Happy and successful customers mean good business. Why? Because they’re repeat customers, and they can even bring new ones on board through referrals.
Traditionally, marketers’ responsibility ended with closing a deal. But in today’s subscription-based economy, the greatest responsibility of marketers is to ensure customer success.
That’s where customer success software platforms come in. Optimizing and reducing churn rates all around, making the world a better place for customers AND employees.
The problem with having so many options to choose from is that… well, you don’t know which one to choose. We’re here to help.
We’ve compared three of the most popular customer success software platforms, to make it easier for you to choose the one that fits you best.
But first, the basics.
Why is customer success so important for SaaS businesses?
Basically, because it’s tied directly to your company’s bottom line. It helps you reduce your churn rate, improve renewal and satisfaction, and therefore, boost your revenue.
A study found out that 89% of consumers start buying from a competitor after a single bad experience with a brand. However, the same study also discovered that 86% of consumers are willing to pay 25% more for better customer experience.
Customer success also increases your revenue over time. SaaS businesses have two options when it comes to boosting their revenue:
- attracting new customers;
- getting current customers to pay more.
Both aspects may be important, but it’s a lot more profitable (and easier!) to upsell than to attract new customers. That’s because acquiring a new customer is 6 times more expensive than keeping a current one.
Last but not least, customer success increases the number of brand ambassadors.
Brand advocates have hundreds of people following their social networks. When an advocate recommends a product, 61% of people consider buying the product, and 22% end up actually buying it.
So if you’re not encouraging your most loyal customers to recommend you, you’re definitely missing out on a golden opportunity.
Why should SaaS businesses invest in customer success software?
Unlike customer support, customer success means being proactive. And to do that, you need to be ahead of the curve.
If you know which customers will stop using your product before they actually do, you have enough time to identify objections and set those customers back on the right path.
Customer success software tells you which customers are likely to renew, buy more, or churn. Moreover, because it generates a health status for each customer, it can show you which ones need your help and when.
That doesn’t mean you should ignore customers with a good health status. They represent a unique opportunity to upsell.
Let’s say you find out they might be interested in a feature that’s available in an upgraded plan.You can use that information to target them in an efficient way and upsell that plan.
How to choose the customer success software that best fits your needs
By now, it should be clear just how important customer success software is to a SaaS business. So what’s the best customer success software out there?
To answer that question, you have to first determine your needs. And you can do that in three easy steps.
Step 1: Determine your touch model
The touch model refers to the amount of attention you can afford to pay to each one of your customers. It typically aligns with the value of each customer, and it can be broken into three tiers:
- High touch (more than $100K in annual recurring revenue): each Customer Success Manager handles a small number of accounts (up to 20). This means they know their customers very well and they communicate with them frequently.
- Low touch ($5K - $100K in annual recurring revenue): each Customer Success Manager handles between 50 and 200 accounts. Their priority is to interact with customers “just in time”, rather than all the time.
- No-touch (up to $5K in annual recurring revenue): in this case, each Customer Success Manager handles hundreds to thousands of accounts. Sometimes accounts are not even assigned to specific individuals. As it’s virtually impossible for someone to retain that much information, companies rely on automation.
Step 2: Plan for your current and future growth stages
Once you’ve determined your company’s touch model, it’s time to figure out your growth stage and how it’ll evolve over time.
There are 5 stages your company can find itself in:
- Adoption ($1–$5 million in revenue): when your company is just starting out and you’re not expecting an overwhelming number of renewals.
- Retention ($5–$20 million in revenue): when you have a customer base and must shift your focus towards reducing churn, maximizing loyalty, and increasing lifetime value.
- Expansion ($20–$100 million in revenue): when you need to accelerate your growth rate and are looking for expansion opportunities. At this stage, Customer Success Managers focus on identifying the right time to upsell and cross-sell and determining the approach and message they will use.
- Optimization ($100 million–$1 billion in revenue): at this stage, mature businesses automate most of their processes and rely on customer success solutions to increase the number of accounts per Customer Success Manager and push part of the responsibilities towards the support team and marketing automation platform.
- Transformation (more than $1 billion in revenue): most Fortune 500 and similar style corporations would fall into this stage. At this point, customer success software can be used to add value at every single phase of the customer lifecycle.
