Written by: Vivek Jaiswal | Co-founder, Customer Guru
Why should startups focus on Customer Experience from day one?
Startups generally have access to limited resources and, after allocating resources to product development, marketing, sales etc., early stage startups are left with very little to invest in customer experience. Nevertheless it is critical for startups to focus on the customer experience from day one. Perhaps Steve Jobs said it best:
You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.
It is the CEO/Founder who should head the customer experience department within a startup. With the head of the company constantly thinking about customer experience, everything that the startup does will have the customer at heart. Here are a few reasons why startups should focus on customer experience from the start:
1. Building the right culture from scratch is easier than changing the culture when you become big
Almost all customer experience leaders and professionals say that the biggest challenge in delivering exceptional customer experience is the change in culture of an organisation. It isn’t just difficult, it is also very expensive to do so. On the other hand, it is super easy to ingrain a customer centric culture in your company’s DNA from the very beginning.
2. Learn from the successful ones
Looking at some of the recently successful startups such as Slack, Oyo Rooms, Air BnB, it is easy to spot a commonality in the company culture – they are all extremely customer centric. One of the reasons these startups have achieved such massive success is their focus on customer experience. Read about any of these startups’ founder, and you’ll find that customer experience is a core value for them.
3. Customer retention is critical for startup growth
When a startup is working hard to acquire new clients, and growing one customer at a time, it is supremely important that its customers stick around. Without a great customer experience, early adopters or the first few clients would never stay longer than their first contract term. For a startup, delivering an exceptional customer experience is the key to retaining early customers; without customer retention, a startup’s growth is stymied.
4. Cost of acquisition could be substantially reduced
It is common knowledge that word of mouth marketing and customer referrals are probably the most powerful and cheapest way to acquire new customers. By focussing on delivering exceptional customer experience, startups can incredibly increase their chances of gaining a viral word of mouth marketing and getting customer referrals. This could be a huge cost saver!
In conclusion, along with everything else, startups should never lose sight of the customer experience. Because sooner or later, they will have to come back to it.
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