Customer Success Software is vital for any business that wants to retain more customers, improve customer satisfaction, and take its CS team’s productivity to the next level.
However, with the wide variety of features offered through a Customer Success tool, you may need a breakdown of the specific use cases for each feature. That’s where this guide comes in handy.
We’ll get into the finer details of all the essential Customer Success Software features to help you understand the role this B2B tool plays in your tech stack.
1. Customer Health Scores
Customer health scores act as an early warning system for businesses. They can help identify which customers are doing well in your product or service, and which ones may require more attention from your CS team.
Health scores can be calculated based on a variety of metrics such as product usage, ticket volume, frequency of login, and other factors. If a customer falls beneath your ideal health score, your CS team will be alerted and can guide them on the best course of action. This is a key feature for businesses looking to provide proactive support, improve customer satisfaction, and chip away at churn rate.
How a Business Could Apply Health Scores
A cloud storage company uses this feature to identify clients who are not fully utilizing their services. A low health score might indicate that a client isn’t uploading as many files as anticipated. The CS team then reaches out to the client to offer a training refresher or additional support for getting up and running with the product.
2. Customer Monitoring
Customer monitoring gives businesses a bird’s-eye view of how customers are interacting with their products or services. It can provide information such as how often a customer uses the product, which features they use the most, the most common support requests, and so on.
This snapshot is key to understanding customer needs and can be used to inform product development, customer engagement strategies, and even identify potential upsell opportunities — but we’ll get more into that later.
How a Business Could Apply Monitoring
An online learning platform monitors their course completion rates and daily active users to predict customer engagement and satisfaction. If a user hasn’t logged in for an extended period of time, the CS team reaches out with personalized recommendations, reminders, or helpful resources to get them reactivated.
3. Customer Profiles
Customer profiles provide a holistic view of a customer’s characteristics, preferences, needs, and behaviors. They allow businesses to understand their customers better and tailor their CS strategies accordingly.
For instance, detailed customer profiles can inform personalized marketing campaigns, drive product development, and help support teams provide better and more efficient customer service. Profiles often include demographic data, purchase history, product usage data, and much more.
How a Business Could Apply Profiles
An IT consulting firm builds customer profiles around a client’s industry, size, tech stack, project history, and strategic objectives. For example, knowing that one of their clients prefers a certain software or has a strategic goal would allow the consulting firm to tailor its services accordingly.
4. Playbooks and Templates
Playbooks and templates can help standardize your Customer Success processes and ensure every customer gets a consistent experience with your brand.
These assets, sometimes referred to as Blueprints, offer a predefined set of actions to tackle various scenarios, such as onboarding new customers, upselling, or managing high-risk accounts. They can increase your efficiency, maintain quality, and allow Customer Success teams to quickly react to customer needs.
Playbooks and templates work well because:
- They’re curated by Customer Success experts.
- They replicate proven Customer Success best practices.
Check This Out: 8 Customer Success Templates for Effective Onboarding Processes
How a Business Could Apply Playbooks and Templates
A SaaS company utilizes playbooks to guide their customer onboarding checklists. For example, when new customers sign up for a paid plan, the CS team follows the onboarding playbook to ensure their customers are set up in the product and ready to go from day one.
5. Customer Segments
Segmenting your customers into different groups based on criteria such as product usage or behavior trends can allow for more targeted Customer Success strategies.
Each segment you categorize customers into may require different engagement cadences, support, and resources. This level of detail allows your team to create more personalized experiences for your customers, which may be exactly what they need to stay engaged with your product.
How a Business Could Apply Segments
A fitness app segments customers based on their activity levels, age, and workout preferences. They then deliver tailored fitness recommendations or nutrition plans for each segment. This lets customers know that the brand is invested in helping them achieve their fitness goals.
6. Product Usage
Product usage data can be a CS team’s best friend for understanding how and to what extent customers are using a product. This insight can then be passed on to several teams within your business, such as product development, marketing, sales reps, and business executives for reporting.
Usage data can highlight popular features to be enhanced as well as underused ones that may require redesign or better customer education.
How a Business Could Apply Usage Data
A graphic design web app tracks which features are used most by its customers. If they find that the background removal feature is underused, they could introduce tutorial videos or tips to encourage usage.
Surveys are a powerful tool for collecting customer feedback and gathering data regarding customer satisfaction. These forms will provide insights into what your customers like, dislike, and what could be improved.
Surveys are a great way to get qualitative feedback directly from the mouths of your customers. Similar to product usage data, you’ll be able to distribute this feedback throughout your product, marketing, and sales teams so no one is left in the dark on where your customers stand.
How a Business Could Apply Surveys
A direct-to-consumer food brand sends out customer surveys after each purchase. The feedback they receive informs them on the most popular flavors, least popular flavors, provides new ideas for their next food item, and helps them consider which flavors should be discontinued.
