What Is CSM Software? A Comprehensive Guide to Customer Success Platforms
16 Feb

Customer success management software (commonly known as CSM software or Customer Success Platforms (CSP)) is an immensely powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. It helps companies focus on the satisfaction of their current customer portfolio to grow their business from within. Check out our guide to customer success management software to see if it might be a good fit for you and your company.

What is Customer Success?

Customer success puts a focus on the customers you have – not the customers you’re trying to land. According to Forbes, acquiring a new customer can cost up to five times more than retaining a current one. A customer success-oriented business saves money by nurturing the business they already have first, and developing new business second.

Customer Success vs. Customer Support vs. Customer Service

Customer Success, Customer Support, and Customer Service are often used interchangeably but have distinct differences in the context of B2B SaaS.

Customer Support and Customer Service are primarily focused on resolving any issues or problems customers face with a product or service. Customer Support teams act as the first line of defense for customer inquiries and requests, typically through phone, email, or live chat. Customer Service teams may have a broader scope, including managing customer complaints and working with other departments to resolve more complex issues.

On the other hand, Customer Success is a revenue-driving organization that focuses on ensuring that customers are realizing the full value of a product or service. This involves proactively working with customers to help them achieve their goals and objectives, prevent churn, and drive retention. A key goal of Customer Success teams is to ensure customers are successful with the product, leading to long-term loyalty and advocacy.

What Is CSM Software?

Customer success management (CSM) software enables business growth in four unique ways:

  • Improving retention, renewal, and upgrades
  • Reducing churn and downgrades
  • Identifying and managing key accounts
  • Highlighting growth potential through customer data insights

Unlike CRM (customer relationship management) software, CSM platforms focus on helping you nurture and grow your existing customers rather than managing new leads.

Let’s dig deeper into each of the four ways CSM software can help your business grow.

Improving Retention, Renewal & Upgrades

Increasing your net revenue retention is the bread and butter of customer success. From tracking customer health scores and interactions to creating goals and tasks, it’s all about taking care of your customers proactively to inspire renewals and upgrades.

Reducing Churn & Downgrades

Customer success management software helps you identify high risk accounts early and adjust your strategy proactively. By serving your clients before they come to you for support, you can encourage renewals and account growth without a target on your back.

Identifying & Managing Key Accounts

CSM software offers a complete view of your customer portfolio. It can help you identify key accounts, not only through overall value, but through growth rate, longevity, and a number of other factors. Once you identify those key accounts, you can manage and prioritize them more effectively to ensure continued renewal and growth.

Highlighting Growth Potential

Through customer data mapping and intelligent insights, your CSM software can help you identify missed potential for growth in your current customer roster. By identifying stagnant accounts, low value contracts, and more, you can grow your business without worrying about closing new leads.

Standard CSM Software Features

Every CSM platform is a little different. But there are a handful of standard features you should expect to see on every good option, like:

  • Customer Data Import & Export
  • Customer Insights
  • Customer Journey Mapping
  • Customer Profiles/Portfolio
  • Dashboard
  • Forecasting
  • Goal Setting
  • Growth Matrix
  • Integrations
  • Metrics
  • Opportunities
  • Playbooks
  • Prospecting/Expansion List
  • Success Plans
  • Tasks & Interactions

Checking off these key features will ensure your software solution is both comprehensive and scalable.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a CSM Software Solution?

Deciding on the right software solution for your company isn’t easy. There are so many factors at play that it can be tough to know which option is best. Here are four key things to consider when making your choice.

  • Company Size & Growth Rate – How large is your company now and what do you hope to grow to in the next 1-3 years? Choosing a CSM solution that is tailored to your business size prevents outgrowth, or getting a solution better suited for the largest Fortune 100 companies, and avoids having to switch solutions down the line.
  • Industry Relevance – Most software solutions are designed with broad applications in mind, but many are ideal for certain industries. For example, RevSetter can improve the customer retention of nearly any business, but SaaS companies may find our solutions most applicable to their revenue models.
  • Price vs. Features – Price is obviously a huge factor when it comes to choosing a CSM software solution. However, more expensive doesn’t always mean more features. Consider what features will truly be useful to your business, and don’t pay for what you don’t need.
  • Integrations – Finding a CSM solution with the integrations you need is crucial to your success. Check and double-check not only if but how the tools you already love integrate with your new solution for a smooth transition.

Interested in trying CSM software for yourself? 

Book a demo with one of our experts!

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