21 Emerging Customer Success Trends to Watch for 2024

Customer success has become just as vital to business strategy as sales and marketing.

The approach has become increasingly popular as companies seek new ways to reduce churn in a tough market.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the latest practices, policies, and innovations that CS teams are using.

Continue reading to explore the most essential customer success trends and statistics for 2024.

The future of customer success

Traditional customer service is no longer enough to drive business success. In today’s global market, people can easily switch brands if they’re dissatisfied.

Companies have to become more proactive and build stronger relationships with their patrons to prevent churn.

More and more businesses are implementing customer success strategies to ensure their products or services get the desired results.

Let’s explore how this approach is evolving and the main trends we can expect to see in 2024.

1. A focus on revenue growth

Customer success carries more strategic value than ever before. 61% of departments say they’re responsible for revenue growth by driving renewals and expansion.

customer success revenue components
A Gainsight survey reveals that CS teams focussed on expansion (black) generate around half the company’s ARR.

Due to their close relationship with customers, CS teams are well-positioned to spot opportunities for upselling, extensions, and conversions. 

When CS teams are responsible for expansion, they generate around 50% of the company’s annual recurring revenue (ARR).

That’s significantly more than teams who are only responsible for renewals.

2. Alignment with the C-suite

As companies begin to recognize the importance of customer success, these teams are becoming more aligned with the C-suite.

Now almost a third report directly to the CEO rather than other departments.

who customer success teams report to
Research shows an increasing number of customer teams answer directly to the CEO.

There’s also been an increase in the number of customer success roles in the C-suite.

Almost half of businesses said they either have a Chief Customer Officer or a Senior Vice President of Customer Success. 

In fact, the electronics manufacturer, Samsung, just appointed its first ever Chief Customer Officer in the UK.

3. Customer engagement

When asked to break down their responsibilities, the overwhelming majority said customer engagement.

This covers a broad range of activities such as communication, addressing feedback, and providing support.

responsibilities of customer success teams
A massive 87% of survey respondents said customer engagement was one of their responsibilities.

Basically, engagement is any activity designed to build and maintain a positive relationship with existing clientele.

IKEA is a well-known example of a brand with excellent customer engagement.

The company not only gives shoppers extensive delivery and assistance options, but also helps them plan rooms in their homes using the products.

4. Cross-departmental collaboration

As you might expect, customer success teams are most likely to work closely alongside sales.

The two departments are interlinked as they’re both concerned with adoption and renewals.

relationship between sales and customer success teams
Research shows that customer success teams are most likely to collaborate with sales on various tasks.

Now around a fifth of customer success teams collaborate with the product department.

Survey respondents said they can pass on feedback or requests for new features.

They can also ensure product teams consider customer needs and preferences during design and development.

5. Increased Headcount

Around half of CS teams expect to hire more staff in the coming years. The increase in numbers would come as part of extra investment into customer success initiatives.

However, CS teams are still expected to do more with less. 70% of businesses say they have over 50 customers per team member.

Experts predict this ratio will increase as CS teams face more pressure to streamline and scale their operations.

Trends in customer success initiatives

Often there’s a question mark over what customer success actually does. In this section, we take a closer look at the key responsibilities, challenges, and initiatives of these departments in 2024.

6. Veto power

36% of customer success teams now have veto power over sales. We could see that number grow as many agree they should have this right.

CS teams with vet power
A ChurnZero study shows around a third of companies give their customer success teams veto power.

By filtering out bad-fit customers, businesses can focus more on those with potential for growth and success.

They can also avoid the inevitable churn and bad feedback from consumers who aren’t aligned with their product or service.

7. At-risk customers

The most common retention strategy is identifying at-risk customers before they churn.

Two-thirds of companies use this deterrent. It’s closely followed by regular check-ins and education at 64.1% and 60.9% respectively.

popular retention strategies
A recent Customer Success Collective survey found that finding at-risk customers was the most popular retention strategy.

Data analytics is key to finding patterns in customer churn. However, CS teams might also read support tickets and look at community activity to spot those at risk.

8. Customer focused-metrics

Survey results indicate several departments track customer-focused metrics. As the name suggests, these are any metrics related to customer performance and satisfaction.

measuring customer-focused metrics
A SuperOffice poll found many departments are responsible for tracking customer-focused metrics.

Experts say that the customer health score is one of the top metrics to watch.

The score suggests the strength of a company’s relationship with customers based on factors like login frequency or support requests.

While many businesses haven’t been measuring this metric, 22% of them say they intend to.

9. Training and development

Around half of customer success teams are looking forward to extra training and development in 2024.

They require a mix of both hard and soft skills to perform their jobs.

top skills of customer success teams
A survey shows that thinking is the top skill that customer success teams need to get ahead.

According to survey respondents, the most crucial skills are strategic thinking, problem-solving, and listening.

These are more likely to help teams succeed in their role and get promoted.

As well as in-house courses, you can now find many customer success courses on popular education platforms like Udemy and LinkedIn.

10. Community programs

Only 26% of companies have introduced a digital community platform. However, experts at Gainsight predict that number will increase in 2024.

Slack community
Many popular brands like Slack have introduced a community platform as part of their customer success strategy.

Leading companies have already capitalized on this trend. For example, the Slack Community has thousands of members from all over the world.

They join the group to ask each other questions about how to troubleshoot issues or maximize the use of the platform for their company.

11. Success plans

Success plans are the most popular programs going into 2024. These strategic documents define what success looks like for each customer and outline how to achieve these goals.

most popular customer success investments
Research by Daphne Lopes indicates that success plans are a top concern in 2024.

