Customer Success | 5 MIN READ

Diversity and Inclusion in Customer Success: Why It Matters

Learn why diversity and inclusion are important factors that drive Customer Success and how it can benefit your organization.

Simran Mohanty
Feb 22, 2021

Diversity and Inclusion

Customer Success (CS) teams tend to mirror the diversity found within the SaaS and other organizations that they work with. You will likely find people from different backgrounds, races, and cultures. As is often the case with diverse groups, each will signify a wide-spectrum of values that will innately help with building better relationships with customers. Diversity and inclusion have become essential for both communities and economies to grow and thrive, which translates perfectly into the Customer Success realm.

The Customer Success industry has traditionally included both men and women with women leading the pack more often than men, which is unusual for many business departments. This somewhat even ratio between genders was perhaps a catalyst for Customer Success to embrace diversity and inclusion.

However, not all aspects of gender remain equal in Customer Success. According to the Customer Success 2019 Survey, while 67% of entrants into CS are women and 33% are men, only 29% of the women move along their career paths to higher positions, as opposed to 71% of men.  This research is credited to Sue Nabeth Moore, who has also been acknowledged as a Top 50 Customer Success Influencer of 2021 as well as the one of the Women Leaders in Customer Success 2021 and is considered widely as one of the industry’s foremost thought leaders.

In this post, we will delve into some of the vital reasons to embrace diversity and inclusion in Customer Success and your workforce in general.

CS Roles - Diversity and Inclusion
Source: Customer Success 2019 Survey – Europe and ROW; Sue Nabeth Moore and Martine Niermans

6 Reasons why Diversity and Inclusion matter in Customer Success

It is no surprise that both diversity and inclusion have been integrated into successful organizations for decades. However, lately, the impetus for more inclusion has increased significantly. As organizations continue to find new ways to strive for excellence and success, here are the top 6 reasons why diversity and inclusion are vital to reaching this goal.

1. Understand your clients better

49% of employers admit equal opportunity is one of the keys to representing their clients better. Truly embracing diversity and inclusion will ensure that every employee in your organization feels heard and respected. This can give you a competitive edge and eventually result in more leads and sales as your diverse staff will be more in-tune with the population. Customer Success teams in particular can benefit from understanding clients better to help them achieve their goals.

2. Enhance employee performance

A research report published by Harvard Business Review found that cognitively diverse teams tend to solve problems faster. Another report suggested that, when employees feel supported, heard, and included, their ability to innovate skyrockets by 83%. Feelings of inclusion were perceived as being treated with fairness and respect, while feeling valued and a sense of belonging.

3. Promote your brand name to prospective employees

According to a 2017 survey by PwC, 55% of working women and 45% of working men claimed that they checked whether or not a company had diversity and inclusion policies in place before accepting the position at a company. Additionally, about 60% of women and 40% of men revealed that they evaluated the diversity of an organization’s executive board.

4. Leads to more creativity and inspiration

Clearly, having a work culture comprising of people from varied backgrounds will lead to better productivity in the workplace. Having a team with diverse experiences, skills, and ideas will engender more creativity and keep the creative juices flowing. A study by McKinsey found that public organizations that have a diverse board see a whopping 95% greater return on the equity rather than those with a homogenous board.

5. Fosters a culture of innovation and engagement

Source: Deloitte

Diversity and inclusion in your organization encourages employees to be innovative and engaged. Engaged employees are happy employees. Innovative employees result in a productive workforce. Actively engaged employees will eventually prove to be brand advocates and actively encourage others to seek employment with the organization. According to a report by Deloitte, 74% of the millennials believe that their company fosters innovation when an inclusive culture exists and only 10% when it is not inclusive. For Customer Success teams, this can be invaluable to work with clients when coming up with innovative solutions.

6. Helps with employee retention

When employees feel that their individuality is valued, they tend to stay with the organization and enthusiastically contribute to the mission and vision of the company. Embracing diversity and inclusion are key to valuing employees’ individuality. A report by the Center for American Progress states that the mean cost for turnover of skilled jobs in an organization is 213% of the total cost of a year’s compensation allotted for that particular role. Retaining employees over a longer period of time will result in immense cost savings.

Wrapping Up

Encouraging diversity and inclusion in your organization should be a top priority for the reasons mentioned above and many more. As an organization focused on Customer Success, you’ll find yourself a step ahead of the competition. Though you won’t see the results overnight, they will come. Once you have a track record for a diverse talent pool, prospects and potential employees will notice. Plus, your overall productivity and innovation will also improve. Diverse workplaces and Customer Success teams are always better and will result in a win-win situation every time.

You might also like:

  • Women Leaders in Customer Success 2021 –  Here is the list of customer success influencers, leaders, and strategists that have broken the glass ceilings with their sheer passion.
  • To see how SmartKarrot helps B2B companies streamline and scale customer success, Request a Demo.

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Originally Published February 22nd, 2021, Updated February 23rd, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens.

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