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What makes a business successful?

Every successful business is unique but common traits allow them to grow and scale. Reach your potential and deliver world-class customer service with Zendesk.

By Leighton Jacobs

Last updated November 2, 2023

Running a successful business is hard work. Juggling orders, support, and accounts takes dedication and perseverance—undoubtedly two qualities that every business needs. But pinning down what specifically makes any given business successful can be tricky.

After all, success can look different to different people and there’s no right way to get there. What’s more, businesses come in all shapes and sizes, so what makes one successful might not work for another. There’s no universal formula.

But there are a few common traits that nearly all successful businesses share; the same common ingredients for success. So, let’s find out what they are and see how you can use them to help your business succeed.

Great people

Every business is ultimately the sum of its parts. So, if you’re going to succeed, you need to have the right people with the right skills in the right positions. A talented and creative team is the first common ingredient to every successful business, and in many ways its greatest asset. After all, it’s your team that keeps everything running like clockwork—from customer service, to accounts and HR.

But it’s not just about employees. Without visionary and empathetic leadership at the helm, even the best team is incomplete and directionless. Managers and leaders are therefore also vital to business success. It’s their job to not only hire, grow, and nurture talent but also communicate a company’s vision, mission, and values. Great leadership is all about articulating goals clearly and effectively, charting a strategy to achieve those aims, and inspiring staff to reach new heights.

Creating a great company culture through close relationships is essential. Research has shown that teams deliver their best work when everyone enjoys their work environment, feels motivated, and pursues appropriate goals. For example, Gallup found that highly engaged teams achieve 14 per cent more productivity and 18 per cent more in revenue.

Great marketing

You’ve probably heard the phrase: if you build it, they will come. Sadly, this no longer applies because even the best products or services will go unnoticed without adequate marketing. And by marketing, we mean anything that helps promote and sell your products or services, e.g. advertising, customer service, networking, and public relations.

Marketing not only helps establish your brand but also helps build a loyal customer base and increase sales. According to Smart Insights, for example, email marketing returns 40 dollars for every dollar spent. That’s an ROI of 4,000%.

Successful businesses also analyse their competition to refine their marketing strategy and measure the results of their marketing efforts, so they can allocate budget accordingly and make sure they’re spending money in the right places.

Great customer service

Loyal customers don’t just appear out of thin air. If you want customers to keep coming back, providing excellent customer service is a must. According to Netomi, 77 per cent of consumers think good customer service is critical to earning brand loyalty and generating business. And if that wasn’t reason enough, loyal customers also tend to spend more.

But remember: loyalty is earned, so consistency is key. And in today’s hyper-competitive environment, great customer service is often decisive to business success. Zendesk’s CX Trends 2022 Report revealed that 73 per cent of business leaders report a direct link between customer service and business performance.

So, when it comes to customer service, successful businesses always undersell and overdeliver—right from the first interaction to the final after-sales query. It’s all about providing customers with an experience they’ll remember.

Great tools

The right tools make everything easier—from tracking customer queries to scaling up. Of course, different businesses need different tools. But there are certain solutions that nearly all businesses need. Customer relationship management software (CRM), for example, can help almost any business stay organised, maximise resources, and wow customers.

That’s because CRM solutions centralise customer data and interactions, making life a whole lot easier for agents. They also allow teams to communicate with customers across a range of channels for a truly omnichannel experience. Plus, AI and automation can take productivity to a whole new level with features and tools like chatbots and automated call routing.

In short, the right solutions and systems help successful businesses save both time and money by improving efficiency and providing useful insights, e.g. customer feedback, to help drive growth.

Zendesk supports success

Zendesk helps businesses improve productivity and provide world-class customer experiences. With everything from chatbots and ticketing systems to knowledge bases and call centre software, Zendesk has something to help every business reach its full potential.

Here’s a quick overview of our solutions:

Zendesk Support
Easily track, prioritise, and solve customer support tickets.

Zendesk Guide/Help Centre
Improve self-service support and empower agents.

Zendesk Messaging
Deliver rich conversational experiences and reach customers instantly.

Zendesk Talk
Speak directly to customers to deliver personalised solutions.

Zendesk Explore
Use data analytics to measure and improve the customer experience.

Zendesk Gather
Create a space for customers to connect and collaborate.

Zendesk Sell
Help sales teams work smarter to improve productivity and grow revenue.

Zendesk Sunshine
Connect, customise, and build innovative customer experiences.

But just in case you’re still not convinced, let’s look at an example of a successful business that uses Zendesk to help them reach their goals…

Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a digital-only challenger turning the banking sector on its head. Customers can manage their money using the Starling banking app and don’t pay any fees when using their Starling card abroad.

As the UK’s first mobile-only bank to offer current accounts, outstanding customer service has been a cornerstone of Starling’s success, with the bank currently handling around 500 customer queries a day.

But growing customer contact meant Starling needed a customer service solution that could keep up. Zendesk’s omnichannel approach now allows support agents to respond to customers on any channel. What’s more, seamless tracking ensures customer requests move between teams with ease.

Zendesk Support also helped Starling better understand its customer satisfaction, in real-time. And ticket numbers for each contact method reveal preferred channels, which helps the bank plan for busier times.

“Our favourite feature of Zendesk is that it allows each engagement with a customer to be linked to a support ticket. This means that each point of communication with a customer can be seen by all authorised users… We therefore get a clear map of our customer service journey.”Patrick Vardhan, Head of Customer Service at Starling Bank

Read the full customer story

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