to improve communication will have a positive ROI. Ultimately you’re making customers happier — which means that they’ll stay with your company and talk about it to their friends.

Your current subscribers will be more interested in returning to your company for more business if they know it’s easy to communicate with you.

Additionally, you’ll make yourself available to new potential customers. By improving communications, you’ll get more people interested and make it easier for sales and subscriptions to occur.

Improving your communication will boost your ROI not only over longer periods of time, but in the short term as well.

Need Help Improving Your Customer Service?

Now that you know how high the ROI in customer service can be, you might be interested in improving your customer service. However, you might not be sure where to get started. 

Fortunately, we can help.

SUBTA helps subscription business owners improve their customer service. We cover a large number of topics to educate business leaders, and we’re ready to help you grow. Join SUBTA now to gain access to exclusive subscription insights that will take your brand to new heights.