By Jen Garde, Ubiquity
Most new companies and startups chasing rapid growth know that customer experience (CX) is vital to their long-term success. But there are a lot of competing priorities for challenger brands to balance as they build their business—an initially sharp CX focus in the business plan can resemble more of an afterthought in practice.
That’s a big mistake, especially when a 10% increase in customer retention leads to a 30% increase in a company’s overall value.
Keeping CX in your sights throughout early growth is a lot easier when you make the right investments up front. It commits you to a course of action that it pays to follow through on—businesses that focus on customer experience see an 80% increase in revenue.
That’s not to say you can pay your way to world-class CX. You also need a strong CX strategy that anticipates and mitigates the common pitfalls that cause an intended CX focus to go astray.
Here are some of the common challenges we’ve seen to sustaining a long-term CX focus that keeps customer satisfaction and retention high:
Measuring ROI across your CX strategy
One of the biggest challenges in driving long-term CX strategy is getting executive buy-in on CX investment and demonstrating the promise of a return.
As we face greater economic uncertainty in the post-pandemic climate, any initiative that doesn’t drive profit or revenue is subject to close scrutiny.
So how do you prove the value of CX early and often?
It’s significantly harder to measure CX in numbers when different departments use different metrics. An advanced BPO provider that specializes in partnership with ambitious challenger brands should have the experience to define a common taxonomy of CX value between functions to measure success holistically.
That means they’ll do more than simply deliver great CX at the point of customer contact. They’ll also actively translate the performance results they collect into metrics that matter most to your brand like Customer Effort Score, Customer Lifetime Value, Net Promoter Score, referral rates or otherwise.
CX as a support function
When you’re in the early days of starting up your brand, keeping your customers happy is everything. But with so much to focus on, especially when you’re scaling up fast, it’s easy to view CX as an offshoot of support.
Customer support functions exist to resolve issues, but when you’re trying to differentiate on CX, they need to do far more than just support. They need to be a natural extension of the premium experiences you deliver at the start of the customer relationship.
That means you need a CX-focused support function that anticipates problems before they occur—and makes the resolution experience a channel of brand value in and of itself.
That might start with robust self-service capabilities for your customers to find information and resolve common issues totally without friction. But it needs to be followed up by support agents that embrace (and represent) your brand values and messaging to the same degree as your highest-performing sales team. That way, by the time your customers need to speak to a human, it feels like part of a contiguous (and world-class) CX journey.
Prioritizing growth over omnichannel customer experience
As a new challenger brand, you’ve got a lot to prove. There are inevitably trade-offs between competing priorities when cash flow is a concern. The question between cost control and omnichannel CX is a common battleground.
The thing is, even for new businesses, short-term growth and an omnichannel customer experience aren’t mutually exclusive.
Your earliest customers are in constant validation mode. They want to connect with you in their chosen channels without hassle—and they’re constantly weighing up their decision to go with a challenger versus one of the big guys. Being easy to reach is a massive boon for challenger brands. A seamless omnichannel experience can quickly turn that initial anxiety into long-term loyalty.
Consider a BPO customer service partner that can provide omnichannel customer experience outsourcing to offer support in all channels and connect effortlessly.
They’ll deliver crucial insights and help you perfect your channel strategy. That way you can free up resources to focus on other crucial business areas.
Find out what your customers actually care about
Understanding what your customers really care about is vital to honing your CX strategy into a specific, differentiated offering, rather than a list of generic best intentions. The truth is that challenger brands don’t have the resources to be all things to all people—and real strategy is about actively deciding to focus on some areas at the expense of others.
Find out—through research, surveys, anecdotal conversations or otherwise—what your customers really want when it comes to service and products. Is it knowledgeable agents? More self-service options? Frictionless processes? A BPO provider that specializes in working with challenger brands can help you gather and quantify softer metrics like these.
You’ll discover that it’s often several factors combined that create exceptional CX value. Leveraging data and customer feedback to identify what matters will give your CX an ultimate advantage.