Sep 29, 2017

4 min

4 Free Customer Success Tools

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When you’re just getting started, or you’re still building your Customer Success team, sometimes you can use all the help you can get. It can be difficult in these situations for Customer Success Managers (CSMs) to find the time or the resources to dig for those crucial customer insights. Customer Success tools that help you stay up-to-date on recent company news, build connections with your customers, flesh out your ideal customer persona, and gather and organize customer feedback can make all the difference. And these ones happen to be free!

Owler

Owler is a Customer Success tool that provides insights on your customer’s organization and helps you stay up-to-date on their recent happenings. This community-based platform enables crowd-sourced updates, and it combines news into one, easy-to-read daily digest.

When you sign up, you can add the customers that you serve and quickly follow them on your Daily Snapshot dashboard. This not only allows you to receive relevant updates about your customers on a daily basis, but it also allows you to dive into what’s happening at their organization. Having this sort of information in your back pocket means you have it at your fingertips to quickly reference on customer calls, such as your Quarterly Business Reviews

Owler also provides updates on acquisitions, leadership changes at your customers’ organizations, new offerings or initiatives, and news that comes directly from the organizations themselves. All of this information presents you with new opportunities to engage with your customers, reference these events and updates, and align them with the goals you know they’re hoping to achieve. All in all, you can use this information to get to know your customers a little bit better.

LinkedIn

You might be sick of hearing about LinkedIn, but it is by far one of the best tools out there to stay on top of customer account insights. Now more than ever, engaging with others on LinkedIn is not only appreciated, but practically required. LinkedIn presents a unique opportunity to understand what an individual contributor cares about, their personal goals and priorities, and all with just a couple of clicks.

LinkedIn might make connections easy, but for your CSMs to really use it as a Customer Success tool, you still have to nurture those relationships. It’s not as simple as connecting with your customers and then never engaging with them again. You can use LinkedIn to send your customers articles, or mention them on posts covering topics they’re interested in. This is one of the clearest tactics for a CSM, because it enables you to distinctly cut through the noise of email and connect with a customer directly. LinkedIn is a hub of referenceable material that can become the basis of a more meaningful customer relationship.

It’s also possible on LinkedIn to access content your customers have liked or shared, giving you a historical snapshot of their focus and interests. You can also endorse someone for their skills, as well as spotlight your own key content that you share for your customers.

HubSpot’s Make My Persona

This free tool from HubSpot, called Make My Persona, is a way to play around with and brainstorm your ideal customer profile. It can help your Customer Success team better understand the context around your audience, and ultimately market, sell, and serve your customers better. 

Make My Persona takes you through a number of steps to build out your customer profile. First, you name it, and you choose an avatar, to help humanize your persona and start thinking of them as a real person. Then, they take you through a couple of basic demographic traits, questions about their business and industry, the trajectory of their career, characteristics of their job, and, finally, their media and advertising consumption habits.

All of these questions can help you and your Customer Success team better understand your ideal customers, identify and generate more qualified leads, and, once you do so, build deeper relationships with the customers you do bring in.

Your Customers

Your own customers, as a Customer Success tool? That’s right. Talking and working with your customers is far from an inconvenience — they, in fact, have all the answers that you’re always searching for.

While calling your customers just to “check in” can start to feel just as formulaic as sending too many emails, don’t hesitate to reach out and strike up conversations when it feels relevant. Share news that could be affecting their business or their goals, discuss possible impacts of new leadership, or any possible changes to their priorities. These sorts of conversations will not only give you more business context when strategizing or solving your customers’ problems, but they could also help you identify expansion opportunities that would benefit both you and your customer. 

Tools to help with Customer Success management don’t just have to be software or other platforms. Sometimes, a good old fashioned conversation is one of the best Customer Success tools — one of the best ways to get the most valuable insights — in the shed.

Put Those Customer Success Tools to Use

Using these free tools and other small steps are some of the best ways to start gathering and leveraging customer insights, all of which contribute to Customer Success. When you’re ready to level up your Customer Success Management and put all that new customer data to work, check out our ebook, Top 10 Signs it’s Time to Invest in Customer Success Technology!

Our ROI Calculators can also help simulate the potential return on investment you could realize by investing in and incorporating a Customer Success platform like ChurnZero.

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