Customer success has gone from strength to strength in recent years. More and more SaaS companies are starting to realize how important it is, and so they’re investing more time and effort into it. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the best customer success tools.
With 2020 fast approaching, now’s the perfect time to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. There are a lot (and we mean a lot!) of customer success tools out there, and it can be hard to know which is the right one for you.
We’re going to take a look at each of them in turn, discuss their pros and cons, and essentially give you all the information you need to decide.
Let’s jump in…
What are customer success tools?
Before we look at each of the customer success tools, it’s important to make sure you know exactly what we mean by it.
In essence, customer success tools offer a full 360 degree view of your customers. They enable your CS team to identify which customers require more assistance, or where there’s opportunity for upsetting.
In practice, that means that most customer success tools have to offer a range of different features.
Some of the features that customer success tools will provide are:
- Customer engagement analytics
- Product usage tracking
- Health scoring
- User profiling
- Real-time insights
Other features might include ways of communicating with customers, or automation of key workflows.
Ultimately, good customer success tools make it easier for your CS team to do their job.
We’re going to look at the five best customer success tools for 2020. The tools we’ve chosen cater to a wide range of SaaS companies, from startups to large enterprises.
We’ve split them into two groups: Early-stage, and Growth-stage. This way you know which are the best fit for where you are in your journey.
The early-stage products are:
The growth-stage products are:
- Profitwell Retain
The best customer success tools for early-stage
Userpilot — For driving customer engagement
While Userpilot is primarily a user onboarding tool, it still deserves a spot on this list. It helps your CS team to monitor how customers use your product.
Its analytics feature enables you to drill down into different user segments. You can see how different groups engage with your product.
The best part, however, is that your CS team can then improve your in-app messaging. This helps to drive engagement and ultimately increase retention.
Not only that, but because Userpilot requires no coding knowledge, your CS team won’t have to rely on your busy Dev team to implement the messaging.
You can also use Userpilot to gather useful feedback, in the form of NPS surveys. This provides even more data for your CS team to analyze and act on.
Userpilot’s ease-of-use and efficient UI means that your CS team can start making improvements in no time at all.
Helpscout — For educating your customers
Customer education is a huge part of customer success. Helpscout is an affordable approach to it.
You can set up a self-serve knowledge base, providing your customers with all the help and support they need to use your product successfully.
If your customers need extra support, they can use Helpscout’s live chat and messaging feature to chat to your Support or CS team.
Another neat feature is the ability to send targeted messages to customers as they use your product. This means you can nudge them in the right direction.
You can connect Helpscout to all your favorite tools. There are over 50 integrations, including Slack, Hubspot, and Salesforce.
Helpscout is a great way to educate your customers and ensure they make the most out of your product.
Wootric — For in-depth customer feedback
One of the most important things your CS team needs is good quality customer feedback. Wootric gives you exactly that.
It offers a wide range of surveys, including NPS, CSAT, and customer effort score. You can also gather qualitative data with micro-surveys, giving your CS team the whole picture.
Your CS team can then have a direct influence on your product’s roadmap, using the data that Wootric collects for them. This means you can focus on building what your customers actually need.
Finally, Wootric helps your CS team to close the loop. You can use any tool of your choice to reach out to customers and update them about their feedback.
Feedback is crucial to any SaaS company, and Wootric is the tool for the job.
Custify — For growth and upselling
Customer success isn’t just about retention, it’s also about spotting opportunities to upsell to your customers. That’s where Custify comes in.
Custify offers a range of different features. You can see a full 360 view of your customers’ health data, product usage, and journey.
You can also set up automation flows for common tasks, meaning your CS team can avoid the day-to-day and focus on helping your customers.
But where Custify sets itself apart from other customer success tools is with its growth feature. Custify will notify you about customers who are reaching the end of their trial so you can reach out to them. It also highlights customers who are likely to upsell so you can focus your efforts accordingly.
For a simple approach to upselling, Custify is a great choice.
The best customer success tools for growth
Gainsight — For the heavy lifters
Gainsight is one of the heavyweights when it comes to customer success tools. It’s safe to say it’s been around awhile, and has become one of the biggest names.
The product itself is extremely robust, offering a wealth of different features. As a result, it can cater to any kind of CS team.
It offers strategic planning, for higher-level CSMs, as well as lower-level account management for those doing the day-to-day work. You can see overall trends, but then drill down into more specific data.
One of Gainsight’s most useful features is their employee onboarding. As you scale your CS team, new CSMs are able to learn your processes on the job. Gainsight will show them walkthroughs and video tutorials, providing contextual guidance. Everyone is quickly brought up to speed.
For large companies who are scaling fast, Gainsight is a no-brainer.
Totango — For Enterprise companies
Totango are giants in the customer success space. It’s aimed at Enterprise companies who have a large CS team and lots of customers to manage.
Totango Spark, the primary product, is a robust customer success tool. It provides you with customer health scores and product usage analytics. It also offers templates of best practices and scorecards to help you get up and running.
While Totango Spark is aimed at your CS team, Totango Zoe is a product for your whole organization. It’s a conversational interface that allows any employee to access customer health data and volunteer for customer-centric activities.
Totango provides everything you need to run an Enterprise CS team efficiently and effectively.
If you’re a large Enterprise company who wants to be as customer-centric as possible, then Totango might be the right choice.
Natero — For customer success at scale
Natero by Freshworks is another customer success tool that targets itself at B2B SaaS companies. It enables you to scale up your CS operations.
You can do this by standardizing your process with Natero’s built-in templating. This helps you to automate certain processes.
You can also schedule personalized campaigns, triggering them based on customer behavior. Natero includes tools to help you manage your CS team as well.
Natero is a robust product, offering most of the features that you’d expect from a great customer success tool.
If you’re looking to scale up your CS efforts, and automate key tasks, then Natero is a good choice.
Akita — For a variety of integrations
Akita offers lots of useful features for customer success. You can see how your customers are using your product with its usage tracking. You can also see how customers progress through your onboarding flows. This is a useful insight at a crucial part of the customer lifecycle.
But where Akita truly shines is with its huge variety of integrations on offer. It connects with practically every other SaaS tool in your stack. Mailchimp, G Suite, Stripe, Typeform, Zendesk, Slack, and Intercom are all supported, along with hundreds of others.
These integrations enable your CS team to connect Akita to their existing workflow. It’s far more efficient this way.
Akita also offers automation, enabling you to set up automatic workflows.
Akita is a great choice if you’re wanting to connect your customer success tool to all of your existing tools.
CustomerSuccessBox — For achieving your business goals
Customer Success is important, but even more so when you consider the impact of it on the goals of your business.
CustomerSuccessBox focuses on helping B2B SaaS companies to scale up their customer success efforts, while focusing on business goals.
You can combine data from your CRM and billing software so that you have a full view of your customers’ health. You can also combine your communication tools so that all your customer conversations are in one place.
This helps you to scale up efficiently as you acquire more customers and expand your CS team.
CustomerSuccessBox also focuses on upselling. It highlights customers who are ready to upgrade so your CS team can reach out and try to close the sale.
If you’re a B2B company that’s ready to scale up your customer success, then CustomerSuccessBox is one of the best customer success tools.
Salesmachine — For automating your CS processes
Despite the name, Salesmachine is a great customer success tool. It aims to automate most of your CS team’s work, so they can focus on delivering value to customers who need a little more support.
Instead of having to manually calculate and update customer health scores, Salesmachine will handle it for you. Your CS team can then proactively reach out to customers with low scores.
Salesmachine also integrates with communication tools like email and Slack. This means your CSMs are notified when customers are in need of extra support.
You can also integrate Salesmachine with other tools like Hubspot or Salesforce. You can then generate certain actions to be triggered by customer health data.
If you’re looking to automate your customer success efforts as much as possible, then Salesmachine can help you get there.
Brightback — For understanding your churn
One of the best ways of avoiding future churn is to understand the reasons for your current churn. Brightback aims to help you do exactly that.
Brightback segments your customers based on their pricing plan or billing term. When they show signs of churning, Brightback will flag them up.
It then provides churning customers with a tailored cancel page. This page will include personalized offers. It’ll also gather feedback about why customers cancelled.
This helps to avoid churn for on-the-fence customers, and provides your CS team with valuable data about why customers churn.
Your CS team will also get real-time alerts so they can reach out to try and save customers who are about to churn.
If you want to understand why customers churn, Brightback is a great product to have.
Profitwell Retain — For winning back your customers
Retain is one of Profitwell’s products. It’s designed as a last-minute attempt to hold on to your customers.
Retain uses algorithms to determine the best way to win back churned customers. This means you can sit back and relax, confident that Retain is helping you behind the scenes.
It’s also completely white-labelled, so your customers have a consistent experience. This is vital at such a delicate stage in the lifecycle.
Their pricing is also fair. It’s free up to your current recovery rate, and then you start paying based on any performance beyond that.
If you’re looking for a dunning tool that learns as it goes along, then Profitwell’s Retain is a good one to try.
Sherlock — For actionable insights
Sherlock aims to take the pain out of analytics. It does this by combing through your wealth of customer data and pulling out the key insights.
This can save your CS team a lot of time and effort, and makes it easier to start making improvements right away.
Sherlock also claims to have the only product engagement scoring system. This system combines various metrics of engagement, including signing up and viewing a certain page. It then combines these scores to give each customer an overall product engagement score.
This is a really useful metric for CS teams, as engagement is a strong indicator of whether a customer will stick around or churn.
Sherlock also recently launched a new AI feature. The AI will look at your data and give you conversational insights. It’s like having a data scientist constantly analyzing your data and reporting back to you.
If you’re looking to pull out actionable insights, then Sherlock will make life much easier for your CS team.
Churnbuster — For combatting churn
Churnbuster isn’t like the other customer success tools on this list, as it focuses more on a particular aspect of churn.
According to the team at Churnbuster, failing payments accounts for 40% of churn. With that in mind, Churnbuster aims to help stop those failed payments.
It will automatically try to retrieve failed payments on your behalf. It’ll also back-charge customers when they finally update their card details.
Churnbuster also provides you with real-time Slack alerts. You can take matters into your own hands if a high-value account is at risk of churning.
While Churnbuster is more reactive, and a last-ditch attempt to combat churn, it’s a useful tool to have at your disposal.
ChurnZero — For a comprehensive overview
ChurnZero offers all the main functionality that other customers success tools provide.
You can monitor customer health scores, gather NPS data, segment customers, track their journeys, and communicate with them.
ChurnZero’s main draw is that it provides a command centre that enables your CS team to know exactly what they need to do each day. This ensures no tasks fall through the gaps.
It also offers a useful communication feature. You can communicate with your customers in real-time, from inside your product. This improves your customers’ experience, and ensures your messaging won’t go ignored.
If you need a comprehensive product that helps to organize your CS team’s efforts, then look no further than ChurnZero.
Which customer success tools are best for you?
Choosing from all of these customer success tools can be tough. Hopefully you now have a better idea of what each has to offer.
We’ve condensed all the tools into a feature matrix, so you can easily compare them. (Credit goes to Rachel from Recurly who first created her own feature matrix.)
Here’s the feature matrix for the early-stage products:
And here’s the feature matrix for the growth-stage products:
If you’ve decided that Userpilot is the tool for you, you can get started today with a free trial.