2023 is the Year for Customer Success: Trends that Tell Us Why

Peaks and dips in growth were experienced during 2022 due to the rapid company transformation and changes in the global economy. The way in which organizations serve their customers will alter significantly during the coming year as they attempt to achieve more scalable, sustainable growth. Customer success (CS), will become an enterprise-wide operating model and the top objective of every employee in a corporation by 2023. As a result of this new paradigm, businesses will be able to scale more effectively through digital initiatives and automation while providing value to customers at every stage of their journey.

C-suite Executives are directly responsible for overseeing 78.5% of CS teams, according to the 2022 Customer Success Leadership Study. 16.6% of employees report to the chief revenue officer, which is a vital sign that corporate leaders value customer success as a key source of income. Sadly, the reverse happened when we anticipated digitalization to flourish and tech stacks to strengthen. Organizations are still making do with outdated technologies that they have inherited from other departments and underfunded CS infrastructure. Less than half of CS firms have access to the resources required to provide useful insights and boost operational effectiveness. The good news is that Customer Success Operations (CS Ops) is growing, with 59.5% of firms creating a position for it.

Customer Success is crucial for retention since customers will analyze results and value more. Although many businesses have recently “battened down the hatches,” CS will be the first area for new investment.

Senior executives will pay close attention to current clients to make sure they receive higher value, further promoting retention and growth.

We noticed a trend where companies believe that the only way to expand their net-new revenue is to develop new products. While this strategy worked well 15 to 20 years ago, the COVID pandemic and the period of rapid cloud adoption have caused organizations to shift their priorities to offering value to their existing customer connections rather than maintaining a laser-like focus on acquiring new clients. Businesses will reconfigure procedures and strategies to go above and beyond client retention and account expansion as 2022 comes to a close with more scrutiny on budgets and the value of all company functions.

1) Whether you’re ready or not, Customer Success digitalization is coming.

Every company’s playbook will be centered on digital Customer Success. They’ll begin incorporating digital tactics even into high-touch gestures, freeing up time for more worthwhile pursuits. To help their firms operate more efficiently, new hires will mix CS expertise, marketing strategies, and data-driven thinking.

We predict that the speed of digitalization in the business sector will pick up in 2023, having a substantial impact on customer success companies. Many people will have difficulty. Despite the fact that the pandemic hastened digitalization efforts and forced businesses to advance by seven to ten years, we shouldn’t lose sight of the important lessons we learned. Businesses are rediscovering the value of data as a resource during the economic turbulence of 2022. Data may be a force multiplier when combined with new technology, but only if organizations put good plans in place and use it strategically.

Two particular developments will show this acceleration in action:

The use of machine learning and AI by support firms will advance their ability to diagnose client issues quickly and effectively. They will make use of such experiences to improve their capacity to develop customer personas that assist them in foreseeing customer problems and preventing possibly detrimental experiential impact.

The Chief Data Officer (CDO) executive position will grow more widespread and more frequently appear at the CEO executive team table. Companies will have the chance to develop more complete and cogent data strategies as a result of this kind of organizational change.

2) Customer Journey is the King of the Hill

Companies will understand that the most crucial product to create, optimize, and continuously evolve is their customer journey.

Senior executives will understand that their customer journey, or customer experience, is equally as important as the product or service from which they traditionally derive their money as part of this shift to focusing on customer value. Every stop along the way offers an opportunity to add value, gain confidence, and cultivate loyalty. Recurring revenue is multiplied and sustained in this manner. Leaders will also understand that removing barriers to deliver value throughout the customer experience is an ongoing goal and that those who execute and learn more quickly are also quicker to iterate and improve.

The availability of data-driven and AI-powered technology has made customer journey mapping simple and very effective. Although there are numerous touchpoints to take into account and insights are readily available for your company, you may and must use them to increase customer interactions with active users in order to meet their wants, address their worries, and respond to their inquiries.

A common misunderstanding concerning customer journeys is as follows: When a customer completes a purchase, it is over. On the other hand, the customer’s journey doesn’t start until they make their first purchase. You must offer customers an easy client onboarding procedure that highlights both the features and advantages of your good or service.

A positive user onboarding experience gives your clients the most opportunity to interact with your business and experience firsthand the benefits you promised to provide.

Your customer engagement will rise if your onboarding is top-notch because they won’t have trouble using your tools. In order to create customer path maps, onboarding also enables you to get feedback from consumers and improve customer experience.

Customer journey mapping also enables you to see the progression of clients as they are using your service. You may plan your content and marketing initiatives to expand your SaaS company with the use of a customer journey map.

3) Silo Breakdown Across Orgs

As businesses engage in more integrated, cohesive client journeys, the cross-functional collaboration will intensify across the enterprise.

The entire company will focus on the customer success operating model and foster stronger internal collaboration to reinforce every touchpoint as controlling and optimizing the customer journey takes on increased importance. One yearly CS Industry survey revealed that 44% of CS departments collaborate with marketing for about a quarter of their time in 2022, up 17% from the previous year. Look for much more collaboration and effort spent across CS, marketing, sales, product, and other functions as firms build a core definition and documentation of what their customer journey is and what programs, technologies, and people are needed to maintain their most valuable product.

Breaking down silos though will be the most difficult task for companies. The competencies that need to be established to break down silos through departments don’t exist yet in most companies. Alignment of teams is still a struggle and political maneuvering just sucks the joy out of cross-functional collaboration sometimes. Smaller teams might attain it to some level but we are still looking at this trend as a critical realization more than an actionable step. 

4) Customer Success Operations

The development of Customer Success Operations is still moving forward significantly, despite a slight delay in 2022. The function is expanding, and we anticipate even more operational capability amplification in the upcoming year. Another trend will materialize in 2023, after a major push in 2022 for firms to grasp the value of Customer Success Operations roles, I believe CS Ops will finally have their chance to strut their stuff. Focus on quick wins for CSMs with their customers right away for individuals who are stepping into these new jobs, and then construct the wonderful dashboards and data insights, not the other way around.

5) Customer Success Platforms on the Rise

Companies will understand that CS and CRM technology solutions are crucial allies.
Although customer success (CS) technology has been around for more than ten years, it is still unclear whether and how CS and CRM technology integrate. CRM was designed for a different era and is typically organized around functional clouds that do not include CS best practices, automated workflows, and a multi-dimensional view of customer health. Despite the fact that CRM captures invaluable customer data about sales, marketing, and other business team interactions. Businesses that are committed to a customer value operating model will understand that CRM and CS are the winning combinations for strategically and effectively establishing long-lasting client relationships throughout the entire customer journey.

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