We suppose you're here because you are evaluating ChurnZero and ClientSuccess.
In that case, I assume either you are leading a customer success (CS) team, or one of your key goals is to improve net revenue retention and reduce customer churn at a fast-growing B2B organization.
First of all, you're already doing the right thing by looking for a solution that will help your CS team's performance.
Going by the G2 customer success software grid, ChurnZero is in the ‘Leaders’ category, whereas ClientSuccess is in the 'High Performers' category. So, how do you decide which one to go for?
Our research approach to arriving at an objective comparison
What makes us the authority to rightfully compare the two CS platforms and offer an objective/unbiased perspective? Great question! Also, a very valid question!
We at Avoma are a SaaS organization ourselves and strongly believe in being useful and helpful to the SaaS community at large with our modern SaaS initiatives. In fact, we’ve gone through the CS software evaluation phase multiple times for our organization.
The purpose of this blog post is to not just share our learnings and observations from our evaluation journey, but also talk to several other evaluators, existing customers and past customers of both these CS softwares.
Here’s the 5-step process on how we arrive at our comparative information in an unbiased manner:
- If we’ve evaluated the platform for ourselves in the past—refer to the notes on why we decided to go through or not-go-through with the platform.
- Reaching out to at least 15 existing and past users of both platform’s users to understand their first-hand experience.
- Interview the current and past users of these software to understand the nitty-gritties of the features that are a must-have, good-to-have, or missing.
- Aggregate a minimum of 100 reviews across G2, GetApp, TrustRadius, FinancesOnline and all relevant SaaS review sites to understand the customer sentiment at scale.
- Run polls on social media.
The key difference between ChurnZero and ClientSuccess
ChurnZero focuses on reducing customer churn
The fundamental difference between ChurnZero and ClientSuccess is—ChurnZero is a real-time customer success software designed for SaaS organizations wanting to reduce customer churn.
One of the prime features of ChurnZero is the flexibility to integrate with CRMs to streamline the customer success (CS) workflow. ChurnZero takes a very similar approach to the one we discussed about Totango in our earlier comparison with Gainsight, where the core aim is to:
- Understand how their customers use their product
- Assess their health and their chances of renewal
- Automate and personalize the customer experience with timely and relevant touch points, including in-app content
ClientSuccess focuses on product adoption
ClientSuccess is a customer success software for SaaS organizations that helps you in managing and growing the customer base and ultimately building customer loyalty.
Therefore, the focus of the platform is to provide rich customer analytics, actionable insights, and best practices to reduce churn, increase revenue, and maximize the customer lifetime value (LTV).
Further, you get features like reminders for upcoming deadlines, vast third-party integrations, and communication management.
ClientSuccess is a versatile SaaS support solution for front-line CS reps, managers, and executives. However, reporting is limited and integration features could have been better.
Choosing between ChurnZero and ClientSuccess
When you are evaluating between two or more SaaS products, it’s best to slice and dice your comparison from 4 critical lenses:
Key factors for evaluation
1. Ease of use
The ease of using a Customer Success platform is an essential factor to consider since it will make or break the platform's adoption among your CS team.
Questions to ask:
- How hard or easy is it to set up and implement the CS software?
- Do you need a dedicated manager to administer the tool?
- Can you trial the platform yourself with some automated nurture assisting you?
- Will the users need training to start using the tool effectively?
2. Product capabilities
If the CS software’s UX gets a passing grade, the next evaluation criteria should be the range of features and benefits it offers.
Questions to ask:
- How comprehensive is the platform in terms of allowing flexibility based on various customer success goals and approaches?
- What integrations does it support?
- Do they support the integrations natively or via some third-party API connectors?
- Are its functionalities out-of-the-box or customizable?
Pricing is an important area to explore considering your team size, budget, and the net retention revenue goals you expect to achieve as a result of leveraging the CS platform.
Questions to ask:
- Does the CS tool offer a free trial or freemium subscription model?
- Is the pricing affordable, flexible, and fair for your business use cases?
- Does it have flexible monthly billing options or does it force you to sign annual contracts?
- Are there any hidden costs?
When you're buying a piece of software, you're not just buying to solve your pressing needs today but also looking to use it for your future needs.
Questions to ask:
- How easy and affordable is it to add more users to the platform?
- Does it offer enterprise-level features?
- Can the platform support you across the growth and maturity phases?
Comparing ChurnZero and ClientSuccess
The TL;DR version
1. Ease of use
Both ChurnZero and ClientSuccess are rated highly by their customers. ChurnZero is well positioned in the leaders category with 627 reviews and though they have an overall rating of 4.75/5, it looks like ‘ease-of-use’ is not an area where they have an edge over ClientSuccess.
