In this competitive market that we currently find ourselves in, we must take every measure to ensure that customers are content with the services or products that they’re receiving. Times have changed, and the consumer is now the controlling factor. They hold the cards.
Customer success software provides businesses with a 360-degree look at the entire customer relationship. You’ll get helpful insights into the customer’s activities and the general health of the relationship.
You must make the right choice. Good customer success software will help you identify red flags and maintain successful customer retention. In this article, we’re going to be talking you through how you can choose the best customer success solution for your business and what factors you need to consider when doing so.
The Right Moment
It’s not the right time to get customer success software if:
- You don’t have a steady flow of clients, or you have very few active clients.
- It’s still early on in your business.
- You haven’t developed a stable business structure and service.
That said, it may be the right time for you to get this software if you do have a steady flow of clients, have been operating for a while, and do have consistent services to offer.
CSM solutions are commonly used by software as a service (SaaS) providers. These are services hosted in a central location and made available online on a subscription basis.
Many businesses opt to shift to these services later in their years of business when they have more funds, and their current (simpler) method of collecting customer data and attending to queries is insufficient. For many, this is the best way to go about acquiring software for customer success.
Where to Find the Best Software
There are many different customer success softwares to choose from. Your choice depends on your specific needs as a business, the price you’re willing to pay, and several other factors.
Without further ado, let’s get to listing the top choices for customer success software.
HubSpot Service Spot
Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan founded HubSpot in 2006. It has since grown exponentially. The company provides solutions for customer service, inbound marketing, and sales.
Nowadays, customers want swift responses and 24/7 services. Service tools are often located on multiple platforms. HubSpot rectifies this issue by providing a solution and putting all your services and tools into one platform.
There are several packages available, from free to enterprise. This customer service software is a convenient solution to a prevalent problem.
Guy Nirpaz founded Totango in 2010. It’s discovered great success as a company that offers software with rich insights into customer behaviour so that you’re able to drive growth and drastically improve customer retention effectively.
It’s also extremely popular for its simple interface and graphical representations of consumer data. The software comes in a free and an enterprise version (which is also available as a 30-day free trial).
Jim Eberlin started Gainsight in 2009, and the company found traction because of its excellent products, not least of all, its customer success solutions.
This software is a great way to track your customer activity, health, and history. It effectively consolidates data from various sources. With Gainsight, you can make informed decisions with simplified statistics regarding the wellbeing of your customer relations.
You’ll be able to view a specific customer’s entire history at just a push of a button. It also boasts several productivity tools to ensure efficiency within your team.
Pricing for this software is made available upon request.
Dave Blake founded ClientSuccess in 2014 and made the company’s intention clear, that is, to help you both retain and grow your current customer base. It’s another award-winning software that comes highly recommended.
It boasts a multitude of features, not least of which includes: subscription management, automated emails, contacts, support tool integration, and much more. It’s also an excellent software for tracking customer health, and ultimately, ensuring the health of your business.
There’s also a nifty revenue management feature that helps you view everything related to income in one place. You can effectively manage your renewals, upgrades, and subscriptions from one place.
As with any good CRM software, you can also view your customer activity as it pertains to specific products. This helps a lot with decision-making.
Yon Mon Tsang started ChurnZero in 2015, making it the youngest company and competitor on our list. It’s quickly been recognized, and its software has already won awards. This CMS solution helps companies proactively stay ahead, make predictions, and understand their customers.
The software boasts plenty of features to keep things organized. From to-do lists, to calendar arrangements, to customer segmentation options, you’ll be able to stay on top of things with little to no issues.
You’ll also be able to become your customer’s biggest supporter with real-time alerts about major events (such as birthdays). In addition, you can use templates to issue customer surveys such as customer satisfaction surveys or lead customers in with helpful product tours. It’s comprehensive software and one well worth looking into.
Geoff McQueen founded Accelo in 2009. The company has gained significant traction as a strong competitor. On their website, they state that thousands of professionals across the world use their software.
