Successful digital customer support needs suitable business models: What they need to consider

Many companies have already recognised the potential of digital customer support. However, when it comes to the concrete, structured implementation, a well thought-out business model is often lacking. Yet the business model is the main pillar of success. It serves to define the unique selling proposition of your service. It also shows how you can achieve added value for your customers and establish a corresponding billing model to generate new service revenues.

Especially in customer support, the latter is an important aspect that is often forgotten. With your customer support, you not only have to deliver added value for your customers; in addition to the spare parts business, customer support as a high-quality consulting service can make an enormous contribution to your service turnover. In particular, remote digital customer support is high-margin, as there are no direct costs, such as travel costs in particular, and customer support is highly scalable.

For the development of the billing model, there are three main approaches according to which you can charge for your digital customer support:

1. Pay as you go

With the pay-as-you-go model, you bill for the support time used, either after a case has been processed or in advance in the form of an hourly quota from which the time used is deducted. While billing after the case has been processed gives your clients the security of only paying for actual efforts, selling an hourly quota in advance gives you greater planning security and saves your client the commercial process when support is needed. As a rule, a model with an hourly contingent is preferred, in which a few free support hours can also be granted for getting to know the product launch.

2. Service as a Service

With the Service as a Service model, you offer your customers a flat service fee that is billed at fixed intervals (usually monthly), regardless of how much support you have provided. You benefit from a constant monthly turnover while your customers are guaranteed a secure and flexible service without having to think about prices.

3. Integration into existing service contracts

When integrated into existing service contracts, digital customer support is incorporated into existing support packages. In this way, for example, a premium package can be upgraded once again, a higher price can be justified or a new purchase incentive can be set. Especially if the product range in customer support is already sufficiently differentiated, integration into existing service packages is an attractive approach.

Which of these models is suitable for you depends on the type and willingness to pay of your customers. While large manufacturing companies are more willing to pay a flat-rate service fee that guarantees the availability of your machines and equipment, smaller companies are more reluctant to invest in a monthly flat-rate service fee. In addition, the regularity of support plays a key role, i.e. if your customer only needs your support once a year on average, a monthly flat rate does not pay off in the long run – but if he needs your support several times a month, a flat rate is much safer, faster and cheaper for him in the long run.

We would be happy to advise you in a personal meeting on how you can generate additional service revenues with a remote service solution such as RISE and a well thought-out business model.