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Startup & Scale-Up

The 8-Step Hypergrowth CX Checklist: What Fast-Growing Brands Need for Scalable, Resilient CX 

Growing fast? Use this guide to prime your CX program for hypergrowth and beyond.

Company growth typically caps at about 20%—but not always. Sometimes, brands experience hypergrowth. Harvard Business Review says it happens when a company grows 40% or more in a year. 

If this describes your brand, it’s likely welcome news. It means your business and product have taken off. But it’s also challenging for CX teams. Trying to keep early customers happy while also supporting a flood of new ones isn’t easy on people or processes.

That’s why it’s crucial to have a scalable, resilient CX strategy before hypergrowth happens. Retaining customers is as vital to a business as growing it. Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can produce a 25% to 95% boost in profits. In order to prime your business for hypergrowth, here are the items to have on your checklist for scalable, volume-ready, CX success.

An Omnichannel Strategy That Meets Customers Where They Are

Your brand is likely to interact with customers on multiple platforms, such as a website and social media. But that isn’t enough in today’s competitive landscape. To remain successful long-term, brands must tie these channels together in a cohesive way. Creating an airtight omnichannel CX strategy is a key differentiator for customers. Gartner research predicts that half of brands will not have successfully streamlined their customer engagement platforms by 2022. 

Customers should be able to interact with your brand on social media, through AI-powered ChatBots, on your website, and through email and phone calls with agents. Each time, the customer should feel like they are interacting with the same person who understands their concerns and knows how to fix them. 

hypergrowth cx

Develop and Continuously Refine Customer Personas and Journeys

You need to know your customers to meet their demands and create a successful, scalable omnichannel CX strategy. Developing customer personas and journeys will help you learn their preferences and pain points.

Customers can be fluid. If you experience hypergrowth, these preferences and pain points may change as your base grows. What’s more, if you shore up certain pain points, your customer journey map may change. You’ll want to re-evaluate them regularly to ensure they are current. 

To accomplish this task, you’ll want to dig into the data. Customer personas and maps aren’t a creative exercise. The insights you’ve collected should inform them. 

Select KPIs That Represent the Voice of Your Customer

Data is the name of the game in CX. It’s essential to select the KPIs that best provide insights into your brand’s unique customers. Otherwise, CX teams and executives will get bogged down in numbers, some of which often tell similar stories. Popular KPIs include:

  • CSAT scores
  • NPS
  • Churn rate
  • Average abandonment rate
  • Cost per call
  • Call transfer rate

You can refer to our full CX glossary for even more KPIs and key customer experience terms here.

When choosing KPIs, consider:

  • Your company’s current stage of growth
  • The product: Is it intuitive or more complex?
  • What customer support channels does your company offer?

Efficient and Effective Agent Training Programs

Whether you’re outsourcing agents or sticking with an in-house model, it’s essential to have a rigorous training program in place to onboard newcomers quickly.

This training should provide comprehensive education to new agents about the customer, pain points, and expectations for delivering second-to-none service. Training programs should include:

  • Every piece of technology they’ll need to perform their jobs successfully, and tutorials on how to use it  
  • Brand guidelines, including information on tone and voice and customer journey maps and personas 
  • Scripting and roleplaying sessions to ensure interactions with customers stay consistent across every touchpoint
  • A plan for continuous learning, including agent tracking and monitoring to identify opportunities for improvement

hypergrowth cx

Establish a Global Communications Plan

Customer experience is an all-hands-on-deck operation. While not every person is customer-facing, the bottom line is consumers are the lifeblood of a business. Their experience, needs, and demands should be central to every product release or update, integration, or marketing initiative. 

Establishing a global communications strategy prior to hypergrowth can ensure that everyone remains on the same page during a surge in business. In your global communications plan, you may incorporate:

  • A Slack channel or other CX communication tool that’s consistently updated with success stories, KPI updates, new customer insights, and customer feedback trends on new product releases or updates
  • Frequent stand-ups with CX team members and people in other departments, such as product teams, to go over initiatives and customer feedback
  • A centralized data hub that key stakeholders can access to glean insights on the customer

Have The Right Technology In Place

To effectively meet needs for CX at scale, brands need to know how to properly leverage technology to help manage, triage, and action inbound queries, as well as consistent customer retention and engagement efforts. Having the right technology in place is critical to keeping your CX operation running, at scale.