Step 3: Identify your desired features (both necessary and nice-to-have)
The last step is determining your business’ specific needs. To do that, you need to answer the following questions:
- How will users access your platform?
- What other platforms do you need your customer success solution to integrate with?
- What type of insights do you want to extract?
- Do you need predictive analytics? Or do you already know why your customers churn?
- How will you protect your customers’ data?
- Do you want to be able to extend your solution to other departments? How?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a clear idea of which features are indispensable to your business and which ones you can live without.
What should SaaS businesses look for in a customer success solution?
As a SaaS business, there are 7 key aspects you should keep in mind:
- Usability: how the platform works (is it a standalone app or can you log in via other CRM systems?) and how easy it is to use it.
- Integrations: how many of the tools you’re already using can be integrated with this customer success solution; or how many can it replace. Don’t get too hung up on this, though. You can always use Bonjoro to integrate with any tools that are missing from your list and to fire off personal videos to customers at key moments in their customer journey.
- Analytics: how in-depth can you segment your customers to find out why they churn and how you can upsell?
- Data Science: if the solution uses any artificial intelligence algorithms to reveal insights a person might not be able to extract.
- Security: you’re dealing with sensitive data about your customers. You need to be in full control of it and use all the security measures available to protect it.
- Scalability: is this customer success solution able to scale with your business? Or will you need to replace it once you get past a certain threshold?
Now that you know everything there is to know about how to choose a customer success solution, let’s take three of the most popular solutions out there and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
Custify is a customer success software platform designed specifically for SaaS businesses, that allows them to proactively manage their customers in real-time.
Setup only takes a few minutes, and you can import your existing customers fast, without wasting development hours. The interface is very intuitive and easy to use, compared to other solutions on the market.
Custify works with most of the tools you might be already using. You can import billing information, support tickets, CRM data, marketing stats, and more from the apps you’re using right now.
You get a 360 degree view of anything that has to do with an account, including health score history, all the life cycles of that account, different usage and adoption trends on multiple account users, churn, and more.
The Custify software gives you a lot of data, but it also lets your team segment customers based on their individual experiences.
That means you’ll get a much more accurate health score, and it will be easier to see which member of your team needs to talk to someone in the customer’s company, and who in the customer’s company might object to a renewal or a free to paid conversion.
This product can completely transform the way your customer success team operates. The user interface is clean and you get all the information you need about a specific customer in one place.
Plus, the dashboard can be customized to reflect the needs or focus of your team.
You can connect Totango to over 1500 apps, so you’ll definitely be able to use the platform as your go-to source of information about your clients.
At a glance, you can monitor your customers’ health and create reports on a variety of different data points. This allows you to get as many details as needed for a given customer or group of customers.
Thanks to the algorithms powering Totango, insights that would take a team weeks to compile are available in just a matter of seconds.
The Natero dashboard is very simple to work with. The account view gives you easy access to relevant information and it’s fairly easy to edit.
When it comes to integrations, Natero is lacking compared to Custify and Totango. Still, you can integrate with 30+ of the most popular platforms so you can gather all your critical success factor information in one place.
Natero can accommodate a large and complex data set. If your data requires significant ‘cleansing’, Natero can highlight the deficient areas.
The platform allows you to custom configure health scores for each of your customers so you can personalize the information depending on your business’ needs.
In addition to Health scores, Natero gives you the ability to predict the complexity of customer projects based on the customer profile. This ‘complexity score’ helps you understand the scope of your accounts and ensure you assign the correct resources and most meaningful success plays for each customer.
Conclusion - which to choose?
As you can see, each of these customer success platforms comes with advantages and disadvantages. To be able to choose one over the other, you need to go through the steps we’ve mentioned above and map out your team’s needs.
Are you a growing team that sees their operations getting complex? Custify can simplify this for you.
Do you rely on calls to communicate with your clients? Then you’ll love Totango as you get to assign customer call tasks. Having multiple reasons to call will allow you to guide each conversation in the direction you choose.
Do you like everything to be custom made to fit your business perfectly? Natero has a very high level of customization.
Which customer success software would you choose? No matter your answer, you're on the right track for customer success.
As the CEO of Custify, Philipp Wolf helps SaaS businesses deliver great results for customers. After seeing companies spend big money with no systematic approach to customer success, Philipp knew something had to change. He founded Custify to provide a tool that lets agents spend time with clients—instead of organizing CRM data.