As a customer success team lead, I've been through the process of buying a customer success platform. It's way harder than I expected it to be.
One of the potential platforms was Totango. Ultimately, we didn't go with them. They're a good fit for some companies (of course!), but:
- There's no unified inbox
- No product usage data (and no integrations with Mixpanel/Amplitude etc.)
- Although pricing starts accessible, it adds up fast
- There are easier platforms to use for better adoption & quicker implementation
If you find yourself here, presumably you want to know what else is out there. I can help!
Here are the 8 best alternatives to Totango:
- CustomerSuccess Box
Gainsight is arguably the market leader in customer success platforms, and certainly the one who's been around the longest. It can scale to serve the biggest orgs in the world like Meta -- but it come with the price tag, complexity, and implementation time that you'd expect from such a platform.
It can do everything you expect from a customer success platform:
- Complex customer health scores
- Integrated product usage & other analytics (with either Gainsight PX add-on or a Mixpanel integration)
- CS reporting
- Workflows, triggers, automations -- including bidirection Salesforce/HubSpot integrations
The key thing that underpins why Gainsight can serve the most complex needs is it's customizability. Everything can be customized. You can create custom data points, make custom UIs, sync with custom objects in Salesforce, and more. If you have the know-how (trained Gainsight Administrators) to manage it, it's a powerful tool.
If you're looking for a simpler & lower cost platform, you might want to keep looking for alternatives to Gainsight (e.g. Vitally, Catalyst, Planhat).
Gainsight vs Totango
- Gainsight has more advanced automation and reporting features, making it a better fit for larger businesses with more complex needs.
- Totango offers a more affordable entry price and greater flexibility when it comes to features and products compared to Gainsight.
- Gainsight has more native integrations available than Totango.
- Neither platform has a unified customer inbox.
Learn more about Gainsight & request a demo here.
Pricing model: Base platform free + accounts. Request pricing information here.
If Gainsight sounds like more than you need, Catalyst may be a viable option. It aims to provide a lighter-weight solution for managing customer success efforts, while still offering all the essential functionalities. Although it may have fewer features and a lower level of complexity, it can effectively support most small and medium-sized businesses.
Some of the key components of Catalyst include:
- Customizable dashboards
- Account health overview
- Journey Builder
One of the key benefits of Catalyst is its ease of implementation. With a user-friendly interface and a relatively simple setup process, teams can quickly get up and running with the platform. Additionally, Catalyst's support team is known for being very hands-on with customers, which is a benefit that not all platforms offer.
One of the downsides to the product is the lack of integrations available. Even though more well-known players are available, like Salesforce, Zendesk, and Slack, all other platforms have to be integrated with their open API which can make the integration flow more complicated.
Catalyst also does not have any native survey options available like NPS scoring or CSAT.
Catalyst vs Totango
- Totango has more key features available, like native survey options and a presentation builder.
- Totango is a more data-driven platform whereas Catalyst focuses on hybrid or high-touch workflows.
- Totango has a strong integration ecosystem, which makes it easy to integrate with other tools and platforms.
- While both platforms serve a wide range of industries, Catalyst has a particular focus on B2B technology and SaaS companies
Learn more about Catalyst & request a demo here.
Pricing model: Three different plans: Basic, Professional, and Enterprise. No exact price is available, though all plans come with unlimited users. Learn more here.
Planhat is kinda like Gainsight, but with a faster implementation time, easier adoption, lower pricing, and a little less customizable.
It can do everything you would expect from a customer success platform including customer 360 view, health scoring, automated workflows, playbooks, and more. They also have an awesome customer-facing portal that you can use to collaborate with your customers on their success plans. You can share usage dashboards with relevant data to showcase their usage and drive learnings.
Planhat's pricing (almost) uniquely includes unlimited user seats on every plan. That helps to avoid siloing customer success, because it makes it possible to invite everyone into the platform, from product to sale to leadership etc.
In terms of integrations, Planhat offers a wide range of native integrations with popular platforms like Intercom, Salesforce, Hubspot, and Zendesk. It currently lacks integrations with payment processors such as Stripe or Chargebee, but customer revenue data can be utilized either via a data warehouse or your CRM.
Planhat vs Totango
- Planhat has several integrations that Totango misses, like Pipedrive, Mixpanel and Amplitude.
- Planhat has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate, while Totango can be more complex with longer adoption times.
- Totango has a more accessible starting price.
Learn more about Planhat & request a demo here.
Pricing model: There is no mention of the pricing structure on the website. However, there are several pricing tiers based on the size of the organization and your specific needs. Learn more here.
ClientSuccess is a cloud-based customer success platform that helps you manage and grow your customer base with a heavy focus on a high-touch CS approach. It offers a range of features designed to help companies improve customer retention, reduce churn, and increase customer lifetime value.
Some of the key features of ClientSuccess include Customer 360 which provides a holistic overview of the customer including health scoring. You can also use their pre-built playbooks to automate some known workflows or customer journey phases.
ClientSuccess offers a range of reporting and analytics tools to help track key metrics, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. You can set up alerts to notify you or the team of any important changes.
And like other tools, ClientSuccess integrates with a range of different platforms, including CRMs like Pipedrive and Hubspot, support ticket systems like Zendesk or Help Scout, and others.
It’s also important to mention that the time-to-value for ClientSuccess is rather short compared to other tools in the market. And they also have a dedicated CSM for each of their new customers who provides proactive support.
ClientSuccess vs Totango
- ClientSuccess is clearly meant for a more high-touch CS approach while Totango is more meant for hybrid or low-touch.
