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Turning Customer Support from a Cost Center into a Revenue Generator with Alex Ross

The Importance of Employee Experience to Customer Experience

Shep Hyken interviews Alex Ross, co-founder and chief operating officer of Hire Horatio. He talks about leveraging customer experience as a competitive advantage and creating a work environment that employees love (beyond the paycheck). 

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Top Takeaways:

  • Outsourcing customer service and support functions can be an effective strategy for businesses, especially startups, to offload non-core tasks and focus on their core competencies. It can be beneficial as it allows companies to provide 24/7 support and access to properly trained professionals, even if they are not direct employees of the company.
  • Customer service should not be viewed solely as a cost center but as an opportunity to enhance customer experience, generate revenue, and improve customer retention. 
  • Customer service can contribute to revenue growth by resolving customer issues and upselling, cross-selling, and retaining customers who may have been on the verge of leaving. 
  • In today’s competitive landscape, smart companies focus on designing differentiated customer experiences and leveraging customer support and CX as a competitive advantage. 
  • Creating a positive and supportive work environment for customer service employees is crucial for employee retention in an industry known for high turnover rates. 
  • Plus, Alex shares what they are doing at Hire Horatio to attract, nurture, and keep the best people and create the best customer service and experience. Tune in!


“Around 2019 and 2020, everybody just wanted to see top-line growth. It was all about numbers and revenue. Now, investors are looking at retention and customer lifetime value, which all start with customer experience.” 

“Paying above the market is certainly something that we do. But that doesn’t get the job done entirely. We ensure our employees do fulfilling work, provide great growth opportunities, and build a community.” 

“At the end of the day, people want to be a part of something. They want to be a part of a mission. They want to be part of a goal. You make it a community when you can facilitate the right environment and office structure. All of that together, you start to make it more than just work.” 

“Be about value, not just dollars. In today’s world, an amazing customer experience makes you competitive. Price is important, but an amazing customer experience can differentiate a brand from its competitors.” 

“People at your company, other than leadership, should have a seat ‘at the table.’ They are critical to designing products, how things should flow, and determining what’s working for customers and what’s not. And too often, they’re excluded from conversations.” 


Alex Ross is the co-founder and chief operating officer of Hire Horatio. He works with startups, providing them with invaluable customer support and back-office functions.  

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:   

  1. How do outsourcing customer service and support benefit businesses? 
  2. What are some common challenges companies face when scaling their customer service organization? 
  3. How can companies turn customer support into a competitive advantage? 
  4. How can a customer support team contribute to a company’s bottom line? 
  5. What are some strategies for retaining talent in the customer support industry?  

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