In second place was self-service resources. There are often quick fixes to problems so companies can provide support with a portal or knowledge base.

For instance, Etsy and Pinterest have extensive help sections with FAQs.

Innovations in customer success

Technology plays a crucial role in customer success. When used effectively, it can streamline the consumer experience and enable CS teams to excel in their roles and drive more results.

Here’s a look at how companies are implementing and updating software in 2024.

12. Customer success platforms

There has been a surge in companies implementing customer success platforms since 2021.

Now 71% of teams are either implementing or using the purpose-built software. With this technology, they can perform tasks like forecasting renewals or mapping the customer journey.

CS platform adoption
A SmartKarrot survey reveals that customer service platforms have been growing in popularity since 2021.

ChurnZero and Gainsight are among two of the most popular customer success platforms in 2024 so far.

13. Surveys

51% of specialists say surveys and campaigns are the most important feature of a customer success platform.

These tools allow teams to create and distribute questionnaires and analyze their results.

Using this information, they can segment their customers and create targeted ads and messages.

Spotify took this initiative to new lengths by surveying 20,000 users of different ages.

They used the results to not only inform their strategies but also advise businesses using their advertising services.

14. Artificial intelligence

More and more customer success teams are adopting AI after a slow start.

78% of companies either plan to implement or incorporate the technology into their existing software.

AI adoption by CS teams
ChurnZero found that the majority of customer success teams are investing in AI adoption.

83% of teams want to introduce an AI Customer Success Assistant specifically. Tools like Avoma and SIA can transcribe meetings and send reminders, thereby reducing the administrative workload.

15. Conversation intelligence

When it comes to conversation intelligence, CS teams are divided. Leaders say the ability to analyze sentiment is the best feature whereas manager says it’s assistance during calls.

This difference makes sense when you consider managers spend more time interacting with customers.

Real-time call assists can guide CS teams toward solutions so conversations run more smoothly.

They can be especially effective when training new hires.

16. Automation

69% of businesses say they’ve increased the amount of customer success processes they automate. Most agree that it’s important for their operations. 

What’s more, 83% say that automation makes customer success “more human” because it frees up more time to focus on interaction.

They can automate everything from onboarding to outreach and follow-ups.

17. Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is the most essential tool according to half of customer success teams.

The software allows them to accurately foresee future opportunities, risks, and outcomes so they can strategize better.

predictive analytics most useful tool by CS teams
Customer success teams say predictive analytics is the most useful tool for their role. Source

Popular customer success platforms like Zendesk and Totango have already introduced these features.

Their analytics tools read historical data to spot trends and predict customer behavior.

As a result, businesses get more advanced notice about potential renewals, upgrades, and cancellations.

18. Customer communication

Some trends never go out of fashion. Despite all the new modes of communication, most customers prefer traditional methods like email and phone calls.

A surprising 77% of companies still meet their customers face-to-face at least once a year.

preferred contact methods by success teams
Survey respondents say that email, phone calls, and one-on-one meetings are still customers’ preferred contact methods.

Top companies recognize the value of phone calls. Google and Apple still provide contact numbers where customers can reach them directly.

Customer success demographic trends

While many companies are investing in customer success, it’s not consistent across all sectors.

Here’s a look at which types of teams are using this approach:

19. Customer-first

Most companies with a CS team say they have a ‘customer first’ approach. However, there isn’t a significant difference between businesses that define themselves as sales-first.

most used approaches by CS teams
Just over a third of CS teams say their company takes a ‘customer-first’ approach.

Many famous brands including Google, Apple, and Amazon have described themselves as customer first.

They tend to have an established CS department with team members in the boardroom.

20. Business-to-business (B2B)

When we talk about “customers”, the term can be misleading. Surveys indicate that around nine out of ten CS teams actually serve businesses rather than individual consumers.

This figure is made when you consider that businesses are more likely to have complex, ongoing needs.

That’s why companies like Microsoft often tailor their packages and support. For example, you can access Business Assist to get advice if you’re a small company.

21. Software as a Service (SaaS)

95% of SaaS companies have a customer success department. That’s unsurprising when this business model relies on renewals and extensions rather than one-off purchases.

customer success organization presence
A Gainsight survey found that only 1% of companies aren’t hiring CS teams.

Some of the biggest and best-known brands are SaaS. Zoom, Netflix, and Adobe are subscription-based and have defined CS teams.

Expert Insight on Customer Success Trends

Harpul Sambhi

“Customer expectations are probably the most significant challenge that customer success teams are facing today. As consumers, our expectations are through the roof! We demand immediate, personal, and helpful responses and won’t settle for less.

Companies are also challenged with shrinking headcounts which means they have to juggle more tickets than ever. Customer success teams have to get more efficient at gathering all the information they need to provide tailored responses.

Thanks to AI and automation, customer success teams can meet these sky-high expectations. They have data at their fingertips to provide instant and personalized responses that everyone demands. They simply can’t keep pace without it.”

Harpul Sambhi, founder and CEO of Magical

Wrap up

Customer success has evolved from a support role to a core part of any business strategy. Now it’s a key driver in revenue growth and expansion. 

Leading companies have already recognized the potential of customer success teams and used them to gain a competitive edge.

As we move into 2025, and it becomes standard practice, others will have to adopt this approach just to stay in the game.

Rhiannon is an experienced B2B SaaS content writer who specializes in reviews and comparisons to help readers make the most fully-informed choices.