4 challenges facings startups in 2024 (and how investing in CX can help)

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For most companies and especially startups, 2023 was a year of uncertainty, fear, and doubt. Various headwinds converged early in the year as venture capital funding sank 38%, to a five-year low, and Silicon Valley Bank was shut down by regulators.

Founders quickly saw their budgets completely upended and suddenly faced the harsh realities of having to layoff employees and significantly cut costs. At the same time, huge questions loomed about how advances in AI would potentially revolutionize the way brands operated.

The past year was a wakeup call for startups and, as brands try to do more with less in 2024, investing in customer experience (CX) has become a top priority. Strong CX translates into higher customer satisfaction, improved employee satisfaction and retention, greater customer loyalty, and improved sales and revenue.

The right CX strategy can help growing companies overcome some of their biggest challenges.

1. There’s not enough time to balance priorities

There so much to think about in your brand’s early days: the urgent need to attract and keep investments, training and onboarding staff, becoming as efficient as possible, and keeping expenses in line. It’s a lot to manage.

It is virtually impossible to keep all these various priorities top of mind. As a result, CX and other non-core functions of your business often get pushed to the background and neglected. Customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales can suffer as results.

2. Time-to-market is too long

There’s no time to waste when it comes getting your products or services to customers, especially for companies trying to make their mark quickly. Investors want to see ROI on their investments and brands are eager to make an impact in those early years.

But getting products and services to market can entail a lot of trial and error, which costs not only time but money. The longer your time-to-market drags on, the longer it takes to reap any bottom-line benefits to your organization.

3. Scaling is hard and time consuming

It’s a great feeling when your brand is finally operating like a well-oiled machine, but what happens if demand suddenly spikes and you need to handle volume surges? Or, if you suddenly find yourself overextended during a lull in demand?

Growing companies often lack the ability and agility to scale (up or down) quickly and easily. As a result, you may be overstaffing your contact center during times of lower demand, or you could see wait times and customer frustration grow during volume peaks.

4. There’s too much exposure to risk   

Trying to adjust your business so you can increase speed to market, scale quickly, and improve customer experience brings certain risks.

Operational risks around compliance, technology upgrades and workforce management can expose your company to potentially costly liabilities.
Most growing companies don’t want to open themselves up to such risk, but it can seem unavoidable in many circumstances. And when brands are starting out, it can be hard to determine which risks are worth taking.

Overcome these obstacles with a CX partner

It may seem daunting to tackle these challenges head-on, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with a trusted CX outsourcing partner that specializes in startups can help.

For starters, a good CX partner will give you time to focus on your business’ core competencies. When your CX is outsourced into expert hands, your employees are freed up to focus on what they do best. Outsource the non-core parts of your business and you can redirect resources and energy to areas where you have the competitive advantage.

A partner can also help reduce your time to market by making processes like customer support, data entry, and IT services more efficient. A good partner will identify where AI, automation, and other solutions can improve back-office efficiencies and customer-facing interactions. The results? Happier employees and customers.

You’ll also be able to scale faster and smarter with a partner that can ramp quickly and easily when you need to. Look for a partner that offers plug-and-play solutions that let you quickly deploy proven tools and strategies without any guesswork. This gives you the flexibility you need to adapt to changes in your business, industry, or the broader market.

Another benefit of working with a partner is that it mitigates your risk. You can tap into a partner’s existing, state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure, and gain advanced tools and systems without the need for significant upfront investments. All this while your partner assumes certain operational risks so you don’t have to.

The right partner will take an in-depth and holistic look at your company, identify where you need help (it may surprise you), and ensure your CX is proactive, efficient, and cost-effective.