Have you asked this question? Has someone asked it of you? Let me tell you cares about ROI – the person respnsibile for paying for the goods or services in question.

So What?

If you’re thinking of engaging a service provider or purchasing something for your business, get used to asking the big “SO WHAT?” question. This is one of the most important questions you can ever ask yourself. It will help provide a solid foundation for whatever you are doing, or it will help you to decide to forget about it. Either way, it’s an invaluable concept to buy into.

Let’s say you have decided to engage in some Customer Service training for your front line telephone staff. Great! There are lots of reasons for this, what’s yours? We’ll agree that you think it will be a great way to improve your customer service delivery. Great! Sounds like a good way to do that. Well, here’s where the question comes in……..So What? So what does that really mean or do we really need that and how is that actually going to help?

Let’s get deeper

Let’s take this scenario a little deeper. You want to train on customer service skills to improve your customer service delivery…SO WHAT? So the customers will have a better experience in dealing with our organisation…SO WHAT? So they will want to come back to us again…SO WHAT? So we will increase the amount of transactions they make with us…SO WHAT? So our turnover will increase…SO WHAT? So we will make more profit.


…so what you’re saying is, you want to engage in some customer service training to help improve the profits of the organisation? Well that sounds like a great idea – a real impact on the business.

What we’ve done here is to dig much deeper into the real benefit or reason for doing what we started with. When we analyse it, we see that this actually is a great way to do something for the business. In addition to building the confidence and skills of the front line telephone staff and helping our customers experience a better level of service, we will see an increase in profits.

Let’s detail this scenario:

1. We want Customer Service Training which means:
2. Better customer experience which means:
3. Happier customers which means:
4. Increased custom from our existing customers which means
5. Higher turnover which means
6. Higher profits

In addition to these benefits, there will likely be an increased number of referrals coming in and possibly an alignment to one of the organisation’s business objectives which is probably something along the lines of ‘Improving Service Delivery.’

Your turn

Now think of something you asked for recently in a business situation. It may have been some stationery, an advertising solution, a new computer, a raise in salary, an afternoon off etc. Whatever it was, ask yourself the question, ‘So What?’ Then ask it again and again until you can drill it right down to an impact on the business that can be measurable and positive.

Try this out next time you have a need to ask for something else. It’s a great question to ask. If you are a manager, try asking your team members the same question. It really gets you thinking and helps to rationalise or throw out requests that have no impact eventually on the business.

For more information on how to calculate ROI in these areas, you may like to check out the ROI Workshops here or the book: Return on Investment Made Easy available on Amazon: