What is CSM Software and 5 Reasons Why You Need It

Chelsea Castle

Ahh, the beautiful world of customer success and account management. Where the meetings are abundant, the time is often in low supply, and the balls you’re juggling may occasionally drop. If only there were something that could help. Luckily for you, there is — CSM software.

What is CSM Software?

CSM software is created specifically for customer success and account management teams.

While there are many kinds of CSM software out there, it generally helps CS and AM teams with their core responsibilities: serving customers, and expanding business through expansion, upsells, and cross-sells.

Because your CS or AM role is demanding, strategic, and requires the balancing of multiple plates, CSM software is critical to helping you and your team drive revenue and best care for customers.

What types of CSM Software exist? 

There are various CS solutions out there depending on your organization, goals, and needs. 

The most common tools help you manage the overall customer lifecycle. More specifically, aiding your maintenance and control of customer profiles, individual data, and overall engagement and activity. 

These solutions typically enable you to capture your customers’ voice (survey results, feedback, conversations), key lifecycle moments, and more. 

Some of the most popular software in this category are ones you’ve likely heard of, like Gainsight, Planhat, ChurnZero, or Totango. 

There are other types of CSM software that play well with the aforementioned customer-centric technology. Cloud-based CRMs work with CS platforms and help provide deeper insights into your customer relationships’ health.

Some CS software focuses specifically on scheduling while also connecting to your CRM. Its features make it easy for customers to book meetings, eliminates manual admin work, and helps streamline your overall communication process. 

Now that we have a good look at the CS tech landscape thus far, understanding the why beyond your software choice will ensure you make the best possible selection for your team’s needs. 

5 Reasons Why You Need CSM Software 

1. Improve the onboarding process

There may be no more important step in your customer journey than onboarding. This process refers to when a new user becomes your customer and begins using your product or service.

Using CSM software helps you create an onboarding process that is thoughtful, strategic, and effective. This is paramount to the future success of each relationship and the longevity of your company. 

When executed well, onboarding helps ensure your users fully adopt your product, and can positively influence retention and loyalty. 

Tools like ChurnZero automate your onboarding steps, decrease the overall process timeline, and track milestones. It also has “playbooks,” which allow you to segment customers and create routine onboarding tasks and communications based on targeted needs.

With a CS scheduling solution like Chili Piper, you can also improve your sales to CS handoff and send automated meeting reminders for each step along your onboarding journey. It also syncs simply with your CRM data to create visibility and control across each touchpoint. 

2. Turn feedback into insights 

It can be cumbersome and downright impossible to track the voice of the customer (VOC). Whether it’s a conversation, survey, or quarterly-business-review (QBR), it’s essential to find a way to capture your customer’s expectations and preferences. 

CSM software can be revolutionary in how you monitor and leverage this data.

Solutions like Planhat have features that help you get specific with what VOC elements you capture and track. And then, it enables you to make that data actionable once you have it. 

There are also intelligent tools like Userpilot you can use for NPS surveys to further turn feedback into action — promptly and without any coding knowledge.

3. Identify and prevent churn

The name of the CS game is retention — it’s critical because churn is costing US companies $136 billion a year

CSM software can help you predict and prevent churn. Like Gainsight, which uses your data to monitor customer health and quality of interactions actively. This can help you respond proactively, and foresee aversions or product challenges your users may face. 

And there’s no better way to continuously optimize retention than using tools that equip you to create the best customer experience every day. 

Some tools can optimize every step of your meeting and communication process with customers — saving both parties time and headaches. With Chili Piper, customers can meet with you in one-click across multiple guests, and you can have control over your calendar at the same time. 

4. Streamline processes and align your team

For a team that is high-functioning, exceptionally busy, and managing a multitude of accounts, CSM software is a must. Not only for your team’s sanity but also to save time that could be better spent with customers. 

CS efficiency tools help you achieve that while creating alignment and cohesion across your team. 

Products like Instant Booker enable you to easily coordinate your booking processes — saving every team member time. If your CS and sales teams use the same tools (an ideal scenario), you instantly have a streamlined experience — from handoff to onboarding to renewal. That’s a win-win-win — for each team and your clients!

5. Gain visibility and control across customer interactions 

CS operations can hugely benefit from CSM software, too. Chili Piper is the only CS scheduling tool that provides meeting analytics across every customer interaction. 

So you can see where time is being spent by which CSM on what size accounts, giving you the ultimate control to maximize resources, grow accounts, and scale your team.

Tools like Totango also have robust visibility into all activities in your portfolio and can show customer health in real-time. This kind of control and insight into your accounts is table stakes for successful CS teams. 

Bottom Line on CSM Software 

With the rise of CS operations and digital customer success, it’s time for the CS category to continue the deep dive into how technology can and will elevate every experience. 

Seventy-six percent of customers in a Salesforce survey said they “expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.” 

And let’s be honest — old-fashioned pen, paper, and memory won’t cut it in our advanced world. CSM software takes the work of knowing and anticipating your client’s every need to a whole new level. 

Overall, the right CSM software for your team and organization will help you provide a better customer experience — every single time. 

If you’re interested in trying Chili Piper for your customer success team, you can launch today for free.


About the author
Chelsea Castle

Chelsea Castle is the Director of Content Marketing at Chili Piper. A journalist turned empathy-driven marketer, she's also a concert junkie who can often be found #doingthings outside and crafting creative ways to be sustainable.

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