Since you choose to read this blog, I suppose you already know the gravity of Customer Success in a B2B SaaS business. The crux of providing a great customer experience to the customer lies in maintaining great customer health throughout the entire customer lifecycle. And this is where Customer Success management software comes to your rescue. Read further to check out the top customer success software in 2022.
Now, imagine having a great SaaS product where you are already providing the top-notch customer support, and somehow when the day of renewal comes your customer refuses to renew your subscription. Missing the early warning churn signs may lead you to lose your customer!
So, what I am trying to say is one cannot manually predict when your customers are on the verge of renewal or will buy more or is at At-Risk until it’s too LATE. A customer success manager needs to have some predictive data in order to take proactive actions to act upon the warning signals.
What is a Customer Success Management Software?
A customer success tool is a software with in-built tools to provide a holistic view of your customer’s account health. These tools provide insights into various metrics that enable your Customer Success team to identify which customers need more assistance, or where there may be potential pain points. All that to give you a holistic 360-degree view of your customer portfolio, monitor account health scores, create playbooks to facilitate onboarding, renewals, and upsells, set up alerts for risk and upsells, and more.
The CS tech has evolved exponentially. You must consider several points before choosing a customer success software in 2022.
How does CSM software help in your Customer Success effort?
A tool that is capable to tackle all the pain points that a Customer Success Manager comes across in his day-to-day life. A tool that will allow you to have a proactive way to monitor and identify each customer based on each customer interaction. And not just that, I can give you plenty more reasons, for how a CS tool can help make a CSM’s job easier. Here’s how-
Turn down the churn rate
According to a survey report, most of the customer churn happens during the onboarding process. However, this is easily manageable. Track every step in your onboarding process and define goals your customers should achieve to complete the onboarding successfully. This is something you can easily do with Customer Success software.
You see, whatever the churn problem, with CS software you can reduce a large chunk of churn. Some good tools come with features where you get segment-specific real-time account health so that you can act proactively upon risk signals and never let the churn surprise you!
For more tips, check out our Ultimate Guide to Reducing Churn.
Detect and Act on Upsell & Cross-sell Opportunities
SaaS upsells have to be engineered as they are not going to happen on their own. You need to embed a CS software in order to monitor product usage and engagement level to identify the upsell signals. Thereby you will be able to create alerts and tasks to act upon so that you never miss on any upsell and cross-sell opportunity.
For example, for customers who are using your free trial, you’ll get notified when their trial is about to expire. So you can contact them right away and increase your trial-to-paid conversion rate. For paying customers, you’ll get a notification when they get close to 100% license utilization, and they’re ready for an upsell. This way, you can probably save a little on your customer acquisitional cost.
Automate mundane tasks for Maximum Efficiency
Automation drives proactive, personalized engagement that leads to a more consistent experience and ultimately increases renewals and reduces costs.
Customer Success tools enable you to automate tasks like:
- assigning accounts to team members (for example, problematic customers to more experienced CSMs)
- sending messages to customers with low engagement
- getting notifications if certain Health Scores drop under a defined value
- creating tasks for CSMs to proactively get in touch
- identifying upsell and cross-sell opportunities
- filtering for very healthy customers that are good candidates for referrals, case studies, testimonials, etc.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to automation possibilities. You’ll definitely see a significant positive impact on how your team operates.
Improve user onboarding
According to a popular SaaS belief, 90% of churn happens in the first 90 days after signing up, so as a Customer Success Manager your primary goal is to provide early value and help them realize the “aha” moment as soon as possible. Now, this is the area where Health Scores and automation can help the most.
By understanding the customer’s journey, you will be able to grasp your customer’s overall health. This will eventually help you track progress, monitor product adoption milestones and measure business outcomes delivered all from one place. This can happen only by using a Customer Success Management tool.
Factors to consider before choosing a Customer Success Platform?
Choosing a customer success platform could be a cumbersome task on the first go. But if you’re clear with how this particular tool will reflect upon your goals you’ll be able to choose the right tool from the plethora of available Customer Success platforms.
Below are some traits to look for in a Customer Success platform that you should keep in mind before choosing from the availability.
One of the most important catches is to recognize the best fit tool that supports your business type. We are likely to get attracted to fancy enterprise-grade solutions without understanding why are they so expensive. When you only have a handful of customers and you are a growing business, perhaps a high-grade tool wouldn’t be the most feasible solution for you right now.
