Chapter 12

Choosing The Best Customer Success Software

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Customer Churn: The Ultimate Guide

Customer success tools can help you increase your revenue by promoting client satisfaction and retention. To get the results you want, it’s important to invest some time in selecting the right software. Here are six essential features to look for when selecting a customer success tool.

1. Easy Integration

Customer success tools don’t work in isolation. They analyze and apply data provided by other apps you use when interacting with customers, such as customer relationship management software, marketing platforms, dropbox, aws3, and customer service software. Your customer success tool needs to connect with all of these data streams in order to provide you with a complete view of your customer interactions.

To make this happen, your team needs to be able to integrate your customer success tool with other software you’re already using. Make this task easier on your team by looking for a customer success tool that supports integrations with the apps you use in your workflow. For instance, Totango supports data hub integrations by including a built-in library of JavaScript integration codes which make it easy to connect your customer success tool to virtually any data source from other popular apps, including HubSpot, Salesforce, Zendesk, and many more.

2. Support for Scaling

Customer success tools support business growth, and it’s important that your tool can scale up to keep pace as you add more customers and staff. When evaluating customer success tools, consider questions such as:

  • How many users can the software support, and what does it cost to move up from one tier to the next?
  • How many customer accounts can you support?
  • Can you segment customer data to deliver customized service to customers at scale without scaling your team up?
  • How many emails can you send out per month?
  • Workflow automation for both human and digital tasks

Look for a solution that supports the scale you’ll need to support your customers and grow your business.

3. Data Availability from All Points on Your Customers’ Journey

Data relevant to customer success can come in from all points on your customer journey map, from onboarding and adoption to escalation and renewal. An effective customer success tool should make it easy for your team to view and manage data from all phases of your customer’s journey.

The Totango Spark platform is designed to provide your team with access to any relevant data you need from any part of your customer journey cycle. Modules called SuccessBLOCs support success at each stage of your customer’s journey by providing out-of-the-box templates with everything you need for that stage, including KPIs, dashboards, analytics tools and optimized workflows called SuccessPlays which automate the implementation of best practices. SuccessBLOCs are available for a wide range of customer success management, including onboarding, adoption, training, escalation, upselling, renewal, referrals, and many more. SuccessBLOCs grant companies the opportunity to prioritize their customer success initiatives by creating automated, customized playbooks for every stage of the customer journey.

4. Customer Engagement Metric Monitoring

Customer success depends heavily on customer engagement. In order for customers to succeed at achieving their goals through their relationship with your brand, they need to be sufficiently engaged with your product to derive value from its use. This requires successful onboarding and adoption.

To better promote successful onboarding and adoption, it’s important for your customer success tool to support active monitoring of customer engagement. A dashboard that makes it easy to view engagement data such as onboarding rates, adoption rates, and customer satisfaction scores can facilitate this. Your tool should also support the ability to generate reports on customer engagement for your review and follow-up action.

Monitoring customer engagement data in this way positions you to take follow-up steps to promote higher engagement. For example, if you use the Onboard New Customers SuccessBLOC, when you detect that a customer has not completed the onboarding process in a reasonable amount of time, you can re-engage them by automatically initiating a series of follow-up actions to guide them through the rest of the process. You can use a similar strategy to monitor and promote adoption.

5. Customer Health Scoring

To maximize your ability to manage customer success, the right tool should also support monitoring of customer health score data. Customer health scoring combines data from multiple customer KPIs into a single metric which indicates whether a customer is on the path to renewal or at risk of churn. KPIs such as product usage, license utilization, and engagement can provide valuable insights into whether a customer is deriving value from their purchase or not. Knowing this empowers you to take appropriate action, such as extending an upsell offer to a satisfied customer or intervening to prevent a dissatisfied customer from churning.

Totango Spark makes customer health monitoring intuitive by using green, yellow, and red color-coding to represent at a glance whether a customer account is healthy or not. In conjunction with Spark’s analytics and segmentation tools, this makes it easy for you to determine which action to take with individual customers to bring them to the next stage of their journey successfully.

6. Real-time Insights

To be actionable, customer success data needs to be kept up-to-date and provided in a timely manner. Outdated information or data which is difficult to access immediately does little to help you promote customer success. For real results, you need a dashboard interface with provides your team with real-time insights into customer data.

Spark delivers the data you need by providing customizable dashboards highlighting the KPIs you prioritize. Each SuccessBLOC comes with its own scorecard to help you define and track customer goals visually based on one or more relevant KPIs. You can see at a glance in real-time whether a customer has completed their onboarding process, what their Net Promoter Score is, how many accounts with upcoming renewals are in poor health, or anything else you need to know.

