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Revealing insights into
the customer support
industry for 2016
custserv
About the survey
Until now, little research has been done on the state of the customer support
profession.
For the first time ever, we worked with the industry to survey more than 110 anonymous
respondents to to give them deeper insight into their industry.
Read on to learn more about the trends affecting the industry, including salary, tenure,
job satisfaction and challenges.
Customer Support Manager
Customer Support Agent
Customer Support Director
Other
VP of Customer Support
1
2
3
4
5
43/37%
36/31%
18/16%
14/12%
5/4%
custserv
Read on for our four main findings
About the survey
See the full report!
Kayako’s 2016
Customer Support:
State of the
Profession Report
learn.kayako.com/state-of-the-profession-2016
custserv
Tenure
Most customer support professionals (41%) have
worked at their current company for 1-3 years.
custserv
Team size
The most common size for a customer support team is
6-25 employees (36%), with the least common being
single-employee support teams (8%).
custserv
Challenges
Managing time and workload was reported as the
biggest issue faced in customer support, with 63%
respondents saying they find this challenging or very
challenging.
custserv
Job satisfaction
Most respondents (67%) reported feeling satisfied or
very satisfied in their jobs, though when asked how
satisfied they felt when they first started their jobs,
this number was higher (77%).
custserv
custserv
$0
VPofCustomerSupport
CustomerSupport
Manager
CustomerSupportDirector
Customer
SupportAgent
Other
$20,000
$40,000
$60,000
$80,000
$100,000
Meansalary(USD)
Job Title
$96,000
$76,667
$53,605
$48,972
$64,071
Salary
Customer Support Agent - $45-60k
Customer Support Manager - $45-60k
Customer Support Director - $75-90k
VP of Customer Support - $105k +
Median compensation ranges are as follows (in US Dollars):
Customer Support Managers salaries
range from
Why are Customer Support Manager salaries so varied?
For a full breakdown on customer support salaries, read the full report
[learn.kayako.com/state-of-the-profession-2016]
custserv
$30k $105k+
New facts about the
customer support industry
1. Burnout is a real issue across the support industry
2. Support professionals prioritise customer
happiness above revenue
3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is
unnecessary
4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel
support are the future
custserv
custserv
1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
custserv
0
very
unsatisfied
very
satisfied
very
unsatisfied
very
satisfied
2 3 4
10
20
30
40
50
Numberofresponses
Level of job satisfaction when first started job
0
2 3 4
Current level of job satisfaction
Customer support professionals are 6.8% less satisfied
now than they were when they first started their jobs.
1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
custserv
Meansalary(USD)
$40,000
$60,000
$80,000
$100,000
2 3 4Very
unsatisfied
Current level of job satisfaction
Very
satisfied
This graph shows mean job satisfaction compared with mean salary, by job title.
VP of Customer Support
Customer Support Manager
Customer Support Director
Customer Support Agent Other
Job titles
It takes about
$10,000 per
annum to boost a
customer support
professional’s job
satisfaction from
satisfied to very
satisfied.
1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
custserv
73% of customer support professionals find managing
time and workload their biggest challenge.
1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
This graph shows the number of responses for degree of challenge across all roles.
0
Not challenging
at all
2 3 4
10
20
30
40
Numberofresponses
Managing time and workload
Very
challenging
1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
45% of customer support professionals found maintaining
and improving team morale challenging or very challenging
custserv
This graph shows the number of responses for degree of challenge of across all roles.
0
Not challenging
at all
2 3 4
10
20
30
40
Numberofresponses
Maintaining / improving team morale
Very
challenging
custserv
2. Support professionals prioritise customer
happiness above revenue
custserv
2. Support professionals prioritise customer
happiness above revenue
0
Not a
priority
2 3 4
10
20
30
40
Numberofresponses
Handling customer enquiries
Very
important
This graph shows the number of responses for degree of priority across all roles.
