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Customer Success Survey 2020

Customer Success Survey

We conducted a global survey encompassing Structure, Culture, Processes, Tools, and Trends across the Customer Success community.

The survey revealed some stats that are consistent with our expectations and some that are real eye-opening.

Global Customer Success Survey 2020

The survey seeks to provide insights on how industry practitioners are managing Customer Success, what they are tracking, tools they are using and what they expect for 2020.

9% of organizations have Chief Success Officer and Chief Customer Officer roles

Customer success survey insights

This is a reflection of the Customer Success function not yet being considered as part of the core C-Suite in most organizations. We hope to see this change drastically in the years to come. Almost 44% of Customer Success functions are being headed by mid-management at this time.

94% chose PRODUCT ADOPTION & USAGE as a key responsibility area of their CUSTOMER SUCCESS team

Customer Success Survey Questions

We have always felt that product success is an integral part of Customer Success and are happy to see this validated. It is interesting to note that churn avoidance and onboarding outrank upsell – will keep an eye out for this to change next year.

24% of respondents consider NPS as valuable ONLY when combined with other metrics

Top customer survey

We feel this is very true. NPS needs to be stopped being used as a vanity metric. It is a critical component of measuring sentiment when used in conjunction with other metrics like usage metrics, value milestones, touchpoints etc.

84% chose CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE as a key responsibility area of their CUSTOMER SUCCESS team

Best customer success survey

We have always felt that product success & customer experience are an integral part of Customer Success and are happy to see this validated. Customer experience goes beyond just measuring NPS and will evolve into managing and influencing customer touchpoints across channels.

65% of respondents consider the CUSTOMER SUCCESS FUNCTION in their organization to be SOMEWHAT INTEGRATED + SILOED

Customer survey insights

This is not surprising considering the multifunctional aspects of Customer Success operations. We do hope to see this improve in the years to come. Leadership backing, organizational structure and use of integrated Customer Success platforms will be likely contributors.

90% respondents recommend a high or very high degree of overlap between PRODUCT MANAGEMENT and CUSTOMER SUCCESS teams

best-customer-success-survey-insights

This is a key aspect of being able to create true customer value. From initial product onboarding to new feature release and overall customer experience – the needed overlap is quite evident.

61% of Customer Success teams DO NOT use a dedicated Customer Success platform in their day to day operations

Customer success survey team 2020

76% still use CRMs as a key tool! We are not surprised. We do expect to see a change in this as functions slowly evolve into more “execution”and “operations” oriented tools and move away from only system of contacts and records. This is also a reflection of a potential gap which Customer Success platforms like SmartKarrot need to be aware of and address.

48% feel there are too many tools used internally as a top challenge & 54% feel current tools are ineffective

Top customer success survey

These are stunning numbers. We anticipate the need for significant innovation in Customer Success tools in the near future. Outcome orientation and relevant to outcome features are likely changes we can expect.

89% of respondents think that Customer Success tools should enable real time actions in response to user behavior

Top customer success survey insights

The need of the hour is to have system driven cues to drive churn reduction and nurture upsell opportunities. Complex but is relevant in regard to Customer Success platforms being aligned to core outcomes.

79% feel the relevance of AI/ML usage in handling at-risk & upsell identification

top customer success survey questions

The need of the hour is to have system driven cues to drive churn reduction and nurture upsell opportunities. Complex but is relevant in regard to Customer Success platforms being aligned to core outcomes.

89% of respondents think that Customer Success tools should enable real time actions in response to user behavior

Top customer success survey insights

This reiterates our belief that most tools today are an extension of CRM systems – great at being a system of record (when used effectively) and a system of contacts. Customer Success as a function needs to influence outcomes and tools/platforms will need to evolve accordingly.

50% are NOT able to personalize onboarding by stakeholders’ roles in current tools

Best customer survey

70% wanted automated alerts on score changes and 58% wanted predictive models. This is consistent with what we think. Health Scoring needs to be a leading indicator and a true metric of health one can action on proactively.

85% organizations need templatized playbooks for their Customer Success teams

This need for a prescriptive guide to operations reflects the varied resource pool in Customer Success as well as the multi faceted role requirements. Industry and platforms needs to eventually gauge the effectiveness of these playbooks and allow optimization & customization of the same.

33% organizations’ Customer Success platform does not track Product Usage and Adoption

Customer Success survey 2020 questions

We believe tracking is only one part of the need. The ability to influence the adoption and usage metrics is probably what the real need is.

28% respondents have $100M+ Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR)

Customer success survey questions 2020

At around ~30% > 100M and ~30% in the 1M-20M range, this survey seems to have covered the two ends of the spectrum.

44% Customer Success Managers manage between 10 to 50 accounts

Customer success survey insights 2020

This appears consistent with what we have been seeing in practice and reading in other reports. ~45% of CSMs have 10-50 accounts to manage. Need to consider that this number is likely to increase as systems become more automated and prescriptive.

74% organizations use Customer churn as Customer Success performance measure

Best-customer-success-survey-2020

Customer Churn & Revenue at #1 & #2 top metrics being used currently is not a surprise. With the new normal post COVID-19, we expect Revenue Expansion to slowly become the go-to metric for CXOs.

48% organizations faced Customer Churn between 2 - 10% in past two years

Top customer success survey

This is consistent with industry data. We feel post COVID organizations are likely to strive for negative churn and put more weightage around customer retention.

72% companies plan to increase Headcount in Customer Success Team in 2020

Top customer success survey insights 2020

This is pre-COVID and hence, will need to be relooked. This does give us a sense that Customer Success is being increasingly looked at as a key component of scale.

About SmartKarrot

SmartKarrot customer success survey

SmartKarrot helps drive business outcomes around life-time value, retention, expansion, adoption, engagement and customer experience. One integration engine connecting behavioural analysis, strong personalized engagement and automated actions.

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