A few weeks ago, Todd Curtis, Chief Customer Officer at YNAB, asked if I knew of any surveys or reports that had operational data for support departments. Things like budgets, head counts, size of customer base, and other department level data. Unfortunately for Todd, I didn’t know of any places to find that type of data, and searching for it didn’t turn up any useful results.

But, my curiosity was piqued.

Why does this matter

I asked some people in charge of running support departments if they would be interested in knowing the operational data from support departments at other organizations. It turns out this type of data could be really useful! Useful for conversations like, what should be the headcount for the support department next year? How does that compare to organizations of similar size and scope? Are we doing more with fewer resources or should we be investing in the support department? Right now, most of these conversations happen without the benefit of comparative data from other organizations.

How could access to that data shape our plans and conversations? Within our community, we have folks that run support departments and know these operational details. What if we organized our community to collect and share this data for our collective benefit?

I’ve seen the results of what can happen when we share data from the 3 years we’ve been doing the Support Driven Salary Survey. It’s led to people making a stronger case for and getting raises, negotiating starting salaries that are well above what they initially thought, and getting a better understanding of the job marketplace. We’ve made an impact for a lot of people on a personal level, and now we have an opportunity to do so at the department level. To do this, we’re putting together a survey and report to collect operational data from support departments and we’re calling it, The Support Driven State of the Customer Support Industry Survey.

How are we going to do this

First and foremost, we want this survey to be meaningful and actionable. To accomplish this, we’re assembling a small working group made up of the heads of support from companies large and small, from SaaS to e-commerce and everything in between. The group will be charged with identifying questions we should ask in the survey, and how the results of those questions can be used.

What’s next

Join the dedicated mailing list we’ve set up here – https://supportdriven.typeform.com/to/mU6zpH

We’ll share the results of the working group, as well as notify you when the survey goes live and when the results of the survey are ready through this mailing list.

Tell everyone you know that runs a support department – the more responses we can get, the more useful the data will be for you and everyone!