95% of support professionals say handling
customer enquiries is top priority
2. Support professionals prioritise customer
happiness above revenue
40% of support professionals say upselling/cross
selling is not a priority
custserv
0
Not a
priority
2 3 4
10
20
30
40
50
Numberofresponses
Upselling / cross-selling
Very
important
This graph shows the number of responses for degree of priority across all roles.
custserv
3. Delivering customer happiness is easy -
“delight” is unnecessary
3. Delivering customer happiness is easy -
“delight” is unnecessary
Say delivering customer happiness
is not particularly challenging or
not challenging at all
41%
custserv
3. Delivering customer happiness is easy -
“delight” is unnecessary
AND: For agents, delivering customer happiness is the least
challenging part of their job
Say delivering customer happiness
is not particularly challenging or
not challenging at all
41%
custserv
3. Delivering customer happiness is easy -
“delight” is unnecessary
AND: For agents, delivering customer happiness is the least
challenging part of their job
BUT: Delivering customer happiness becomes harder the more
senior the support role
Say delivering customer happiness
is not particularly challenging or
not challenging at all
41%
custserv
3. Delivering customer happiness is easy -
“delight” is unnecessary
VP of Customer
Support
Customer Support
Manager
Customer Support
Director
Customer Support
Agent
1
2
3
4
Not a
priority
Very
important
“Howimportantarethefollowing
outcomes?”
Collecting customer feedback Handling customer enquiries
Onboarding new customers Reducing customer churn
Upselling / cross selling
Collecting customer feedback is high priority for all customer service professionals.
custserv
custserv
4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel
support are the future
custserv
Agents and managers find
multichannel customer help and
making things easier for the
customer one of the least
challenging parts of their job.
4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel
support are the future
We asked respondents to evaluate how challenging they found seven aspects of their jobs.
The graph shows mean responses for each question by each role.
VP of Customer
Support
Customer Support
Manager
Customer Support
Director
Customer Support
Agent
1
2
3
4
Not
challenging
at all
Very
challenging
“Howmuchofachallengearethe
followingissuesforyourteam?”
Managing time and workload Making things easier for the
customers
Delivering customer
happiness
Helping customers on
multiple channels
Maintaining/improving team
morale
Recruiting and retaining
qualified agents
Managing SLAs and workload
custserv
4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel
support are the future
Agents and managers find
multichannel customer help and
making things easier for the
customer one of the least
challenging parts of their job.
BUT: For Customer Support
Directors and VPs, these are
notable challenges.
We asked respondents to evaluate how challenging they found seven aspects of their jobs.
The graph shows mean responses for each question by each role.
VP of Customer
Support
Customer Support
Manager
Customer Support
Director
Customer Support
Agent
1
2
3
4
Not
challenging
at all
Very
challenging
“Howmuchofachallengearethe
followingissuesforyourteam?”
Managing time and workload Making things easier for the
customers
Delivering customer
happiness
Helping customers on
multiple channels
Maintaining/improving team
morale
Recruiting and retaining
qualified agents
Managing SLAs and workload
Support leaders are more concerned with developing
and implementing processes that deliver delight at
scale. As these methods roll out across support
teams, and are likely to become a significant
challenge for Customer Support Managers in the
near future.
4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel
support are the future
custserv
4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel
support are the future
Priorities of Agents compared to VPs:
Priorities
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Agents
Recruiting and retaining qualified agents
Managing time and workload
Managing SLAs and workload
Maintaining/improving team morale
Making things easier for the customers
Helping customers on multiple channels
Delivering customer happiness
VPs
Managing SLAs and workload
Managing time and workload
Delivering customer happiness
Helping customers on multiple channels
Making things easier for the customers
Recruiting and retainingqualified agents
Maintaining/improving team morale
custserv
Need more? Get the full insight!
