Customer Success Software in 2023: The State of Customer Centricity

4 min read

In the dynamic landscape of 2023, customer centricity is no longer a mere buzzword but a vital element that organizations must embrace to thrive, alongside the growing importance of Net Revenue Retention, RevOps, automations, and expansion sales. The concept of customer centricity revolves around comprehending customers' situations, perceptions, and expectations, as defined by Gartner. By placing the customer at the core of all decision-making processes, businesses can deliver products, services, and experiences that foster satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.

Unveiling the Current State of Customer Centricity

Despite its significance, customer centricity still presents a considerable growth opportunity for most B2B and SaaS businesses. In Planhat’s recent Customer Success Community Survey, a striking 77% of CS leaders acknowledged their organizations as “good but with room for improvement” in terms of being customer-centric. Merely 3% of respondents claimed to have achieved a “very customer-centric” approach. Indeed, the value of being customer-centric during a challenging economic climate is both a key trend for 2023 – and a challenge.

Strategies to Achieve Customer Centricity

Talking to our respondents, it is clear that customer-centric companies are able to focus on the customers they have and grow them. They also believe they have the advantage of paying greater attention to where a market is heading and what the customers of tomorrow will require.

The strategies on how to achieve customer centricity are clear too. According to the community survey, 76% of respondents emphasized the importance of utilizing consistent customer data across all teams to enhance customer centricity. This key method allows businesses to gain valuable insights and create a holistic view of their customers.

Additionally, other strategies include adapting the product roadmap to align with customer needs (46%), developing playbooks to enhance the customer experience (33%), improving customer feedback channels (38%), and refining communication between customers and employees (36%). Embracing these strategies collectively empowers CS teams to comprehend customer sentiments both empathetically and analytically.

Three key methods to remain customer-centric in 2023

To remain customer-centric in 2023 and beyond, organizations must adopt three fundamental methods:

  1. Empowering Every Function: Each department should recognize its role in delivering exceptional customer experiences. Trusting and holding teams accountable for customer growth and value creation ensures a collective effort toward customer-centricity.

  2. Top-Down Alignment: Customer-centricity starts at the top and permeates throughout the entire organization. Leadership should actively prioritize and champion customer success, reinforcing the idea that everyone bears responsibility for customer satisfaction.

  3. Democratizing Customer Data: Sharing customer data across all levels, from the C-suite to marketing, instills a deep understanding of customers within the entire organization. Democratizing this data empowers employees to make informed decisions and facilitates a customer-centric culture.

The biggest obstacle for businesses to become more customer-centric

In Planhats Customer Success Community Survey 2023, we talked to some of the top thinkers in our industry about how they plan on tackling this year’s customer success challenges. We asked them what the biggest obstacles were for companies wanting to become more customer-centric, and here’s what they had to say.

You have to put in the time, and you have to grow your customers. Combine proactivity alignment across teams, and make the most of the CS talent that you do have. Move up market with your customers; really focus on developing customers that are interested in being successful and want to work in a partnership with you.

Jeff Heckler, Director CS Solutions at Market Source

Having consistent customer data and that same data being quality is key! Many organizations do not start with the end goal in mind when setting out on their customer data journey.

Angela Hooper, Vice President Customer Success, Prophecy

Getting all board members and the C-suite on the same page is essential. They all need to trust that if customers are successful - meaning: the desired outcome, plus positive experience - then the customer will expand, advocate, and renew. However, this isn’t possible if there are too many customers who don’t match the ideal customer profile (ICP).

Børge Solberg, Director of Customer Success, 24SevenOffice

Silos within a company is a problem. Customer success needs to be the focus of an entire organization, not just the team with it in their title. But in order to do so, communications have to flow freely across all functional units and levels of a company.

Gina Galland, Global Head of Customer Success, Ready Education

Now is the time to get ahead, know which strategies to double down on, which technologies to invest in, and which roles to prioritize. Help your business to stay profitable and make the right decisions by downloading your copy of The Planhat Customer Success Community Survey 2023 today.

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