7/26 – The Future of Customer Success

Customer success leaders from ESO coordinated a great event with ClientSuccess, a SaaS-based company known for its customer success software, and an annual conference in Sundance, Utah. Dave Blake, CEO of ClientSuccess, co-hosted the event with a panel of customer success leaders based in Austin. ESO, an Austin-based software company, caters to emergency medical services. Emergency medical services have grown exponentially thanks to the pandemic and climate change incidents such as wildfires. Sadly, ESO fills a need in a market that may never shrink.

Some quick takeaways:

1. The future is now. Onboarding leads the way. Customer success as a software category has not been fully integrated into the CRM feature-set. Based on my anecdotal networking at this event, ClientSuccess and other CS tools continue to grow while focused on onboarding customers post-sales. Dave Blake pointed to fast and efficient onboarding being critical to product adoption. I agree. It takes a committed team to make anything happen. It helps if the software enables self-onboarding such as ClientSuccess.

2. Growth in non-SaaS industries is as fast as SaaS. Many large enterprise software companies like Salesforce, Oracle, and SAP have come up with vertical CRM solutions. Smaller companies like ClientSuccess and Gainsight fill gaps in niche market sectors with point solutions. There are many markets and industries where people have barely heard of customer success and experience. It was impressive to see many people talk about moving into customer success in the last few years.

3. Everyone becomes a data steward. Customer success is fueled by data and those who show its value to leadership. The panelists talked about they live with data. Data makes or breaks careers.

4. Diversity matters. The all-female panel was impressive. Many of whom grew their careers at a time and in places where such diversity didn’t exist in the tech industry. Here’s my take on diversity. Texas is a great state for business. The business-savvy government of Texas should embrace diversity more if it wants to attract talent. Of course, Austin is a shining example.