Scaling your startup or mid-market business is exciting. It means growth. The business that you dreamed of starting years ago or that you have shepherded through the trials of early entrepreneurship is finally set itself up for future success that is so close you can nearly touch it.
Scaling, though, requires a lot of planning, some additional funding, and a willingness to evolve your current way of doing things to promote, not hamper its growth. With all the necessary changes and considerations involved in scaling, it can be easy to let your CX strategy fall through the cracks. Worse yet, you might be tempted to even dismiss making changes to your CX strategy because “what we’re doing has always worked.” However, neglecting CX while scaling can spell big problems for your business later.
Here is what you need to know about scaling your CX as you grow past the startup phase.
CX Separates the Successful from the Not-So-Much
No matter what your industry is, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: customer experience matters now more than ever. As the Zendesk CX Trends 2022 report notes, CX is now a high-stakes game and “a key differentiator between companies.” The report, which gleaned insights from thousands of survey responses and user data, found that customers are demanding businesses provide a positive experience — or else.
Key findings from the report include that 60% of customers say they now have higher customer service standards than they did last year and 61% of customers say they would switch to a competitor after just one poor experience with a business (a 22% increase over 2021).
However, the report is not all bad. When companies deliver positive customer experiences, those customers respond. Data in the Zendesk report overwhelmingly showed that customers will spend more money with companies that deliver a positive experience. Similarly, PwC’s Future of CX report found that customers were more likely to try additional services or products from familiar brands if they already knew that brand as providing superior CX in the past.
What to Do About CX as You Scale
In response to all the above, businesses’ priorities going into 2023 are increasingly CX-related.
So, what does this mean for your startup or mid-market business soon? The current CX landscape proves that CX is not something you can brush off as you scale. Now’s the time to ensure a positive customer experience if you hope to continue your company’s current trajectory.
Scaling your CX requires planning and investment but knowing where to plan and invest is not necessarily difficult. There’s ample data to show what customers want from your CX. Here is where you can start.
Start With the Basics and Start Now
As PwC’s Future of CX report explained, many Americans have a handful of priorities when it comes to CX. The differentiators that separate poor CX from positive CX include speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service. These are, overall, the four most essential elements of a positive customer experience.
Before you focus on expanding your CX in other ways, fine-tune these CX basics until you can confidently say (and have the metrics to back it up) that your company provides the best possible experience to its customers in these four areas.
Gather Your Data
If you are not sure how to gather those metrics on your CX, Gartner explains a few key ways to compile useful CX insights. The tech research and consulting firm break down all the near-endless CX metrics you could evaluate into five key categories:
- Customer satisfaction is a starting point for many companies and is often made up of information from survey responses, reviews, etc.
- Customer loyalty and retention, or information that tells you if your CX is doing its job in keeping customers around long-term
- Advocacy or information regarding how likely existing or past customers are to recommend you to others
- Quality and operations, which looks at how your services or products impact CX
- And employee engagement, as CX and EX are directly linked
Make Smart Choices Based on That Data
Once you have gathered data and metrics that fall into the above five key categories that impact your overall CX, you can begin to make informed decisions about what to do with that data, to improve certain metrics, as necessary.
Engage Your CX Teams
However, all the data in the world cannot make up for a disengaged or under-appreciated CX team. As already mentioned, your CX and EX are directly linked. If your employee experience is positive, it is more likely to result in a positive customer experience.
As Business Leadership Today’s leadership expert Matt Tenney explains, there are three types of employee engagement that are worth your focus on: cognitive, emotional, and physical. Focusing on all three areas of engagement will produce a CX team that is both committed to the job and mentally/emotionally invested in the work.
And do not think that you can cut out the EX, replace your CX teams with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and thus find a workaround to achieve positive CX without the EX component. As the PwC’s Future of CX report states, customers are looking for real, true human interaction, and more than 80% of the report’s U.S (United States). Respondents said they want more human interaction as part of the customer experience in the future. Only 3% of U.S. respondents showed they would prefer their customer experience to become more automated.
So, yes, customers want the ease of use, convenience, and quick and knowledgeable help — but also a friendly human touch when necessary.
Struggling with how to engage?
Even if you know you should engage your CX teams, creating an engaging culture is easier said than done. For further reading, I recommend the following resources:
- Raise Your Team’s Employee Engagement Score: A Manager’s Guide, which will show you how to measure your current engagement and then take actionable steps to raise your employee engagement score
- Employee Engagement 2.0: How to Motivate Your Team for High Performance, which will tell you how to implement a new engagement strategy over just 8 weeks (about 2 months)
- The Truth About Employee Engagement: A Fable About Addressing the Three Root Causes of Job Misery, which reveals the three things that could be making your employees miserable and how to begin removing those things from your organization’s culture at once
- Build It: The Rebel Playbook for World-Class Employee Engagement, which uses the Engagement Bridge model to help you develop your employee engagement based on real-world results from thousands of leading companies
Need Help as You Scale? Have a Scaling Success Story? Let Us Know!
If you know that your company’s CX deserves your attention as you scale, but you are still not sure what you need or what to do, let’s talk. Remote Evolution focuses on the employee experience first and then how it intersects with your CX, working with your team to create an EX+CX strategy that helps your company scale without losing sight of its customers’ needs.
Have you already scaled your company successfully? How did you approach your CX during this period of your business? What did you learn? Drop a comment below and let me know!