Many factors influence the success of an emerging brand and its ability to find traction and grow — and at the top of that list is customer experience (CX). Focused on solving problems, meeting customer needs, and exceeding expectations, the success or failure of a CX program is continually influenced by a customer’s interaction with your brand — both direct and indirect.
To ensure a positive interaction for every customer across every touch point, startups and midsize businesses need to understand their audience intimately. That’s why, with so much riding on CX, it’s wise to work with a business process outsourcing (BPO) partner capable of executing a comprehensive CX strategy with your goals in mind.
Understanding the importance of CX
There’s a lot riding on CX — especially for newer brands looking to make a positive first impression. According to 2023 data, 52% of customers won’t hesitate to drop your brand after a single bad experience, a momentum killer for any business seeking to capture market share. Even more worrisome, due to the subjective nature of the customer experience, even an adequate response to a customer inquiry might be enough to elicit a negative review. In other words, simply meeting expectations isn’t enough.
However, smart companies that prioritize CX have the potential to generate 80% more revenue than those that don’t, and brands that build CX into their operational strategy report profits 60% higher than those isolating it as a function of customer service (CS) alone. Loosely translated, the all-important revenue growth startups and midsize businesses are looking for is intrinsically tied to a positive customer experience.
Creating a stellar CX strategy is achievable if a business is committed to both avoiding common pitfalls and exceeding expectations.
Because it’s easier to make a mistake than deliver an exemplary experience, businesses must focus on every aspect of the customer experience, identifying where potential pitfalls lay and proactively instituting steps to avoid them. Common pitfalls include:
- Lack of customer-centricity. The customer should be at the heart of a business’s decision-making process. Failing to prioritize the needs and preferences of customers can lead to a disconnect between what product or service you’re offering and what customers actually
- Lack of personalization. Failing to personalize interactions based on customer preferences and past behavior can lead to a generic (read: unsatisfying) experience. Utilizing customer data to offer personalized service and support greatly enhances the overall customer experience.
- Ignoring feedback. Ignoring or disregarding customer feedback is detrimental to brand growth. Actively listening to feedback — both positive and negative — and applying it to improve products, services, and processes are essential for brand success.
- Inconsistent experiences. Inconsistent experiences across different channels can lead to customer confusion and frustration. Startups and midsize companies should strive for a seamless and consistent experience across all touch points, including handoffs between them.
- Overpromising and underdelivering. Setting unrealistic expectations and failing to meet them can damage a brand’s reputation. Set achievable goals and deliver on promises to build trust and loyalty with customers at each stage of their buying journey.
- Inadequate communication. Responding to inquiries promptly and clearly addressing concerns are essential for positive CX. Poor communication results in misunderstandings, dissatisfaction, and lost opportunities.
The key takeaway? A business must understand the customer journey and all touch points involved. Without the ability to meet customers where they are, you’ve automatically put yourself in a position to fall short of their expectations.
BPO as a gateway to superior CX
To map the customer journey and avoid pitfalls is to become intimately familiar with your audience and their interactions with your brand. It requires a wholly customer-focused approach — something emerging brands often do not have the resources to support.
By entrusting CX to a BPO partner, newer businesses can feel confident that a third-party expert is objectively assessing their processes to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) possibly affecting customer experience. Moreover, a BPO can bridge gaps and accentuate strengths that raise CX standards across all customer touch points — enabling emerging brands to focus on product and strategy while ensuring CX receives the critical level of attention it needs.
The right BPO partner will provide the agility and flexibility needed to support their clients’ long-term business goals. As your emerging brand grows, pivots, and refines your product or service offering, your outsource provider should work in tandem with you to ensure CX evolves along with your changing needs — so no matter what’s happening internally, customers continue to experience a seamless buying journey that never changes in convenience, simplicity, and satisfaction.
The pathway to success
While an exhilarating experience, building a successful brand is also a challenging one. Business owners need to be able to focus on strategy, growth, and market share, and with lean resources, CX often falls to the wayside. While allocating critical dollars toward a BPO partnership might seem like a luxury, it’s important to recognize it as an investment in future growth.
Every positive customer experience has the potential to not only bring in recurring revenue but also build brand loyalty. And if one happy customer tells two friends about the experience, an investment in CX can potentially net exponential returns.