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8 customer success software platforms to consider

Proper customer success requires the right tools to keep customers satisfied. Here, dive into eight popular platforms on the market, including their features and benefits.

Most organizations search for ways to enhance and track customers' overall experience to reduce churn, improve loyalty and boost repeat transactions.

With relevant customer data, organizations can get a granular view of customer experiences, so CX teams can better refine touch points to increase sales retention. With proper planning, businesses can use customer success software to identify which experience efforts work, which do not and ways to optimize existing relationships.

Below, explore eight popular customer success software platforms in alphabetical order and how they compare.

1. Catalyst

New York-based Catalyst combines data collection and automation techniques that offer insights into customer growth opportunities. Organizations seeking operational simplicity may prefer this vendor's customer success platform. Catalyst enables streamlined integration with external tools and the ability to create a singular view of customer data with actionable insights.

Catalyst enables customers to create flexible reports with levels of granularity. These reports can then enable businesses to identify and track specific churn, upsell and expansion indicators that could lead to increased profits and happier customers.

Although Catalyst is a relatively young organization, it offers adequate customer service. While pricing isn't publicly available, Catalyst requests potential customers answer a few questions, such as total number of employees and which CRM platform the business currently uses. Based on this information, the vender generates a custom price quote that includes licensing, dedicated implementation and onboarding assistance, training content and customer support options.

2. ChurnZero

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ChurnZero was founded in 2015 -- a time when SaaS architectures and subscription-based models began to take off in the enterprise market. Early on, this model largely attracted startups concerned with growing fast that needed a customer success platform to scale with their needs.

The market has since matured and SaaS adoption is far more established, which makes ChurnZero a solid option for legacy enterprises. ChurnZero could also suit businesses that use multiple CX platforms and want deep integration with existing CRM platforms and ticketing, project and learning management systems.

ChurnZero's features include the ability to create customized visual dashboards and health scores, AI-backed customer strategy ideas, chatbot integrations and customer journey tracking that automatically highlights where customers get stuck along the sales path.

Like many customer success software platforms, ChurnZero works with potential customers to create a customized price quote based on aspects such as company size, integration with existing tools and goals.

3. Custify

European-based Custify discovered that a significant number of customer success teams waste their time and effort performing manual information-gathering tasks. Custify aims to consolidate relevant customer data into a single location. Its service can gauge customer health, anticipate areas of growth and offer granular detail to help businesses understand customers' wants and needs throughout their journeys.

Custify's service offers the ability to automate the launching, tracking and analysis of customer feedback surveys. These surveys can help organizations understand why customers are or are not satisfied with a product or service, and help identify aspects of the customer journey that lead to churn.

Custify has custom quotes available for potential customers. These quotes largely depend on the size of the organization and what level of customer support it requires -- either in-app or email.

4. Gainsight

Gainsight has made San Francisco its home since 2009, and views timing as an important part of a customer success strategy.

Its platform -- Gainsight CS -- offers proactive alerts with customized playbooks that offer personalized growth strategies and can increase sales opportunity ideas. It also offers Gainsight Marketplace, a centralized repository where customers can identify and research various apps, integrations and service partners. These tools can show users new ways to use the platform, as well as analyze data and implement it into existing practices.

Potential customers must go through a free sales consultation to receive pricing for Gainsight CS. Customer support for paid Gainsight licenses includes online ticketing, phone and live chat that's generally available during business hours.

5. HubSpot

HubSpot is primarily known for its CRM platform, but its Service Hub is a supplemental set of functions baked into its CRM for customer success. While it's not as feature-rich as some of the other offerings, organizations that use HubSpot for CRM find that it can expand their capabilities to support and grow customers along their sales journey within a unified platform.

Some Service Hub features include the following:

  • Integrated ticketing with automated pipeline creation.
  • Centralized customer portal.
  • Omnichannel messaging, including live chat, voice and email.
  • Knowledge base.
  • Reporting dashboard.

Unlike many of its competitors, HubSpot Service Hub pricing is available online and uses a tiered licensing model. It breaks down as follows:

  • A free tier for organizations that want to test the platform out.
  • Starter packages starting at $18 per month.
  • Professional license packages starting at $450 per month.
  • Enterprise license packages starting at $1,200 per month.

The main differences between the licensed tiers include more advanced features, improved interoperability with third-party apps and enhanced customer support -- through chat, email and phone -- with defined service-level agreements.

6. Planhat

EU-based Planhat was founded in 2015 and is an increasingly popular customer success software for enterprise customers globally.

The platform collects and analyzes data from various customer service apps that offer a singular view of relevant customer journey information. Then, users can view and analyze customer insights, trends, health scores and other statistics. Once CX teams establish a customer journey plan, they can use repeatable and automated customer playbooks within the platform to assist customers through their lifecycle.

Pricing requires potential customers to reach out to the Planhat sales teams, where they can create a customized quote. Yet, the Planhat website shows a tiered license model that breaks down as follows:

  • The Basic tier includes most of the required core data, workflow and reporting capabilities with limited customer support.
  • The Professional tier offers improved health profile granularity, additional data models, more automation capabilities and enhanced support.
  • The Enterprise tier offers the most capabilities, including all automation functions, custom reporting, improved app and data security and priority customer support.

7. Totango

Founded in 2010 in Redwood City, Calif., Totango builds several customer relationship and success services for various business needs. For example, Totango Spark monitors customer health and proactively alerts sales teams when to act to avoid churn. Additionally, SuccessBLOCs helps drive customer engagement and improve loyalty using several pre-built customer playbooks.

Totango offers free and paid customer success offerings, depending on the size of the organization and the need for scalability, customized settings and metrics, and customer support. The tiers break down as follows:

  • The Free tier includes a single-user license with all the basics, including customer health score creations, customer journey templates, email campaigns and automated workflows. The free tier is capped at 100 customer accounts.
  • The Starter tier starts at $249 per month and grants businesses a second license and up to 200 customer accounts.
  • The Growth tier starts at $1,099 per month and is aimed at fast-moving startups with up to 10 users and 750 customer accounts.
  • An enterprise tier is a custom offering for larger enterprises that wish to pick and choose features, customizations, licenses and customer account numbers.

8. Vitally

As its name suggests, Vitally -- formed in 2017 and headquartered in New York -- aims to help its clients understand health signs of their customer base and how to improve upon that health. The platform enables CX professionals to build their own success KPIs that can track and measure success over time.

While the features and functionality may not be up to par with some of the other products on this list, the ease of implementation, ongoing management and lower cost make Vitally an appealing option for midsize organizations.

Vitally uses a combination of easy-to-understand playbooks, visibility and reporting tools, collaboration options and productivity services to enable a centralized environment that offers customer success teams what they want in a few clicks. Additionally, users can integrate the software with third-party apps through the Vitally REST API or pre-made integration hooks for popular apps and platforms such as HubSpot, Slack, Outlook, Gmail, Salesforce and Zapier.

Licenses use a three-tier structure based on whether the customer wants a one-to-many, hybrid or 1-to-1 growth model. Pricing is customized and requires reaching out to the Vitally sales team.

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