The term unicorn can refer to more than just a mythical creature. Another definition that is a bit more reality-based is “a startup company valued at more than a billion dollars – typically in the software or technology sector.”
For the purposes of everything that follows, we will be talking about the latter definition. But as you will soon come to find out, we might as well be talking about the former.
Right now, there are 335 companies operating all over the world that fit this definition. To put that into a little bit of perspective, there are 543,000 new businesses started in the United States every single month. More than 750 new businesses are registered every single hour. That means that there are more new businesses started every 30 minutes than there are “unicorns” on the planet Earth.
If you happen to have spotted someone who bought the proverbial winning lottery ticket and is in command of one of these companies, congratulations: the odds were overwhelmingly against you ever getting to that point.
More than 2,500 left-handed people die every year when they attempt to use products designed for right-handed people – which means you’re more likely to both A) be a lefty, and B) die by not being a very good one than you are to be associated with a such a company.
But at the same time, that demands the question – in such rarified air, who is there to guide and nurture these emerging businesses to their fullest potential? Thankfully, the answer to that one is simple:
We are, of course.
At Goodbay Technologies, three of those current “unicorns” are our clients. We have three others who have long since outgrown that status (successfully, we might add). In a state-of-the-art facility nested in a technology park surrounded by more Fortune 100 companies than we know what to do with, the team at Goodbay Tech is proud to have the highest concentration of “unicorns” under one roof in the entire world.
If anybody knows how to care for your business, it’s us. Now, we’re going to show you how.
Identifying, Attracting and Wrangling a “Unicorn”
In a lot of ways, taking care of a business is actually a lot like taking care of a “unicorn” the animal (or at least, we assume it would be. They’re not real, after all). Different strategies are required based on the age and the trajectory of the entity standing before you.
In general, there are two key types of “unicorns” to be aware of: emerging companies (Baby Unicorns) and mature companies (Adult Unicorns). As the name suggests, emerging companies are very new on the scene – hence the affectionate nickname, the “Sparkle.”
In other words, you’re dealing with a new disruptor that managed to immediately stand out from the rest. They know they’re different, and they can feel it – and everyone else around them can, too. They’re not just doing something better than anyone else – they’re doing something nobody has ever even thought of yet. Because of that, it can be in a very inhospitable position with a lot of curious looks and fierce competitors.
Emerging Companies (Baby Unicorns)
An emerging company will have just closed a significant venture round (think A/B/C) and their revenue may not yet have actually crossed $1 billion. But with the proper care early on, that company can not only keep up its current pace… it can also grow that beautiful Billion Dollar Horn sooner rather than later.
But because it’s so young, an emerging company still needs a lot of support and guidance on HOW to grow up. It’s going to make mistakes, yet – but it needs that guiding hand necessary from a parental figure to allow it to do that in as much of a consequence-free environment as can be created.
Oftentimes, they will have still-maturing customer support processes – meaning that they need someone who knows what they’re doing to step in at exactly the right moment and act as that light to shine the way.
But how often do you really come across a Unicorn Whisperer, anyway? How many companies out there have built a business in nurturing and fostering companies as their business model?
At Goodbay Technologies, that’s exactly what we’ve done – and we’ve had a great deal of success so far. All of our team members are trained to deliver the type of exceptional customer experience across all channels that will have those organizations – and their admirers – captivated. That includes but is not limited to billing, customer service, outbound support, technical support, sales and more. We have so much experience to that end that Goodbay can typically identify these businesses before the business itself does.
Remember that both Baby and Adult Unicorns HAVE to be doing something different – if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be where they currently are. But at the same time, they live in a non-saturated market. Eventually, that shine is going to wear off – and at that point, it’s all about what keeps their clients coming back for more.
In an effort to better address that very idea, a lot of these Sparkles may have already tried low cost, at-home, outsourced providers. Quickly, however, they will have outgrown them. At that point, they need a Whisperer to complete the maturation of those customer service processes. If you take away nothing else from this piece, just remember: these companies grow fast.
To contextualize this stage of the wrangling game, understand that for as rare as it is to spot a “unicorn” in the wild, it’s even rarer to spot a Sparkle. It is very common that by the time a Sparkle has figured out its current support services, they’ve already outgrown it.
It is at that point that Goodbay steps in, catching the Sparkle as it stumbles and loses focus while trying to grow its horn.
