Top 10 Customer Success Trends for Enterprises in 2022–23
Customer success (CS) is now essential for large enterprises, particularly those catering to the business-to-business (B2B) sector. According to a report published in March of this year, a whopping 95% of companies have a customer success function. Of this, most are well-defined, and the topmost successful ones invest 10% of their revenues in CS. So, what are the ten emerging trends and ideas that will define CS in the coming months? Here is my breakdown:
1. A focus on customer segmentation
Customer segmentation was crucial to delivering a targeted experience, which is critical in 2022. As enterprises face stiff competition from existing and emerging players and buyers tighten budgets due to complex economic conditions, segmentation provides you with valuable insights. It allows enterprises to stand out against similar products by targeting a cohort’s actual business problems.
2. The rise of CSOps
Customer success operations or CSOps are responsible for executing the enterprise CS strategy. It converts customer success from only a strategic function into a realised process with goals, KPIs, and milestones. In 2022, CSOps will be responsible for deriving data from CRM and other systems, extracting insights from marketing automation, orchestrating customer meetings, driving brand advocacy, and keeping an eye on customer service teams. It will be a dedicated function in addition to CS. It is important not to confuse Customer success operations teams with customer service operations. Primarily, customer service teams are held accountable for ticket response times, yet when those tickets require help from development to help resolve, there is a wall between the groups. Customer service is responsible for ticket resolution times to maintain service-level agreements (SLAs) and decrease ticket resolution times.
3. A continued emphasis on retention and adoption
Customer retention or churn/attrition reduction was always a top priority for CS teams, and this will likely remain unchanged in 2022–2023. However, larger enterprises looking to go beyond the growth stage will consider recurring revenues and product engagement as critical KPIs. These metrics indicate how engaged a customer is with the product and, therefore, the likelihood of continued profitability.
4. An attempt to unify and enrich customer data
CS teams can leverage data from various sources, from website analytics to product diagnostics and from bug reports to customer feedback. The more data an enterprise looks at, its ability to solve customer problems and cement the adoption of customer success platforms will be more remarkable. There are two ways to achieve this unification of the data stack — by integrating CRM, CDP, clickstream analytics, and other systems at the backend or by installing a customer success platform.
5. Data-driven CS going mainstream
While most CS leaders have always relied on data, others will start following suit in 2022. Today, various customer touch points and channels make it easier for companies to track and quantify customer engagement with their products. As a result, it enables better decisions and allows companies to anticipate potential issues. That is why even mid-sized companies will turn to data-driven CS instead of only relying on human intuition.
6. Customer success managers as business continuity advisors
The last two years demonstrated that solid product or service capability isn’t enough. Enterprises need an end-to-end ecosystem to ensure product delivery and success even in challenging conditions. Therefore, CS managers will double up business continuity advisors in 2022, consulting with product and operations teams. They will help maintain reliable experiences and continued delivery of functionalities in all circumstances.
7. Customer onboarding as a vital strategy
Previously, I had discussed the role of customer onboarding in the B2B sector (you can download the full white paper here), and onboarding remains central to CS in 2022. A guided onboarding roadmap with supporting resources, personalised assistance, and two-way feedback at critical milestones, can uplift CS outcomes. It builds the bedrock of future experiences and makes sure that the requisite systems and processes are in place for optimised product usage.
Businesspeople know the problems they need to solve but may not have the expertise or interest in learning how to use new platforms or software. If customers don’t know how to use your product or find that learning how to use it is too time-consuming or complicated, they will abandon it.
Customer success onboarding is essential because it reaches out to the customer, lets them know what to expect, and, most importantly, trains them to use the product and get the most out of it. By onboarding customers successfully, we reduce the risk of customer churn.
8. The use of artificial intelligence (AI)
As artificial intelligence algorithms evolve and become more accessible, they will be part of neatly every CS process. For example, augmented AI can analyse customer data to spot trends and recommend interventions. AI can also automate customer-facing processes like conversation interactions and timely follow-ups. In other words, AI will make a difference in CS strategies and CSOps.
9. The need for personalisation and journey mapping
Personalised customer experiences deliver better outcomes and result in long-term retention. A robust personalisation strategy in the B2B product segment can help cross-sell, upsell, and expand accounts. To achieve this, enterprises will invest in customer journey mapping in 2022. It will indicate the crucial moments of truth where personalisation is most effective, shaping CS strategies in the coming months.
10. The increasing role of vendors and partners
Finally, enterprises will increasingly wake up to vendors’ and partners’ roles in CS. The COVID-19 pandemic proved the importance of a resilient supply chain to ensure customer success, underscoring a key trend for 2022–23. Partner buy-in will be essential when making CS decisions, and in many ways, enterprises will work together with their partner network in delivering customer outcomes. It will include supply chain stakeholders, resellers, managed service providers, etc.
Ultimately, CS isn’t only for tech startups and digital solution providers. Any company with a loyal and recurring customer base can utilise CS to maximise the lifetime value of each customer. These ten trends suggest how you could make the most of this capability in 2022. To know more or to join the conversation, please email me at Arvind@am-pmassociates.com.