Having the right technology in place also helps to ensure that, not only is your operation running smoothly when it comes to customer support -- but enables you to achieve personalized, accurate customer interactions at speed.

Your CX technology ecosystem, whether it be in-house or via a CX outsourcer, should include technologies that assist and improve customer interactions across the entire customer lifecycle -- which includes the right mix of agent training and coaching tools, Chatbots, and AI, Business Intelligence and other predictive analytics.

Don’t forget that one of your program’s most valuable assets is the data it produces. Make sure you have the technology in place to make your data actionable -- and not just from your own customer support interactions. Invest in tools for customer surveys, as well as social listening and social reputation management tools to understand sentiment across the board. By looking at the full range of CX data at your disposal, and applying the right integrated technology tools, you can more easily discern what your customers actually expect, want, and how to engage them further, empowering you to make data-driven business decisions that will continuously improve your CX program, and in turn, customer loyalty and retention.

Quality Assurance Bolstered By Soft Rollouts and Feedback Loops

Bugs are going to happen—the goal is to ensure they don't occur on a wide scale. CX teams can work hand-in-hand with product and engineering on slow releases of updates and products to a select group of customers. CX teams can track feedback and trends and flag any bugs. Product and engineering can resolve the issues before the update or product pushes to the entire market. 

This QA process also provides an educational opportunity for product and engineering. As you work together on future releases, you may notice they anticipate customer feedback, reducing bugs.

Feedback loops can also go the other way. For example, sales teams may provide feedback on opportunities for agents to upsell products or recommend products to customers based on trends.

Consider an Expert CX Outsourcer

Today’s customer engages with brands all day, every day. And they expect the same in return. It’s essential to align with stakeholders in the company to create a culture of providing support 24/7/365. To do this efficiently and cost-effectively, many turn to a CX partner to outsource some or all of their CX operations. But is this the right choice for your brand? Consider this: accomplishing an always-on customer support function isn’t going to happen with a bare-bones staff of a couple of agents. Brands will need to be prepared to scale their customer support operations, and CX outsourcers and captive contact centers provide two viable options.

A third party provides and legally employs outsourced agents to perform CX duties for your brand, leveraging expertise, technology, and the ability to recruit and scale depending on your needs each season. Captive contact center agents are part of a client-operated facility, often off-shore. 

Outsourcing is generally best when you need to scale quickly and have complex CX issues you know you cannot handle in-house, and can be executed on-shore, nearshore, or offshore. All you have to do is outline your business needs, key KPIs, and brand guidelines and your outsourcing partner will manage the rest, from staffing and training to execution. It affords you the ability to not only scale your operation, but to leverage experienced agents (no matter how niche your brand might be) so you can focus on your core business. Outsourcing also measurably lowers the risks and costs associated with your program. (Think this is the route for you? Be sure to check out our First Time Outsourcing Guide.)

Captive contact centers are best for brands with simple customer support requests that can often be handled using self-service and self-assisted tools, such as how-to guides and AI ChatBots, and brands who would like to assume more control over the operation. However, captive contact centers puts the complexity of recruitment, training, and CX technology investment will fall on you -- so if you don’t already have a framework in place, choosing this option may be prohibitive to your business -- and create an unnecessary headache.

Still not sure which option is best for you? You can check out more considerations to each in this Captive Contact Center vs. Outsourcing guide.

Conclusion

Customer experience is just as necessary—if not more so—when business is surging. Retaining customers while gaining new ones will create sustainable success. Developing a cohesive omnichannel strategy will ensure the customer always feels they are always speaking to the same trusted friend each time they interact with your brand. This strategy is something businesses struggle with—nailing it is a crucial differentiator. 

Choosing appropriate KPIs and using them to create customer personas and journey maps will help you evaluate feedback, get to know your customer, and shore up pain points. Developing a slow rollout process and working with product and engineering to provide customer feedback can prevent bugs from being released on a wide scale. It’s essential to continue to provide global communications with the entire company on customer experience. Doing so will create a customer-obsessed culture, in which the customer is front-of-mind when developing and releasing new products and making business decisions.


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