Just like the Sparkle’s horn itself, these businesses tend to grow faster than the rest of the body can keep up with. In business terms, that means technology is outgrown, business processes are outdated, and customer service staff is outmatched. In metaphorical fantasy terms, it means that the horn weighs so much that the head can no longer hold it up. In Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” terms, it means that Rick Deckard may or may not be a Replicant (there’s a metaphor in there somewhere).
In any event (except for maybe Ridley Scott, who has insisted for 30 years that Harrison Ford being a secret robot is somehow a good idea), it is not the fault of the company for growing so quickly. That’s not a mistake. That’s nature.
But nature becomes a problem if you’re not in a position to anticipate those growing pains. To build an infrastructure for the business to grow into, not just keep up with. To add the leadership and industry expertise that doesn’t just meet the business’s needs today, but prepares you to meet the next evolution of those needs as they will exist six months from now.
With equal parts foresight and anticipation (and, admittedly, a couple of scars along the way), Goodbay has gotten to the point where it can see the beauty and success ahead often before our clients see it for themselves.
The Mature Company (Adult Unicorn)
The second major type of “unicorn” to be aware of is the mature company. As its name suggests, this magnificent animal has been at this status for years. It’s an established disruptor that clearly stands out – even among others. It may be considering an IPO (as is their wont) and they absolutely have revenue over $1 billion.
By this point, these companies have likely received adequate care and have matured many – if not all – of their CS processes. But with a new round plateau, there is a pressing need to push through that stasis to become the thoroughbred they were meant to be. Up until now, human nature, curiosity and a desire to live on the cutting edge have all been enough to make companies grow rapidly.
But when that curiosity wears off – when that shine isn’t quite as bright as it used to be on social media, and with competitors nipping at their heels – many businesses struggle to find their long-term place in the market.
It is at this point that even the strongest organizations understand that the situation isn’t just dangerous. It could very well be deadly.
We all have our favorite “flash in the pan” businesses that we check out once a year – not out of a desire to buy anything, but out of pure nostalgia. Because we suddenly remembered they existed and wanted to see if they’d closed up shop yet.
This is the moment that will decide whether that happens.
As Whisperers with years of proven experience, Goodbay Technologies knows how to provide the right level of care, insight, analytics and smart employees to guarantee that this big fellow will be off to the races.
“Customer Support” must evolve into “Customer Experience,” for example. Customers return not because they want to. Because they NEED to. Because they are influencers and evangelists. Don’t mistake revenue and reoccurring customer engagement. They are not one and the same.
You must use intelligence, insight and analysis to cut through what customers want to get at the heart of what customers NEED. Support must extend outside of the established channels, meaning that you have to go beyond a simple support website and toll free number. You’ve got to take the service TO THEM and reach customers where they are talking openly and honestly about their experiences. That means social media, public forums, and via self-help portals. That means leveraging the best in user interface and design best practices to prevent the problem from happening in the first place!
This is the type of insight that Goodbay is ready and waiting to provide.
The Art of Attracting and Wrangling a Unicorn
Once a “unicorn” has been spotted in the wild – and you’ve had a moment to truly appreciate the beauty standing before you – you’ve got to strike while the iron is hot. Now is the time to wrangle them up and become the Whisperer they need when they need it the most.
Understand that it is a big, big responsibility to be taking care of your company. It’s also not something that is just going to happen because you want it to.
In order to get to that point, you need to be able to convey a genuine company culture fit. You need to convince them that they will receive extra care and attention, and that their customers will receive only the highest levels of quality support at scale. Plus, you need to prove that you can provide them with a steady stream of insight and innovation into the larger customer experience.
In other words, this all comes down to biology. If you want to take something and nurture it to adulthood, you need to provide the basics of life on Earth: water, food, companionship and shelter.
You also need to understand the difference between thriving and surviving. That is, professional care, supplements and good, old-fashioned training.
Whether you’re talking about man or myth, water is the most essential element for all living creatures. In terms of customer support, that element can be summed up in a single word: PEOPLE.
The Whisperer must provide top talent at all levels – from Director to Agent and everything in between. Remember that only the Whisperer can replicate company culture AND do it at the scale required.
The second most critical element for living creatures is food – something that you won’t get very far without. Calories are broken down into energy and that energy keeps us – and our clients – going.
In the customer support world, this food takes the form of data and analytics, business intelligence and insight. The business is literally powered by that data at all levels and the more of it they can consume, the better their products, their services and their competitive advantage-creating CX will be.
Literature has proven that “unicorns” are nothing if not social creatures – they really only thrive when surrounding themselves with others. Because of that, it is important for a business to work with the Whisperer who attracts others (read: like-minded people).