8. Churn Risk
Churn risk prediction can help you identify which customers are most likely to cancel their subscriptions or stop using your product. This can help businesses take proactive steps to address these customers before it’s too late.
Some common risk factors may include:
- A gradual decline in product usage
- High volume of customer support tickets
- Routine negative interactions with customer support
- Low customer satisfaction metrics on surveys
- Consistent irregularities with billing
If a customer is showing signs of churn risk, one of your CS team members could reach out to them with guidance and support for nurturing them.
How a Business Could Apply Churn Risk
A video recording service uses churn risk to detect when customers are at risk of leaving their platform, such as when a user stops uploading videos for several weeks. They can then send personalized offers, limited-time promotions, or custom content to help re-engage these users.
9. Upsell Opportunities
If a segment of your customers are frequently reaching their usage limits or scaling reliably with your product, they may be a good candidate for an upsell — also referred to as an expansion.
Customer Success Software can help you identify upsell opportunities with these high growth customers, which means more monthly recurring revenue and more satisfied users. Keep in mind that upselling should be approached with care to ensure the proposed expansion genuinely adds value to the customer.
How a Business Could Apply an Upsell
A project management company uses Customer Success Software to identify customers who are frequently overrunning or nearing their user limits. For example, an admin has more users than allotted in their account, or project boards are nearing their plan limit. The PM company then reaches out to these growth customers with a personalized expansion offer.
10. Custom Triggers
Custom triggers can significantly improve the efficiency and responsiveness of your CS team. They are actions or events that automatically trigger a response such as sending an email, creating a task, or automating an alert.
Let’s say a user hasn’t logged into your software in 30 days. A trigger could be set to send them an email with helpful resources to get them activated again.
How a Business Could Apply Triggers
A pet food subscription service sets up a trigger to send a reminder email whenever a customer’s plan is nearing its end. This ensures the customer is aware of the renewal and reduces the chance of unintended interruptions. The customer and their furry friend will appreciate the nudge!
11. Reporting and Dashboards
Reporting tools and dashboards provide an easily understandable summary of your most important CS metrics — whether that’s health scores, implementation, churn risk, and so on. This can be vital for tracking performance against KPIs, identifying trends, and informing decisions.
Dashboards in your Customer Success Software can be customizable, allowing each user to focus on the metrics that matter most to them. If you use a separate business insight tool such as Looker, these dashboards can be integrated with that as well.
How a Business Could Apply Dashboards
A travel agency uses dashboards to track how satisfied their customers are with their services. They’re able to drill down in their dashboards to get a closer look at churn risk segments, and apply their Customer Success playbook to reel these customers back.
12. APIs and Integrations
Customer Success APIs and integrations allow a variety of your software to connect and share data between one another. This improves efficiency and reduces the risk of error or disparate data.
For some B2B businesses, integrations are table stakes. Let’s say you use a specific CRM for managing customer profiles and contact information. If a Customer Success solution doesn’t integrate with your CRM, how can you have confidence that your customer data will always be up-to-date and relevant?
See More: Vitally’s Library of Software Integrations
How a Business Could Apply Integrations
An e-commerce website integrates their Customer Success Software with their CRM. This automates the process of updating customer information, purchase history, shopping preferences, and other relevant data. As a result, they have a 360-degree view of their customers and can personalize their outreach strategies even further.
13. Workflow Automation
Workflow automation can significantly increase the efficiency of your Customer Success team by automating manual and repetitive tasks. Some examples include:
- Customer onboarding
- Support ticket routing
- Invoice processing
- Sales follow-ups
- Customer feedback collection
- Contract approvals/renewals
For example, when a new customer signs up, your Customer Success Software could automatically send them a welcome email, assign them to an onboarding specialist, and create tasks for the onboarding process.
How a Business Could Apply Automations
A tech support company automates their ticketing system to assign tickets based on the type of issue, the support agent’s expertise, and the volume per agent. This could speed up response times and make sure every customer has their issues handled more efficiently.
14. Notifications and Alerts
No product or service is immune to disruptions, and they always seem to pop up when least expected. This is where notifications and alerts in your Customer Success Software help your CS team stay on top of important events or issues as they arise.
For example, they can be set to notify team members when a customer’s health score drops beneath your benchmark, when a contract is set to expire, or when a major product bug is reported. This allows your CS team to quickly respond and ensure customer needs are met.
How a Business Could Apply Automations
A small investment firm sets up alerts for when a client’s investment dips below a certain threshold. The client’s advisor then proactively reaches out to discuss their portfolio and action items.
Customization allows businesses to tailor Customer Success Software to meet their unique needs. For example, custom fields can be added to customer profiles to track industry-specific data. This data is then visualized in a custom dashboard and shared to the proper team members for tracking.
