Customer support is always essential to run a business. Some people misunderstand customer service. They often confuse this aspect of business with marketing. Customer service or support is a process in which customers’ issues with products or services are handled in order to resolve them. It is also a place where customers can learn more about the product or service they are buying.

All this customer service process is a collection of number of tasks performed by the personnel or representatives working for the business. This involve learning what the customer wants and knowing what issues he or she has with the product. Finding resolution on the spot or within a given time frame is the primary responsibility of these representatives. They are provided a blueprint on how to handle specific issues and what resolution is expected from them. Know that customer service has nothing to do with pricing of the goods or services customers are receiving. They are also not allowed to pressurize customers into buying anything or advertise to inform them of the features and benefits of the products.

Creating a customer service system is as essential as creating a business plan at the start. To put a system in place, you need to know two things: how much money is set aside for the customer support job and to what extent this service is needed. If you are a one-person business and offer one specific service only, it does not make sense to hire a representative to perform customer support. But if you are a growing business with many products and services to handle at once, this service can be very helpful.

This means you need to figure out a budget and develop a plan based on that budget for this activity. How much to spend and how much you can afford to spend? The right number depends on a wide range of factors, including but not limited to, the type of business you are running, how aggressive you want to play a role in the market, and what your revenue is projected to be. According to a statistic, in a small growing business, roughly 3 percent of the revenue is set aside for customer support service. Many businesses, however, spend only leftover money for this task. Others consider it as a privilege rather than necessity.

As a rule of thumb, look into your revenue prospects in the first year to decide on how much money you can afford to spend on customer service. So, if your business gross revenue is $1 million, you can plan on spending between $30,000 to $60,000 to provide support to your customers. Once you have the exact number, you can then refine your plan to allocate for the time and resources lost before this task becomes productive. Sometimes, it is necessary for the representatives to research the market, acquire more knowledge and know the customers well. So, factor in the cost of providing training on the job as well.