Thus a very important thing to keep in mind is the business requirement at that particular time and if there is an opportunity for that solution to support the growing needs of your business in the near future?
A Customer Success platform’s major feature is about generating account health based on multiple metrics. The tool should let you craft a Risk score based on your interaction and your understanding of the customer lifecycle. A lot of CS platforms provide the health score in traditional form by calculating a single score. But that’s not enough, great tools come with a 360-degree view of your customer account health. This includes 360 view of a customer’s data including every interaction, from product usage, the financial status of an account, touchpoints maintained and tracked, high-level risk score, segment level health to the efficiency and the effectiveness of the customer support system. So this is a very important factor to consider while choosing the right CS tool.
Remember, integrated software forms the backbone of a Customer Success platform. Thus it is very important to pay attention to the integrations offered in a CS platform. This is again very crucial because you will need all of your data within your customer success software. As the more integrated and visible data becomes, the greater its impact on tracking customer training, satisfaction, churn, renewals, growth, and product adoption.
The basic integrations you should look for are- Billing (Chargebee, Zuora, etc.), CRM (Salesforce, Hubspot), NPS, and support system (Zendesk, Front).
You also need to check the amount of effort required to bring about the integrations. If it requires a lot of effort at your end, then the quality of integration is poor because integrating then becomes an additional project.
Customer Success goals
Without having a clear success goal before adapting a tool might cost you big time. You should have a plan for at least the next 5 years down the lane since your goal might change in the next 2 years.
Some examples of customer success goals include:
- Retention (churn reduction)
- User Engagement
- Platform Usage
- Customer Happiness (Customer Satisfaction Score / NPS)
- Customer Advocacy
Accounts Per CSM
You need to think through the supportability of the tool. A CSM with 20 accounts as compared to a CSM with 100 accounts will have different expectations from the technology.
Your CS tool should support segmentation spontaneously. Segment every automatically as and when it comes in via integrations. Hence, accounts should move in and out of segments automatically.
For example, if a trial account is actively using product features, move it automatically to the convert segment so that a CSM can close the deal.
What are the Customer Success Management software available in the market?
- Gainsight – This is one of the top-line customer success tools for large-scale enterprises. All of the important metrics can be measured via Gainsight. BUT can have a long 6-9 months implementation cycle, heavy, loaded, requires an implementation partner
- CustomerSuccessBox – AI-powered actionable customer success tool which identifies the past patterns in the vital metrics and predicts & recommends the future renewal and upsell opportunities. Customer SuccessBox tracks product adoption to understand customer onboarding, product adoption, and usage analysis, and calculate customer health scores. It enables success managers to deliver a consistent customer onboarding experience, improve retention, drive upsell and improve monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and lifetime value (LTV) for SaaS businesses.
- Totango – Large enterprises that have a large customer base and a big customer success (CS) team to handle them, are the target firms for Totango. BUT has a weak workflow and playbooks. Limited to single heath score and no product adoption tracking outside of health. Teams also find it complex to navigate.
- SmartKarrot – SmartKarrot is one of the customer success platforms enabled with an account intelligence system that impedes churn & drives revenue expansion. But is a new platform and is still maturing
- Custify – Custify’s USP is a modern and user-friendly interface. The option to customize with add-ons is another feature of the tool. But very basic, not built to handle advanced use cases, and limited to no account intelligence.
- Churnzero –The thing that sets this apart is that it provides a command center that enables your customer success team to know exactly what they need to focus on. BUT is best suited for low ARPU SaaS products
- PlanHat – is efficient at providing all the features of a customer success tool. Very limited use of data-driven for health and alert calculation.
- ClientSuccess – ClientSuccess is one of the older customer success tools BUT does not track product telemetry and has no data intelligence for account health and churn signals
- FreshSuccess – Fresh Success is a Customer Success Platform that helps SaaS businesses reduce churn, increase adoption, and maximize customer lifetime value. BUT it recently got sold from Natero to Freshworks.
When it comes to Customer Success, you’re only as good as the tools you use. If you’re not using the right tools, then there’s definitely room for improvement. Having the right tool will not only make a CSM’s work efficient but will also help you accelerate your strategy, but only if your goals are clear from the start.
P.S. – The main image has been taken from pexels.com