Software

Software

The 14 best customer success tools

READ TIME: 13 MINUTES

Steph Knapp

Steph Knapp
May. 31, 2022

Best-customer-success-tools-header

You have too much on your plate to waste time with customer success tools that don’t move the needle. But it's tough to sort through options to find one that helps you reduce churn and increase customer satisfaction, find actionable insights, and be easy and enjoyable to use. 

This guide reviews 15 tools for customer success teams so you can start your search for the perfect tool. 

What to look for in a customer success tool

If every customer success team needed the same app, there wouldn’t be 130+ customer success tools listed on G2. Since every customer success management (CSM) team has different preferences, you have to evaluate the best customer success tools for your situation. 

Insided created a graphic to illustrate how preferred CS tools can evolve as companies grow from startups to large enterprises and beyond. 

Model showing how CS tool needs change as an organization matures
Image via Insided

Despite everyone’s differences, there are some common themes you can use to evaluate potential additions to your workflow. 

The best customer success software can help you achieve goals like:

  • Reducing churn

  • Increasing retention

  • Boosting Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

  • Upselling user accounts

  • Increasing revenue

  • Improving customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) 


Customer success tools can typically handle tasks like:

  • In-app customer onboarding

  • Tracking customer health scores

  • Analyzing the customer journey

  • Gathering customer feedback

  • Sending notifications


In addition to CS-specific features, core tenants make software worthwhile. For example, integrations with your favorite tools create a seamless workflow. User plans that fit your needs and transparent pricing can also help you earn buy-in to make the purchase. 

15 of the best customer success tools for boosting customer engagement and reducing customer churn

Now for the exciting part — the roundup of top customer success tools. We’ve divided the software into categories to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

All-In-one customer success and onboarding solutions

There are multiple channels through which customers might contact your business and several dimensions to optimize the customer experience. All-in-one customer success tools try to address as many channels as possible from a centralized hub and allow you to manage them from a unified dashboard.

1. Zendesk 

One of the current leaders in all-around, cloud-based customer support software, Zendesk made a name for itself by offering straightforward management of customer help desk interactions. They excel in this regard, especially with their help desk ticketing system.

Their ticket forms allow you to create different types of support requests that cater to your customers’ specific needs. You can even add custom fields to your forms, ensuring you collect all the actionable data you need. 

Zendesk UI
Image via Zendesk/G2

It’s one of the most robust systems, so if your business uses support tickets to resolve customer issues, Zendesk is a straightforward option for you. The Zendesk and Calendly integration make creating support appointments easy without back-and-forth messaging. 

Even if you don’t use support tickets, Zendesk still offers plenty of features that will help you refine your customer service performance. The app has live chats, appointment management, social media integrations, and knowledge base maintenance.

2. ChurnZero

If you want a robust and data-driven customer success tool that helps you understand customers, consider ChurnZero. The company breaks its features into a few key categories for CS teams: understand, communicate, automate, and collaborate. Across these functions, you’ll find features like health scores, user segmentation for customer data analytics, and customer feedback surveys to help you make informed decisions.

A G2 Review from Kenny P., a customer success manager,  said, “I like the ability to track a customer's progress. Knowing where things could be stuck, and the next steps to take is key for success with a customer.”

Other features aimed at reducing churn include customizable in-app messages and walkthroughs so you can help new users onboard quickly and consistently. Churnzero even has a member-led community space to learn from your peers.

3. Gainsight

Gainsight offers a central dashboard that acts as a customer success command center and serves companies like Box, WeWork, and Dell Boomi. From the main page of Gainsight, customer success teams can keep tabs on user trends via CSAT, sentiment ratings, and NPS, or focus on particular customer segments.

Gainsight UI
Image via Gainsight/G2

To support your revenue goals, the dashboard highlights annual recurring revenue (ARR) and upcoming user account renewals. There’s also a drag-and-drop onboarding editor that lets you automate customer journeys. Gainsight is helpful for teams because it has Success Plans to collaborate on projects and monitor progress toward goals. The company also has helpful content for teams, such as customer success playbooks. 

If you set up customer calls via Calendly, you can automatically update your database using this Calendly + Gainsight integration.

