Why customer success will be vital in 2021

In our 2021 Trend Tracker, customer success – a new entry – came second place overall, just after growth marketing. Barbara Stewart, CX Hive expert, and Katherine Bentley, B2B Marketing’s customer success manager, spoke to Kavita Singh about the reasons why customer success was such a hit.

There is a natural curiosity surrounding customer success

In the most basic sense of the word, customer success is a business method that ensures customers are achieving their goals while using your product or services.

Katherine explains: “It’s definitely understanding the customer, which I know seems very basic and very obvious, but it’s really understanding their values and goals and actually aligning the value proposition with those goals.

“A key part of customer success is highlighting the first 30 days. If you haven’t gotten their interest within 30 days, it’s not impossible to get it back, but it’s more difficult and there are bigger hurdles post-30 days.”

In addition to Katherine’s expertise, Barbara has been training numerous marketers around what customer success is in B2B and she says it makes complete sense why customer success has overtaken customer experience. She says on top of marketer’s natural curiosity around the role, it’s still a relatively new position for people to get their heads around.

Often, people are curious about where customer success sits. Is it an extension of ABM? Customer service? Marketing? Organisations are trying to wrap their heads around how to bring customer success to the real world.

Barbara says: “Customer success is absolutely a part of CX. It’s a true, genuine proof point that CX is finally being taken seriously as customer success has come about. It’s a good way to see if a business is taking their retention strategy seriously.”

If a business looks at their pirate metrics using the AARRR model (AARRR- Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue), sales and marketing both primarily focus on acquisition, activation and revenue in hopes that the other Rs will be an output, rather than a strategic target. When this happens, the retention and referral are often overlooked. Customer success, however, can be the solution to both retention and referral.

Barbara explains: “It’s a gamechanger and we’re finally being more customer oriented.Your customer is going to be there and listen not when things go wrong, but to listen to people about how they want to use your products and services.”