With features like process automation, client history, activity tracking, and an issue dashboard, it’s no wonder it has become so popular. You can also create an automated messaging system to keep on top of customer complaints and requests.
This is particularly helpful if you have a large number of clients. Team members can collaborate on these client messages and come up with the best solutions.
Accelo is free for 14-days, after which you’ll have to choose their service plan.
Undoubtedly, there are many other options outside of the companies that we’ve mentioned. CSM solutions exist in an incredibly competitive market, with many great companies offering their software at competitive prices.
The choice is ultimately up to you, though you would most likely do well with any of the aforementioned options. In the following few sections, we’re going to cover what to consider precisely when making your choice, so read on before you come back to this section.
What to Look For
What Levels of Touch Do You Need? Low / Mid / High Touch
In layman’s terms, the difference between low and high touch is the degree of human or automated responses/digital engagement as it pertains to customers. As a rule, high touch is preferred for a smaller number of high-value customers. These customers have more complex needs and require individualized attention.
Low touch is used for a high volume of consumers who have uncomplicated needs and pay less for the services. Mid touch is, of course, the combined use of both digital engagement and one-on-one human interaction, generally used for mid-range transactions with an average amount of complexity.
However, there are further complexities as it pertains to the choice of level of touch. There are variations in the use of online forms, chatbots, personalized group emails, and other forms of communication. The combination and plan that you opt for depends entirely on your business model and the specific needs of your clientele.
No, this does not refer to your internet data nor the amount of free space on your computer. However, this refers to the amount of server data available and depends on the plan you opt for and the scope of data and clientele that the software will need to incorporate.
To determine how much available data you’ll need, you’ll have to do a rigorous analysis of your business’s needs and its current state.
Number of Clients
The number of clients you have plays a massive role in your choices as it relates to your customer success software. For example, you may opt for a cheaper, less comprehensive plan if your clientele will generally be few and there isn’t great anticipation for growth.
This kind of software is full of various features that you may or may not opt to purchase/use, depending on the current/anticipated number of clients. The difference between whether you’re going to need a chatbot or in-person service also depends on how many clients you anticipate.
For instance, it’s unreasonable to expect employees to attend to thousands of concurrent online queries.
A good way to determine what you may need to integrate into your CSM solution is to look at what your business is currently doing in terms of customer management. The tools that you now make use of will need to be integrated into your current software.
This includes monthly emails (such as through Mailchimp), customer surveys (often done through Google docs), data collection (such as on excel spreadsheets), and anything else. These various resources will need to be considered and ultimately compiled into the software for easy access and integration.
Setup and Onboarding
You’ll have to figure out the level of proximity needed to effectively onboard your clients into the system. This depends on the nature of the services or products offered. It can be difficult but undoubtedly well worth it.
It goes without saying, the interface depends on the customer success software that you choose. Therefore, you should do online research on the particular software that you’re choosing to decide whether you are okay with the interface or not.
Interface options as it pertains to data representations will vary. You may also find that cheaper plans have much fewer interface options, making it harder to make educated decisions pertaining to customer satisfaction and retention.
Do your clients need instant personalized attention, or is it sufficient to provide them with automated responses, and only in extreme cases, then be referred to human customer service? These are essential questions to ask and ones that you can only answer through a thorough analysis of your business and growth projections.
You may opt to change your customer support options later, but for the moment, offer instant personalized messaging options to customer service representatives.
Choosing a CSM software, getting everything set up, getting your staff and clients up to speed, and integrating all your old data into this new system can all feel quite daunting. Ultimately, it will not only make your life (and the life of your employees) much better but also give you the tools to make informed decisions regarding your clientele’s satisfaction.
It’s vital to have in our globalized economy. Fast and efficient customer service is what can make or break a business. The client has the power. It’s the job of companies to prove themselves.
We’ve already mentioned many of the softwares offer either trial or demo versions to get you started. That sounds like an excellent place to begin and to first test out whether it’s right for you or whether it’s time to try something else.