The 5 Best Catalyst Alternatives for Customer Success Management

Catalyst is an example of a software that looks and feels great when first using it, but after some time, you may start to notice some of its fundamental shortcomings compared to other Customer Success management solutions.

Some of these drawbacks include:

  1. Complex Integration Process: Reported difficulties with Salesforce integration, lack of HubSpot integration, and no support for NPS/surveying tools could frustrate users who need seamless integration capabilities.
  2. Challenging Data Management: Users have to hop back into Salesforce to fully understand an account’s history since Catalyst can’t import historical notes and tasks, making it cumbersome for users who want to have all their data in one platform.
  3. Email Integration Limitations: The inability to add attachments to automated or one-off emails, paired with a limited email integration, could be a significant drawback for companies that rely on email communications for customer engagement.

While some parts of Catalyst are intuitive, the product experience as a whole may leave more to be desired if you’re on the search for a robust Customer Success software solution. Fortunately, we did the research to find you five alternatives to Catalyst worth considering. Let’s dive in.

1. Vitally

Vitally is often recommended as a strong alternative to Catalyst for businesses seeking a solution that emphasizes flexibility and customizability — allowing users to tailor the platform to their specific workflows and customer journeys. This level of personalization makes Vitally stand out, offering a degree of control that can be a significant advantage for companies with complex Customer Success processes.

What Recent Reviews Say About Vitally

After analyzing and compiling feedback in recent customer reviews on G2, here’s what Vitally users had to say about their experience.

What Users Love About Vitally

  • Intuitive User Interface: The UI is frequently praised for being easy to use, and allows for quick information retrieval with different traits and filters.
  • Highly Customizable: Vitally offers an array of features such as documents that can be shared and collaborated on with customers. Users appreciate the platform’s ability to create and track customer journeys and tasks.
  • Productive Automation: Several reviewers appreciate the automation of tasks and workflows within Vitally, which has helped them move away from spreadsheets, streamline operations, and save time.
  • Excellent Lifecycle Management: Vitally is recognized for guiding customers through their lifecycle stages effectively and providing well-structured workflows. This empowers their customers to get up and running quickly, and realize the value and benefits of the product.
  • In-Depth Health Score Tracking: Users of Vitally value the proactive tracking of client health scores, which helps in identifying at-risk clients and addressing any churn issues.
  • Centralized Data and Tracking: The consolidation of customer data and interactions in a single platform within Vitally has helped their customers make more informed Customer Success decisions.

Where Vitally Could Use Improvement

  • Limited Trended Views and Tracking: A recent customer mentioned that attaining views of how data is trending has been difficult, and there’s a desire for improved user level tracking. However, Vitally responded that this is an area in the product they’re actively improving.
  • Extensive Feature Set: With such a robust platform, a recent customer shared their experience being overwhelmed by all the features and are unsure if they’re utilizing the platform to its full potential.

The Verdict on Vitally

Vitally’s advantages in ease of use, customization, automation, and proactive customer management make it a strong contender as a CSP. It offers a compelling alternative to Catalyst, especially for organizations that value deep customization and proactive Customer Success strategies.

Whether you’re a small business looking for a solution that grows with you, or a large enterprise looking for a complete Customer Success management platform, Vitally is a well-rounded choice that can fill many of your software gaps and empower your CS team to do their best work.

Related: Vitally vs. Catalyst: See How They Compare

2. Planhat

Planhat distinguishes itself from Catalyst by offering a platform that is heavily focused on automation and adoption, which resonates with businesses who may be looking for a straightforward solution without unnecessary bells and whistles.

What Recent Reviews Say About Planhat

After analyzing and compiling feedback in recent customer reviews on G2, here’s what Planhat users had to say about their experience.

What Users Love About Planhat

  • Exceptional Support: Planhat’s support team receives praise for their responsiveness and knowledge, particularly regarding the integration process.
  • Visual Appeal: Users find the interface visually appealing and straightforward, which can be beneficial for ease of use and quick adoption.
  • Customer Intelligence: The dashboards and health lab provided are valued for offering consolidated views of customer information and actionable insights.
  • Project Management: There’s a built-in customer portal for project plans, which eliminates the need for separate project management tools. Consolidating your PM requirements with your CSP can lead to potential cost savings.
  • Robust Automation: Planhat allows the creation of custom objects and provides automation features that can be tailored to the specific needs of a business.

