8 Gainsight CS Competitors & Alternatives For Customer Success Teams


Ryan Prior


March 20, 2023

Gainsight is arguably the market leader in customer success platforms. It’s the oldest major platform in the space, with an impressive roster of customers, and a comprehensive feature set.

Yet, you’re here. It’s not for everyone. Implementation can be almost as painful as its administration, pricing is high, and you might not need everything Gainsight can offer.

First, let’s (quickly) frame why you’d even look at Gainsight competitors in the first place:

  • Time to value is high, and implementation is complicated
  • The contract value itself is simply higher than competitors
  • Gainsight is so powerful, many CS teams just don't need everything it offers
  • It requires experienced Gainsight administrators to manage (often $100k+ salary)

So what else is out there? Let’s look at some other platforms & how they’re different.

Here are the 8 best alternatives to Gainsight

  1. Planhat
  2. ChurnZero
  3. Totango
  4. CustomerSuccessBox
  5. Vitally
  6. Catalyst
  7. SmartKarrot
  8. ZapScale

1. Planhat

Pricing model: based on number of customers & features. Unlimited user seats for all plans.

Request a demo.

Key features

Planhat is a good alternative to Gainsight for teams that are looking for something comparably comprehensive in terms of features, but:

  • Is more modern and easier to use
  • Requires less admin and management
  • Doesn't charge for each added user seat

It has (arguably) one of the better UIs compared to other CS platforms.

Planhat prices are based on customer volume, not seats, so it suits a high ACV business well. Fewer customers with more CSMs is advantageous in this case. You can expect a starting price of around $25k/yr for Basic, or $40k/yr for Professional (for unlimited users).

It covers all the fundamentals of a CS platform very well: customer health scores, identifying at-risk customers, expansion opportunities, automations & playbooks, etc.

A nice addition (that some other alternatives are missing) is Planhat’s customer portal feature. It’s good for teams with a high-touch CS model. It lets you create a collaborative space to work on Success Plans, and share tasks or playbooks so that people on both teams know what to do, how, & when.

Lastly, Planhat’s Customer Success Inbox is a great solution for unified customer communications. Every support ticket, email, live chat (etc.) in one place for all the team to find & use.


Planhat has all the big integrations: Salesforce, HubSpot, Intercom, Pendo, Zapier, Segment, Snowflake (etc.). Chili Piper and Stitch (ETL tool) are integrations that most competitors don’t have. 

Notably, Planhat doesn’t have integrations with payment processors like Stripe or Chargebee. You can get MRR data per customer into Planhat either through another tool (e.g. CRM), or via the API.

Planhat vs Gainsight

See: full comparison of Planhat vs Gainsight.

  • Planhat is more modern than Gainsight, but similarly comprehensive in features
  • Planhat has a customer portal feature while Gainsight doesn't
  • Gainsight can generally customize more effectively for the most complex businesses
  • Gainsight can integrate directly with payment providers; Planhat cannot
  • With both tools, you can expect longer implementation times than lighter weight alternatives with fewer features. On average though, for a comparable implementation, Planhat is quicker & requires less administration once set up

Learn more and/or request a demo.

2. ChurnZero

Pricing model: platform fee plus user licenses. Talk to their sales team for tailored quotes.

Request a demo.

Key features

ChurnZero allows you to monitor customer health, identify at-risk customers, do customer segmentation, track customer journeys and more. 

It allows you to create a source of truth for each customer by pulling together data from support, sales, product usage, and billing. With that, it creates auto-updating customer health scores.

Those are used to trigger alerts (e.g. if usage drops), forecast renewal likelihood, and help to identify expansion opportunities.

Health scores in ChurnZero are highly customizable based on any data you have, and you’re able to create numerous different score calculations.

It also enables email automation & targeted in-app messages (based on customer segments) so you can prompt new feature adoption, offer tailored support, reminders, and more.

If there’d be any downsides to ChurnZero, it’d most likely be that the UI feels a little outdated, and the price is still pretty high.

See also: ChurnZero alternatives.


ChurnZero rivals Gainsight when it comes to integrations, covering most commonly required tools like Mixpanel, Pendo, Salesforce, HubSpot, Segment, Intercom and others.

There’s also a REST API for custom connections.

ChurnZero vs Gainsight

  • ChurnZero’s customer health scoring system is more customizable
  • ChurnZero is up there with Gainsight in terms of offering more premium features & a higher price tag than many competitors.
  • Users generally report that ChurnZero & Gainsight both have less inspiring UIs compared to some other (newer) CS platforms.
  • Gainsight has a customer-facing onboarding portal & built-in product analytics tool; ChurnZero does not

Learn more and/or request a demo

3. Totango

Pricing model: Limited free version. Tiered pricing based on number of users, number of customers, and features needed.

Request a demo or try for free.

Key features

Totango positions itself as a modular solution, i.e., you can pick & choose which parts you need right now, and add more later.

