In 2022, Customer Intelligence emerged as a new business solution category, one that helps companies become more customer-centric and double down on revenue from their existing customer base. The momentum of the Customer Intelligence movement has been exciting to say the least!
How can 2023 compare, you ask? I believe we have only seen the beginning of the impact customer data and insights can have on business transformation and customer value!
Here are my top predictions for how customers will continue to be the greatest lever for revenue growth and ultimate success…especially in a questionable economy!
Prediction #1: Customer health scoring will be defined by data-driven, personalized customer outcome measures
Health scoring has been a huge component of Customer Success leadership over the years. It has helped us track customers’ wellbeing, identify customers who need additional support, and lend assistance to CSMs guiding customers through challenges. But with today’s technology, relying on a biased number that tells us how we “think” a customer is doing is outdated. Customer Intelligence technology, especially AI, lets us predict what a customer will need and act on it before a customer asks for it…the true definition of a proactive relationship. Relying on a health score without an understanding of what is driving that score allows for inefficient and often inaccurate actions by customer success and account management teams. With AI, customer teams can take more strategic and personalized value-add actions than ever before toward specific customer outcomes.
As you can read in our Product Updates, Involve.ai is already hard at work on delivering this new way of highlighting outcomes.
Prediction #2: Customer teams will be more data-driven than ever before
Why? Because we CAN be! It’s not that CS leaders did not care about or seek out data before. We simply could not devote our limited resources to finding, aggregating and analyzing customer data in a way that was meaningful for our teams. You can read my post on that topic here.
With the help of new AI solutions - whether early warning systems like involve.ai, or built into CS platforms - Customer teams can make truly data-driven decisions.
Prediction #3: Advocacy will gain traction as a key customer outcome for organizations
Happy customers lead to revenue retention and upsell, but they can also lead to new prospects! Revenue, Marketing, and CS teams will continue to pay attention to this opportunity in 2023, through advocacy scoring and making use of health scores and predicted outcomes to identify and nurture potential advocates. We are so excited to be a part of this trend that we recently released a blog on the topic!
Prediction #4: GTM teams will become unified across a single customer experience
Along the same lines as the above, customer health is no longer the sole jurisdiction or sole interest of Customer Success teams. Other functions, including Sales, Marketing, Product, RevOps, etc. are becoming more engaged in supporting the customer experience. Along with this, we will see more persona-based and personalized messaging focused on customer outcomes instead of on the company (from “Here’s what we do” to “Here are the outcomes we help you achieve” in your role). In addition, we will begin to see more aligned priorities across all business functions, especially GTM teams, that align to delivering a seamless customer experience (from prospecting through to renewal).
Prediction #5 - Personalization at scale will become easier with Customer Intelligence
AI data analysis provides CSMs and Account Managers with explicit and personal guidance for what needs to be done for each individual customer. This lets teams focus on taking those personalized actions rather than identifying and planning them.
Prediction #6: Customer onboarding will become a key lever to expansion revenue (not just in land and expand deals)
Onboarding is often overlooked as a key foundational element to the ongoing success of the customer. All too often, onboarding is generic and structured based on the company’s best interests instead of through the customer lens. We have uncovered significant insights with our customers through Customer Intelligence analyses. These point to onboarding as a make or break variable to achieving customer, and revenue, retention goals. We have found when companies focus on customer onboarding as a key foundation to ongoing success, they have greater retention, upsell and advocacy outcomes than companies who don’t.
Prediction #7 - Success Plans will be created and executed in partnership with customers
Onboarding plans shared with customers is a great way to align and share accountability, but what happens when onboarding is over? Who crafts a plan for ongoing success? Success Plans need to be living, dynamic plans that help the customer and the company determine progress in partnership as well as track overall ROI. Customers’ goals and needs change. What better way to track and adjust than with a shared Success Plan?
What trends and themes do your teams see growing or emerging in the year ahead and how are you capitalizing on them?