Customer Success Leadership Study

About the Customer Success Leadership Study

Started in 2020, the Customer Success Leadership Study is the definitive report of the CS industry. The 2023 Customer Success Leadership Study was brought to you by ChurnZero, ESG, SaaStr, and HubSpot. The study captures the insights of more than 1,200 CS leaders around the world, with details about CS budgets, team sizes, tech stack, AI usage, decision-making, renewal and expansion ownership, compensation, measurement, and collaboration. ChurnZero and ESG conducted the survey between May 23, 2023 and July 15, 2023. The survey was emailed to our respective databases of CS professionals. It was promoted across social media and industry newsletters. All responses are voluntary, and all data is self-reported by participants.

2023 executive summary

Customer success matters at the highest levels.

CS team sizes and budget growth stagnated in 2023.

55% of CS teams reduced or maintained headcount, and 63% of CS leaders decreased or maintained their non-headcount budget.

Economic uncertainty slowed progress.

65% of CS leaders are delaying purchase and business decisions for three to six months.

Ownership of the renewal process is shifting slightly.

The percentage of CS teams that own the renewal process is trending downward, with dedicated renewal teams picking up the difference.

There is an uptick in the adoption of CS technology.

For the first time in four years, more than half of CS teams are using customer success software.

CS teams have embraced AI.

78% of companies say they have adopted or will adopt artificial intelligence (AI) in the next 12 months.

Face-to-face meetings with customers are still happening.

77% of all companies meet with some segment of their customer base face-to-face during the year.

Key CS metrics and charters have shifted.

CS teams are putting more focus on churn rate, renewals, and expansion revenue.

Participant snapshot

Largest represented samples

Title Director or Sr. Director
Tenure in the CS profession 1-5 years
Reporting structure 51% report to the CEO
Company revenue $5 million – $49 million
Company size 51-200 employees
Company age 6-10 years
Average annual contract value (ACV) $25,000-$99,999 (41% of respondents)
Net revenue retention (NRR) 101%-110%

2023 respondents

Number of respondents

Highest title in CS department

Company revenue (2023)

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Download the reports

2020 Report

2021 Report

2021 Customer Success Leadership Study download

2022 Report

2022 Leadership Study

2023 Report

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