Select the Right Customer Success Tools for Your Needs

Best-in-class customer success tools should come with a number of essential features, including easy integration, support for scaling, data availability from all customer journey points, customer engagement monitoring, health scoring and real-time intelligence. Look for a tool that provides all the functionality you need to ensure customer success and retention.

Totango Spark provides all of the features discussed above and more in a powerful integrated platform designed to make it simple to run any customer journey easily at scale. To see how Spark can support your customers’ success, try it free to see for yourself how the right tool can promote the success of your customers and your business.

Other Tools to Enhance your Customer Success Software

Customer success tools extend the functionality of your CS platform, multiplying its value. By connecting data from other success tools to your CS tool, you can view and manage all your customer data from one place instead of leaving it isolated in separate information silos. This allows you to leverage all your data by integrating it into your customer success strategy. Your CS platform can then become the hub for a unified campaign that harnesses all your apps and data to the task of automating customer success outcomes.

Putting this plan into practice to make the most of customer success tool integration requires choosing the right tools. Here’s a look at eight popular tools, what they do, and how they can enhance your CS platform and strategy.

Note that all these tools integrate with Totango’s CS platform, which is designed to put data from any source to work driving automated customer success outcomes. If you’re already using other tools to perform the same functions, you can still use the general tool integration strategies illustrated by the examples selected here.

CRMs: Salesforce and HubSpot

Customer relationship management apps let you store, manage and deploy data associated with customer relationships for purposes such as lead generation and sales pipeline management. By integrating CRM data with your CS platform, you can analyze your customer data and harness it for customer success management. For example, you can establish criteria for customers who may be in the market for an upsell offer and set up automated workflows to send promotional emails to this segment of your customer database.

Two of today’s most popular CRM apps are Salesforce and HubSpot. Salesforce offers more customization for companies with advanced CRM needs, while HubSpot serves the needs of companies seeking basic functionality with a user-friendly interface, particularly companies focused on inbound marketing.

Data File Sharing: Dropbox

File sharing apps make it easier to store files in the cloud, share files, and sync files between devices and users, especially large files. Connecting a file-sharing app with your CS platform lets you upload files on a one-time basis or create an automated schedule, as well as schedule automatic file syncing. One of today’s most popular file-sharing solutions is Dropbox, which lets you store files on the cloud and sync them with local files.

Billing: Zuora

Subscription billing is the lifeblood of SaaS revenue. Billing apps help you automate processes such as offering quotes, creating recurring subscriptions, collecting bills, tracking payments and tracking subscription analytics. Integrating your billing data with your CS platform can help you streamline subscription renewals, increasing retention and reducing payment support issues.

Zuora is a billing app geared toward the needs of subscription-based revenue models. It automates billing, collection, and real-time recognition of payments.

Workflows: Zapier, Segment

Workflow apps allow you to define and automate customized macro processes consisting of a series of tasks. The task can then be set up to trigger automatically when certain data criteria are met. This can save you time performing frequently repeated task sequences by reducing a complex series of actions to a single command initiated when the relevant data parameters are detected.

Integrated with a CS platform, a workflow app can let you create automated workflows which promote customer success outcomes. For example, you can automatically send product tracking information to your CS platform.

Popular workflow apps include Zapier and Segment. Zapier is more affordable for smaller companies, while Segment is more user-friendly to set up and administer.

Support: Zendesk, Jira

Support events are critical steps in the customer journey. How smoothly an escalation incident gets resolved can determine whether the customer renews their subscription or churns, as well as whether they become a brand promoter or a detractor. Support apps help automate the management of customer service tickets to promote quicker resolutions and higher satisfaction. They may provide features such as online knowledge bases, help centers, community forums, and support via multiple channels, including social media, messaging, live chat, email, and voice.

Connecting your support tool to your CS platform lets you automatically assess the customer’s situation and steer them toward the channel best suited to achieve resolution, whether this consists of self-service tools, chatbot support or a live human agent. For example, if a customer is experiencing onboarding challenges,

Two of today’s leading support apps are Zendesk and Jira. Zendesk is geared toward managing end-user communication to promote customer satisfaction, retention, and revenue growth, while Jira excels at managing internal projects such as software management lifecycles. The two tools are not mutually exclusive and can be used together.

Integrate Your CS Platform with Customer Success Tools

Customer success tools include apps for CRM, file sharing, billing, workflow automation and support. All the tools mentioned here easily integrate with Totango’s platform. Totango can integrate with virtually any data source, capturing information in real-time so you can put your data to use promoting customer success outcomes. Harness your customer success tool data to trigger automated workflows called SuccessPlays which implement best practices for optimal outcomes at each stage of your customer journey. 

Try it free to experience the power of total customer success tool integration.