Where Planhat Could Use Improvement

  • Automation Complexity: While automation is a strength of Planhat, it can also be overly complex and may require support to set up effectively. In fact, several customers noted on G2 that they needed to contact Planhat’s support several times to get help with automation setup.
  • Documentation and Technical Hurdles: Planhat users have indicated that the documentation/knowledge-base could be more comprehensive to help with utilizing all of Planhat’s features without needing to reach out to support. If time-to-value (TTV) is a concern for your business when using new software, you may want to consider this downside of Planhat.
  • Feature Refinement: There’s been frequent feedback regarding the need for improved visualization tools that more closely follow traditional workflows, and annoyance with automations deactivating after failed attempts.
  • Manual Processes: Despite the strength of Planhat’s automation capabilities, some users find certain processes, like removing accounts, to be too manual and cumbersome for a tool that touts its automation.

The Verdict on Planhat

While Catalyst offers a strong set of tools for Customer Success, Planhat takes customization a step further, allowing more flexibility in how data is viewed and managed. This can be a decisive factor for businesses with specific workflow requirements or those who wish to have a CSP that adapts to their evolving strategies.

When it comes to pricing and plan structure, it’s worth noting that Planhat can be an attractive option for small to mid-sized businesses, but can become expensive for larger teams with a high volume of accounts. Take this into consideration when factoring in your business growth plans.

3. ChurnZero

Against Catalyst, ChurnZero’s strengths lie in its extensive customizability and robust analytics and segmentation capabilities. This makes it a strong contender, especially for mid-market and enterprise customers who need a comprehensive suite of CS tools and have the resources to manage the initial setup and ongoing customization.

What Recent Reviews Say About ChurnZero

After analyzing and compiling feedback in recent customer reviews on G2, here’s what ChurnZero users had to say about their experience.

What Users Love About ChurnZero

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Users appreciate the ability to make informed decisions based on data and perform A/B tests to optimize their Customer Success processes.
  • EU Data Residency: ChurnZero has a strong EU data residency, which is a critical requirement for businesses operating outside the U.S.
  • Automation and Segmentation: ChurnZero’s platform is recognized for its capability to define and automate processes that help users achieve goals for renewals and upsells.
  • Cross-Departmental Accessibility: Information such as reports and analytics within ChurnZero is easily shareable across various departments, which streamlines operations and keeps everyone informed.

Where ChurnZero Could Use Improvement

  • Clunky UI/UX: Several customers note that the user interface and experience of ChurnZero aren’t as intuitive as they could be, impacting product adoption.
  • Lengthy Initial Setup: The initial setup of ChurnZero is considered labor-intensive, requiring clean data and significant effort to implement effectively.
  • Complexity of Features: The excessive amount of features offered by ChurnZero is a double-edged sword, as it can make the platform overwhelming to set up and navigate. Also, some features don’t work as seamlessly as expected, creating friction points for users.
  • Scalability Concerns: ChurnZero is noted to have a pricing model that can become expensive as the customer base grows, which may be a disadvantage for scaling businesses.

The Verdict on ChurnZero

ChurnZero offers a set of strong features that could make it a preferable choice over Catalyst, especially for organizations that can work within its integration and customization constraints and don’t plan to extensively scale in the short term.

However, for businesses looking for a more intuitive UI/UX or with a need for more scalable pricing models, Catalyst or other alternatives might be more suitable.

4. Custify

Custify is a viable alternative to Catalyst for companies seeking a cost-effective CSP with good support and reasonable customization. It’s known as an intuitive and straightforward platform, allowing Customer Success teams to work within one system without the need to switch between different platforms.

What Recent Reviews Say About Custify

After analyzing and compiling feedback in recent customer reviews on G2, here’s what Custify users had to say about their experience.