- ClientSuccess has a simple, intuitive user interface
- ClientSuccess is known for its hands-on customer experience
- Totango offers more advanced reporting and analytics features compared to ClientSuccess
Learn more about ClientSuccess & request a demo here.
Pricing model: Three plans available — Tech Touch, Hybrid Touch, and High-Touch to suit your CS model. Price is based on the number of customers and user seats. Request pricing or demo to get exact rates.
Vitally is a CS platform that belongs to the more lightweight category, similar to Catalyst. It has a great feature set that supports your every customer success effort, that being customer retention, renewal, or expansion.
Some of the key features include:
- Account health: Vitally provides a comprehensive view of the health of each customer account, allowing teams to identify potential issues and address them proactively.
- Playbooks: You can custom-build workflows for common customer success scenarios, such as onboarding, upselling, and handling customer issues. These playbooks can be customized to meet the specific needs of each team.
- Automation: Vitally automates many routine tasks, such as sending welcome emails, tracking usage, and identifying at-risk customers. This frees up time for teams to focus on higher-value activities.
- Analytics: Vitally provides detailed analytics on customer behavior, allowing teams to identify trends and patterns that can inform their customer success strategies. This includes information on usage, adoption, and churn risk.
'Docs' is also a stand out feature. It lets you create a collaborative space for CS teams to work with their customers. Teams can assign tasks, leave comments, and share information within the platform, improving communication and visibility. It feels kinda like Notion, but with customer data directly pulled in via variables.
The availability of integrations is up there with Totango. Vitally offers integrations with tools such as Intercom, Segment, Slack, Stripe, and Zapier. They also offer an open API, which allows businesses to build their own custom integrations.
Vitally vs Totango
- User-friendly interface and intuitive navigation
- Strong emphasis on automation, allowing teams to set up automated workflows and playbooks for various customer success scenarios. Totango also offers automation features, but may not be as robust as Vitally in this area.
- Both tools offer a free trial for new users, however, Totango is definitely the more expensive of the two.
Learn more about Vitally & request a demo here.
Pricing model: Prices are based on the number of accounts. Learn more here.
Similarly to Vitally or Catalyst, Custify leans more towards the lightweight category of CS platforms. It covers all the basics: customer health scores, playbooks, customer segmentation, custom dashboard and insights, and surveys. However, it is definitely less feature-rich than Totango.
The platform has an intuitive UI which makes the platform easy to use and understand. It is also quite straightforward which makes it easy to implement. They have a great proactive customer service team that is highly praised by users and really helps the adoption go smoother.
Some of the features do tend to be a bit clunky and hard to customize. Especially in terms of their reporting features which are often pointed out by their SMB customers. This could be a red flag mostly for bigger teams that have different needs and requirements.
The selection of native integrations isn’t as large as Totango’s but they still have the more well-known platform available, like Intercom, Stripe, Salesforce, and more.
Custify vs Totango
- Custify is more budget-friendly compared to Totango
- Less native integrations available than Totango
- Custify doesn’t have any customer collaboration features available
- Custify is geared toward small to mid-sized businesses
Learn more about Custify & request a demo here.
Pricing model: Three different plans: Growth, Pro, and Enterprise. There is a flat platform fee dependent on the plan chosen and ARR managed on SmartKarrot. Learn more here.
PS! They also charge a one-time fee for the implementation and training.
SmartKarrot is a modern but probably less-known CS tool with all the most common features you would need. They cover all the basics, like customer 360 view with health scoring, playbook, customer segmentation, NPS surveys, and more.
The major thing that sets them apart is SmartKonversations which is an exclusive digital offering that stores and reviews customer conversations, and offers automated transcription, phrase detection, and customer emotion analysis. And, they have an AI-powered virtual assistant that should be even more intelligent than your regular chatbot.
They offer a variety of integrations with tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, Intercom, and Stripe. They do not have an official list available but you can most likely integrate anything you wish with their REST API.
SmartKarrot is mainly designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Especially as it has some limitations on collaboration between team members. Its reporting capabilities are also more simple compared to Totango’s capabilities. However, the interface is said to be very user-friendly and the tool is easy to use on an everyday basis.
They also are said to have a great customer-centric approach and proactive team which simplifies the implementation and adoption process.
SmartKarrot vs Totango
- More affordable tool compared to Totango
- More focus on SMBs
- SmartKarrot is easier to adopt with an intuitive UI
- Less native integrations compared to Totango
Learn more about SmartKarrot & request a demo here.
Pricing model: Four available plans: Tech Touch, High Touch, Enterprise, and CS Intelligence. Request pricing information here.
CustomerSuccessBox, similarly to others, is your one-stop shop for all CS-related efforts. The key features are:
- Health scoring
- Automation capabilities that include automated emails and alerts
- NPS scoring
- Reporting with custom dashboards
Something that sets CSB apart from others is the heavy focus on onboarding processes. They have multiple different features that help teams set up that particular process. They also have a few AI features that should provide more insights into retention.
Unfortunately, quite a few users have mentioned that their UI seems to be quite difficult to use and adapt. There also seem to be a few gaps in customizability.
The tool offers a variety of native integrations with tools like Intercom, Stripe, Hubspot, and Salesforce. The list isn’t as impressive as with other tools but most of the more well-known players are represented and they also have a REST API available.
CustomerSuccessBox vs Totango
- Less native integrations compared to Totango
- Totango is more feature-rich compared to CSB
- The UI could be improved
- CSB tends to be more affordable for small and mid-sized businesses
Learn more about CustomerSuccessBox & request a demo here.