Download the
free report:
Kayako’s 2016
Customer Support:
State of the
Profession Report
learn.kayako.com/state-of-the-profession-2016
custserv
Grow your business through better customer service with
Kayako, the unified customer service platform.
customer service
kayako.com
@kayako

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Four Revealing Insights into the Customer Support Industry for 2016

  • 1. Revealing insights into the customer support industry for 2016 custserv
  • 2. About the survey Until now, little research has been done on the state of the customer support profession. For the first time ever, we worked with the industry to survey more than 110 anonymous respondents to to give them deeper insight into their industry. Read on to learn more about the trends affecting the industry, including salary, tenure, job satisfaction and challenges. Customer Support Manager Customer Support Agent Customer Support Director Other VP of Customer Support 1 2 3 4 5 43/37% 36/31% 18/16% 14/12% 5/4% custserv
  • 3. Read on for our four main findings About the survey See the full report! Kayako’s 2016 Customer Support: State of the Profession Report learn.kayako.com/state-of-the-profession-2016 custserv
  • 4. Tenure Most customer support professionals (41%) have worked at their current company for 1-3 years. custserv
  • 5. Team size The most common size for a customer support team is 6-25 employees (36%), with the least common being single-employee support teams (8%). custserv
  • 6. Challenges Managing time and workload was reported as the biggest issue faced in customer support, with 63% respondents saying they find this challenging or very challenging. custserv
  • 7. Job satisfaction Most respondents (67%) reported feeling satisfied or very satisfied in their jobs, though when asked how satisfied they felt when they first started their jobs, this number was higher (77%). custserv
  • 8. custserv $0 VPofCustomerSupport CustomerSupport Manager CustomerSupportDirector Customer SupportAgent Other $20,000 $40,000 $60,000 $80,000 $100,000 Meansalary(USD) Job Title $96,000 $76,667 $53,605 $48,972 $64,071 Salary Customer Support Agent - $45-60k Customer Support Manager - $45-60k Customer Support Director - $75-90k VP of Customer Support - $105k + Median compensation ranges are as follows (in US Dollars):
  • 9. Customer Support Managers salaries range from Why are Customer Support Manager salaries so varied? For a full breakdown on customer support salaries, read the full report [learn.kayako.com/state-of-the-profession-2016] custserv $30k $105k+
  • 10. New facts about the customer support industry 1. Burnout is a real issue across the support industry 2. Support professionals prioritise customer happiness above revenue 3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is unnecessary 4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel support are the future custserv
  • 11. custserv 1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
  • 12. custserv 0 very unsatisfied very satisfied very unsatisfied very satisfied 2 3 4 10 20 30 40 50 Numberofresponses Level of job satisfaction when first started job 0 2 3 4 Current level of job satisfaction Customer support professionals are 6.8% less satisfied now than they were when they first started their jobs. 1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
  • 13. custserv Meansalary(USD) $40,000 $60,000 $80,000 $100,000 2 3 4Very unsatisfied Current level of job satisfaction Very satisfied This graph shows mean job satisfaction compared with mean salary, by job title. VP of Customer Support Customer Support Manager Customer Support Director Customer Support Agent Other Job titles It takes about $10,000 per annum to boost a customer support professional’s job satisfaction from satisfied to very satisfied. 1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry
  • 14. custserv 73% of customer support professionals find managing time and workload their biggest challenge. 1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry This graph shows the number of responses for degree of challenge across all roles. 0 Not challenging at all 2 3 4 10 20 30 40 Numberofresponses Managing time and workload Very challenging
  • 15. 1. Burnout is a real issue across the industry 45% of customer support professionals found maintaining and improving team morale challenging or very challenging custserv This graph shows the number of responses for degree of challenge of across all roles. 0 Not challenging at all 2 3 4 10 20 30 40 Numberofresponses Maintaining / improving team morale Very challenging
  • 16. custserv 2. Support professionals prioritise customer happiness above revenue
  • 17. custserv 2. Support professionals prioritise customer happiness above revenue 0 Not a priority 2 3 4 10 20 30 40 Numberofresponses Handling customer enquiries Very important This graph shows the number of responses for degree of priority across all roles. 95% of support professionals say handling customer enquiries is top priority
  • 18. 2. Support professionals prioritise customer happiness above revenue 40% of support professionals say upselling/cross selling is not a priority custserv 0 Not a priority 2 3 4 10 20 30 40 50 Numberofresponses Upselling / cross-selling Very important This graph shows the number of responses for degree of priority across all roles.
