A Preview of the Future for Customer Success

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Future_of_Customer_SuccessThe technology industry is not only transforming itself, but in a great many ways is the catalyst for transformations taking place across many other industries. From manufacturing to retail, traditional media to social media, community medical clinics to hospital surgeries, construction to home management, there seems to be no sector of our economy exempt from technology-driven disruption and transformation. As TSIA’s new vice president of customer success research, I’d like to introduce myself by sharing some thoughts on where customer success fits into this dramatic shift, and what we can look forward to in the future. 

Keep Learning and Stay Current

In this increasingly data-driven world, it’s up to us to get involved and stay current on the direction our industry is headed, whatever that industry might be. Although it can sometimes seem counter-intuitive when there’s competition involved, the best way for us to keep evolving and prospering is through more transparency and sharing, more collaboration and data collection, more discussion and more openness.

This is why TSIA’s model of collecting detailed operational and financial data from hundreds of organizations and then aggregating, normalizing, and analyzing the data in order to produce valuable insights made perfect sense to me before I joined the team. My new role provides me with the opportunity to be involved in the vocal top end of the stack and it goes hand-in-hand with my long-held passion for publicly sharing insights after I first seek out clues and answers to complex situations from a wide array of data sources. Building on this passion, I'm excited to be joining TSIA as the newest member of their research team, focusing on the very hot topic of customer success.

Customer Success is Here To Stay

Although customer success has formally been around the industry as a distinct practice for at least 7 years, it’s only recently that it has garnered enough critical mass within enterprise companies and enough industry notoriety, especially within large Fortune 1000 firms. Because of this, we can now safely conclude that the inflection point is behind us, and from here on, we'll see the customer success lexicon continue to bleed into the non-IT realm.

You know something has become more than a flash in the pan when the Harvard Business Review includes more than a mere mention of it in an article. Check out what they say about customer success in their article about smart, connected products.

For over 30 years, I’ve supported, enabled, and proactively driven success with customers, both as an individual contributor and as a member of management teams at a variety of companies. I believe that this long, and often lonely, progression positions me well to lead TSIA’s research in this vital and still emerging field.

What You Can Expect for the Future of Customer Success Research

As for what you can expect from me in the weeks and months ahead, you will see clear statements and position papers around how best-in-class companies are achieving the kind of results they hope for from their customer success efforts. You can also expect to hear critical analysis that will shed some light on how things are evolving, as well as what you and your organization needs to think about in order to maintain and accelerate your momentum.

I will also be sharing how TSIA’s prescriptive LAER model correlates to the increasingly urgent need for greater cooperation between a company's organizations. A tight and seamless alignment across the various functions within your organization that keeps the customer at the center of the mission should be the root of your company’s thought process.


(Click to enlarge image.)
The TSIA LAER model (Land, Adopt, Expand, and Renew) and where customer success fits into each aspect of customer engagement.

Let’s work together to move past clichés about the importance of customers and be more proactive in improving our organizational structures and processes to truly make the customer feel that our words are self-evident. We will learn how stronger measurement and analysis can produce critical insights of how customer success can impact clients, and understand how it can and must distinguish itself from other post-sale organizations. Ultimately, we will discover the many ways customer success can fulfill its promise of preserving and growing the satisfaction and success your customers wish to derive from your products and services.

About the Author


Peter Armaly is vice president of research, Customer Success, for TSIA. He has over 30 years of experience in supporting, enabling, and driving success with customers, and leads TSIA’s research initiatives in the rapidly growing customer success sector of the technology services industry. Before joining TSIA, he has held several customer-facing organizational leadership roles for technology companies such as BMC Software, Eloqua, and CA Technologies. He may be reached at peter.armaly@tsia.com.

Peter frequently writes about these topics:
Customer Success | Customer Onboarding | TSIA’s LAER Model

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Topics: customer success, LAER


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