Cost Center vs. Profit Center Survey


As part of the Conversation Excellence Lab at Balto, I performed analyses on questions that were important to our customers in the contact center space. One of the questions that kept coming up was whether executives should consider their contact center as a cost center or a profit center. Would investing resources into a contact center pay off, or would it be better to simply cut costs as much as possible?

To study this question, we launched a survey of over 360 executives (director-level or above) who work with or alongside contact centers in their organization. These executives answered a number of basic demographic questions, both about themselves and their organization. They also answered three key questions that served as a proxy for how likely they were to view their contact center as a cost center or profit center. We asked them to rate their agreement with the following statements, on a scale of 1-5:

We also asked them for a few metrics that would assess their organization’s results: agent attrition rate, customer NPS (Net Promoter Score) and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) score. Our hypothesis was that the executives that viewed their contact centers as profit centers, rather than as cost centers, would have better performance on these metrics.


I performed my analysis in both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel.

In this Google Sheets document, which includes a subset of the raw survey data, I analyzed the effects of many different variables. Each sheet measures the effect of a different independent variable (such as age, industry, or title) on a variety of dependent variables (such as agreement with the cost center statements).

With Excel, I installed the Real Statistics for Excel package to perform more complicated statistical tests that couldn’t be done in Google Sheets, particularly the ANOVA/Tukey HSD (honestly significant difference) tests. These tests are used to determine whether any means are significantly different from each other, and if so, which ones. For example, I would test whether the mean NPS of executives who answered with a low score to one of the cost center questions was significantly different from the mean NPS among those who answered with a high score. I performed many of these tests- the process and results can be found in this Excel workbook. There are comments throughout the document which highlight specific results.


The purpose of this analysis was to publish articles on our website highlighting our findings and providing suggestions to contact center managers about how to apply them. I did not write these articles, but I did perform all the analyses and create all of the graphs found in the articles using a JavaScript library called Chart.js.

The published articles are linked below: