Managing Complexity and Competition
Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) software delivery has revolutionized the B2B software sales cycle. It has streamlined implementation and heightened ease of use for customers and vendors alike. For vendors, however, these bright sides have come with some significant drawbacks, given that it has lowered the effort required of your customers to switch to the competition. These days, customers can practically change at the click of a mouse.
Customer success is a discipline that arose in response to this highly competitive market, and at its core, it is about retaining revenue from existing customers. Among its many facets and permutations, this nascent discipline requires constant engagement and the building of deep relationships with customers. These crucial functions cannot be left to chance or the individual proclivities of your customer success representatives, no matter how talented and engaged they are. Instead, your company needs a plan of engagement and the operational discipline and savvy to stick to proven methods of preserving revenue.
This is where software comes in. Customer success software can provide your reps with the guardrails, insights, and tools they need to engage with their customers in a way that is proven to result in a healthy customer experience. Additionally, CS software has a high rate of renewal and expansions while simultaneously allowing a holistic, integrated view of the entire process.
Download the RGM’s CS Tech Gap Visualization Tool to evaluate the importance of each RGM Customer Success Tech Stack Consideration.
Rate your organization’s current performance for each and the scatter plot below will help you to visualize the gaps you need to address with your customer success tech stack.
Read on for an overview of some of the most prominent customer success software packages available today.
Surveying the Tools
- Gainsight is an all-in approach to customer success. Its platform facilitates a full 360-degree view of customer data integrated from your company’s various data sources. It allows the creation of customer health and sentiment scores, which can then be shared dashboard-style both internally and with your customers. Additionally, they provide data on best practices within customer success as well as an AI assistant named, “Sally,” who is designed to assist your internal teams in surfacing relevant findings using natural language queries via any channel available to them.
- ChurnZero has native integrations with many of the most popular customer data platforms today, not just CRMs, but also many communications and analytics platforms as well. It uses these integrations to create a single system of record which unifies your view of your customers and their health on your platform. Their approach emphasizes the proactive customer success organization by providing the tools to spot tendencies toward churn before a crisis occurs so that you can get ahead of customer pitfalls and preserve recurring revenue.
- Totango provides enterprise-level support for organizations that want to focus their customer success efforts on goals rather than on outputs such as traditional KPIs and health scores. Totango Spark provides a way to gather insights into your customer relationships, all in one place where you can quickly gain an overview and spot patterns and trends within this complexity. There is also the availability of customer segmentation and playbooks that can help enable your customer success reps to target their actions strategically without reinventing the wheel each time.
- HubSpot Service Hub focused more on the midmarket and small business segments, offers a native, customer success extension to its highly popular services, and CRM platform. For smaller operations, it can provide the invaluable force-multiplying automation of routine customer inquiries, and it provides an easy-to-use, single source of truth about your customers’ experience across many different channels integrating customer survey results, knowledge base assets, and support updates all in one place.
- ZenDesk offers more of a traditional customer support suite, but its offerings can also have some significant impacts on customer success efforts. Relevant features include integrated customer support, a self-service knowledge base, an analytics and reporting system known as “Explore,” and a proactive campaign product called “Connect.” Additionally, there is the ability to measure and track customers’ sentiment and their exploration of your available support, community, and knowledge base materials. All of this can have significant impacts on your customer success efforts when properly integrated.
- ClientSuccess syncs seamlessly with Salesforce to track, manage, forecast, and book SaaS subscriptions all in one system. It then reflects this back through real-time alerts to your customer success team and will assist them in who to connect with to be proactive in managing their accounts. At the management level, ClientSuccess rolls up tracking of recurring revenue in order to surface trends and expose risk that might otherwise find places to hide in more disparate tracking systems.
- Strikedeck is a rapidly deployable customer success solution that supports out-of-the-box integrations and domain-specific customizations. It operates on a “Bring Your Own Data” model in which all business processes and data fields can be implemented within the solution. Strikedeck employs proprietary algorithms that calculate customer health to identify customers at risk of churn, and these scores can trigger automated workflows to jumpstart your customer success organization into proactivity. There are also customizable campaigns available through the tool, as well as a variety of communication channels such as in-app email and surveys.
These are just some of the tools available to help accelerate the efforts of customer success teams in a variety of stages of growth and across all SaaS verticals. With the proliferation of options in this space, it pays to stay abreast of what is available and what might be the best fit for your organization in its efforts to retain recurring revenue.
The RGM’s CS Tech Gap Visualization Tool can help you get started.
Ready to dive in and do a thorough evaluation of which software is best suited to your customer success efforts? Have questions about proven best practices that can help you establish and optimize your customer success operations? SBI can help with everything from planning, to process, to talent, to helping you select the right tech stack for your customer retention and expansion strategy. Contact us to book a visit to the Studio for your customized consultation.