Customer support solutions that organizations offer to their customers, play a pivotal role in the growth and success of the company. Organizations are well aware of the fact that for them to thrive and survive, it is imperative to keep their customers happy. Gone are the days where business had the luxury of playing monopoly in the market and they didn’t have the need to be proactive in servicing customers. In the present day, customer with his immense knowledge about the product, has become highly knowledgeable and demanding. He is continuously being with information on products day in and day out through various media such as television, internet etc. Organizations do not need any more reasons by being proactive and keeping their customers happy.
Different growth stages of a company: Old age quote states that “From small beginnings come great things”. True to that, all the big organizations, didn’t achieve their growth overnight. It takes lot of effort, plans, strategies for companies to grow from an idea to a maturity stage. Let’s us look at the various different stages or phases of growth that a company passes through from the time of its inception.
Idea or concept: A company before its establishment is an idea or business opportunity in the minds of its owners. It all starts when an individual or individuals identify a business opportunity in a particular sector. The business opportunity could be a product or a service.
Concept Development: The business opportunity which has been identified in the previous is evaluated, feasibility is studied, a business plan is developed. Economic viability of the concept will be assessed and based on a lot of work the team or individual may proceed with establishing the company.
Growth Phase: In this phase, the company has been established and it is running. The company has a client base and it is able to generate revenue. At this stage, ideally companies think about increasing the customer base, dealing with market competition, identifying gaps in processes, streamlining business and ultimately increasing their profits.
Expansion Phase: In this phase of growth, organizations tend to think about expanding and diversifying their presence in the market. They may acquire smaller companies which would add value to their existing portfolio.
Maturity Phase: Companies have stable profits at this stage. Thanks to their well-designed strategies and dominant position in the market, they have large customer base that is able to generate constant profits. Some of the entrepreneurs may find an exit strategy during this phase of growth of a company.
Why different solutions of customer support at different stages?
When it comes to offering customer support, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Hence, majority of the organizations design a scalable strategy which can address the needs of a small customer base as well as an expanded customer base. Let’s see the kind of customer support solution that companies offer at various stages of their growth.
Foundation stage: At this stage, company is very new to the market and it doesn’t have any customer base. The brand is unknown in the market and organization is trying to make its presence felt. The company may still have single number employees. Majority of the work of customer support solution team goes into reaching out to prospective customers, explaining them about the product, gathering their feedback. The team will also involve in providing solutions to customers who are using the product or service. During this stage, team may not look into the metrics like number of inquiry calls etc. They may look into the number of successful clients they reached out to.
Growth stage: Organizations at this stage may have a double digit employee number. They may also have a dedicated customer support team provides support to customers. Organizations at this stage may have started building through the process and training structure. Organizations may have dedicated customer support channels such as email, chat support and voice calling. Team actively tracks the issues and also relays the ticket information to teams such as engineering team so that they can be reviewed and amendments can be made to the product if required. At this stage, team can also expect frustrating experience from few customers. However, support agents would have received the required product as well as soft skills training to manage frustrated customers. Even though the customer base may not be large, organizations may receive increase volume of calls because of the fact that product being new in the market and the awareness about the product among the customers is low.
Expansion Stage: At this stage, organization has significant customer base. Also, it has increased employee count. The company has a dedicated customer support team. Till this stage, company has been reactive with regards to providing customer support. Now that the product has undergone fixes and is relatively stable, company needs to be proactive in providing customer support. Organizations can anticipate the type of issues that customers may experience while handling the product and based on the issues, they will have readymade solutions in place. This proactive approach by organizations towards its customers will take care of the customer retention part.
Maturity Stage: Company has significant customer base and has expanded and diversified itself. It has trained and dedicated workforce catering to the large customer base. Company has several policies in place such as targets and incentives that motivate the support team to work hard and get new customers.