The work you do to ensure customer success is some of the most important work you can do for your company. Improved customer success creates all kinds of advantages for your organization, from increased customer retention, to a better time to value, to lower customer support costs and more.
Here's everything you need to know about customer success and customer success platforms.
Why's Customer Success Important?
An effective customer success program reduces churn, boosts revenue and accelerates growth. The two key activities involved in any customer success strategy are simple: identify and eliminate customer pain points, and recognize and meet customer needs.
Obviously, better customer success results in happier customers and happier customers are more likely to keep giving you their business. But keeping your customers happy is easier said than done. One of the best ways to improve customer success and keep your customers satisfied is to use customer education software. When your customers have opportunities to learn about your product, they become empowered to succeed with it. This shortens time to value and reduces the number of customers who churn because they become frustrated or disinterested due to a lack of product knowledge.
Another clear benefit of an effective customer success strategy is the revenue it drives. When customers are happy with your product and using it successfully, it creates opportunities for easier upselling or cross-selling. If you integrate a robust customer education program with your customer success strategy, you can increase the chances that customers will get enough value from your product to want more. Equipping your customers with product knowledge is one of the best ways to improve customer success and generate additional revenue.
Improving customer success is also a great way to stimulate growth within your organization. Customers who are getting maximum value from your products often become your greatest brand champions. When you create an environment that makes it easy for customers to succeed, you create many of these brand advocates who will refer others in their network toward your funnel. Creating more opportunities for customer learning with a customer education program is one of the best ways to create an environment that fosters customer success.
What's A Customer Success Platform?
A customer success team uses a customer success platform (also called customer success software) to manage customer relationships. This includes activities like onboarding customers, analyzing their behavior, collecting feedback and providing ongoing customer education.
Some of the best-in-class customer success teams have customer success software to thank for their achievements in creating better customer experiences.
Best Customer Success Platform
The best customer success platform is relative to your customers’ needs and your needs as an organization. You should carefully consider the differences between some of the top customer success platforms before you make a decision about which one is right for you. Some customer success software is already well-known, like the Hubspot customer success platform. However, there are many other options as well you may not be familiar with. Here are some examples of some of the top-rated customer success platforms.
Churnzero is a real-time customer success platform that prioritizes churn reduction. It can integrate conveniently with your CRM and analyze customer data to help you better understand how customers are using your product (and how you can help them use it more successfully). You can also use this software to gauge churn risk for each customer and to create automated, personalized experiences for them.
Gainsight helps customer success teams gain a complete picture of their customer base. This means a better understanding of things like customer engagement, customer sentiment and your customers’ level of success with your products. Using Gainsight, you can track and analyze this kind of customer information and use it to prevent churn, improve product adoption and expand your customer base.
Catalyst is a customer success platform built by customer success leaders for customer success leaders. You can use Catalyst to unify siloed customer data, which creates one, cohesive view of your customer base. This allows you to inform your customer success actions with accurate insights so you can boost retention, accelerate growth and scale your customer success capabilities.
Totango is a customer success platform that’s designed to reduce the complexity of the customer success process. You can use it to unify customer data and track customer health, making it easier to step in at critical moments in a customer’s journey. Totango leverages customer insights and automated personalization to nurture customer relationships and improve retention.
Intercom is a customer success platform that prioritizes customer engagement by creating an open channel of communication between customers and the customer success team. Maintaining an ongoing dialogue with customers is a great way to improve their experience and make it easier for them to get the support they need. You can also use Intercom to collect and analyze information about your customers in order to personalize their interactions with the brand.
Planhat is a customer success platform that helps businesses become more customer-centric. By using Planhat features like automation, playbooks and collaboration tools to prioritize customer success, you can lower customer churn and improve engagement. Like all the platforms on this list, Planhat enables you to track and analyze customer data that will help you make more informed decisions about customer success actions.
Customer Success Platform Requirements
As you make your customer success tools comparison, remember to keep technical requirements in mind, it’s important to carefully consider what kind of business capabilities your software needs to have, but don’t forget to consider your technical requirements as well. Before you make your decision, you should think about the kind of system capabilities you want your platform to have regarding factors like usability, integration, security, analytics and more.
Here are a few important customer success platform requirements to think about:
Do you want your customer success platform to be accessible from one of your current systems, like a CRM, or do you want it to be a standalone application?
Which other tools does your customer success software need to be compatible with?
What types of customer data are most important for your organization? Do you want to be able to track product adoption? Analyze churn rate? Identify upsell opportunities?
How do you want to protect the data you’ll be collecting and analyzing using your customer success platform?
What other technical features are absolutely essential for your organization's customer success needs?
It’s important to find the customer success platform that works best for your company, specifically. There are many different platforms to choose between. Some are objectively higher quality than others, but for the most part, it’s not a simple comparison. Different platforms are designed with slightly different solutions and unique capabilities in mind. To make the best selection, you’ll need to carefully weigh not just your business goals, but also your technical requirements for your ideal customer success software.
Customer Success Solutions
Customer success is one of the most important aspects of your business, whether you realize it or not. A good customer success strategy is often the difference between a thriving, growing customer base full of confident product users and an unhappy customer base with a high churn rate. Prioritizing customer success solutions within your organization is almost always a good decision.
If you want to get the most out of your customer success efforts, adopting a customer success platform like the ones we’ve touched on in this article is essential. As you’ve seen, there are multiple kinds of customer success platforms to choose from. It’s important to consider your unique needs as a company and the unique needs of your customers before you decide. Choosing the best customer success software can lead to positive business outcomes like better customer engagement, improved retention and increased product adoption rate.
Another option for improving customer success is learning management software (LMS). Educating your customers about your products is high on the list of things that can improve customer success. Implementing a customer education platform like Northpass can bring about many of the same benefits linked to customer success platforms, such as lowered churn and improved customer engagement.
Whichever kind of solution you decide is right for your company, the extra investment into customer success will almost certainly have a far-reaching positive impact.