4. HubSpot Service Hub

Most know HubSpot for its marketing solutions, but they also offer a robust customer service platform in HubSpot Service Hub.

This all-in-one customer success platform includes a ticketing system that allows you to field customer support issues. It has some common-sense features, like the ability to associate tickets with CRM records, giving you the edge in managing support issues across your client base.

HubSpot chat support UI
Image via Hubspot

What’s even more impressive about Service Hub is how it streamlines your customer service practices and allows your entire team to get on the same page.

Features like feedback management and performance metrics indicate the efficacy of your current customer service efforts. This feature lets you quickly evaluate and improve your customer service best practices.

Check out Calendy’s native Hubspot integration: When meetings are scheduled using Calendly, new leads or contacts and activities are created in HubSpot. If the record already exists, the lead or contact is updated and the new activity added to the existing record. Create or add Service tickets directly from your HubSpot contacts.

5. Help Scout

When it comes to customer service solutions, Help Scout sits atop an interesting email-based premise. The platform provides you with mailboxes linked through a central dashboard that you can use to keep track of all your support requests.

The idea is to provide a human-centered customer experience for support (with your team checking those emails) while simultaneously keeping your team on the same page and preventing instances of duplication.

Help Scout's shared inbox
Image via Help Scout

Help Scout integrates customer information and history with considerable speed, enabling you to provide more customized service with less effort.

While email communication is Help Scout’s central selling point, that’s not the only customer channel you’ll be able to manage using their platform. The software also includes live chat, knowledge base, and phone support, granting the sort of all-in-one functionality you’ll need as a growing business.

6. HelpCrunch

HelpCrunch provides a multi-channel platform for sales, marketing, and customer success teams to use across the entire customer lifecycle.

Their live chat, for starters, includes an eye-catching design and streamlined functionality to improve customer satisfaction.

This platform makes it easy to communicate with customers. Regardless of what channel you’re using, the HelpCrunch software tracks communications, so you’re never in the dark about customer needs. It also provides additional features such as social media integrations and a built-in virtual assistant. Their customer management tool is a central place to review user data, including all previous conversations and orders.

7. Pendo

To encourage product-led growth, you must empower users to find the info they need through self-service touchpoints. Customer success management teams can use Pendo to engage users through in-app guides and walkthroughs. Team members can then view product usage analytics from the Pendo dashboard to see if current efforts are effective at guiding customer behavior.

For example, you can view app and website engagement customer data such as how many people viewed a guide. You can also track your user base with sentiment analytics and a centralized feedback repository. Integrations with top apps also mean you can import CRM data from tools like Salesforce.

Even product-led SaaS companies sometimes need human support. The Calendly and Pendo integration make it easy to schedule Zoom calls with users who need help or are ready for an upsell. 

Live chat software for CS teams

Live chat has become more critical than ever for delivering a positive customer service experience. 79% of businesses that use live chat say it positively affects sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. 

8. Intercom

Intercom is a highly-rated customer success chat platform. The app offers many ways to connect with users, including live chat, custom chatbots, in-app banners, email, push notifications, etc. We put Intercom in the live chat software category because those are its most popular features. Still, it has other capabilities, including a tool to build an onboarding flow.

Intercom also works well with other popular apps, so you can fit it into your team’s current workflow. For example, there’s a Slack integration so your team can manage messages where they work. You can also use the Intercom and Calendly integration to schedule customer calls or demos within the Intercom Messenger instantly. With this feature, you don’t need to move between platforms to do your work. 

Gif demonstrating a complex CS workflow chart in Intercom
Image via Intercom/G2

9. Zoho Desk

If you’re looking for a multi-channel chat and customer success platform, consider Zoho Desk. The app lets you manage customer interactions over the phone, email, real time chat, SMS text, social media, and more. You can also deliver a better experience in less time with automated call assignments and routing for organized account management. 

Other features include chatbots, sentiment analysis, and AI assistance for customer support agents to see suggested responses templates. Zoho Desk is a practical option for product-led customer success teams, with its knowledge base tools and embeddable self-service resources. Zoho Desk is also customizable and has APIs to integrate across your organization and customer lifecycle. The company also has a Zoho Flow integration platform that lets you set up automations for your workflows.

