I'm a software engineer at a large IT company and I've been assigned to work on an ERM project since my first day in the firm. This product is a 'shelf product' - it was developed back in the 90s, and since then, only few features were added to it, but we kept selling it - currently there are no software engineers assigned to this project.
This software has approx. 3000 users nationwide spread over hundreds of customers.
I began working as a support techie and by time I got to actually develop new features in this software (mostly by demand from customers), so I got to know it real well by time, both code-wise and from a user point of view.
At some point, I was assigned on 2 other projects with higher priority so most of my time is invested in these two, while the ERM project is being neglected -
Most of the calls I get from customers that ask for technical help (Software malfunctions, other problems that need to be solved for the software to work well, etc) are answered with "Sorry, I don't have time to help you with this issue", which is, from my point of view, very bad for the firm. In some cases, customers wait over a week or two for assistance.
We've (me and project manager) contacted the HR manager demanding more manpower - but it seems like the CEO doesn't approve any extra recruitment.
How can we convince the management that happy customers and excellent service are more valuable than short-term extra profits? Research indicating added business value (increased margins, revenue ect) would be especially helpful.