If one thing is abundantly clear, Customer Success has grown tremendously, both as a function and an industry, in recent years. According to the newly published “2021 Market Guide for Customer Success Management Platforms,” Gartner has seen a “steady growth” over the past five years in the number of inquiries they’ve received on the topic.
For years, Gartner has aided businesses with data and information referenced from experts and unbiased sources in various industries. Their studies are often prophetic and cutting edge to the motion of the field they are advising on. For this customer success guide, they interviewed and studied companies, products, and customers looking to clarify the market “definition, description, and direction” regarding customer success and management platforms.
Gartner’s research study is not only proclaiming that customer success is here to stay, but the industry development it foresees is exponential, including the technology that improves processes and practices. Companies looking for a path to revenue expansion know they need to hear what Gartner has to say. And that was the driving force behind this study.
Businesses are recognizing the need for a purpose-built platform to help them more effectively retain and grow their customer base.
“CSM [customer success management] is a fundamental shift in approach,” the Gartner report stated, “not simply a rebranding of existing post-sales services or account management. Consequently, gaps exist when employing existing sales or service technology solutions in an effort to properly address CSM needs.”
This is exactly what Gainsight believed when we created the Customer Success category over ten years ago.
But Customer Success isn’t settling down. The market will continue to grow and evolve. In the report, Gartner shares that the following trends will drive the industry forward:
- A shift in the primary focus of CS efforts, away from churn mitigation to protecting ARR by improving onboarding and adoption.
- An increasing requirement for Customer Success to be a company-wide practice, where the entire business collaborates on their customers’ success. As Gartner stated, “Although it is essential that resources be dedicated to customer success, it cannot be the sole responsibility of a singular function. Ultimately, customer success must become an enterprise-wide mindset and discipline.”
- The expansion of Customer Success, as a practice, into industries beyond technology. From transportation, manufacturing, and construction to oil and gas and even healthcare and security.
Gartner indicates that CS management platforms all provide four essential capabilities, including “holistic views of the customer,” the ability to guide customers through their journey, provide a view into customer health and make critical customer insights accessible to all stakeholders.
But, according to Gartner, this isn’t the full list of capabilities that you should consider when evaluating CSM platforms. This study also provides companies with a detailed list of providers of this evolving technology. It’s definitely worth the read.
According to Gartner, Customer success’s vertical and horizontal reach provides any business with the insights and visibility it needs to retain and grow its customer base.
Having purpose-built technology is essential to support your strategy and operationalize key processes, in this case, a customer success management platform.
In other words, businesses in a widening array of industries realized a CS platform is not only desired but a necessity for greater efficiency and improved internal collaboration. The use of a CS platform is the only way for companies to reach their goals in protecting ARR and increasing net dollar retention (NDR). And Gainsight couldn’t agree more.
Read the entire Gartner report to learn more about how the CS market has evolved and where it’s headed by downloading the “Gartner 2021 Market Guide for Customer Success Management Platforms”.
Gartner Market Guide for Customer Success Management Platforms. Michael Maziarka, Maria Marino, John Quaglietta. 27 April 2021
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*This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Gainsight.