The importance of being scalable: how early should start-ups invest in CX?
More and more start-ups are realizing the value in investing in CX early on. But how can setting things up in a scalable fashion help prepare you for the future?
In the expanding world of start-ups, it’s not difficult to let things fall to the wayside. Customer support is, unfortunately, often one of those things.
If you’re a start-up that hasn’t considered the support aspects of business, you’re not alone. In fact, Zendesk found that less than a third of new startups have a strategy in place.
But the tide is turning.
Start-ups of all sizes are beginning to see the value in quality customer support. What they’re also realising it should no longer be an afterthought.
On the contrary, if you want to grow fast or scale up, customer support should be one of the first things you do.
How early should a start-up invest in CX?
In their Start-ups CX Benchmark Report, Zendesk found a clear link between better customer experiences and faster growth.
In assessing the data, they recommend adding support within nine to ten months of your first round of fundraising.
Great customer experience is intrinsically tied to support. So, the sooner you implement it, the better.
For a CX strategy that works, your first stop is checking off some customer service milestones. With these, you’ll get a good idea of how to strengthen your brand and how you can scale.
The importance of being scalable
No matter your business, no matter the niche, scaling up is important. You can have the best idea and service since sliced bread, and unless you scale, your start-up could fail quickly.
In an essay on growth, Y Combinator co-founder, Paul Graham, claims it’s the only essential thing for start-ups to consider. Everything else, he says, follows.
And he isn’t wrong.
To get investors, employees, and customers all on side, they need to know a start-up is more than just a good idea. They need to know it’s worth sinking time and money into.
If a start-up achieves quick growth, people are more likely to pay attention. But if not, it’ll be one of the 21% of startups that fail within the first year. And nobody wants to be a statistic unless it is a great one.
So, because start-ups who implement customer support at an early stage grow faster, it could be the deciding factor on whether you’re successful.
How to scale your start-up for the future
In business, you always need to be looking ahead. It’s truer in start-ups than in any time travel movie — yes, even Back to the Future.
Most start-ups that became unicorns prioritised live chat and omnichannel support much faster than peers. They were also quick to jump on the self-service train, adding online help centers or hubs 61% faster in their first year.
They recognized how important good customer support is for scaling up. In satisfying their customer base, they stay heads above the rest on customer support milestones.
Luckily, there are things you can implement within your CX strategy to better your chances of scaling up.
👉🏻 Invest in the Right Tech
Tools that improve workflow should be top of the list. These are tools that prioritize speed and convenience for both customers and internal teams.
Investing in programs that automate customer journey maps can speed things up even further. The same goes for in-depth analytics and customer data in software like Zendesk.
You can further automate customer support with self-service and asynchronous support channels. Programs like Zoho Desk, Hubspot Service Hub, and again, Zendesk, have incredible tools to help you out.
Whichever software you use, you should aim to add a new app or integration every four to five months. If you make it your goal to have at least five in place by year two, you’ll be set.
👉🏻 Empower Your Agents
Traditional customer support has failed in many ways. These days, cold calls and impersonal, faceless call centers are not what your customers are looking for.
They want personalisation, multilingualsupport, and people who listen and fix things.
And it’s up to you, as a start-up, to employ the right people. You need customer support agents who can solve issues promptly and expertly.
In our experience, the best way to do this is to onboard fans of brands. Fans of brands are brand ambassadors who know your product inside out.
The more you empower your agents, the happier they’ll be. And this happiness will have a positive impact on performance, which means they will deliver better service and create happy customers.
👉🏻 Implement a Scalable Workforce
Even slower growing start-ups know that the world of start-ups is speedy. So a scalable staffing solution that can change and adapt with the times is key to business growth. And that becomes even more essential once you start shifting towards an international marketplace.
By default, being able to recruit globally gives you greater access to talent and speciality expertise. Whether that’s in multilingual support or expert knowledge on niche topics that can expand your business.
Remote workforces unlock valuable benefit for your workers as well as your business. They can access rewarding career opportunities, advance their skills with brands they love, and learn more about how your company and its products. Most people would agree that liking your job helps you to succeed.
And, all the while, you’re able to hand pick the best talent for any task at hand.
Prepare for the future by investing in quality CX
While automation isn’t important when planning your start-up, it’s something that will become important.
That’s why preparing for automation in advance is key. Investing in the right tech, a keen and on-point knowledge base, and a talented workforce will help you stay on track.
You’ll be better able to stay on track of the customer service milestones you’ll need to scale your business.
And in a crowded market with a high percent chance of failure, you must invest in quality CX for a chance at success.
Why not get ahead of the curve and supercharge your start-up’s CX today with 5CA?