Work smarter, not harder

Besides early adoption, fast-growing startups are employing more support tools to streamline operations across their entire workflow. From collecting more data on customer issues to ensuring that tickets make it to the right person, these efforts help teams stretch existing resources by working smarter.

For one, fast-growing startups are building customizations and setting protocols that help prepare their teams for early success. This includes collecting more customer data through ticket forms, developing views to prioritize incoming requests, and defining goals. They also turn to APIs, apps, and automation tools in higher numbers to manage tickets more efficiently and add greater functionality.

  • Fast-growing startups are more likely to handle customer requests with APIs. One common example of this when a ticket is automatically generated after a customer submits a return online. If you’re a small startup (fewer than 100 employees), the benchmark for API usage is just under 10 percent of customer requests submitted via APIs, but it grows to 16.6 percent as you move into that mid-sized range (100 to 999 employees).

  • Fast growers use more public apps to give their agents quick and easy access to data. On average, you should aim to add a new app or integration every four to five months to have at least five in place by year two. Favorites among startups include Zendesk's Knowledge Capture app, and JIRA and Slack integrations.


“The key to startup growth isn't just automating time-consuming manual work, but also scaling out processes...”

Rich Waldron, CEO and co-founder of, a general automation platform pioneer, says "We've seen startups, as well as successful firms such as Outreach and Tucows, grow quickly by using automated workflows to close internal process gaps across their tech stack. The key to startup growth isn't just automating time-consuming manual work, but also scaling out processes across the entire organization to convert more leads, win more deals, respond more quickly to customer requests, and do more, faster."

  • Small, fast-growing teams streamline their processes with 2.8 times as many workflow tools (macros, triggers, and automations) as their slower growth counterparts. According to our benchmark, you should add at least two to three of these workflow tools per month, and expect to have more than 60 workflows in place within two years of adding a support platform.

Curious about the terms and tools in this section?

  • Fast-growing startups also adopted omnichannel support in greater numbers—particularly mid-sized teams, which were 72 percent more likely to use omnichannel than their slower growth peers. If you’re considering an omnichannel approach, you should look to adopt within 16 months of funding, or rather, before you go out to the market to fundraise again.

To the right: omnichannel usage comparison of fast-growing and slower-growing startups, based on company size.

Startups omnichannel usage

Help center articles over time

To deliver better experiences for customers, faster-growth startups also directed more resources toward self-service and live channels like phone and chat. If you’re new to support, you should launch your online help center with at least eight articles to start, with the goal of adding three new articles each month. And at least 25 percent of your agents should be dedicated to live channels within the first six months.

To the left: how fast-growing startups add more help center (HC) articles over time based on company size.

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