Within the technology sector, the route to business success is littered with the remnants of failed startups. And of course, in a marketplace rife with competition, innovation and disruption, the potential for failure is greater than in any consumer-facing industry. From burn rate to mistimed launches and questionable business plans, there are a host of unavoidable reasons why certain companies will never succeed.
However, there’s an equal number of reasons for failure that could have been avoided.
Agility and alienation
For instance, startups have an inherent advantage over incumbents. They have no legacy to protect and an embryotic brand. Now add in the fact that they’re agile by nature. As such, they can turn on a dime in order to test new markets, adjust offerings or seize an opportunity.
But pivoting too quickly can actually backfire and alienate existing customers. Yet if the founders have access to the right advisors and experts — particularly within the customer experience (CX) delivery space — they can easily mitigate that risk. Through partnering with the right organization, accurate customer personas can be developed and aligned with existing channels of interaction and customer journeys can be mapped and suitably adjusted to align with different customer types.
Lots of data, but no analytics
Likewise, new organizations don’t need to wrestle with outdated systems and processes and their data isn’t trapped in silos. However, this technological competitive edge can be severely blunted if it’s not used in the service of decoding and meeting customer expectations.
Adopting a clear, methodical approach to CX analytics is the fastest and most comprehensive means of avoiding this pitfall.
Analytics is the only way of understanding the volumes of unstructured data that flows through an organization. Genuine customer insights can only be found in contact center agents’ notes, social media posts, online reviews, emails, call recordings and online chat transcripts.
It’s in these interactions where basic insights such as common contact drivers or potential friction regarding certain touchpoints, customer sentiment, emotion and future intent come to the surface.
It’s becoming easier to access speech and text analytics tools off the shelf, but even with these, there’s a potential risk. A startup’s confidence regarding technology could lead it to believe analytics is something it can simply bolt onto its existing stack.
However, applying the technology in isolation, without a clear methodology, scope of project or governance, could prove a real hurdle in making the technology really deliver on its potential. This is why bringing in outside expertise is crucial to success.
Monitoring the wrong metrics
Startups also risk a very avoidable failure through misunderstanding metrics. Digital-by-default organizations have a mastery of social media and encouraging user-generated content that makes established companies, frankly, miserable. But generating a buzz — no matter how big — doesn’t do anything to improve the balance sheet. For proof, look no further than the metaverse. Everyone’s talking about it, but thus far this talk has not translated into anything genuinely tangible for customers.
Likes, up-votes, retweets and shares are all useful in building a brand. But so is a good customer satisfaction (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS). In the long term, an organization will be judged on first contact resolution and hold times. A brand is ultimately defined by its customer experience. If two companies offer seemingly identical products or services, consumers choose the brand that delivers the best level of customer care. Indeed, consumers are ready to pay a premium for a superior CX, yet 52% of consumers say they will walk away from a brand for good after a single disappointing interaction.
Trying to do everything at once
As a tech startup grows, if every aspect of the business is an in-house operation, then every aspect of the organization has to grow at the same time. This can increase the company’s burn rate and disperse energy that should be directed at the core business.
This problem can be compounded by the fact that many tech founders — understandably — want to retain control. It’s their ship and they’re steering it. But often, if they can’t delegate or loosen their grip, then that ship will be navigating some very dangerous waters.
Partnering up with CX experts
The tech companies that succeed understand that the elements of their business that they consider ancillary are another organization’s core competence. Forging the right partnership, rather than trying to do everything at once, will lower operating costs and boost service levels, particularly in respect to customer experience.
Find out more about how Foundever helps tech companies deliver a best-in-class customer experience in our best practrice guide “How CX is humanizing the technology industry” or contact us!