If your startup is just starting to scale, and you’re wondering where you can invest your time and energy before your next round of funding, consider focusing on customer experience-led growth. A successful customer service team and customer experience plan can help attract new business, boost retention, and increase sales among your existing customer base.
Zendesk’s research from nearly 97,500 of its customers in addition to global data points from 21 countries show that customers are increasingly reluctant to give second chances if their expectations aren’t met.1
Zendesk has put together five top of mind customer retention strategies that specifically target scaling startups, so that you can create the best first impression possible for your customers.
1. Encourage efficiency with a customer service toolkit.
Like a handy metal box in the garage, a customer service toolkit should be easily accessible and highly organized. From the data we’ve gathered,2 Zendesk knows that many businesses are prioritizing service-related improvements over the next year. 56% of surveyed companies are focusing on driving better customer experiences first, and 37% of businesses are looking to improve their overall efficiency.
With emerging growth areas like AI and automation as well as conversational customer service channels, there are plenty of opportunities for startups to drive productivity, which Zendesk believes likely to be evaluated in the performance metrics.
2. Integrate and develop apps
Apps aren’t just for smartphones. By incorporating different apps into your customer service platform and developing ones to meet your startup’s specific needs, you can connect with customers in a unique way.
For instance, if you want to keep customer service conversations flowing without customers having to restart their queries over and over, an app integration like WhatsApp may be the key to reaching people when they’re on the go. Questions and requests on social messaging apps jumped 36% in 2021, which implies that it’s more than just a fleeting trend.
3. Empower your customer
Zendesk believes self-service is crucial to protecting your customer service team’s time and energy. Not only is employing a knowledge base or community forum advantageous for you, but 70% of surveyed customers say they expect companies to have a self-service portal available for their own use.3 This shows customers are willing to help themselves, so you can make it as easy as possible for them to do so.
Sixty-nine precent of customers over the last year note that they’re willing to interact with chatbots to resolve simple issues.4 Let the robots do the work, so your team can focus on scale and growth.
4. Quality over quantity.
It may not be the most original adage, but it rings true even in the customer service world. Zendesk’s CTO Adrian McDermott says “Quality customer service interactions are essential and what ultimately impact a customer relationship most, regardless of how many tickets you process in a given day.”
Following this idea, as you grow your startup’s support team internally, remember that the quality of agent training will be reflected in their conversations with customers. Set expectations to review the quality of customer interactions frequently, and develop metrics for high customer service standards.
5. Orient your startup for the future.
As you build your startup, it can be easy to get bogged down in daily tasks and issues that can prevent you from looking three to five years in the future. When it comes to customer support, this can prove especially challenging. Even though 72% of business leaders say that their organization views customer service as a critical business priority, 40% say customer service is not owned by a C-Suite executive.5
Additionally, 46% of startups say their organization does not have a three-year strategic plan for customer service even though this point could be significant in a conversation with a VC.
Prioritize customer support. What a startup accomplishes today can chart their course and determine their trajectory. Zendesk believes customers have made it abundantly clear that they want and expect great service at every turn, but it’s a high bar.
Deliver on these expectations and your startup will have the chance to retain customers and scale with every purchase. Fall short, and your startup may lose the opportunity to try again. Let CX drive growth and lead the way for your startup’s success.
1Source: CX Trends 2022 Report. Data in this report comes from two sources: surveys (one survey of consumers and one survey of business respondents) and Zendesk Benchmark product usage data.
To obtain the survey results, Zendesk surveyed more than 3,511 consumers and 4,670 customer service leaders, agents and technology buyers from 21 countries and organizations ranging from small business to enterprise during July and August 2021.Results from each survey were weighted to remove bias from the survey samples.Countries surveyed include: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, India, Singapore, South Korea, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), Nordic (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden), United States, Spain, Italy, and Canada.Zendesk Benchmark product usage data came from over 97,500 Zendesk customers worldwide who participate in the Zendesk Benchmark. Account activity criteria were applied to filter out data from inactive accounts. Zendesk Benchmark data is based on product usage from July 2020 to July 2021.For percentage of responses per country and per age group, click here.
2 Data regarding CX opportunity captured by Zendesk surveys referenced herein and the Zendesk Benchmark Product Usage Report. Further details are available upon request to Zendesk.
3 Data regarding CX challenges captured by Zendesk surveys referenced herein and the Zendesk Benchmark Product Usage Report. Further details are available upon request to Zendesk.
4 Data regarding CX growth areas captured by Zendesk surveys referenced herein and the Zendesk Benchmark Product Usage Report. Further details are available upon request to Zendesk.
5 Data regarding CX challenges captured by Zendesk surveys referenced herein and the Zendesk Benchmark Product Usage Report. Further details are available upon request to Zendesk.
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