As we race into 2022, companies of all shapes and sizes understand customer success (CS) as a critical function, and that’s not going to change. When it comes to keeping customers happy throughout their lifetime with a company, people have seen technology deliver. While customer automation will always be held to a high level, companies will continue to lean into technical solutions that are easy, efficient, and financially feasible.
by Jamie Bertasi
In order for companies to continue adopting customer success at the current pace, however, CS cannot feel like rocket science anymore. In the early days of the CS industry, the language was confusing, and the field felt inaccessible and overwhelming to most. Companies are now looking to streamline the process and make it easy enough that even mere mortals can use it to scale their organizations and become customer success “experts.” Armed with technology that is both agile and accessible, companies will find themselves better positioned to shift, adapt to change, and scale for growth.
In the past, company workflows were siloed, with individual teams focused on specific tasks such as sales, marketing, and account management. With automated customer success technology, we will continue to see these lines blurred. Instead of teams simply reporting to each other, customer success unites company teams in a core platform where they can collaborate throughout the entire customer journey for the customer’s greatest success.
With customer success offering a holistic focus on the customer journey and unifying company teams, the importance of the CCO role has only continued to grow. This C-suite executive is a strategic player who is responsible for both the customer relationship and the revenue. Some postulate that in balancing their company’s big picture and day-to-day business, this tech-savvy leader is emerging as the most influential member of the team, while the CCO role is fast becoming a stepping stone to the CEO position.
Since the customer is the heartbeat of the business, companies are increasingly realizing they need an executive dedicated to tracking issues like adoption, retention, and satisfaction and funneling up the customer’s viewpoint. In addition, with change a constant in the workforce, companies are finding the CCO is uniquely positioned to help them adapt quickly as it pertains to customers. In fact, in the wake of the epic customer shifts caused by the pandemic, mega corporations like McDonalds and CVS Health finally caught up with small businesses and startups by recognizing the need for this role and tapping their first CCOs in 2021.
As this role continues to develop in 2022, however, that doesn’t mean CS can be a one-person effort. Companies will find that the most successful CCOs will have an organizational team reporting to them.
The most successful customer success technologies will put control in users’ hands and help them be productive and efficient – without sacrificing quality. One of the great shifts created by the pandemic is that time has become our most important currency. No one wants to work 12-hour-days or slog through long, drawn-out projects, but in this fast-moving age, we still need to drive results and deliver. That’s why the customer success technologies that will succeed in the long run will be easy to use and quick to deliver.
With powerful automated technology, companies will no longer waste precious time sending requests to their CRM team and waiting ages for results that are likely outdated by the time they arrive. Instead, a customer success team can be in control of their company’s destiny by making changes and iterating their program in real-time to get the results they want.
As customer success becomes mainstream, industry leaders will always look to drive better results, faster and easier. That means even those early adopters may find themselves moving to automated technologies that can keep their companies ahead of an ever-changing game.
Jamie Bertasi is the Chief Customer Officer and Chief Operations Officer at Totango, and leads the go-to-market and customer success teams. A proven and trusted leader, Jamie has a demonstrated track record for building high-value experiences for customers and delivering strong business results.