Customization can also extend to custom views and dedicated workspaces, as well as the look and feel of the software such as custom colors, fonts, and branding.
How a Business Could Apply Customization
A project management tool customizes their onboarding process based on the customer’s profession or team size. For example, they set up different onboarding sequences for marketing teams compared to product development teams.
16. Collaborative Workspaces
Giving your customers greater visibility into their CSMs’ efforts can create more successful relationships. By using a dedicated workspace inside your Customer Success software, you can gather and share important information during critical CS touchpoints such as onboarding/implementation, success planning, product education, and renewals.
Quick plug: Vitally Docs allow you to embed a variety of information like account traits, files, images, links, projects, and tasks, all inside a private, shared space that’s as simple to use as Google Docs or Notion. It’s a great way to keep you and your best customers on the same page throughout your relationship.
How a Business Could Apply Collaborative Workspaces
Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) are an important opportunity for CSMs to address customer challenges and keep them on the road to success. An email marketing automation company uses a templated shared workspace to streamline the CS preparation process for QBRs, engage customers in the process, and work more efficiently overall.
Since each of the company’s CSM handle a large book of business, preparing for each QBR without a shared workspace would be an enormous time investment, and customer misalignment during the calls would be much more frequent.
As your business grows, the number of customers, the volume of data, and the complexity of your processes will increase. That’s why it’s imperative to have a scalable Customer Success Software on your side to handle this growth without a dip in performance or support.
You should look for a software that is fit for businesses of varying sizes, and you can typically find this information in the case study section of a CSP brand’s website.
How Scalability Applies to a Business
A fast-growing startup doesn’t want to sacrifice their reputation in the industry for being known for customer support. They decide to choose a Customer Success platform that can handle a large increase in customers and make their CS team more productive as the company continues to scale.
18. Smart Content
Customer Success Software doesn’t just automate account notifications and onboarding, it can also assist your customers with smart content. This refers to content that is personalized to meet the individual preferences and behaviors of your customers.
For example, your power users who are always active in your product may receive smart content that teaches them how to harness advanced features. On the contrary, lagging users may receive smart content to re-teach them the fundamentals of your products and encourage activation.
How a Business Could Apply Smart Content
A travel booking site uses customers’ past booking data to provide personalized recommendations for future trips. For example, if a customer frequently books beach vacations, its smart content suggests new coastal destinations for them to explore.
The New Hotness: Artificial Intelligence in Customer Success
You now have an in-depth rundown of all the essential Customer Success Software features and how businesses are applying them. But when we talk about increasing productivity for CS teams through software, we should also discuss how this is being addressed by the new wave of artificial intelligence tools.
Since the launch of ChatGPT in late-2022, knowledge workers have used it to assist them in writing copy for websites, structuring email sequences, and even asking their bosses for promotions. There’s a good chance your CS team is using AI to help them in their day-to-day tasks, too.
At Vitally, we launched a ChatGPT-powered free tool that generates a first-call content brief based on a number of criteria. We gather specific information about your target account, such as business size, seniority level, revenue model, and more.
After that, our tool generates a custom brief that includes everything you need to know about your customer before your first touchpoint. This includes:
- The typical pain points your customer may be experiencing
- Their objectives and key results (OKRs)
- The tactics and strategic initiatives they are planning
- Suggestions for building rapport
The entire process takes less than two minutes, and it saves your CSMs hours of research and preparation.
What Else Is AI Being Used for in Customer Success?
As more Customer Success platforms integrate AI in their products, we’ll see the following features become more commonplace:
- Automated Support: AI can automate routine customer support questions, freeing human agents for more complex troubleshooting.
- 24/7 Service: AI chatbots allow for round-the-clock customer support.
- Predictive Analytics: AI gathers and analyzes large amounts of data to predict customer behavior and identify potential issues or opportunities.
- Proactive Support: AI will be able to anticipate customer needs, even before they ask for help. This will be made more accurate as AI analyzes patterns within your customer base.
- Personalized Engagement: AI can tailor communications to suit each customer’s preferences and needs. This can take smart content to the next level.
- Efficient Resource Allocation: AI helps prioritize tasks for your CS team based on customer value or churn risk.
Customer Success Software — Your CS Team's Sidekick
There’s no shortage of Customer Success Software features to improve the health of your accounts, reduce churn, and ramp up your team’s productivity.
Whether it’s automated support, predictive analytics, or personalized engagement, the right Customer Success Software can make a significant difference in a customer’s experience with your brand.
When assessing CSP software, you should consider how these features will help your CS team meet its goals and increase the value they can provide to their customers.
Book a personalized demo of Vitally and we’d be happy to show you how any of these core Customer Success Software features work within our tool.