Three customer success trends in a post-pandemic world

COVID-19 changed everything. Loyalty is on the auction block. Customers are uncertain: delaying purchases and shopping around. Brands that win in this new era will…

Janet de Guzman profile picture
Janet de Guzman

April 4, 20244 minute read

COVID-19 changed everything. Loyalty is on the auction block. Customers are uncertain: delaying purchases and shopping around. Brands that win in this new era will use customer success to drive transformative change with an eye to the future. 

What is customer success?

Customer success grew out of the boom in SaaS companies. As B2B SaaS companies gained popularity in the early 2000s, vendors faced a challenge: neglecting customer training and retention led to frustrated users grappling with complex software, resulting in higher churn rates and reduced profitability. This underscores the importance of reducing churn to maximize customer life value in subscription-based models.

Customer success is a discipline focused on ensuring customers reach their desired outcomes when using an organization’s product or services. A relationship-focused customer success strategy includes involvement in the purchase decision, implementation and use of products or services and customer support – proactively engaging with customers to understand their needs, address any challenges and foster long-term satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer success trends shaping the future

Customer success aims to be a key driver of growth by aligning your company with the customer – taking a thoughtful, proactive, and strategic approach to growing the portfolio over time. Here are three trends impacting the landscape.

1. Customer expectations are skyrocketing

Customers are expecting brands to automate and personalize the service they receive. In fact, 93% of customer service teams say expectations are higher than ever before. Coming out of the pandemic, customers have new priorities. Accenture found that 50% of survey respondents say the pandemic and everything that has happened since has made them question their life choices – and 48% say they plan less than a year into the future, or even not at all.

As budgets come under pressure, customer success teams will need to dig deep to optimize their resources and find innovative ways to deliver value without incurring excessive costs. Brands need to move beyond age, gender, career level and socio-economic segments into crafting seamless and unique experiences for customers.

2. More organizations are focusing on the latter half of the journey

There’s a growing appreciation in business of the importance of the post-sale customer journey. Although customer success started in SaaS, it has since branched out into other industries such as banking, insurance, and telecommunications – and it’s even being adopted in some surprising places like healthcare. Depending on the industry, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 35 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.1

Teams are zeroing in on how customer data can be analyzed to identify emerging trends, potential issues and opportunities for improvements. Contact center analytics can help uncover insights that help brands provide better customer journeys. Improved orchestration can help inform next journey steps along with predictive insights: who’s more likely to expand and who might be at risk of leaving. These insights can help customer success teams fine-tune their strategies over time and provide a deeply personalized experience.

3. Customer success is increasingly becoming a key driver of growth

Customer success is crucial against a backdrop of inflation, budget constraints, and challenging economic conditions. Many organizations are leaning into customer success to transition it from a cost center to a profit center. Research by Forrester found that 72% of companies said improving customer success was their number one priority. Two-thirds (66.3%) of customer success professionals say they are not currently using AI in their role. Those that do seem to be using it to write and condense emails and perform preliminary research. Others use it to ensure brevity and clarity in customer communications. Looking ahead, AI has exciting potential. Maintaining transparency and honesty in the way it’s used will become increasingly critical to winning and retaining customer trust.

Customer acquisition is only the first step in an extended journey for both the customer and the business. Delivering consistent and value-rich post-sale experiences is key to driving growth in this environment. Learn more about how OpenText Experience Cloud can help you cultivate meaningful customer relationships by delivering value-rich post-sale experiences.

  1.  Forbes, 2022.
  2. Accenture Life Trends, 2024.
  3. The State of Customer Success Report, 2023.

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Janet de Guzman

As Senior Director of Product Marketing for OpenText Experience Cloud, Janet de Guzman works at the intersection of product management, engineering, sales, and marketing. She leads a global team responsible for the development and implementation of marketing, messaging, positioning and go-to-market strategies for our digital experience solutions. Janet has more than 20 years of diverse experience in information management, business development, management consulting and industry marketing.

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