As a scale-up CEO, you want to delight your customers by offering them an irresistible product. You already have a good core product that is innovative and solves an urgent customer problem. However, these innovative solutions can get complex quite quickly. In order to delight your customers it is important to simplify your product and the customer journey. 

Innovations require initial effort to learn how to use them, and this is one of the main barriers to their adoption. Your clients need to learn how to use your product: “New technologies are asking for more attention in the beginning”, explains a scale-up CEO. “Customers have to learn, because it’s new.”  If your product is easy to use, you have a competitive advantage: “Clients are choosing for us, because it is very easy to use our system. You don’t have to train your technical personnel. All the other systems are very difficult.”

Put simplicity above special wishes

One of the ways to delight your customers is to have an answer to their special wishes. At the startup phase, you did not have many customers and your product was still in the development phase. So, you were ready to adjust it to your customers’ requests. However, adding new features also means that the product is becoming more complicated. Moreover, these new features might fit individual clients, but not your target market in general. As a scale-up, you can’t afford this degree of customization. You have many more clients and you need to deliver on your promise. One scale-up CEO has realized that he needs to ignore some of the individual customer wishes: “We have to focus on staying easy to use. That’s our regular concern.”

maintaining customer relationships while scaling is a challenge

In order to delight your customers, it is important to simplify your product and the customer journey.

Onboard your customers

If your product is complex and customers need help in understanding it, you can create a customer onboarding team or develop automatic customer onboarding tools to help your customers at the beginning of their journey. For instance, one scale-up is creating a tool to bring new customers on board: “We are currently building an automated system of helping customers understand what we do. We send out a series of emails explaining our model, so that by the time the customers decide to send us an offer, they already know how it works, and we know more about them as well.”

Build customer community

You can also rely on a customer community to onboard new customers and help them to understand your product. When customers work with your product every day and their success depends on it, they are willing to help other customers to become successful. For instance, one scale-up is building a community where customers get help from the company and from each other and where the company gets feedback about user experience: “This is a community where people share their learnings in a personal dialogue. Customers bring problems and solutions together. I don’t know what to do, I’m looking for answers. Boom! The answer comes, and it’s created through the community.”

The scale-up way: Making your customers partners in crime

Scale-ups dream about going viral by delighting their customers. However, the reality is that they struggle to even deliver on their promise. Learn how you can turn your customers into accomplices in ScaleUpLab‘s full article on Delighting Customers.

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*Research on delighting customers in scale-ups is conducted by ScaleUpNation and supported by the Goldschmeding Foundation and Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling (EFRO).

Liselore Haverman

Author Liselore Haverman

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