In my last article, I talked about the need for startup companies entering a hyper-growth phase to focus on their customers – in particular how they need a customer experience partner that can react and grow as rapidly as they are. Typical customer experience contracts are designed for stability, not rapidly changing situations, so the giants of the industry are often the worst choice of partner.
It’s easy to see this message corroborated in the business literature. This article listing the six most important challenges faced by rapidly-growing startups mentions ‘efficiency debt’ as one of the most important factors that can cause business failure.
What is efficiency debt?
A small startup naturally values their product and go-to-market plans over everything else. They need the product out there. Business operations, such as customer experience, are often severely underdeveloped. As this article suggests, sometimes hyper-growth companies find that “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.”
The reality is that startups should be able to use their agility to their advantage. You don’t need to launch a focus group to test a new idea – just do it. If you want to test out a new store on Instagram then just try the idea. If you want to try some new CRM software, then just set it up.
But if you get yourself a customer experience partner that insists on a three-year roadmap they can plan around then your agility advantage is already gone. Any partner that helps your brand engage with customers has to be as nimble and ready to adjust as you are.
It’s easy to see the kind of companies that need a more innovative approach to customer experience – they are all around. Look at the nutrition app Noom. It has focused on weight management and healthy eating, but is now considering how to help users with anxiety and sleep. During the pandemic, Noom doubled their revenue to over $400m.
GrubMarket has already achieved an annual run rate of $1 billion, with over 300% growth in 2021 in eCommerce revenues and over 3500% growth in SaaS software sales. The company plans to go public inside 2022 and more importantly, CEO Mike Xu has publicly announced that he wants to see a $100 billion revenue target achieved inside the next 2-10 years.
I just picked examples here of companies that are all in different sectors but are all experiencing a strong wave of investment and rapid growth. What binds them all together as they enter the next phase of growth is this need to think about the total lifetime value of customers – not just customer experience as a transactional operation.
Customer experience solutions:
Designing customer experience solutions today is all about building and maintaining relationships – not just building a contact center. Companies facing a growth crisis need an agile customer experience partner that can change and react as fast as they are moving.
This is the key to a successful partnership. When your company hits a period of hyper-growth you can’t afford to be negotiating a five-year contact center deal. You need a customer experience partner that has experience of rapid growth. A partner that can come on board and start handling your customers while you focus on sales.
Let me know what you think about unicorns and hyper-growth – what are the main issues you have observed or experienced? Leave your own comment here or get in touch directly via my LinkedIn. Follow our company page on LinkedIn for more industry commentary and ideas