Mar 28, 2023
9 Customer Success Tools to Empower Customer Retention
Customer Successnext gen supportcustomer experience
As businesses cut back spending and focus on efficiency, it’s important to remember that you can’t cut back on customer experience. More than half (56%) of business leaders polled by Zendesk said they would prioritize driving better customer experiences (CX) in 2022. To strengthen their CX, many companies are investing in support software. Research and Markets estimates that the market size of customer success platforms will be greater than $3 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.6%.
How do you know which customer success software to invest in? The truth is, there isn’t a single be-all-end-all tool. To empower your team, build out a tech stack of complementary customer success tools.
Not sure where to start? Let’s look at nine leading customer success tools to evaluate how they can benefit modern customer success teams.
Gainsight is a customer success software that targets mid-size and larger SaaS companies. It consolidates customer data into a centralized view, so support team members can easily view past interactions.
Features and benefits
Gainsight’s main product is called Customer Success. It collects and analyzes customer support data to help teams identify trends and risks and provide great support.
One of its most popular features is Scorecards, which shows customer health data in real time through automatically updated insights. Gainsight also has playbooks for mapping out customer interactions. Use them to create custom workflows, receive alerts, and solve customer inquiries in a more systematic and organized manner.
Product Experience lets you easily create walkthroughs, guides, and demos to drive adoption.
Gainsight’s newest product is inSided, which is a customer community and knowledge base solution. inSided provides company forums and other resources that allow customers to interact with one another. They can use the community to seek answers without contacting support and leave valuable product feedback.
Gainsight integrates with popular CRMs (like Salesforce, HubSpot, and Microsoft Dynamics), productivity tools (like Zoom and Outlook), business intelligence and analytics solutions (like Tableau and Google Analytics), and more.
Submit a demo request to receive a custom quote for pricing.
The world’s first support experience (SX) platform, SupportLogic extracts and analyzes customers’ emotions via artificial intelligence (AI).
The platform analyzes customer sentiment in every customer interaction, identifying customer emotions and sharing actionable recommendations that your teams (not just customer support) can use to improve the customer experience. With customer sentiment analysis, your team can anticipate potential problems and provide customer service that’s proactive instead of reactive.
Features and benefits
The platform has several applications, here are two that directly impact customer success:
Escalation Management helps manage and prevent potential escalations. It gathers actionable insights from customer interactions and identifies sentiments that hint at potential customer issues, allowing your team to prioritize and fix them before they become problems that could cost you customers.
When escalations do occur, SupportLogic helps teams resolve them by surfacing the contributing factors, making it easy to involve experts and resources, and tracking active escalation requests.
Agents working on the escalation can edit, add notes, and give progress reports on the escalations so that everyone on your team knows which engineering and product issues caused the escalation and what’s being done to remedy it. You can also create joint Slack channels to quickly collaborate on customer issues.
Account Health Management helps decrease customer churn. NLP extracts customer insights such as churn risk, product feedback, and customer sentiment signals from support interactions. This data can then be segmented and filtered by different factors to better understand why a customer in a churn risk.
These measurements roll up into a support health score based on several factors—sentiment, engagement, and escalation history—to warn teams about churn risks and encourage proactive support.
SupportLogic seamlessly integrates with the most popular support ticketing platforms: Salesforce Service Cloud, Zendesk, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, and Freshdesk.
SupportLogic also empowers customer success by integrating directly with Gainsight, adding customer sentiment, escalation predictions, and churn warnings directly to the Gainsight timeline.
SupportLogic offers usage-based pricing plans and unlimited seat licenses. This allows anyone from your organization to jump in and use the insights pulled from customer interactions to provide a better customer experience.
Qualtrics is a customer experience management (CXM) platform that collects, organizes, and analyzes feedback from customers and employees.
Customer success teams can also use this tool to survey and poll clients and staff. With these insights, you can brainstorm ways to improve customer and employee retention, loyalty, and satisfaction.
Features and benefits
Qualtrics’ three main applications are CustomerXM, ProductXM, and EmployeeXM.
CustomerXM is a customer experience platform that allows teams to easily reach out to customers via a plethora of channels (email, SMS, messaging apps, and more) to better understand them and their needs. Analyze customer feedback with CustomerXM to improve experiences across the entire customer journey.
The platform also has predictive intelligence features that provide educated predictions on what your customers need based on patterns seen in interactions and behaviors.
ProductXM adds customer insights into your product development cycle. Through customer surveys, companies can gather the feedback needed to make product improvements. ProductXM even makes it easy for you to include customers in concept testing, setting your pricing, and even what your packaging should look like. Turn customers into product testers and get feedback directly from your target demographic.
