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The CXO Guide: Customer success 2019



The early days of customer success as a formal discipline can be traced back to the mid-2000s. After having invested significantly in customer acquisition programs, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors were faced with a major problem: customers found their products to be complex and difficult to understand, which led to lower levels of adoption and usage, and a higher level of churn. To address this problem, companies began to invest in teams that focused on helping customers to adopt their products so that they could derive more value from them.

Success in the early days led businesses to invest in customer success teams to preemptively tackle the growing churn problem. Vantive and Siebel were among the first companies to adopt customer success formally. Since then, customer success has emerged as an important discipline in the software industry. As noted in a study by Regalix (‘The State of Customer Success 2018’), 72 percent of organizations in the technology space have a customer success strategy in place. According to a McKinsey study, SaaS vendors who invested more in customer success initiatives aimed at churn reduction achieved top-quartile revenues.

While customer success has its roots in the SaaS world, it is widely adopted across industries today.

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