Scaling with CX is more important than ever. Here’s how to take advantage
As industries change, company growth is top of mind. Scaling through customer experience can be the catalyst you need.
Published March 15, 2022
Last updated April 13, 2022
As almost every industry enters the third year of grappling with the pandemic’s effects, companies are constantly in search of methods to support growth and demand. But often, growing rapidly comes at a cost.
As does standing still. Companies that are spread thin, understaffed, or under-resourced are at risk of not remaining competitive or providing customer experiences that are lackluster. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2022, 61 percent of customers globally say they now have higher customer service standards after this past year’s crisis. And an equal number would now defect to a competitor after just one bad customer experience.
Setting your business up for scale—a strategy for increasing revenue and profitability quickly while keeping costs low—helps your company remain adaptable and high-achieving, no matter what circumstances your business faces.
Scaling isn’t necessarily the same thing as growth. What sets the ability to scale apart is the added factor of keeping costs low, which improves efficiency much more than if you were to simply grow at the same rate that you add resources.
You might already be sold on the idea of scaling, but are looking for ways to do it. Looking through the lens of customer experience (CX) is a great way to modify your scaling strategy. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what product you may be selling—the act of scaling necessitates that you provide your customers with world-class support.
Improving your CX
A top-notch customer experience will help your customers feel supported and make scaling that much easier. It may help to look at some examples of how CX can support your journey to scale:
Overall customer satisfaction
While it may seem simple, it can’t be overstated how much a good customer experience will help drive growth. Fast response times, human-first interaction, and attentive support will result in higher customer satisfaction. These satisfied customers can become instant promoters of your business, directly fueling growth. For example, according to Zendesk’s research, 57 percent of financial services respondents indicated a significant link between customer service and cross-sell revenues.
When your business is scaling, your customer base will certainly increase. An optimized CX strategy will give you the ability to support more customers effectively with the agents than you already have, while still improving response times and CSAT.
A need for a variety of support methods
Customers have a variety of different communication preferences and needs, calling for increased investment in omnichannel support. This investment is critical for scaling.
CX loves AI
As AI becomes more prevalent and familiar, many customers say they have positive experiences with AI when used correctly. Eighty-nine percent of consumers say that they are more likely to spend more with companies that allow them to find answers to issues on their own.
Of course, scaling and CX may look different for every business, depending on your industry.
Scale with CX in your industry
Financial services & fintech
As tech startups and other big players enter the field, many older financial service businesses have to take a different approach to customer service and the overall customer experience. Agents supporting customers within financial services are signaling a challenge within the industry—only a quarter say they feel empowered to do their jobs well. Meanwhile, 74 percent of financial business leaders say agents play a crucial role in customer retention.
To help with scaling, financial services companies can still prioritize a seamless and helpful customer experience by utilizing AI and self-service. On top of using an online help center to cover the most common questions and concerns, the use of AI can allow companies to increase productivity without the expense of more agents. This way, agents can focus on what they’re good at—quality, person-first interactions, and customer satisfaction. Using AI and machine learning can markedly improve response times, and AI can also recognize when someone might need an agent’s help. Zendesk has helped companies apply artificial intelligence through tools like Answer Bot. Lending firm LendingClub said that after adopting Answer Bot, it’s seen valuable cost savings. “Previously, an agent would do 80 emails in a day,” said Andrew Jensen, LendingClub’s director of payment solutions. “Now email agents can do 220 emails a day because of the one-click macros and other ways we made their work tool more effective.”
Additionally, firms can invest more in advanced routing strategies to prioritize higher-tier clients and ensure that customers get into contact with the right agents. As companies scale and obtain more higher-tier clients, the demand to meet customers where they are also increases. To meet this demand, companies can allow agents to take calls and requests from a single support platform, with time-saving tools like automatic ticket creation and fielding calls within the same interface where an email or message comes through. In the same vein, uniting and integrating data across multiple business systems can give a complete view of a client’s information, allowing companies to more efficiently respond to customer requests.
Retail & ecommerce
According to our 2022 CX Trends Report, 76 percent of retail leaders agree that customer service is a critical business priority. But 44 percent still report that customer service isn’t owned by the C-Suite. And only 18 percent say they view customer service metrics on a daily basis. In a retail world working to adapt to current challenges, there’s a lot of room to grow with customer service—which can expedite your ability to scale.
In order to drive sales and reduce costs, retailers have a variety of options. Improving the customer experience involves being there in any way possible, whether through email, messaging, voice, social, live chat, or others. Using all of these channels can come at a cost, though, and it’s important to stay efficient. Agents often struggle to get a single view of the customer, which impedes efficient response times and can get in the way of how you want to scale. By bringing a myriad of customer information—like purchase history, billing data, and loyalty programs—into one place, you can help your agents better meet customer needs without incurring a higher headcount or more costs.
Taking advantage of the digital-first world, retail companies can also expand ecommerce with new channels. Proactive outbound notifications that inform customers of order updates or personalized offers can increase loyalty as well, helping your company scale with only a few adjustments. Pre-built integrations like Shopify and Narvar can ensure a smooth customer journey.
Shoppers will always have questions and concerns, especially as your company scales up. Creating integrated help centers for common questions and community forums for customers to offer their own perspectives can make the question-and-answer process much faster. For support that can’t be met with these forums, using AI-powered bots and other automation tools can cut down on wait times and allow you to offer more support. Providing easy and quick answers can also help reduce shopping cart abandonment, a common problem in retail spaces.
These days, customers are used to seeing personalized content, and many say that they’re more likely to buy when they see this content. It may seem intimidating to provide this personalization at scale, but thanks to AI, you can deliver this personalized content through chatbots and virtual agents. This approach doesn’t burden your actual retail agents, helping you to scale more effectively.
While 65 percent of manufacturing companies gave themselves high marks for their service, customers say they’re failing to meet expectations. Fifty-four percent of consumers say that customer service feels like an afterthought for most of the businesses from which they purchase.
If you’re looking to scale your manufacturing business, prioritize meeting your customer’s needs first before you jump straight to increasing growth. Perhaps customers don’t feel satisfied because there’s too much effort required of them to get the answers they need. You can enable rapid response with advanced workflow adjustments and skills-based routing, helping customers get into contact with the right people and information with little effort on their part.
As your company grows, your agents may feel swamped when responding to requests because of scattered information. By putting product documentation into a help center, agents can focus on actually responding to questions and finding the solutions they need. You can also help agents save time by providing them with access to important data, like products owned and warranty details, when it comes to order-repair communication.
It’ll be easier for manufacturing companies to scale if you respond to issues before they become problems. Monitoring diagnostics and proactively triggering correspondence based on device status can save money and make life easier for your customers and employees. Building custom integrations and interacting with Zendesk data using APIs built on open standards can also help increase your bottom line without sacrificing the quality of service.
Recognizing CX as a crucial step in the scaling process can significantly speed up growth. In fact, it may even be one of the first steps you can take to increase your bottom line. Optimizing CX puts customers at the forefront of your business and sets you, and your business, up to scale for future success.