14 Customer Success Statistics That CS Teams Need to Know

So, you’re in a deep dive of trying to figure out more about Customer Success and the impact it could have on your business.

You’re looking for convincing data points, but everything you’re seeing is either an old survey from 10 years ago or a never-ending list of stats with no relevance.

Don’t worry. We took the time to research 14 recent Customer Success statistics that put into context how CS contributes to revenue growth, retention, customer satisfaction, and team productivity. Let’s get started.

Customer Success and Revenue Growth

1. A Well-Designed Customer Success Program Can Yield a 91% ROI Over a Three-Year Period

Source: Forrester’s 2020 Report: Build The Case For A Customer Success Management Program Now

After interviewing Customer Success leaders, vendors, and consultants, Forrester found that a comprehensive CS program can help businesses to nearly double their ROI in three years. To build this program, a business requires:

  1. Time dedicated to training teams and planning the full CS process.
  2. Hiring the right Customer Success leaders to guide your team.
  3. Customer Success Software to provide insights and improve productivity.
  4. Customer-focused marketing campaigns.

Businesses with this Customer Success approach were able to improve customer retention, increase cross-sell and upsell opportunities, grow new customer conversion rates, and reduce support ticket volume.

Customer Success and Customer Retention

2. Customer-Obsessed Companies Retained 2.2 Times More Customers Per Year

Source: Forrester’s 2021 Report: Customer-Led Growth Is Getting More Attention Among B2B Firms, Should You Care?

Companies that prioritized Customer Success were able to retain more than double the amount of customers than companies that didn’t, according to a Forrester research report.

The report mentioned that it’s not necessarily a challenge to convince teams to adopt customer-obsession, it’s operationalizing it at scale. “Who should do what, how long will it take, how much might it cost?” reads an excerpt from the report.

You’ll need to craft the right Customer Success strategy to improve your retention rates. This requires a deep knowledge of your company’s strengths, positioning in the market, and what your customers truly value. Having the right CS leaders at the helm can streamline this process.

3. A 5% Increase In Retention Rates Can Lead to a 25% Increase In Profitability

Source: Forrester’s 2021 Report: Customer-Led Growth Is Getting More Attention Among B2B Firms, Should You Care?

Higher retention rates don’t just lead to more satisfied, successful customers who will happily leave you positive reviews, it can also reflect in your profitability.

In the Forrester report, it says that selling to existing customers and earning their renewals is less costly than acquiring new customers. Although, growth-first mindsets in some companies can put pressure on teams to seek new customers over retaining existing ones. Having a Customer Success platform in your tech stack can help your CS teams dedicate time and focus for your existing customers at scale.

Customer Success and Productivity

4. 34% of Customer Success Teams Said a “Lack of Tools” Was a Challenge to Their Growth

Source: Totango’s 2022 Customer Success Industry & Salary Report

Some CS teams today may be using multiple, sometimes disconnected systems to track customer engagement, performance, and other key metrics. This lack of tools can make it difficult to get a complete and confident view of your customers.

A Customer Success platform can help by pulling key metrics from all data platforms into a single dashboard. This gives teams a single source of truth for customer data, making it easier to identify trends and patterns. A platform, like Vitally, also provides a variety of tools and reports that can help teams understand customer behavior and identify opportunities for improvement.

5. 66% of CSMs say they spend a significant portion of their workday on repetitive admin tasks

Source: Vitally's 'The Secret Lives of CSMs' Report (Fall 2023)

Administrative work takes up crucial bandwidth from a CSM’s day. 66% of the CSMs we surveyed said they spend a significant portion of their working day on repetitive administrative processes, and 63% of CSMs wish they had more time to dedicate to client engagement.

Many of the CSMs we surveyed felt buried by unrealistic quotas and lack of technological support within their organizations. Giving CSMs access to modern CSP software with time-saving automations would help increase individual productivity and relieve CSMs' feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed.

Get access to the full report here.

Customer Success Platforms: Adoption and Usage Stats

6. 82% of Companies With Over 500 Employees Use a CSP

Source: Vitally’s 2023 State of Knowledge Sharing in Customer Success Organizations Report

When it comes to adoption, CSPs aren’t quite as widespread (yet) in B2B tech stacks compared to traditional tools like project management or CRMs. However, when a company reaches 500 or more employees, we found CSP adoption to be greater compared to smaller companies.

This could be for a variety of reasons. Larger companies may have more customers they need to manage, as well as more complex products, pricing, and plans. A CSP is great at centralizing all this account information and streamlining communications.

Smaller companies may be more focused on customer acquisition, increasing their visibility in the market, and tweaking internal processes before bringing on a new software for managing customer accounts.

Get access to the full report here.

7. 37% of Companies Don’t Have a Clearly Defined Customer Success Strategy

Source: SurveySparrow’s Planning for Customer Success Strategies 2021: Takeaways from State of CS 2020 Report

As noted earlier, operationalizing Customer Success goes beyond just using tools. It requires leadership to formalize three main areas: the business’s strategic framework, CS delivery model, and CS organization.

  • Strategic framework: The strategic framework defines the business’s overall approach to Customer Success. It includes the goals, objectives, and key metrics that will be used to measure success.
  • CS delivery model: The CS delivery model describes the process that the business will use to deliver Customer Success. It includes the roles and responsibilities of the CS team, as well as the tools and resources that will be used.
  • CS organization: The CS organization is the team that will be responsible for driving Customer Success. It includes the size, structure, and roles of the team.

When these three main areas are addressed, combined with a powerful CSP, you now have a scalable Customer Success strategy.