What Users Love About Custify

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Custify is presented as a cheaper option in the Customer Success market, which can be a crucial factor for startups and small to mid-sized businesses looking to optimize their budgets.
  • Support Responsiveness: Users are very satisfied with the level of support they receive from the Custify team, particularly highlighting the availability of CSMs via communication tools like Slack. They even offer white-glove implementation support and hands-on assistance during the setup phase.
  • UI and System Usability: The clean UI and straightforward UX of Custify are frequently praised in its reviews, making it easy for users to adapt to and navigate the system.
  • Health Score and Workflow Features: The ability to define health scores and create workflows that align with account management strategies is highly valued amongst Custify users.

Where Custify Could Use Improvement

  • Feature Completeness: Some users feel that, as a relatively new platform, Custify sometimes lacks certain features — or that existing features can be improved upon.
  • Limitations in Reporting and Dashboards: Piggybacking off the previous point, the reporting suite is perceived as an afterthought, with challenges in customization and visualization of data.
  • External Collaboration: Custify lacks external collaboration features, which might be a limitation for businesses looking for extensive teamwork outside the platform.
  • Lack of Training Materials: While generally considered user-friendly, some users indicate that having more comprehensive training materials or a dedicated “help section” would be beneficial.

The Verdict on Custify

Custify seems to be a tool that, while still evolving, has made significant strides in the CS space and is appreciated for its clean UI, intuitive UX, and solid feature set. It stands as a good option for organizations that value these aspects and are willing to work through the initial implementation phase to reap the full benefits of the platform.

However, Catalyst could be better for businesses seeking a more scalable platform that is more polished “out of the box” compared to Custify.

5. ClientSuccess

ClientSuccess is well-suited for organizations that place a high value on user experience and the consolidation of customer data. It’s particularly adept at providing a strong foundation for high-touch CS activities through a centralized platform, but is it the alternative to Catalyst you’re looking for? Let’s review.

What Recent Reviews Say About Custify

After analyzing and compiling feedback in recent customer reviews on G2, here’s what ClientSuccess users had to say about their experience.

What Users Love About ClientSuccess

  • Holistic Customer Health Tracking: ClientSuccess’ platform allows CS teams to track and quantify traditionally intangible customer metrics, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of customer health.
  • HubSpot Compatibility: An update to the HubSpot integration is mentioned in a couple of reviews, which has been a plus for users who rely on HubSpot for their sales and marketing activities.
  • Community and Support: ClientSuccess offers strong community support, including forum discussions about feature requests, which are taken into consideration for product development. All of this aids in the CSP’s growth.

Where ClientSuccess Could Use Improvement

  • Integration and Syncing: While basic integrations are available, some users find that the sync with Salesforce could be vastly improved. There’s also a desire for more integration with project and task management software.
  • Difficult Object Creation: Customer feedback suggests that creating new objects within the platform can be a hassle, with a need for more flexibility as customer types and business needs evolve.
  • Slow and Clunky Interface: Several users reported that the platform can be slow and that the user interface takes time to learn. For example, ClientSuccess can be slow to load between different customer accounts and reports pages.
  • Lack of Reporting Capabilities: The limitations in reporting are noted, with a reliance on exporting to Excel for advanced analytics, which could be seen as a step back in terms of workflow efficiency.

The Verdict on ClientSuccess

ClientSuccess may serve as a good alternative to Catalyst for organizations looking for a CSP with a strong community and responsive development team, as well as those who may benefit from its simplicity and are already using HubSpot.

However, for rapidly scaling organizations or those requiring deeper customization and integration capabilities, there may be some limitations. Users considering ClientSuccess should weigh these factors against their specific needs and growth plans.

Why Vitally Is the Top Alternative to Catalyst

Catalyst is a fine solution for Customer Success teams where ease of use takes priority over customization, automation, and analytics. It’s also a leading brand in the Customer Success community, providing high-quality thought leadership content and events for CS professionals.

However, if you’re looking to truly scale your CS function and maximize team productivity, you really can’t go wrong with Vitally as your CSP.

  • Vitally provides a higher level of customization and more sophisticated automation options compared to Catalyst.
  • Vitally gives you the tools and templates you need, like Blueprints, Workshops, and other interactive training materials, to drive success with its product quickly and more consistently.
  • Vitally scales as you scale! No restrictive pricing or plans that hinder your business growth aspirations.

Let one of our experts show you the power of Vitally! Schedule a personalized demo at your convenience.

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