EmployeeXM is all about putting your people first. It collects constant feedback from your staff to improve engagement and productivity. Ideally, this tool helps you turn your employees into brand ambassadors who love working for you.
Qualtrics connects with AI-powered analysis tools like Thematic and Canvs AI, review platforms like Facebook Reviews and Google Reviews, and, of course, popular CRMs like Zendesk, HubSpot, and Salesforce. Browse their full list of integrations on their website.
Qualtrics offers a subscription-based model with a required annual renewal. Plans start at $1,500, with prices increasing for teams that add features.
Similar to SupportLogic, the Medallia Experience Cloud platform captures experience signals from many customer communication channels. Companies can then use AI to reveal insights that can fuel personalized and predictive customer and employee interactions.
Features and benefits
Unlike SupportLogic, Medallia doesn’t have separate applications for customer and employee experience. Rather, Medallia leaves it to companies to decide what experiences they want to improve with their tools.
It all starts with Complete & Modern Listening, a tool that captures experience signals from a variety of channels like chat logs and social reviews. It also scrapes operational data from your CRM like customer support interactions, ticket resolutions, support chats, and more. A customer signal is any action or gesture that provides companies with insights that help predict churn, capture feedback, prioritize features, and take action to improve the customer engagement.
Next comes Action-Oriented Analytics, which is powered by AI to identify and automate high-impact tasks in your support log that your company should prioritize.
Finally, Act, Learn, & Transform empowers your employees to use the real-time metrics you’ve collected to create better customer experiences. Insights garnered from customer data collected at all touchpoints give context to your support staff, helping them get to the root of the problem faster and offer the appropriate solution.
Act, Learn, & Transform also lets success managers improve training and provide real-time coaching that keeps your support staff learning while helping customers.
Medallia offers hundreds of out-of-the-box integrations with a constantly growing number of business tools and CRMs. Medallia also offers custom options for complex enterprise integration needs and legacy systems.
There is no pricing listed on Medallia’s website. Businesses should reach out to Medallia to discuss their team’s specific needs to determine pricing.
5. HubSpot Service Hub
HubSpot is one of the most popular and expansive CRMs available to customer success teams. The CRM boasts separate hubs for marketing, sales, content management, operations, and service. The Service Hub centralizes your customer service tools and processes so that all your data lives in a singular CRM.
HubSpot logs and organizes every customer success-related interaction and activity. You can then connect other customer success tools (like SupportLogic, Qualtrics, and Medallia, among many others) to analyze the data and turn it into actionable processes.
Features and benefits
The features you get with the HubSpot Service Hub depend on what pricing plan you choose. There are four tiers that you can choose from: Free, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. Each level comes with some additional features, so it’s important to choose the level that best suits your company’s specific needs.
Some of its most popular features, regardless of tier, include:
- Customer Portal: A ticketing system that keeps track of all conversations and interactions between your customers and support staff.
- Omni-Channel Messaging: Makes it easy for you to talk to customers on the channel of their preference, whether it’s email, live chat, or popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
- Knowledge Base: The self-service center allows you to create resources like help articles and how-to videos to allow your customers to answer questions independently and decrease support requests.
The Free tier is perfect for small businesses. You’ll get ticketing pipelines, live chat, and chatbots. You’ll also get a shared inbox that gives your entire support team access to every customer query, making collaboration a breeze.
The Starter tier adds automated ticketing workflows that keep your support team running like clockwork with notifications, reminders, and systematized processes.
The Professional tier offers more robust customer survey, workflow automation, and data analytics capabilities. You can also create professional service-level agreements (SLAs). HubSpot sends automatic updates on support tickets that reflect the parameters of each SLA, so you’re sure your team is meeting and exceeding them.
The Enterprise tier also includes HubSpot’s Conversation Intelligence, which improves sales-to-support hand-offs by capturing customer voice data. The tool then develops a variety of workflows (lead nurturing, agent training, customer call reviews) based on keywords identified in the recorded customer conversations.
HubSpot’s ecosystem of integrations is one of the most impressive in the industry. It connects with hundreds of popular service, sales, marketing, productivity, and finance applications.
The Starter tier starts at $45 per month, while the Professional and Enterprise plans start at $450 and $1,200, respectively.
Zendesk is one of the leading omni-channel customer support platforms on the market.
Connect with customers on any channel and easily view and manage those interactions on Zendesk’s unified CRM platform.