8. Only 7% of Companies Actively Track Their Customer Health Scores

Source: SuperOffice: Why Are 70% of SaaS Companies Missing Out on These 3 Customer Success Metrics, 2023

Account health is one of the most important Customer Success metrics your business could track. However, a survey conducted by SuperOffice found that not only do just 7% of companies regularly monitor health scores, but 50% of companies don’t track it at all.

Customer Success tools can help you stay on top of retention by identifying at-risk customers, predict churn and renewal likelihood, analyze product usage data, and customer satisfaction. This can give your team a gut check on how effective your CS program is, and where to make adjustments.

9. 86% of Customer Success Teams Communicate Through Chat Workspace Tools

Source: Vitally’s 2023 State of Knowledge Sharing in Customer Success Organizations Report

customer success statistics vitally knowledge sharing report excerpt

Exchanging information quickly across your Customer Success organization is important for staying on top of customer insights and issues. In Vitally’s report, respondents said they use chat workspace tools “very frequently” for these team discussions.

While tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams are great at streamlining communication across several teams, and have many attractive features and integrations, they can also create new blind spots for CS teams. They’re less templatizeable, harder to search, and contain more noise than communicating in a knowledge-base or CSP.

Customer Success and Artificial Intelligence

10. 66% of CTOs and CIOs Said Using AI for Customer Success Is a Top Priority Over the Next Several Years

Source: Bain & Company: Customer Success: The Next Frontier of AI, 2022

Insights from a recent C-level survey by Bain & Company reveals that many businesses will be going all-in on exploring how AI can enhance their Customer Success efforts.

Exactly how can AI integrate more with CS in the near future?

  • It can assist in collecting and analyzing customer data, and then using this data to create personalized offers.
  • It can create feedback loops for collecting feedback from customers and using this data to improve the offers.
  • It can track how customers interact with your products and services, so that you can see how they are responding to the offers.
  • It can funnel the feedback from customers to the product development team, so that they can use this information to make constant improvements.

Businesses using AI can gain a more comprehensive understanding of customer engagement, and identify complex opportunities and risks before they become real problems. More importantly, AI can do this at a significant speed and scale.

Related: Fresh Out of the Lab — Vitally's A.I.-Powered First Call Success Generator

11. 65% of Consumers Expect AI to Save Them Time In Their Support Interactions

Source: Zendesk CX Trends 2022

Not only will AI enable Customer Success teams and the teams they work with to be more insightful and productive, it’ll streamline how consumers interact with your brand.

From being able to resolve complex support ticket inquiries to connecting consumers with specific product recommendations on your site, AI will become a CS staple. It’s one of the primary reasons why 57% of companies in the Zendesk report plan on increasing their AI budgets as it relates to the customer experience.

However, data from the Zendesk report says consumers don’t believe the hype quite yet. In fact, many consumers have grown tired of the traditional chatbot experience on websites, and expect more from AI in the near future.

Customer Success Trends

12. Customer Success and Marketing Team Collaboration Rose 17% From 2021 to 2022

Source: Totango’s 2022 Customer Success Industry & Salary Report

Customer Success reps and managers are collaborating more often with a variety of teams within their businesses, such as product, service, and sales. However, marketing remains as Customer Success’ most frequent partner — and this partnership has gotten stronger over the past few years.

It makes sense why marketing and CS would want to remain in close contact. Marketing grows brand visibility and gets prospects through the door, while CS nurtures those customers throughout the entire customer relationship. Customer Success can share the pain points and opportunities, marketing can work this feedback into their copy and campaigns. It’s a cyclical relationship that benefits both teams.

13. 47% of CSMs Experience Burnout at Their Job

Source: Vitally's 'The Secret Lives of CSMs' Report (Fall 2023)

Due to the pressures of a down market, unrealistic quotas, and the always-on nature of remote work, CSMs are feeling the strain of the job more than ever before. 47% of CSMs reported experiencing burnout at least sometimes, and of those respondents, 36% reported experiencing burnout "often" or "constantly."

The health impacts from overwork and anxiety are wide-ranging. Over the past six months, 46% of CSMs say their job has negatively impacted their sleep, and 39% say their job has negatively impacted their mental health.

Get access to the full report here.

14. 72% of CSMs Say There Are Parts of Their Job They Would Like to Automate

Source: Vitally's 'The Secret Lives of CSMs' Report (Fall 2023)

With time at such a premium for CSMs, eliminating low impact tasks can have a big impact on productivity. While many CS teams already use a Customer Success Platform (CSP) to put certain customer communications and task reminders on autopilot, 66% of the CSMs we surveyed said they still spend a significant portion of their working day on repetitive administrative processes, and 72% of CMSs say that there are parts of their job they'd like to automate.

When we asked our survey respondents “What part of your job would you automate if you could?”, the most popular responses were "Administrative tasks" (58%), "Task organization and prioritization" (20%), "Client communication" (13%), and "Internal communication" (8%).

Get access to the full report here.

Customer Success: It’s Only Up From Here 📈

According to our stats, it’s clear that more teams are taking Customer Success seriously and investing in platforms that make it easier to execute and scale CS.

We know that companies in the 500+ employee range are the largest adopters of Customer Success platforms, for now. As more businesses realize the revenue growth, retention, and customer satisfaction potential of CSPs, we’ll see more smaller organizations get on board.

While CSPs excel at uncovering insights about your customers and making your team more productive, it’ll be exciting to see how AI can take Customer Success to the next level. We laid out a few scenarios where AI can have an impact, but as we know with this recent revolution, the sky’s the limit.

If you read these stats and are now curious if a Customer Success platform is right for you, take our free Customer Success Maturity Assessment. You’ll get a good idea how organizations are using CS today, from creating automated workflows to using Customer Success as a lever for revenue growth.

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