The number ONE reason startups fail was ‘no market need.‘ NO Customers. Startups fail when they are not solving a market problem. That’s when the business model doesn’t solve a customer’s pain point in a scalable way. If your startup is failing, look at its Customer Experience (CX). Moreover, nearly the same number of reasons for failure (seven of the top 20) were related to the people and/or culture of the company, the Employee Experience (EX). This happens if you don’t have the right people on board due to neglect in proper team building by the company founder(s). Furthermore, a lack of focus or passion regarding ‘the team’ often dooms startups.
And this is besides living with a pandemic!
It’s noteworthy that only two of the top 20 reasons startups fail was due to lack of funds. What this tells you is that failure rates are people related. The most tragic failures happen when people inside the company don’t care about customers, or don’t cultivate a culture centered on the customer.
A warning to entrepreneurs: Customers must be your priority and their needs must be in sync with employee objectives. Ignoring either will result in failure.
Why the Customer Experience is So Important
Product development and operational excellence drive innovation and increase sales. However, every company should be innovating in the customer experience and view it as a top priority. CX must be a deliberate, distinct, and disciplined effort.
CX innovation differs from other kinds of innovation as it starts with the customers purchase journey. But knowing that CX is the primary way to stop your startup from failing and win in today’s market is another story. Here’s what you need to do.
Make CX Innovation A Priority
Just like any product or service provided by the company, CX needs a dedicated space, process, program and staff. The purpose is to identify, develop, and test new CX ideas. The idea is to facilitate a test-and-learn approach to CX. This can start out small with minimal investment, but any CX effort must have two clear criteria:
1. Does it solve a problem for the customer?
2. Does it enhance the customer relationship?
Collect data from sales staff, company management, outside consult. Set up a CX Bootcamp to train employees about the ideal customer’s behaviors and their emotional pull to purchase.
Company-wide CX Training
Every company needs to cultivate a Customer Experience mindset throughout the business. Every employee needs to know who your customers are and what their needs and journeys are. They need to be motivated to rethink the whole customer buying journey as well as fulfillment. They need to be empowered to implement new CX programs and work together to support the desired CX.
Everyone Must Be Involved with Solving CX Problems
Employees know how important CX is, as they are all customers themselves and aware of the problems customers encounter. To encourage and instill a strong sense of ownership for CX improvement is not an over-burdensome task.
On of the ways to improve CX is to assign one or two employees a customer pain-point and ask her/him/them to develop a solution for it. You’ll be surprised at how good the solutions will be as the employee(s) puts themselves in the customer’s shoes. As a result, you’ll find
CX and EX are the two of the most important business issues of the day and into the future. They are inexorably connected and need to be developed and nurtured simultaneously.