  • 19. custserv 3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is unnecessary
  • 20. 3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is unnecessary Say delivering customer happiness is not particularly challenging or not challenging at all 41% custserv
  • 21. 3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is unnecessary AND: For agents, delivering customer happiness is the least challenging part of their job Say delivering customer happiness is not particularly challenging or not challenging at all 41% custserv
  • 22. 3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is unnecessary AND: For agents, delivering customer happiness is the least challenging part of their job BUT: Delivering customer happiness becomes harder the more senior the support role Say delivering customer happiness is not particularly challenging or not challenging at all 41% custserv
  • 23. 3. Delivering customer happiness is easy - “delight” is unnecessary VP of Customer Support Customer Support Manager Customer Support Director Customer Support Agent 1 2 3 4 Not a priority Very important “Howimportantarethefollowing outcomes?” Collecting customer feedback Handling customer enquiries Onboarding new customers Reducing customer churn Upselling / cross selling Collecting customer feedback is high priority for all customer service professionals. custserv
  • 24. custserv 4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel support are the future
  • 25. custserv Agents and managers find multichannel customer help and making things easier for the customer one of the least challenging parts of their job. 4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel support are the future We asked respondents to evaluate how challenging they found seven aspects of their jobs. The graph shows mean responses for each question by each role. VP of Customer Support Customer Support Manager Customer Support Director Customer Support Agent 1 2 3 4 Not challenging at all Very challenging “Howmuchofachallengearethe followingissuesforyourteam?” Managing time and workload Making things easier for the customers Delivering customer happiness Helping customers on multiple channels Maintaining/improving team morale Recruiting and retaining qualified agents Managing SLAs and workload
  • 26. custserv 4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel support are the future Agents and managers find multichannel customer help and making things easier for the customer one of the least challenging parts of their job. BUT: For Customer Support Directors and VPs, these are notable challenges. We asked respondents to evaluate how challenging they found seven aspects of their jobs. The graph shows mean responses for each question by each role. VP of Customer Support Customer Support Manager Customer Support Director Customer Support Agent 1 2 3 4 Not challenging at all Very challenging “Howmuchofachallengearethe followingissuesforyourteam?” Managing time and workload Making things easier for the customers Delivering customer happiness Helping customers on multiple channels Maintaining/improving team morale Recruiting and retaining qualified agents Managing SLAs and workload
  • 27. Support leaders are more concerned with developing and implementing processes that deliver delight at scale. As these methods roll out across support teams, and are likely to become a significant challenge for Customer Support Managers in the near future. 4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel support are the future custserv
  • 28. 4. Reducing customer effort and multichannel support are the future Priorities of Agents compared to VPs: Priorities 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Agents Recruiting and retaining qualified agents Managing time and workload Managing SLAs and workload Maintaining/improving team morale Making things easier for the customers Helping customers on multiple channels Delivering customer happiness VPs Managing SLAs and workload Managing time and workload Delivering customer happiness Helping customers on multiple channels Making things easier for the customers Recruiting and retainingqualified agents Maintaining/improving team morale custserv
  • 29. Need more? Get the full insight! Download the free report: Kayako’s 2016 Customer Support: State of the Profession Report learn.kayako.com/state-of-the-profession-2016 custserv
  • 30. Grow your business through better customer service with Kayako, the unified customer service platform. customer service kayako.com @kayako