2021 Customer Success App Wish List

Ah, that new budget smell. 

We hope it reeks of year-long promise and not bitter disappointment. (If your newly minted budget leaves much to be desired, don’t give up before you try these arguments to win budget for Customer Success. A change of approach may be all it takes.) 

Because in our very unbiased opinion, Customer Success deserves to get everything they asked for and more. This year tested us all, yes – but especially Customer Success who faced the uphill battle of holding onto customers when the pandemic coerced many businesses to adopt an “everything must go” mindset as they slashed their way through the panic.  

Customer Success teams were forced to get scrappy and more strategic to handle the onslaught of potential risk and constriction. It’s certainly been a nonstop year for churn-fighting teams 

So, to help lighten the load and round out your Customer Success wish listhere’s a roundup of our favorite apps to take into the new year and do your best work.  
 

For when you don’t want to write out that long, wordy, and confusing email that you reread 15 times before sending to ensure nothing is lost in translation (which despite your tasteful highlighting and dynamite bulleting, most definitely is): 

  • Loomscreenshare tool that lets you record your voice and annotate video. 

Why we love it: offers a new and engaging way to help customers with complex issues and provide more immediate support than when forced to coordinate around busy calendars. 

Pricing: free and paid versions  

 

  • Gyazo: a screenshot tool that lets you capture screengrabs, GIFs, and replays and produces a unique URL for sharing. Every capture is saved to your account for easy reference.  

Why we love it: send quick GIFs to customers to show a short process or series of button clicks. With fast access from your taskbar, you can make a GIF and have it ready to send in all of 15 seconds 

Pricing: free and paid versions 

 

  • Snagitanother handy screenshot tool that lets you quickly capture a process, add your explanation, and create visual instructions. 

Why we love it: screenshots and light picture editing. In the words of our Associate Product Manager, Peter Watt: “I’d be lost without it.” 

Pricing: paid versions only 

 

For when you want more productive, biasfree brainstorming sessions that give every idea a chance to be heard, not just the first or the loudest: 

  • Candora brainstorming app that lets you quickly collect and organize the independent ideas generated by your brainstorming team. 

Why we love it: we’ve all been nervous to speak up during a brainstorming session out of fear that others will think our idea is stupid – or because a few people dominate the discussion, or an influential person offers up their opinion. Candor evens the playing field and removes the apprehensive and consensus-seeking behavior from brainstorming that so often prevents good ideas from ever being heard.  

Pricing: free version only 

 

For when you’d rather use your spare time to read a book for pleasure instead of for business but don’t want to miss out on the career-advancing and world-dominating insights of the latter: 

  • Blinkistbook-summarizing subscription service that lets you read or listen to the key ideas from bestselling nonfiction in 15 minutes. 

Why we love mention it: love is too strong a word here as this app has its well-earned criticisms (here and here) but it does provide a compelling way to consume those needlessly long (and often repetitive) business books that you keep amassing and meaning to read but never do. 

Pricing: free trial and paid versions for individuals and teams 

Looking for Customer Success book recommendations? Check out our stay-at-home reading list. 

…and for when you finally have the time to read for pleasure: 

  • Libby: an award-winning library app that lets you borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines for free from your local library. 

Why we love it: get free ebooks and audiobooks. On your phone. Instantly. Did we mention free? 

Pricing: free version only – just need an active library card 

 

For when you need to play calendar matchmaker and coordinate impossible schedules 

  • Calendlyan online appointment scheduling software that lets you share your pre-selected calendar availability with an external party so they can pick a time that works for them. 

Why we love iteliminates our favorite guessing game of what date and time work best for everyone. Calendly gives customers an easy, no-hassle way to grab time with their CSM – allowing the customer to pick what truly works best for them instead of having to resort to random suggestions, crossing your fingers and toes, and hoping that the scheduling stars align. 

Pricing: free and paid versions 

 

For when you’re prone to making embarrassing typos and grammar gaffes, or simply yearn for flawless writing: 

  • Grammarlyan AI-powered writing assistant that helps make your writing clear and effective – from grammar and spelling to style and tone. 

Why we love it: a souped-up spellcheck on steroids, Grammarly rewrites your sentences (making them crisp), enhances your vocabulary (nixing overused words), and checks your tone (injecting more confidence). Seriously, this is an app that everyone needs.  

Pricing: free and paid versions 

 

For when you have a loquacious penchant for run-on sentences that indulge in digressions filled with rambling thoughts and weakening adverbs and long-winded explanations that are aimlessly strung together by endless conjunctions and meandering points and, and, and..   

  • Hemingwayan editing app with a mission to “make your writing bold and clear,” this tool focuses on brevity and concision by flagging lengthy, complex sentences and common errors.  

Why we love it: using its readability score, this no-fluff editor identifies when you use excessive adverbs, passive voice, complex words (when simpler alternative would do)and hard-to-read sentences.  

Pricing: free and paid versions  

 

For when you decide it’s time to upgrade your daily task management from an endless sea of post-its and abandoned to-do lists: 

  • Trello: a Kanban-style list-making tool. 

Why we love it: some project management tools become a project in and of themselves to manage, but Trello’s simplicity makes it easy, and dare I say fun, to organize your work. Projects are represented by “boards” where you add lists (such as “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done”) to group tasks and ideas (which are called “cards in the app). Although it’s digital, I promise you still get the same deep satisfaction of crossing off a completed task from your to-do list when you move a card to your “Done” list. From personal (home workouts, book clubs, and budgets) to work-related (planners, processes, and roadmaps), Trello has a template for anything and everything you’d need to manage in life.  

Pricing: free and paid versions 

 

For when you want to impress your boss with a fancy-schmancy presentation but have no design chops: 

Why we love it: tons of stunning of templates that auto-format your content so you don’t waste time combing through your deck to wrangle unruly bullets and mismatch font sizes. 

Pricing: free and paid versions 

 

  • Canvaa graphic design tool to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, and more. 

Why we love it: get the look of a professionally designed presentation without needing any design skills whatsoever. 

Pricing: free and paid versions 

 

For when you want a thesaurus for ththesaurus:   

  • Relatedwords.orga tool to find words that are related to a specific word or phrase. 

Why we love it: gives you related words rather than just direct synonyms as well as the ability to search (short) phrases.  

Pricing: free version only  

 

For when you want to become a master of the universe: 

  • MasterClassan online class subscription taught by domain experts who are the “best in the world” 

Why we love it: Less work-related than the rest of this lineup, MasterClass’ celebrity-stacked roster and dizzying array of courses (from economics and gardening to cooking and sports) piqued our interest during 2020’s isolated months. Admittedly, we’ve only dabbled with watching a few classes, but you can check out this review by SFGate’s culture editor Dan Gentile who tried all 81 MasterClasses. 

Pricing: paid version only 

 
Saving the best for last 

Now, I think we deserve a round of applause or at least a few tasteful finger snaps for making it through this entire article about our favorite apps without mentioning ChurnZero (the best Customer Success app of all). Because we definitely don’t believe in plugging our own product in unbiased app roundups because that would be so cliché of SaaS blogs and eye roll-worthy behavior.  

So, you’re welcome for not incessantly name-dropping ourselves and going on and on about our product’s powerful segmentation toolgame-changing automated Plays, and seamless customer satisfaction surveys.  

But showboating under the guise of sarcasm? That we’re not above. 😉




Customer Success Around the Web


Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero

 

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