Following is the list of 4 trends that I believe will help shape the world of customer success in the years to come. Predicting trends for anything especially for an area such as customer success can certainly feel like being a crystal-ball gazing fortune teller but I am creating this short list of 4 based on my personal extensive experience in leading and working in customer success organizations in some of the most dynamic SaaS companies.
World has changed rapidly in the last 2 years and will continue to evolve in the coming months and years and hence so would the trends. But, at the point of writing this blog, I believe the 4 trends below (in ascending order of impact) will be focal points in many customer success organizations. Without wasting any more of your time, here they are:
1. Use of Multi-Channel
One of the biggest changes in customer behavior that’s taking place right now is the emerging trend for customers to utilize multiple channels. Customers no longer interact with businesses through a single platform; they jump from channel to channel, which means that companies should be working to identify best practices to engage the tech-savvy customer with multi-channel communication.
2. Data Drives Success
Data plays a vital role in customer retention and growth and hence in customer success. Plans and actions based on data can help solve problems quicker. Future strategies are focused on aggregating customer data and incorporating AI to provide valuable and accurate insights on usage trends, potential churn, and growth opportunities.
3. Mapping Customer Journey
The benefits of understanding the modern customer in terms of
generating customer success are clear. What may not be quite so clear at
this time is how to gain this understanding of the modern customer in
the first place. While there are many potential techniques that can be
used - such as asking customers for insight through surveys or feedback
forms - one of the best ways is by mapping the customer journey.
If you feel unsure about how to build a customer journey map, don’t worry. You are not alone. Many service companies struggle to map the customer journey, and the reason for this is that the customer journey is complicated; customers no longer take a standard set of steps to get from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. They do, however, typically move through the same stages of the decision making process.
And always test your hypothesis once you have built an initial customer journey. For example, while you may feel that you’re providing adequate post-sales support through your website, a customer journey map could show that it’s here where your customers are struggling, and it’s here where they’re churning; they’re not finding what they want, so they’re going elsewhere. Insight such as this allows you to target your inbound efforts to address sticking points and facilitate a more seamless experience.
4. Increased use of AI
Traditional Customer Success Software works on a traditional rule-based engine to generate early warning signs. Although you have access to the data, if the configuration of the rule is not correct, you will miss out. The reality is most traditional rule engines use only 1-5% of data to set up rules as with hundreds of data points, it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend, analyze, correlate and configure rules for account health and alerts with accurate thresholds.
Even, if you arrive at a decent rule configuration, your product
features and customer behavior keeps changing making old rules out of
sync. Use of AI with your favorite customer management tool can generate smart recommendations, the next best action
for CSM for every account to unlock LTV (Lifetime Value) that is otherwise at risk.