Your teams work hard to build new business. Yet growth often brings challenges that can slow down momentum.
Let’s take a closer look at how fast growth can affect your company.
Growth brings consequences
Tech companies love to sell their products to enterprise customers. After all, a single sale can net tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of users. Successfully selling to even a handful of such companies can significantly accelerate the growth of a software company.
Of course, this isn’t the only way to grow—tech companies also achieve viral growth by selling cloud offerings to smaller companies.
In either instance, adding customers can have a profound impact on product velocity (the rate at which engineers complete projects.)
Slowing project velocity will eventually slow growth.
Customer demands impact velocity
Product velocity is a key performance indicator; it can be influenced by the difference between what your product can do and what your customers want or expect. The impact of this delta is first felt in technical support.
This phenomenon is borne out in a study of 75 companies conducted by McKinsey. It found that customer support becomes more important and complex as companies grow. In such instances, the increasing magnitude and complexity of customer demands often skyrockets the demands placed on support. In turn, customer satisfaction is adversely impacted.
To varying degrees, this means that, as your customer base grows, along with their expectations, your developers may see more of their time being taken up with tech support. This shift requires them to turn their focus away from product development, which impacts product velocity and, again, customer satisfaction.
Takeaway: Product velocity and customer satisfaction can be adversely impacted by an accelerated demand for technical support.
Beware of employee retention risks
A drop in customer satisfaction is likely to set off the alarm. As mentioned above, initially it may seem to make sense to shift your developers into the role of ad hoc support. After all, engineers know the product best. However, this action may generate dissatisfaction among your engineering team. It may even cause them to leave the company, further decreasing product velocity.
Hiring quality engineers is a well-documented challenge.
But if that isn’t daunting enough, it often takes more than six months for a new hire to reach optimum productivity. That means even the best onboarding process won’t prevent slowdowns in product velocity.
Having a reliable pool of technical support talent is critical to maintaining a high-quality customer experience, but it’s also crucial in another way.
Customer retention matters more than ever
Today’s clients are conditioned by B2C services such as Amazon, Netflix, and Uber. Meeting their expectations is a challenge. B2B customers expect personalized service, omni-channel support, and digital ease of access to human care. As a result, B2B and B2C expectations are converging into a business to people (B2P) landscape.
In short, a high-quality support capability that’s personalized and responsive is critical to customer retention.
Takeaway: Clients expect a personalized experience that enables them to increase product value and to close the gap between expectations and capability.
A holistic path to growth
Given these findings, it’s no surprise that unmet customer expectations can weaken sales in a fast-growing company.
Fortunately, this trend can be turned around with a more holistic approach to fast growth. Such a strategy requires an effective and scalable technical support capability, one that a tech-enabled services company like ServiceRocket is uniquely able to provide. Schedule a call to learn how we help companies deliver support that enables fast growth.
On the surface, fast growth is cause for celebration
The XST Blog