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Why do early stage businesses fail?

Research conducted by CB Insights and Tom Eisenmann shows founders point to a few causes of early business failure. Failures in Customer Experience Management contribute to around half of the failed businesses studied.

According to CB insights 35% of early businesses failures are cause by a lack of market [customer] need and 8% due to a poor product
three of the six reasons for failure identified by Tom Eisenmann are false starts, false positives and speed traps
Introducing the CX Wall

I call those reasons for failure ‘The CX Wall’. Every decision taken by founders and their teams can add a brick to the wall. When decisions focus on one perspective, failing to consider the customer and balance their needs with business goals, another brick goes in the wall.

How to avoid the CX Wall

Unbalanced decisions, those that fail to consider the customer and balance their needs with business goals, build the wall. The solution is intentional Customer Experience Management (CXM).

But founders don’t have the resources or need to go the whole hog in their early days. To do so would create a different imbalance.

So, I have built tools that help founders think customer, build resilience and grow. These tools support the three steps of CXM. I call this service CX for Founders.

For every stage of your journey

If you are a founder, building Customer Experience Management habits early will help your business thrive. But your journey as a founder doesn’t end there. I have tools and approaches to help you as your business grows.

If you are a friend of founders – an accelerator, growth hub, VC or other service provider – I’d love to partner with you to enhance the support you already provide.




Want To Learn More About CX For Founders First?

Customer Experience Workshops

Perhaps you want to learn more about using Customer Experience Management (CXM) in a start-up before going further? No worries. In addition to a free consultation and designing your programme to meet your needs, I offer workshops.

These half, full-day and two-day group activities combine learning, discussion and action to give you a flavour of CXM as well as walking away with value for your organisation.

I offer workshops to groups of founders, to friends of founders and early stage businesses with two or more leaders.

What clients and colleagues say

Having first meeting Michelle in 2019 and getting to know her and her passion for her business it was only natural for me to want to ask Michelle to work with me when I decided to take my business to the next level. We started with a customer strategy workshop which lasted a whopping eleven and a half hours. Needless to say Michelle is as serious about your business as you are! I walked away from the workshop with great ideas, tools and a good understanding of where I am heading with my business with Michelle’s support.
Looking forward to continuing my journey with Michelle!

Sandra Dowling, Founder and Travel Consultant

Prior to meeting Michelle, I was under the impression that Customer Experience Management (CXM) was a domain primarily beneficial for larger, more established companies. However, Michelle’s expertise completely transformed my perspective, especially in the context of start-ups like doqit.

From the onset of her engagement with doqit, Michelle conducted a comprehensive and insightful audit. Her analysis was not just a revelation but a game-changer. She meticulously identified areas where we excelled, pinpointed aspects that required improvement, shed light on critical actions we needed to take, and provided strategic foresight into what we should consider for our future growth.

Michelle’s extensive knowledge in CXM is not only impressive but also highly applicable across different business stages and sizes. She has a unique ability to tailor her expertise to suit the specific needs and challenges of a start-up environment. Her approach is both strategic and practical, ensuring that her recommendations are not only insightful but also actionable.

Any company, regardless of its size or stage, would greatly benefit from Michelle’s expertise. She is a true professional who brings a wealth of knowledge, a tailored approach, and a transformative perspective to the field of customer experience management.

Catherine Ann Reid, Founder

I had the privilege of collaborating with Michelle Spaul, a customer experience expert specialising in start-ups, for a period of four weeks. I wholeheartedly endorse here as an authority in the field.

Michelle’s no nonsense and direct approach during her hour-long sessions leaves no room for evasion. This fosters an environment for open and candid discussions on topics such as customer journey mapping, customer value propositions, and customer messaging, all of which are firmly rooted in both theory and real-world practicality.

If you’re seeking an expert who can provide invaluable insights and drive actionable results, in the realm of customer experience for start-ups, I highly recommend Michelle.

Kofo Are, Founder

I first met Michelle through our common desire to improve manufacturing businesses, but it was only when she demonstrated just how important it was for me to understand how my clients think that I realised how beneficial her insights and expertise could be for me.

She showed me how to develop some client empathy maps, and these were so clear that it drove me to rethink and redesign my website to focus on the customer journey and experience first.

Michelle doesn’t provide just sound advice, but enables you to test whether your actions will actually achieve what you intended. She provided me with a written Customer Eyes report for the website prior to public release and worked through with me how to optimise the content and structure from a customer perspective, so that I’m now confident that the clients that I know I can help will know that their needs are being heard and that the experience they have from the website will match the experience from delivery of the service.

Unlike other business consultants who treat Customer Experience as just a standard business consulting “add-on”, Michelle specialises in making the client important, which elevates your profile, and in my opinion also elevates hers!

Without Michelle’s support it would have taken a lot of trial and error, and we’re now very focused on what we do and for whom we provide it, and I’m confident that Michelle will continue to provide even more, amazing, core support.

Peter Francis, Founder and Managing Director

Visit my case studies page for real-life examples.

Tired of Reading? Let’s talk about you

You have heard a lot about me. But you visited my site to learn about Customer Experience. Why is that?

Maybe you feel something is a little off with your customers. Or have heard how intentional Customer Experience Management benefits so many businesses.

Schedule a free consultation (30 minutes). There’s no obligation and you will end the call with at least one idea to change how you manage CX.

My commitment to you

Whichever service you choose, my commitment to you is to understand and meet your needs. In other words, I practice what I preach.

Here are six reasons to work with me…

  • Your business is special, your needs are unique. Don't settle for 'off the peg'.
    • My approach is always fresh; I am always learning, with a constant eye on the latest developments as well as taking lessons from every job. I understand that you will rely on me to help you delight your customers and grow sustainably.
  • You know change is inevitable, but don't know where to start or how to bring your team with you.
    • With a wide and varied career history, I know how to plan change and make it stick. I understand people, the way they work, how they respond to change and what gets them up in the morning.
  • The success of your business lets you live your dreams. You want it to be around for a long time.
    • I'll never forget why you are in business. Whether you are refocusing your business or fixing a broken product, I will help you build a solid business case. Then together we will deliver a project to give you a return on your investment.
  • You are not sure what kind of help you want - advice, guidance or hands-on.
    • I can lead the charge, embedding your new ways of working. But only if that is what you need. You may prefer doing things for yourself, leaning on me for a friendly ear and advice.
  • I recognise where you are on your CX journey and build solutions for you.
    • We'll start with the tools to improve your customer experience and engage your team. Then, as you feel more comfortable, we can think about strategy.
  • It's not just me!
    • For larger engagements and areas outside my expertise, I bring in trusted partners. You get a team using their skills to delight you and your customers.

Schedule your free consultation and learn how to harness the power of CXM to grow your business

After our confidential, 30-minute consultation, you will…

  • See a path to product, service and touchpoint improvements
  • Feel confident you and your team can continuously improve your customer experience
  • Be keen to get ahead of your competitors by delighting your customers

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