Watching unicorns evolve over time has to be one of the most exciting areas of modern business. Even if you don’t have capital tied up in a venture, it can still be exciting to see small companies with great ideas growing into multi-billion dollar operations.
Most modern unicorns are powered by various technology platforms. Tools such as cloud computing and access to app stores allow ideas to be developed and launched globally far easier than ever before. It seems like ancient history now to imagine launching a service to customers without smartphones – once an app is launched and available the biggest problem is ensuring that enough customers know about it.
At least this is the conventional wisdom. If you look around at the marketing literature then there is a strong focus on how to ensure your company outperforms 98% of the market – you need to be inside that top 2% to really see sales explode.
But unicorns, and any company that starts experiencing hyper-growth, do face another serious problem – managing that sudden wave of new customers.
Making more sales is great. That’s what every small company wants because more revenue takes you from being a small company to becoming a big one. But more sales means more customer questions, problems, and returns to be processed. As your revenue soars exponentially, so does the need to manage all those customer relationships.
This can’t be ignored. You can’t just take the sales and ignore the problems. You can’t adopt an approach where you always plan to fix the customer experience processes later – when things calm down. When is later? When you hit $1 billion in revenue or will you be so busy serving all those customers that the processes are never improved?
Taking this approach will seriously impact your reputation and could stall that nascent growth. Customers share reviews and opinions with each other. Once one group of customers alleges that you are ignoring their problems, it will not stay isolated for very long. Soon there will be protest groups on Facebook and coverage in the mainstream media – all talking about your terrible service. It doesn’t even matter if your products are great, it’s how you interact with your customers that builds a long-term relationship.
What’s the answer?
The simple solution is asking for help. Find a customer experience specialist that can quickly design a solution and can also scale up at the rate you are expanding. You might assume this means going to one of the bigger players in the market, but I believe that this is problematic for unicorns and hyper growth companies.
Fast-moving companies don’t manage with committees. They don’t call a meeting to make decisions that are time-critical and focused on growth. They need action and a partner that is ready to make rapid decisions in line with whatever their business needs.
If you are a small, but fast-growing, company and you contact one of the customer experience giants then you might be allocated to a junior business development professional. Certainly knowledgeable, but unable to make rapid decisions about the solution without clearing it first through layers of management.
When our team at Nearsol talks to fast-growing companies they will often talk to me personally and they will always have access to me.
We are big enough to talk about solutions that may require thousands of people but small enough to design customer service processes for small companies that are growing rapidly. We offer the ability to scale alongside high-quality service, but more importantly, we are flexible – we are the kind of partner that makes it happen.
If you are making rapid decisions about growth in your company and you need to quickly handle more customers then would you prefer calling the CEO of your customer experience partner to request more support or getting in line to have your request handled when your giant customer service partner can accommodate the request?