Starting a company can be quite overwhelming! You have to begin with finding the right team, setting up the right technology, making sure that your products are on the line. There are so many things that a decision-maker has to keep in mind before starting a company that many times it gets quite difficult to focus on all the objectives.

At this stage, survival is the primary focus, and customer acquisition is on the top of the mind. The general thinking of startups is this – The more customers I have, the better the returns; the better the chances that the shareholders won’t lose their faith in the company and for the more time I will stay afloat.

While all these things make perfect sense, there are certain aspects of the company that startups tend to overlook during the initial stages. The aspects that play a major role in the development and stability of the company at the later stages.

Most startups primarily focus on the product and the technological aspects of the company, meanwhile completely ignoring how these products will align with the needs of the customers in the long run.

‘Mark’ My Words: Improved CX = Improved Retention

In its early stages, Mark Zuckerberg was quite careful about how Facebook was expanding. Before making the social networking site open to the general public, he restricted it only to the Harvard alumni. He had a clear vision of how he wanted to take it forward. As the technology started to develop further and the software could support more users, Facebook was eventually made accessible to more people.

Handling a few clients is relatively easy. In the initial stages, an entrepreneur might be trying to get more clients on board and expand his business. The actual problem starts occurring when your business starts growing exponentially. Without the proper systems in place, this growth can turn out to be counterproductive. If you start acquiring more clients without having the capacity and stability to cater to your existing clients, your existing customers will start looking for better options. The revenues that you have at the moment will start failing you and your business could potentially collapse.

“80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.” – Gartner

Beginning with the right mindset – CX for Startups:

“The secret sauce of Amazon, the number one thing that has made us successful by far is obsessive compulsive focus on the customer as opposed to obsession over the competitor.” -Jeff Bezos

In an interview in 1999, Jeff Bezos had described his vision for Amazon. He said that his main focus was, and always will be “great customer service”. The interviewer was quite baffled. Being one of the earliest internet-based companies, he was expecting an answer that would incline towards maximizing the leverage that he had over most businesses at that time. This question was asked during the ‘dot-com boom’, a time when the internet was still in its early stages and was proving to be very successful. Capitalizing the opportunity, Bezos could have devised a strategy based on the most distinctive feature of his business at that time. His major rival at that time – Walmart – was still not operating under this strategy. Well, guess what? Bezos considered the internet to be secondary to customer experience. In March 2000, the dot-com crash happened. Most of the companies running online had to shut down, but Amazon was one of the few online businesses that survived. Under his leadership, Amazon is now the most valuable brand in the world.

Having a strategy that revolves around the customer from the very beginning, can take your organization to unknown heights.

Inter-Employee relationship – CX for Startups:

Communication is the key to every relationship. The same goes for your employees. Your employees are the building blocks of your business. If the communication between your employees is not strong enough, it can severely affect the services that you provide to your customers. Having a system that facilitates communication between your employees is vital for the growth of your organization. Your business is represented by your employees, and people would find it hard to trust a business with confused and uncoordinated employees.

The Internet Chain Reaction – CX for Startups:

“93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.” – Podium

As your company grows, – three to four years down the line – online reviews will dictate the future of your company. A mistake in providing the services or delivering a product can turn out to be quite catastrophic – if a person turns out to be quite influential on social media. And the greatest tragedy is that you never know who you would disappoint with your services.

In 2018, more than 1.2 million users had signed a petition that the new app layout of Snapchat was quite confusing and needed to be changed. Snapchat ignored it. After a certain point Kylie Jenner, a social media influencer with more than 25 million followers on Instagram, made a statement that indicated she does not use Snapchat anymore.

Due to one tweet by a social media influencer, Kylie Jenner, SnapChat lost 1.3 Billion in 2018.

This is the damage that can take place if you do not take customer experience seriously.

The good news is that this chain reaction goes both ways! Good customer service can become a turning point for your organization. You never know when people may start recognizing and appreciating your good services and start discussing it publicly. There couldn’t be a better marketing strategy!

“Customer Experience is the New Marketing Battlefront” – Chris Pemberton

Although many factors are quite important to a company in its initial stages, customer experience should never be ignored. As an organization, building a customer-centric culture from the very beginning can turn out to be quite beneficial in the long run. The earlier you change your systems to align with the needs of your customers, the easier it will be for you. Changing the mindset of your organization at a later stage can be quite difficult. Along with the right mindset, investing in the right customer service management software can be one of the ways in which you could make your organization more customer-friendly.

528