Why You Should Be A/B Testing in Customer Success

By Rachel Provan

It honestly boggles my mind that A/B testing hasn’t made it’s way to Customer Success…

As a Customer Success Leader, if you’re not moving forward on strategy, you’re not doing your job. Yet between being pressed for time and getting buy-in, it can feel almost impossible to roll out initiatives to the entire customer base.

Plus — what if it’s a mistake? CS is often responsible for 80-90% of the company’s revenue. That’s a potentially big oops.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This is where A/B testing in customer success comes into play as a smarter, more efficient approach to rolling out new strategies.

In this blog post, we will explore the concept of A/B testing, why it is easier than implementing initiatives for your entire customer base, and how to perform A/B testing in customer success. By the end of this post, you will have the knowledge and tools to start leveraging A/B testing in your own business to improve customer success outcomes.

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of comparing two versions (A and B) of a strategy, initiative, or design to determine which one performs better. The goal is to identify the most effective version based on specific metrics, such as conversion rates, engagement, or customer outcomes.

Advantages of A/B testing


A/B testing in marketing is the most common use case to test things like conversion rate, open rate, click-through rate, etc. but it has also been used across various other industries, including product development and web design. However, its application in the realm of customer success is still relatively new and untapped.

There is so much we can learn from marketing to optimize our CS revenue goals, but even for basic strategy and optimization, A/B testing is gold.

It’s Easier than Rolling Out Initiatives for the Entire Customer Base

There are several reasons why A/B testing in customer success is a more manageable and efficient approach compared to implementing initiatives for your entire customer base:

Faster Implementation and Results

A/B testing allows you to test new ideas on a smaller scale, which means you can implement changes more quickly and see results sooner. This enables you to make data-driven decisions faster, ultimately leading to improved customer success outcomes.

Want to show the value of segmenting by customer outcomes? Try a small A/B test.

Lower Risk and Cost

By testing initiatives on a smaller scale, you can minimize the risk and cost associated with rolling out new strategies. If a particular initiative doesn’t yield the desired results, you can easily pivot and try a different approach without having invested significant time and resources into a full-scale rollout.

Flexibility and Adaptability

A/B testing enables you to be more agile in your customer success efforts. You can easily test various initiatives and strategies, allowing you to adapt and refine your approach based on real-world results. This flexibility is crucial in the ever-evolving landscape of customer success.

Personalization and Customization

A/B testing allows you to experiment with different approaches to better understand what resonates with your customers. This can lead to more personalized and customized experiences, ultimately driving higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

How to Perform A/B Testing in Customer Success

Don’t worry – while A/B testing can sound intimidating, it really just doing a small experiment. Trying something out on a small scale. That’s not so scary, right?

Okay, let’s delve into the process itself. Here’s a step-by-step guide to performing A/B testing in your customer success initiatives:


1. Identify the Objective

Before you start testing, it’s crucial to identify the specific objective you want to achieve. This could be improving customer engagement, increased product usage, or reducing churn rates. Having a clear goal in mind will help guide your testing efforts and ensure you’re focused on the right metrics.

2. Come Up With a Theory/Hypothesis

Do you have a hunch a 1:many onboarding video might work just as well as 1:1 training? Only one way to find out!

Once you’ve identified your objective, develop a hypothesis that outlines the changes you believe will lead to the desired outcome. This hypothesis should be based on data, customer feedback, or industry best practices.

3. Create Test Variations

Now that you have a hypothesis, create two or more variations of your customer success initiative. These variations should be different enough to provide meaningful insights but similar enough to ensure a fair comparison.

4. Determine Sample Size and Test Duration

To ensure your test results are statistically significant, you’ll need to determine the appropriate sample size and test duration. This will depend on factors such as your customer base size, the desired level of confidence, and the expected effect size. Here’s a handy calculator to figure out the best number of people to include.

5. Try it out

With your test variations and sample size determined, you can now implement the A/B test. This may involve dividing your customer base into segments, assigning each segment a test variation, and monitoring their performance over the test duration.

6. Analyze the Results

After the test has concluded, analyze the results to determine which variation performed better based on your chosen metrics. Be sure to consider factors such as statistical significance and practical significance when interpreting the results.

7. Make Data-Driven Decisions

Based on the results of your A/B test, make data-driven decisions about which initiatives to implement or refine. Remember, A/B testing is an ongoing process, and you should continuously test and optimize your customer success strategies.

8. Present the results.

It’s much easier to get a request pushed through with the C-Suite when you come bearing evidence through data. Let them know the results of your experiment, and indicate your intention to roll it out more broadly based on your success.

Man and woman in office high-fiving


Case Studies: Successful A/B Testing in Customer Success

To illustrate the power of A/B testing in customer success, let’s explore three real-world examples:

Example 1: A Software Company Improving Onboarding Process

A software company wanted to improve its customer onboarding process to increase product adoption and reduce churn. They hypothesized that a more personalized onboarding experience would lead to better outcomes. The company tested two variations of its onboarding process: one with a generic, one-size-fits-all approach, and another with a personalized, guided experience. The results showed that the personalized onboarding process led to a significant increase in product adoption and a decrease in churn rates.

Example 2: An E-commerce Store Increasing Customer Retention

An e-commerce store was looking to boost customer retention by enhancing its post-purchase communication strategy. They conducted a test with two variations of their email campaigns: one with a focus on promotions and discounts, and another with a focus on personalized product recommendations. The results revealed that personalized product recommendation emails led to a higher customer retention rate.

Example 3: A SaaS Company Optimizing Customer Support Response Time

A SaaS company wanted to improve customer satisfaction by reducing its customer support response time. They tested two variations of their support process: one with a traditional email-based system, and another with a live chat feature. The results showed that the live chat feature significantly reduced response times and led to higher customer satisfaction scores.

Key Takeaways and Best Practices

As you embark on your A/B testing journey in customer success, keep these key takeaways and best practices in mind:

  • Continuously test and optimize your customer success initiatives based on real-world data.
  • Ensure your tests are statistically significant and valid to make informed decisions.
  • Integrate A/B testing into your company culture and encourage a data-driven mindset.


A/B testing in customer success is a powerful tool that can help you make smarter, more informed decisions about your customer success initiatives without the risk. By leveraging A/B testing, you can minimize risk, reduce costs, and ultimately drive better outcomes for your customers. So don’t be scared – go ahead and experiment!

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