Features and benefits
Zendesk offers a number of robust features, including:
- A ticketing system that collects support requests from your customer communication channels
- AI-based chatbots that can answer simple customer questions and redirect complex queries to agents
- Centralized customer profiles with information from all interactions across channels
- Omni-channel communication options—including live chat, messaging, social, and phone—from Zendesk’s single platform
- Self-service resource creation tools for building out knowledge bases and FAQ pages
- Community forums where customers can leave feedback, make feature requests, and even use each other as resources to solve problems without support agents
Zendesk integrates with hundreds of apps and software, including most of the customer success software we have already talked about, like SupportLogic and Qualtrics. To check if a particular integration is available, check out their easily searchable marketplace.
Zendesk offers foundational support for smaller businesses that starts at $19 per month. The three other pricing tiers are Suite Team ($49 per month/per agent), Suite Growth ($79 per month/per agent), and Suite Professional ($99 per month/per agent).
Visit Zendesk’s pricing page to see what features come with each pricing tier.
ClientSuccess tracks your customer lifecycle and evaluates customer health and satisfaction every step of the way.
Features and benefits
ClientSuccess brings all your customer data into one dashboard so that the entire company can access the information and act on it. It provides omni-channel messaging support and brings all customer conversations into one place, offering a robust set of features to manage and optimize customer experiences:
- Pulse: Monitor customer health in real time and share updates with your entire staff, which makes it easy for agents to see which cases need to be prioritized.
- SuccessCycle: Define, manage, and measure your customer experience goals.
- Revenue Management: See all your customer subscriptions, renewals, expansion, and churn in one place to forecast revenue more efficiently.
- SuccessScore: Create customer health scores based on feedback, engagement, sentiment analysis, and product usage and adoption.
ClientSuccess has excellent pre-built integrations with popular CRMs and many other tools. It is also constantly adding new integrations. Visit their integrations page to see the full current list.
Book a demo to receive custom pricing options based on your business needs.
ChurnZero helps customer success teams better understand how customers are using your product and support to keep them happy. Use this customer success platform to not only decrease churn but also expand accounts, improve adoption rates, and make your entire customer experience better.
Features and benefits
ChurnZero pulls data from all phases of the customer lifecycle and centralizes it, saving your team time and increasing productivity by decreasing manual and repetitive tasks once needed to pool all relevant customer data in one place.
The four challenges that ChurnZero tackles are customer onboarding, product adoption, renewal/expansion/upselling, and gathering product insights from customers.
Some of the platform’s most popular features include:
- The ability to create customer health scores
- Customer segmentation capabilities
- Easily creatable and customizable walkthroughs and demos
- Detailed reporting
ChurnZero integrates with all the leading CRMs, support tools, communication tools, finance and accounting software, and more. You can find a full list of integrations on their website.
Book a demo to get a custom pricing quote from ChurnZero.
Totango is customer success software that focuses on allowing companies to deliver personalized communications and experiences to customers.
It makes it easy for companies to segment customers based on numerous factors in order to deliver personalized communications and support solutions at the right time.
Features and benefits
Totango’s primary product is Spark, a robust customer success platform that provides:
- Customer health scoring
- Support interaction and product usage analytics
- Customer communication templates built on best practices
Totango’s SuccessBLOCs support the Spark platform through modular, systematic workflows that segment customers by business priority. SuccessBLOCs divide initiatives into easy-to-follow steps that help support agents track customer issues more easily.
Zoe is the part of the Spark platform that enables better collaboration within your organization. Customer insights are available to everyone, from product to support, through Zoe, allowing your entire organization to work together more efficiently and solve customer problems faster.
Totango integrates with most popular CRMs, data warehouses like Dropbox, communication tools, collaboration tools, billing tools, and more. You can find a full list of integrations on the Totango website.
Totango is one of the rare customer success platforms that offers a forever free plan for small businesses that have 100 or fewer customers to manage.
Totango also offers a Starter plan that starts at $199 per month, a Growth planning starting at $899 per month, and custom plans for larger, enterprise customers. To see a full list of features that come with each plan, visit Totango’s pricing page.
Prioritize integrations when evaluating customer success software
To build your customer success tech stack, determine which solutions complement each other best and fit the needs of your team.
Involve your entire company, not just your support team, in the decision. Poll marketing, sales, and product to see what tools they are using. Know which platforms connect with the company-wide tech stack before adding new ones.
Book a demo today to see how SupportLogic can pull the customer sentiment hiding in your ticketing system and turn it into actionable initiatives that keep your customers happy and engaged.