During an event organized by The Nest by Webhelp and HEC at Station F (Parisian incubateur), Martin Dufourcq director at Gobeyond Partners, Webhelp’s consulting entity, shared his insights and recommendations on how to develop a startup while maintaining the customer as the focal point, and how to leverage data to optimize customer experience performances.
The most obvious advice, but still more relevant than ever, is to place the customer at the heart of the company’s actions. Presuming that customers will understand and adopt the product/service is a primary mistake: scenarios of use and imagined paths of customers will not be perfect and will evolve throughout a products lifespan.
This point brings us to the phrase “the customers are always right”. The customer is the center of any business, leading them towards success. Their requests are always legitimate: whether it is a query for information, technical support or even amendment propositions. By following this assumption, many startups (and large corporations) have been successful by basing their projects on these foundations.
For a startup to develop a successful Customer Experience strategy, it needs to define a clear relationship offer; this can quickly become a differentiating asset from competitors.
When it comes to Customer Experience Management, there are many choices a company will face and needs to settle on:
Is the quality or reactivity the priority? Would the customers appreciate a generic reply within the hour or a neat and personalized answer within a day? What is the channel strategy that needs to be conveyed? What type of care will be provided depending on the channel, at what times? These are also questions that need to be addressed from day one.
More generally, it is advisable to first clarify the relationship offer, then compare it with the measurements taken from the customer journey analysis. Taking into consideration that Customer Service is not a separate or annexed entity is crucial: it is everyone’s mission within the company.
Mentioning channel strategy, it is recommended to start small with only 1 or 2 channels, while focusing the efforts on quality of the experience and responses provided. This allows to more easily aggregate data. Therefore, an adequate CRM tool must be found and used for this purpose.
Doing so, it must be a prevalent objective to make this universe of data a single entity to unify the knowledge and history of the relationship. A common mistake is to separate the use of the product/service on one side, and customers’ queries/comments on the other.
Constantly enriching customer files and making them more and more complete will give more potential for analytics, AI, and personalization over time. We know this is generally not a priority for startups in the short-term as it does not produce large amounts of data. However, it reveals to be a lever for the development of all types of companies, differentiating them from their competitors.
In short, data is key. It allows companies to confirm hypotheses or processes related to customer journeys, as well as detecting insights coming from customers. Growth will be based on the ability to link behavioral data, consumption data, and sometimes external data (weather data, for example).
By efficiently making use of data emanating from customers, one will be able to develop effective selfcare. In fact, this kind of selfcare is a transformation of Customer Support which is cost saving. The customer does not have to reach out to the company itself and pulls great satisfaction from it. To do so, it is important not to fall into the repetitive FAQs we manage.
When developing an FAQ, it is important to bear in mind that design is key. Whether it is for the customer to appreciate the overall layout of a website or to easily access the desired information.
More generally, selfcare must be seen as a field of permanent experimentation, value creation and a source of savings. In particular, it seems vital to associate it with the expertise acquired by the Customer Service teams, internally or externally.
Constantly thinking about new and smart ways for customers to get in touch with the company is important and must never be forgotten.
Do not hesitate to contact Chloé de Mont-Serrat or Andrea-Lou Lafitte to attend the next workshops focusing on startups’ concerns.