In a previous post I explained that the customer experience varies based on the size of the company. Here’s a look at “Verysmallco.”
At Verysmallco, the customer experience is often an after-thought. Start-up companies overlook the customer experience as they focus on building and selling products. (See: Accidental Customer Experience.) I don’t view this occurrence as particularly abnormal because at Verysmallco they must ensure they create a minimally viable product and acquire one or two customers to validate market demand through revenue and favorable references.
The danger occurs when the very first question arrives. Because the experience is an afterthought, Verysmallco typically responds by having the entire company leap into action. While bumbling through this stage may be acceptable if the right expectations were set with the trial customers, the hope is that the “miss” is hidden by responding rapidly.
Companies fall into this trap because this type of response feels customer-centric and right and often addresses the issue. Often companies continue too long on this path. As the company grows, customer expectations increase at precisely the time the bumbling becomes visible to customers.
To minimize risk, Verysmallco should at least:
- Create an entry point for queries (even if the method is as simple as an email distribution list)
- Develop a way to keep track of and respond to queries
- Track precisely what the customer has ordered/received
- Establish ownership guidelines
The pivot point for Verysmallco is to develop intentional customer experience early. It need not be heavy on process or complexity but should serve to address customer needs. Done well it will support more rapid growth, clear the lines of communication, and be a positive differentiating factor in the marketplace.