The customers of ClientSuccess seem to highly appreciate the simplicity of its user interface and find it very easy-to-use. With an overall rating of 4.4/5 out of 302 reviews, ClientSuccess is objectively rated higher for the simplicity of their UI and UX between the two.
2. Product capabilities
ChurnZero, as the name suggests, is hyper-focused on reducing churn. The platform gives you an at-a-glance view of account health, NPS, email and phone communication, ongoing automated drip campaigns, and other metrics—making it a useful everyday hub for CS workflow.
ChurnZero looks at customer health as a holistic indicator, which is a result of several factors such as—how their customers use their product, chances of renewal, and more.
Because the platform is targeted at the mid-market and enterprise audience, there is a lot of focus on process, integrations, and workflows. ChurnZero offer’s wide-ranging flexibility when it comes to integrating with CRMs to streamline the customer success workflow.
With features such as Customer Segmentation, Account Insights, Plays, and Automations—the idea is to make customer interaction more proactive, trackable, and consistent. The platform helps you set up workflows to drive the right action at the right moments across the customer success pipeline.
That said, when you have a platform focused on serving mid-market and upstream, it’s going to be heavily reliant on integrations with CRMs and other platforms with varied levels of dependency on configurations and data points.
And that means you need a dedicated admin and focus on implementation, where you need to have all parties across the organization involved and on the same page.
At the heart of ClientSuccess is—helping you manage and grow the customer base and ultimately build customer loyalty.
Though growing the customer base is at the core, ClientSuccess doesn’t ignore the various factors leading to churn.
The platform provides rich customer analytics, actionable insights, and best practices to reduce churn, increase revenue, and maximize LTV. It offers reminders for upcoming deadlines, vast third-party integrations, and communication management.
Here’s an overview of what the ClientSuccess platform offers:
ClientSuccess offers you a good mix of customer health insights and execution capabilities allowing CSMs to keep track of the key CS metrics.
But if you’re depending on the platforms automation plays and haven’t invested on a CRM/marketing hub platforms like Hubspot or Apollo, then you might face some limitations on the ClientSuccess platform especially in terms of whom the automated emails can be sent to.
To sum up, if you’re an SMB organization and want to prioritize ease-of-use and don’t need a lot of bells-and-whistles, you’ll love ClientSuccess. You might really appreciate the Client 360 view and the Revenue page that shows your past and upcoming customer renewals.
When you visit ChurnZero’s website—there is no pricing page. So, if you want to trial their platform or want a demo, you need to go through a typical enterprise-style form where you will be BANT qualified by an SDR before you even get a glimpse of the product. And it's not necessarily a bad thing.
From what we found, it looks like—on an average, if you were integrating with one or two key platforms with minimal customization, you will be spending upwards of $2500/user/month. Thus, ChurnZero is ideally suited for enterprises and upper mid-market customers.
At the outset, ClientSuccess too doesn’t offer pricing on their website. But based on our conversations with existing and past customers, it appears that their pricing is relatively flexible and manageable for the SMB or mid-market segment.
ChurnZero–a safe & scalable bet
From the scale point of view, ChurnZero makes the task of managing multiple systems easier—from a user perspective, albeit the need for some support on the administrative side.
To reduce churn and improve your net retention rate, ChurnZero can get you data input from multiple sources. More importantly, it can help you with customer segmentation, automate several parts of your product-led workflow such as onboarding, improving product adoption, customer re-engagement and more.
While the customers of ChurnZero have great things to say about the platform, the only downside is—since the pricing is not transparently available, it’s not clear if the scalability is complemented by affordability.
ClientSuccess–scalability subject to your business model
While ClientSuccess is definitely scalable to needs across your growing customer-facing team—the scalability is subject to whether you have a high volume of low-touch customers or high-touch customers. For instance, if you are looking for extensive email automation capabilities, then ClientSuccess might not scale beyond a point. But that said, ClientSuccess integrates with most CRMs and automation platforms. The best part is that you can easily get it up and running pretty quickly.
If you are at a point where you are seriously considering investmenting in a customer success software—between ChurnZero and ClientSuccess, the choice is based on where you are in terms of your customer success maturity curve and your CS DNA.
Both ChurnZero and ClientSuccess are great tools. The sheer number of customers and the ratings they have across review platforms is a testimony to that.
Especially, if you are in SaaS, the insights these tools provide will be absolutely core to your business. Therefore, though it won’t be a small investment, it’s worth getting it right and getting it as early as possible. So, which one do you go for?
Here’s our recommendation:
1. If you are a small organization and want to focus on growth, and don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, ClientSuccess is definitely a great choice to go with. It’ll help you in your hyper-focused journey to manage and grow your customer base and build loyalty.
2. On the other hand, if you are streamlining your CS processes as a fast-growing organization that is scaling rapidly, then you might want to go for ChurnZero.