That means it has a more accessible entry price, while still scaling well to serve mid-market & enterprise teams. It’s worth noting that realistically, once you add on every feature that Gainsight offers, the total price is unlikely to be cheaper. Totango is not a cheap platform.

They use the term ‘SuccessBLOC’ for various templates that help you get started quickly. For example, you can use the ‘Detect Risk’ bloc to:

  • Quickly set up churn KPIs (e.g. a goal number for ‘Revenue At Risk’)
  • Filter for customer segments (e.g. at risk due to business change/acquisition)
  • Trigger templated workflows (e.g. assign tasks when payments are X days past due)

Totango also has a churn-fighting product called Spark. It’s an add-on that helps to monitor customer health scores & engagement levels at various points in the customer journey, and helps CS teams figure out where to focus their efforts.

One thing missing from Totango is the ability to have a unified inbox with every customer interaction in one place.

See also: Totango alternatives.


Totango has a wealth of integrations just like Gainsight. Segment, Zapier, Salesforce, HubSpot, Intercom and more are all covered. There’s an API too.

Totango vs Gainsight

  • Totango has a lower entry price, and more flexibility on features/products
  • Totango is likely to be quicker to implement
  • Gainsight is positioned for more mature SaaS tools, while Totango can scale down when needed for earlier stage companies
  • In Gainsight, the ‘timeline’ feature lets CSMs see every engagement with the customer, which is missing in Totango

Learn more and/or request a demo

4. CustomerSuccessBox

Pricing model: based on the CS model (e.g. high/low touch, automated, enterprise). From $999/month.

Request a demo.

Key features

CustomerSuccessBox is a newer platform to the market, with a big focus on automation, AI, and machine learning. 

Automations can be made for customer onboarding, task creation, updating data, and more – great for handling high volumes of lower ACV customers.

AI is used for things like:

  • Recommending tasks to CSMs based on what was successful in the past
  • Recommending which accounts have upsell potential
  • Calculating the retention probability, with the MRR value
  • Detecting & alerting for unusual fluctuations (e.g. spike/drop in feature usage)

They’ve prioritized implementation time, promising weeks (instead of months) to get value from the platform. In particular, they promise to handle the heavy engineering lift – so no engineering source is needed from your side to kick off.

CustomerSuccessBox doesn’t have a built-in product usage tool; you’ll need to connect Mixpanel, Amplitude, or something similar.


Like the platforms above, CustomerSuccessBox connects to most market-leading tools like HubSpot, Salesforce, Segment, Pendo, Intercom, Stripe, Mixpanel, etc.

And there’s an API for any custom integrations.

Currently, there’s no integrations for survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Typeform.

CustomerSuccessBox vs Gainsight

  • Implementation time with CustomerSuccessBox is quicker, with no engineering requirements to get started
  • CustomerSuccessBox utilizes data & AI to generate recommended tasks for CSMs
  • CustomerSuccessBox lacks some features that Gainsight has, e.g: customer-facing portal, built-in usage tool, and survey tool integrations.

Learn more and/or request a demo.

5. Vitally

Pricing model: based on number of customers & user seats. Startup program available for small teams (<15 people, <$3M funding).

Request a demo.

Key features

Vitally is a Gainsight competitor that typically has a quicker time to value, and lower maintenance/administration effort to keep running. It’s also more modern.

Like the other platforms, it covers all the basic CS use cases like customer health scores, identifying at-risk customers, expansion opportunities, automations & playbooks.

In addition, there’s a built-in NPS surveying tool that can be set up with a simple copy/paste JavaScript snippet.

There’s also a feature called ‘Docs’ which acts as a Notion-like collaborative workspace you can share with customers. Using templates, you can quickly spin up to-dos & guides, like an onboarding checklist with assignees.

Currently, Vitally is lacking in permissions control. There’s only two roles: admin or team member, with nothing in between.

Right now, the most likely reason you might still choose Gainsight over Vitally would be for missing a specific native integration, so take a good look & consider your tech stack.


Vitally is generally pretty good for integrations. Data warehouses like Snowflake, Zapier, payment processors like Stripe, support platforms, customer data platforms like Segment, (etc.) are all covered.

However, it’s missing some integrations that Gainsight does support. Some can be built via Zapier instead if needed, e.g. Pipedrive CRM. 

It also doesn’t integrate with tools like Gong, Zoom, and Jira – which may matter to you depending on your tech stack.

Vitally vs Gainsight

  • Vitally has a lower entry cost vs Gainsight
  • Vitally’s UI is considered nicer / easier to use than Gainsight or ChurnZero
  • Vitally is better for customer collaboration, with the Docs feature
  • Gainsight has more native integrations that Vitally misses, e.g. Pipedrive, Gong, Tableau
  • Gainsight is generally more mature across the board

Learn more and/or request a demo.

6. Catalyst

Pricing model: base platform fee plus accounts.

Request a demo.

