As a fast-growth disruptor, CX can make and then break you. Here’s how connected VoC listening can maintain your success.


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Today’s business world is a strange and fascinating place, filled with companies hellbent on disrupting long standing industries.  They’re founded by people who looked at a ubiquitous aspect of modern life and came up with an idea to make it better (Netflix), cheaper (Dollar Shave Club), easier to buy (Casper) and in some cases, all three (Amazon, Spotify).

Consumers are initially attracted to the “think outside the box” products and services these disrupters and their brethren offer, but if they aren’t executed well they won’t come back a second time. That’s why, for the most part, the startups that make it off the ground all have a laser like focus on their customer experience.

After all,  CX is a proven driver of revenue – with research from Forrester, Gartner and The Temkin Group all consistently showing a direct correlation between CX improvement and revenue growth.  And that’s good news for start-ups, because providing customers with an exceptional experience is a fairly simple thing to achieve for small B2C companies.

Think about it: start-ups typically have a small group of employees guiding a small number of customers through a relatively uncomplicated purchase funnel.  In that type of environment, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to understand whether the needs of the customer are being met, nor does it take a lot of time for the company to respond when they aren’t.  Quickly identifying and resolving customer pain points across the entire customer journey simply becomes a habit.

But keeping that habit can be tricky; to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson…build a better way to watch movies, buy razors or choose a mattress and the world will beat a path to your door.

As word gets out and a startup starts to grow its revenue, every aspect of the business grows along with it.  The number of customers they have, employees they need, products they offer and partnerships they form all increase exponentially. It’s right around this time when the leadership team realizes they need to adapt, and often will implement new processes and procedures to ensure operational harmony and long-term financial viability.

The problem is, these processes and procedures do nothing to increase CX efficiencies, and in some cases can even stymie the company’s ability to provide the same level of CX excellence they’ve become known for. When that happens, it can often trigger a slowdown in new customer acquisition and a spike in customer defections, especially amongst long-time loyal customers who fondly remember the company’s “good old days.”

So what should startups do when they’ve grown to the point where it’s a struggle to provide the same exceptional customer experience that helped fuel their growth in the first place?

Well, since “go back to being small” isn’t an option, companies in high-growth mode need to move beyond simple surveys and excel spreadsheets as their primary VoC tool and instead invest in a robust VoC technology platform that allows them to listen to their customers in a connected way across all touchpoints, moments and channels to understand what they really want/need from the experience.

But don’t take my word for it; check out the below infographic. Bottom line: connected cross-channel VoC leads to optimal CX that impacts your revenue generating capabilities (for more on the benefits of connected VoC strategies and how to realize them, check out the OpinionLab Strategy Guide on the topic).

So you might very well be ok right now. But when tracking CX and taking actions to improve it becomes a struggle, here are five questions you should ask yourself to ensure you pick the right VoC platform:

1: Does it create actionability without sapping resources?
An efficient VoC platform will feature analytics tools that automate the categorization, tracking, analysis and distribution of customer feedback throughout the organization and don’t require an army of analysts to run, which makes uncovering insights more efficient and easier to take action on.

2: Does it have omnichannel capabilites?
Customers don’t judge your CX on a channel by channel basis, and a negative experience in one channel can impact their overall impression of your company. A VoC platform with omnichannel capabilities that ensures “connected listening” will allow customers to share their thoughts regardless of where they’re at in their journey and give you a unified understanding of your customer’s wants/needs/frustrations.

 3: Does it provide context around the customer’s experience
Listening to your customers across channels is extremely complex, especially in a world where they interact with you via a wide range of devices, browsers, operating systems, screen sizes/resolutions, store locations, customer support methods, customer support reps and so on. A VoC platform that incorporates this type of information, along with other data your company knows about the customer (marketing persona, buying history, etc.) will ensure you can accurately diagnose and size the impact of specific issues and yield better, more robust analysis.

4: Is it both diagnostic and evaluative?
To gain long-term understanding, you need a consistent measure to highlight how your CX performance improves (or worsens) over time. To impact this measure, you also need diagnostic tools that highlight how, where and when to make the changes that drives the incremental improvements you seek. The right VoC technology will cover both these critical bases.

5: Does it do all this in real-time?
Precise VoC diagnosis is extremely actionable, and a market-leading VoC tool will enable you to distribute and collaborate on this insight in real-time. Harnessing these capabilities effectively and efficiently means you’ll make the huge improvements that propel your business growth.

If your business is at a crossroads in its growth path, it might be time to start exploring how the right VoC technology could be the difference between you being the next Zappos or the next

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeremey Dunn
Jeremey Dunn is a Senior Director of Sales and CX Strategy at OpinionLab and there are few things he's more passionate about than empowering companies to improve their customer experience through the smart application of technology and VoC data.In fact, he can't believe OpinionLab actually pays him to do it for some of the top companies in the US and Canada (but is incredibly grateful they do). It might seem odd, but when you break it down it makes a lot of sense because it perfectly combines some of his favorite things: helping people, solving complex problems, creative thinking and curi


  1. Consumers are initially attracted to the “think outside the box” products and services these disruptive and their brethren offer, but if they aren’t executed well they won’t come back a second time. That’s why, for the most part, the startups that make it off the ground all have a laser like focus on their customer experience.


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