Through this level of intimate companionship and congregation comes best practices and a unique understanding on how to take the very best care of valued customers.
If you want to make sure you survive the elements (and you do), you need a world-class stable to match their world-class potential. This nice, inviting home will form the foundation of everything that happens moving forward.
The Whisperer’s stable is usually an office space that inspires and empowers their employees, allowing them to collaborate and always perform at the highest of levels.
At Goodbay, for example, our stable has a world-class design, incredible amenities and is thoughtfully laid out in a way that enables our clients to start from a baby and grow into an adult in all the right ways that they need. We also offer smaller spaces for customer service teams, along with the flexibility needed to accommodate larger teams, too.
The Difference Between Surviving and Thriving
As stated, it isn’t enough to merely keep your business alive. You need to help them become the very best that it can possibly be. This too includes a few core elements, all of which you need as much of as you can get.
In the best case scenario, a company will forge a unique bond with its Whisperer. At the highest level of management is the company’s VP or Director of CX, who will collaborate with the Whisperer’s Director of Operations to guarantee a high level of collaboration, communication and consulting.
The benefit here is that the business will take a great deal of comfort in knowing that the Whisperer has cared for others. they will rest easy knowing that they can benefit and learn a lot from that experience.
Never forget that a “unicorn” is a high performance animal – it has already achieved a high level of recognition, success and (ultimately) funding to arrive at their current valuation. But they are also a GROWING animal, too. They may not have yet matured their training processes to scale their customer experience team at this essential moment.
The Whisperer, however, should know how to develop and mature training processes for this as they have for many others. Oftentimes this will involve a gap analysis of tools, processes, training modules and workflows. The Whisperer can identify any missing pieces of the training puzzle to bring their customer support training to world-class status. This in turn enables faster agent onboarding and, of course, scalability.
Any good Whisperer knows that it takes about 30 days to onboard and train a CS team. They will also understand the importance of creating an Agent Certification program to keep those agents up to speed on new updates, changes to the Terms of Service, new products and services and more. A company is always an evolving creature and a quality Whisperer must anticipate that. The end result is a Whisperer that has helped the business evolve their support to maintain their growth and scale – which is a very exciting position for both parties to be in.
The Health and Wellness of a Unicorn
There are two key elements that are absolutely vital to the long-term wellness of any company: regular health checkups and supplements (as required).
Health checkups take the form of weekly business review calls between the business and the Whisperer. They will include QA calibration sessions between teams to make sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that the water is safe to drink (meaning the people are as good as they can be) and the food is okay to eat (meaning the data is of exceptional quality).
They also involve quarterly business reviews, which are akin to a much more in-depth physical exam. This will afford the opportunity for a deep dive into the people and the data of both parties, strategizing together to make sure that the company’s support system is healthy and that it’s growing in all the right ways given the situation.
Supplements, on the other and, can be added to a business’s diet as necessary to make sure that they are always performing at the highest level possible. In other words, supplements are an opportunity for a Whisperer to give the type of consulting advice, best practices and insight to the company that literally no other customer support provider can offer.
These are also the times when the business itself must be open to experimentation. They’ve got to keep an open mind, allowing the Whisperer to see what it can do to move the needle on things like CSAT and profitability.
When all of these elements are present and accounted for, two things happen. The first is that you have an invaluable relationship between a company and its Whisperer – one that has everything it needs to stand the test of time.
The second is something far more magical – you have the makings for the type of organization that will literally be written about for years to come. Something that comes along once in a generation – if that – and that is so incredible that many people don’t even believe it exists.
But it does exists, and it’s real, and you’ve just had a front row seat for the entire experience.
Goodbay Technologies: The Unicorn Support Company
Whether you’re an emerging company, a mature company or even an aspiring “unicorn” doesn’t actually matter. At Goodbay Technologies, we want you to know that you are ALWAYS welcome to try out our stable, taste our delicious food, and mingle with the others we’ve dutifully cared for over the years.
We even offer a full 60-day risk free program to test us out. We’re so confident in our 100% pilot conversion rate with “unicorns” that we KNOW you’ll be beyond satisfied. Because after you’ve spent some time with us, you won’t just have everything you need to survive. You’ll be thriving in ways you didn’t even realize you were capable of.
If you’d like to find out more about how to properly care for and look after your organization, or if you have any additional questions that you’d like to discuss with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay – contact Goodbay Technologies today.