Article week 19 – 2024

A Service Center is not a Cost Center

Time and again, the service center is seen as a cost center within the company and managed accordingly. From a controlling perspective, costs are primarily incurred there, and services are provided without generating revenue. In the following, I will show reasons that underline the fact that this is not only a wrong attitude, but also damaging to business. Anyone who sees and manages their service center as a cost center is wasting growth potential and competitive strategy as the key to a market advantage.

What added value does the service center offer?

  • Increasing brand value through proximity to the customer
  • Increased brand value through quality control of products and processes
  • Customer penetration through cross-selling and up-selling

Increasing brand value through proximity to the customer

In the early 1990s, David A. Aacker developed a model in response to the increasing complexity of brand value. According to Aacker’s identity approach, the basis lies in a comprehensive market analysis, in which consumers and competitors, among others, are considered.

This is where the service center comes in. Through the service center, the company has its ear to the customer and the market. Direct customer contact provides the opportunity to gather and use customer information, needs, and wants. What does the customer miss in a product? Which supplier has better products and/or prices? Unfortunately, this information is often requested and captured only when the customer wants to cancel and not with every contact that takes place.

Systemic support that simplifies and standardizes the analysis of information is helpful here.

Increasing brand value through quality control of products and processes

The Service Center offers a holistic view of products, processes and communication channels and thus helps to improve them to increase customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend the company to others. The reasons for calls reflect product and process quality and promptly reveal new challenges and potential for improvement.

Recording the reasons for calls and documenting important information from the conversations, such as “I searched in vain for a solution on your website” or “I couldn’t figure out the operating instructions”, provide information that can help the company to improve. The prerequisite for this is a process and information chain that ensures that the information reaches the relevant departments.

Here too, it is helpful to have systemic support that simplifies and standardizes the analysis of information and makes it possible to react quickly.

Customer penetration through cross-selling and up-selling

Direct contact with customers provides the opportunity to advise them in line with their needs and offer additional products or services that are relevant to them.

By definition, cross-selling and up-selling are brand strategies for offering customers suitable products or expanding the portfolio. This not only increases sales, but also raises customer satisfaction.


The service center is an important tool for increasing market value and sales and creates transparency in the customer relationship as well as in products and processes.

Customers who are satisfied with a brand are more likely to repurchase and recommend it to others. This has a direct impact on brand equity, which is the result of perceptions and expectations about a brand and its products or services.

To achieve this, the information must be prepared in such a way that it can be analyzed, and suitable measures can be derived in the next step. There are various systems and tools that help to collect, process, and understand the information – from speech recognition to automate documentation tasks through to CRM systems and software for basic contact recording.

 “Reliable information is absolutely necessary for the success of a company.” (Christopher Columbus, Italian navigator in Spanish service)

Ralf Dinter – Senior Manager


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