A new study conducted by Zendesk has revealed that successful startups have one thing in common: earnest investment into customer experience (CX) technologies, which result in the ability to provide more holistic support to customers.
The study, reported in Zendesk's Startups CX Benchmark Report, found that startups which prioritised CX from their inception consistently outperform their peers.
The research, garnered from surveys of over 4,400 early-stage startups from around the world, also indicated that despite such correlations between CX and success, over 70% of startup founders and decision-makers reported they do not have a formal customer support strategy in place.
According to the report, fast-growing startups make greater investments in their CX strategies, and do so more quickly.
In addition, a third of these companies are more likely than their peers to add omnichannel or multi-channel support in their first two years.
These organisations can then halve their customers' resolution wait times, foster better team efficiency and compile more options for customers to find the support they want.
“It's natural to prioritise your product at the beginning of your startup journey, but not to think about how you sell to or support your customers,” says Zendesk vice president of startups Kristen Durham.
“We know CX directly impacts customer loyalty and retention, and whether you are a first-time founder, serial entrepreneur, or customer support leader looking to improve business performance, our data shows that the sooner you put customers at the centre of your plans, the faster you'll be setting yourself up for long-term success.The report identified six actions companies should focus on to operate like a fast-growing startup within their first two years, in order of priority:
- Set up a customer support function that prioritises speed and convenience for both your customers and service team
- Add live channels, such as phone and chat, which are faster alternatives to email and web ticketing
- Launch messaging channels, like social media and WhatsApp, to reach customers on the channels they use in their day-to-day lives
- Establish an FAQ or help centre, and include at least 30 articles that answer frequently asked questions
- Introduce at least one new app or integration to your customer support platform every six months to increase support agent productivity and streamline workflows
- Keep first reply times and resolution times down to three to eight hours.
“Startups that want to rise above the noise should invest in building a strong foundation in great customer experience right from the start,” says Zendesk chief marketing officer Jeff Titterton.
“Customers have come to expect more out of companies, regardless of their size, age, or industry.
“Having differentiated customer support can be the difference between failing to scale and becoming a successful, fast-growth startup.