Friction-fighters not fire-fighters: how to protect customer experience as you scale your business

Last Updated: 26 Apr 2021

Today, customers expect their interactions with every company to be quick, convenient, and contextual. Yet, when a company scales and begins to achieve exponential growth, the challenge of keeping pace with customer expectations grows exponentially, too.

There are three key reasons why: first, there are more customers to support; second, more tools to manage; and third, more customer touchpoints to maintain.

When a company is in startup mode, it will usually keep up with the growth of its customer base by increasing investments in staff. When customer growth starts to outpace the company’s ability to maintain a high standard of customer experience, it will likely raise capital and hire new employees to support the expanding demand. This works … for a while.

When that company is ready to scale – that is, to grow its business faster than its investments – it needs to support a growing customer base without simply hiring more employees and without letting the quality of the customer experience drop. To do this, it has to reinvent its approach to delighting customers or risk losing the trust of its user base – and its market share.

Adopting a “customer-in” perspective

The answer doesn’t lie in more cross-functional meetings, increased headcount, or longer hours for support staff. In fact, at HubSpot we think it lies in operations. RevOps, to be exact.

Operations professionals are rarely among the first hires a company makes. They tend to be brought in only when systems start to creak and the friction within or between teams becomes unbearable.

Typically, each operations professional is tasked with supporting their own designated function. Each customer-facing team, on the other hand, is only focused on the portion of the customer experience they’re directly responsible for: a “function-out” perspective, if you will.

What companies need instead is a “customer-in” perspective, so that all teams work in unison, informed by a holistic view of the customer, to deliver a unified experience. Operations professionals have a critical role to play in driving this shift in perspective. But to be successful, they too need to be unified.

Time to bring in the friction-fighters

One of the most powerful and strategic investments a company can make to scale its customer experience is to unify its functional operations professionals under one centralised revenue operations (RevOps) strategy.

When operations teams are unified, they work with the same data, which gives them a single source of truth on what’s really going on with customers at a holistic level. They have a better chance of spotting issues before they have a chance to hurt the customer experience.

Companies that don’t yet have a large number of operations professionals among their ranks don’t have to wait until they do to start adopting a “customer-in” perspective. If they haven’t hired an operations professional yet, they should consider bringing one in as a priority and giving them a meaningful say in how all customer-facing teams work together, not just one.

They should also examine the ways their internal teams are currently set up, assess whether the systems they’re using are contributing to silos, and begin to instil a culture of alignment around the customer.

After all, RevOps is not just the name of a team; it’s a philosophy by which to run a company – one that thrives when operations teams are equipped with the right tools.

Powering RevOps

Unifying data across different teams and systems is no easy task. But it is possible to simplify bloated tech stacks to prioritise platforms that make integration and data processing between teams effortless.

With the launch of HubSpot’s Operations Hub, teams can sync data across their business apps bi-directionally and in real-time, allowing them to manage a tech stack with ease, no matter how complex it is.

They can roll out workflows that automatically keep their database clean and up to date, helping them to maintain a reliable view of the customer, no matter how many touchpoints they manage. And they can design sophisticated custom automation actions to deliver a deeply personalised and contextual experience to customers, no matter how large their customer base grows.

Together, these tools free up those burdened with operations challenges to shift focus from firefighter to friction-fighter and more. After all, it is possible to scale and not lose the ability to delight customers. To move from reactive to proactive.

Ops teams, already skilled in ensuring everything “just works” are perfectly placed to help lead the business forward and drive greater revenue operations. If you can fix internal friction, your business will run better. In time, it will also grow better. After all, your business’ future success depends on delivering exceptional customer experiences.

It’s time to focus less on the fires and more on the future.

For more information on RevOps and Operations Hub, please visit: http://www.hubspot.com/products/operations

Christian Kinnear is managing director, EMEA and SVP international sales for HubSpot


Image credit: Rudzhan Nagiev/ Getty Images

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