Call center and phone software

While live chat is a valuable customer success channel, plenty of clients still can’t resist picking up the phone and calling your business directly. You’ll need the right software to sort calls and direct customers to service reps who can assist them on the phone.

10. Aircall

Cloud-powered phone systems are becoming increasingly popular, and Aircall is no exception. This easy-to-configure platform rolls all of your phone support activities into a centralized location. As a result, you can monitor everything from call volume to individual employee performance from a single dashboard.

The app also has Insight Cards that pull in user context beside incoming calls and CRM integrations to keep all of your data connected. 

"Caller Insight" card UI in Aircall
Image via Aircall/G2

For remote teams especially, Aircall is an outstanding alternative to a traditional office phone system. There’s a power dialing feature, which gives your team the power to call through long lists of numbers with just a single click. What’s more, Aircall integrates well with other business tools — like your CRM — to help you maximize your productivity.

11. Five9

Marketed as a fully-functional, AI-enhanced cloud contact center, Five9 brings powerful features to prioritize the human element of customer service interactions. While the platform has a bevy of tools for multiple contact channels, it shines when handling customer calls.

For incoming call routing, voicemail, call records, etc. — Five9 provides the ultimate in management through its easy-to-navigate dashboard. It’s not just those expected call features that Five9 offers either. 

Predictive dialer modes mean your agents can squeeze more out of their time. The ability to provide self-service to your customers means they can handle more minor support issues independently and leave your customer service team free for more complicated tasks.

Knowledge base software

The best customer service experiences include templates for common customer queries. 

This allows your clientele to get the information they need without contacting you in many cases. This sort of self-service is something that most tech-savvy customers crave. 

12. HelpSite

If you’re looking for one of the more affordable knowledge base solutions on the market, try HelpSite. This platform makes creating FAQs and guides amazingly simple and searchable so your clients can find the answers they need quickly.

That search includes smart contact forms. When customers are typing in queries, your system will automatically suggest topics that closely match what they’re looking for, saving time and increasing satisfaction.

You can implement all of this without much technical know-how, and format your FAQs and knowledge collections to look clean, match your brand, and convey everything you want to your busy customers.

13. Document360

The brainchild of the developers at Kovai, Document 360 is a way to create self-service knowledge bases for customers, as well as resources for your team like private knowledge bases and codified SOPs.

Your knowledge base can provide answers to just about everyone on just about everything relevant to your business. You’ll need to determine how large a database you’ll need to accommodate your business, then choose the appropriate plan to match. Each tier provides a different amount of storage, analytic capability, etc., so make sure you review them carefully.

Annotated product screenshot of Document360's UI

Scheduling software

Meetings are the lifeblood of many companies, but scheduling them can be a pain point for businesses and clients alike. It’s essential that you schedule customer appointments to address your clients’ most immediate needs. You’ve got to do it swiftly to maximize satisfaction and improve customer loyalty. 

That’s where scheduling software comes into play. Taking the guesswork out of the equation enables you to optimize time to resolution on every interaction.

14. Calendly

When you’re looking for a powerful, user-friendly scheduling solution, Calendly is a top pick. Millions of users trust this easily integrated scheduling solution. 

The premise is simple; instead of going back and forth via email to schedule meetings, you can set up a calendar with your availability preferences, share that link with your customers, and let them pick the time that works best for them. This streamlined approach completely eliminates the guesswork and frustration that scheduling can cause to improve the customer relationship.

In addition to its intuitive, streamlined design, Calendly touts integrations with many other software platforms, including Office 365, Google, and Outlook. If you’re looking for an effective solution that’s easy to set up, Calendly should be near the top of your list.

Curious how real customer success pros use Calendly? Check out this webinar to learn how to use Calendly to engage with their customers for new-user onboardings, check-ins to discuss new and overlooked features, elicit customer feedback, and more.

The right tools lead to a better customer experience

The customer service experience is one facet of your business that you can’t afford to overlook.

It’s essential that you do everything possible to provide the best customer service for your clients. The software mentioned here can give you and your team the power to make that happen.

Steph Knapp

Steph Knapp

Steph Knapp is a freelance B2B + SaaS content marketer that loves educating and empowering curious humans. When she's not typing away, you'll find her volunteering at the animal shelter and obsessing over a new hobby every week. 

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