A customer success software interface shown next to a meter measuring revenue growth

Best Customer Success Software for SMBs vs. Enterprise

The right customer success software depends on your team size. A small customer success team just starting out has different needs (and budget!) than an enterprise company. As a general rule, customer success platforms are not cheap, but we have some tips on how to negotiate a competitive price.

Let's take a look at the best customer success software in 2023 for both SMB and enterprise, so you can make an informed choice.

For teams on a budget, check out our list of 20+ free customer success tools →

Best CSM software for enterprise

Best CSM software for SMB

Best all-in-one customer success platforms

We rated these platforms as best for a particular team size by looking at customer reviews & claims from G2, Reddit, and each CSM software’s website. Check out the comparison table for more details.

Logo for ChurnZero customer success software


Why it's best for enterprise - ChunZero is one of the most popular CSM platforms due to its comprehensive feature set. It's a powerful platform with customizable dashboards and integrations with top tools like Front and Intercom. That power comes at a price, however — setup requires significant work & technical expertise.

Get ChurnZero demo

Fully automated process with ChurnZero
“As a SaaS company, keeping our customer churn rate low is extremely important, and Churnzero makes it easy to identify, monitor, and track at-risk customers. It’s a fully automated process, so once an at-risk customer has been identified, it sends targeted messages to help reengage customers and encourage them to begin using the product again.”

Logo for Catalyst customer success software


Why it's best for enterprise - For a less mature product than the incumbents, it still provides an impressive range of automation features and integrations at a competitive price point. Cons include limited reporting features and imperfect data input via the Salesforce integration.

Get Catalyst pricing quote

Logo for Gainsight customer success software


Why it's best for enterprise - Like ChurnZero, it's a comprehensive tool that includes customer health score tracking and robust reporting and analytics. However, the most common complaint is that it's difficult to set up and maintain (as in, you'll need an ops role dedicated primarily to keeping Gainsight running).

Get Gainsight pricing quote

Helps us focus on relationships
“Gainsight's automation capabilities allow our CSMs to focus on building relationships with customers and addressing more complex issues while facilitating collaboration across teams. Its scalability and advanced analytics capabilities also make it the ideal customer success solution for our rapid business growth.”

Logo for Custify customer success software


Why it's best for enterprise - It's a good middle ground in terms of price, features, and ease of use. Offers health scores, dashboards, and automation playbooks, plus it works well with Salesforce. Some users say that data export is limited and there aren’t enough integrations with billing tools and CRMs.

Get Custify pricing quote

Logo for Vitally customer success software


Why it's best for SMB - A user-friendly tool with health tracking, task management, and plenty of integrations (Salesforce, Stripe, Mixpanel, etc.) Users say it’s easy to set up when compared to other tools, but downsides include limited reporting and dashboard features.

Get Vitally pricing quote

Logo for ClientSuccess customer success software


Why it's best for SMB - It's a user-friendly platform with strong data analytics and customizable dashboards, but has limited integrations with marketing automation tools and lacks built-in NPS surveys.

Get ClientSuccess demo

Logo for Planhat customer success software


Why it's best for SMB - It's popular thanks to its robust and mature feature set, including customer segmentation, automation tools, and various integrations. It's one of the more expensive options, but users rave about Planhat's onboarding, saying they really know customer success.

Get Planhat pricing quote

A favorite all-around tool
“Planhat displays complex data in super simple, clear charts and graphs, making it enjoyable to use and a powerful way to pull large amounts of complex customer data together.”

CSM Platform Comparison

Want to compare customer success software tools side by side? Use this table to compare the ease of setup, price, and key features of the best customer success platforms.

Comparison chart of the top 7 customer success platforms and their features

How to shop for customer success software

Unfortunately, CSP pricing is far from straightforward, so you should arm yourself with information before heading into the purchasing process.

Start by doing a needs assessment (e.g. MoSCoW) with your team to get clear on which features are must-have, should-have, or could-have — putting you in a better position to negotiate pricing with software vendors. You may also need to budget for a team member to set up and support the CSP on an ongoing basis.

Now that you have a game plan, how do you get a fair price?

  • Don't pay for features or license flexibility you don’t need — that’s why completing a needs assessment ahead of time is so important.
  • Reach out to at least 3 vendors to get pricing quotes, and try not to get your heart set on any one of them in particular. Remember, there's a ton of overlap in most CSP's feature sets!
  • Once you’ve secured quotes, ask vendors if they can match or beat the price you have in hand. Timing this conversation for the end of the fiscal year may improve your chances.

Keep in mind that pricing can vary based on the length of the contract term, the size of your company, and how many users you have. Most CSPs do not charge a straight per-user per-month fee, but instead have a combination of full seat licenses, lite seat licenses, account fees, and platform fees.

Is CSM the same as CRM?

Customer success software and CRM software both deal with customer data and interactions, but they have different focuses and goals. Here's the simplest way to explain the difference: Customer success software comes into play after the sale is made. CRM software is used before and during the sale.

Or put another way: Customer success software is focused on ensuring customer satisfaction and retention, while CRM software is focused on sales and revenue growth.

Does your team really need a CSP?

Plenty of businesses prefer to use tools that aren't considered customer success platforms; for example, Intercom and Slack Connect (messaging platforms) and Notion (knowledge base software).

“Intercom is easy to use and allows our team to communicate with our customers in a personalized and contextualized way, which is the kind of treatment they are looking for. We are able to send targeted messages to each lead/customer, based on their current stage in the buyer journey. We’ve integrated it with our CRM, allowing us to use data from the CRM to personalize the messages even further.”
Slack Connect & Notion
“We've found incredible success inviting new teams into our Slack. It brings us closer to new customers, allows us to demonstrate immediate value, and keeps us on top of any hiccups that come up during the process. In Notion, we created implementation templates to which we invite new customer teams. Being able to centralize and visualize the entirety of the onboarding journey gets everybody in alignment.”

If you’re not ready to spend the money or don’t have the technical resources to set up a CSP, you can pull together a decent solution from other tools. If that sounds like your team, check out our list of free customer success tools →

A word of caution: If your solution doesn't include automation, CSMs will struggle to keep up with the volume of tasks and communications required to manage customer relationships at scale. You may want to think about other ways you can automate common workflows and customer communication, so CSMs are freed up for more high-level work.

If your customer work is scattered across lots of cloud apps, Workona can help. In Workona, workspaces unify scattered customer work, bringing together all the apps & resources your team needs to run your entire customer process. Learn how your success team can eliminate tedious tasks — hunting down links, creating folders, organizing it all manually — with Workona.