Key features

Catalyst is a lighter weight solution compared to platforms like Gainsight, ChurnZero, and Totango. It has fewer features, lower complexity, and easier implementation. That makes it a solid choice to consider for teams that don’t quite need everything that those other platforms are offering.

If Catalyst has the integrations to fit your existing tech stack, then it’s going to be a good choice for SMBs.

Here’s a community opinion from r/customersuccess Reddit, which I think captures the Gainsight vs Catalyst comparison pretty well:

It is built for teams using Salesforce (not HubSpot, or other CRMs – there’s no integration for those yet).

Catalyst covers the main use cases:

  • Automation for tasks, playbooks, and emails
  • Customer segmentation
  • Account consolidation
  • Tracking customer activity
  • Churn prediction
  • Find upsell & expansion opportunities

It does not come with a customer-facing onboarding portal, or a built-in product usage analytics tool (you’ll need Mixpanel).


Overall, integrations are somewhat of a weakness for Catalyst. It does integrate with several tools like Salesforce, Segment, Mixpanel, and Slack – but others are missing.

Catalyst doesn’t integrate with sales CRMs outside of Salesforce, so it’s probably a no-go if you use HubSpot, Pipedrive, or another CRM.

Other notable missing integrations that other platforms have would include Intercom, Pendo, Amplitude, survey tooling, and Zapier.

Catalyst vs Gainsight

  • Catalyst caters better to SMBs vs. Gainsight, while GS caters better to enterprises
  • Catalyst offers fewer features than Gainsight, but at a lower price & easier to use
  • Gainsight has more integrations (e.g. more CRMs outside of Salesforce)
  • Catalyst requires less administration vs Gainsight
  • Implementation time is faster than Gainsight

Learn more and/or request a demo.

7. SmartKarrot

Pricing model: Platform fee based on plan needed + company ARR managed on SmartKarrot. Every plan has unlimited customers and unlimited team seats.

Request a demo.

Key features

SmartKarrot is a newer (but still pretty comprehensive) CS platform. As well as the standard features, SmartKarrot also has several built-in solutions that often otherwise require separate integrations, like product usage analytics, NPS surveying, and customer onboarding.

The implementation of SmartKarrot is technical (SDK or API), and not particularly quick. Once set up though, administration should be easier than Gainsight.

Like the other platforms, the basics are covered:

  • Customer health scoring
  • Customer 360 view (all interactions / activity in one place)
  • Playbooks & task automations
  • Detecting churn risks

Workflow optimization is a strength of SmartKarrot. Plans have unlimited user seats, which means you can easily bring customer success, support, sales and even product together in one tool. Tasks & automated playbooks can be assigned / triggered for any team member.

SmartKonversations is a fairly unique add-on that records customer calls, and does automated transcription, keyword detection, and customer sentiment analysis. It has real-time call assist too. With a different platform, you’d need a separate tool like Gong to achieve those things.


There are several cases where integrations aren’t needed (due to being built into the platform).

Regarding CRMs, SmartKarrot directly integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, and Pipedrive. Stripe & Chargebee for billing. Zendesk & Freshdesk for support. They don’t have a public list of every integration, so you’ll have to contact their team with specific questions.

SmartKarrot vs Gainsight

  • Implementation times & complexity are likely comparable
  • SmartKarrot’s pricing model may suit small ARR companies with high customer volume
  • SmartKarrot lacks integrations with data warehouses like Snowflake or BigQuery
  • Call recording, transcription, and sentiment analysis is available with an add-on in SmartKarrot. In Gainsight, you’d have to integrate with Gong.

Learn more and/or request a demo.

8. ZapScale

Pricing model: Based on number of customers. Starts from $249/month for up to 50 customers. Currently offering 1-month free trials.

Request a demo.

Key features

ZapScale’s platform is all about speed & simplicity. Fast setup, out-of-the-box KPIs & playbook templates, automations, and ease of use.

They’re a newer entrant to the market, and therefore naturally have fewer features than the more mature platforms. Here’s one Reddit user’s opinion after implementing ZapScale:

As above, you won’t find too much on the website (yet), but here’s a quick summary:

  • Out-of-the-box health scoring for usage, communications, payments
  • Probabilities for upsell & retention
  • Playbook templates to automate task creations (e.g. what to do if usage drops)
  • No-code feature for creating Success Outcomes, and tracking whether customers reach them

Book a demo to get more details & ask questions.

For security & compliance, they are SOC 2 Type 2 certifiied.


ZapScale integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Jira, and some others. As a newer platform, they’re adding integrations regularly.

ZapScale vs Gainsight

  • ZapScale has a drastically faster implementation time
  • Gainsight can run surveys & NPS scoring, while ZapScale cannot
  • ZapScale comes with pre-built templates for health scoring & playbooks
  • Gainsight has significantly more features, customizations and maturity overall
  • ZapScale’s lean team are quicker & more attentive when it comes to support

Learn more and/or request a demo.