Customer Success tools for startups

skhader Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

Hi all,

I am transitioning to a formal Customer Success role at a startup with less than 10 employees, so you can imagine there are a lot of bases to cover! We currently use Zendesk Support and Sell alongside an avalanche of Google Sheets and Docs to manage everything.

I'm hoping to get some guidance on tools that I can use to structure tasks and workflows within my function? Ideally, these tools would integrate with Sell or function as an add-on to keep everything in sync.

Beyond that, if anyone has any advice or wisdom around forming CS strategy and selecting KPIs, all of that would be much appreciated!

Thank you all!


  • Javed Maqsood
    Javed Maqsood Member Posts: 31 Contributor
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    Hi @skhader - You do have a lot of bases to cover. I'd suggest build your processes first using whatever tools you have in place. Once the team and operations is up and running, focus back on tools.

    CS Strategy - Focus on what you want to achieve for your CS team on a phased basis

    i.e. first 6 months - form the backbone of operation, processes, get customer pulse check etc

    next 6 months - start building towards the success KPIs.

    Make sure that your goals are aligned with company goals. Product - your product customer journey and adoption should be aligned with these goals. Lastly, focus on building a good team to help you.

    You are off to a good start.


    Javed Maqsood
    Advisor, Mentor
  • MattSmith
    MattSmith Member Posts: 7 Navigator
    First Comment Name Dropper

    Hi @skhader

    As Javed said this is a lot to cover.

    I can speak with most confidence about KPIs as this is exactly what I cover in the Strategy sessions I run for product and CS teams. The most important thing is likely to be usage of your tool/product, and the team should be focused on that. Higher adoption = more product value = more likely to renew. Focusing on usage also links more closely to the skills your CS team should already have (training, adoption, product knowledge) and allows them to more positive conversations with your customers around increasing usage numbers (rather than simply asking about renewals all the time).

    Let me know if you would like to discuss more.


  • Fran Stevenson
    Fran Stevenson Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    Name Dropper First Comment First Anniversary

    Hi @skhader

    I've been in your position before and agree with those above.

    At this stage in the game it typically takes time to GTM for systems, then configure/implement and train.

    A quick win I found was Guru. Lower cost, low LOE for implementation. And a great place to start documenting processes and customer journey.

    Happy to jump on a call and discuss further, if needed. Fran

  • KimberlyReneeKnowles
    KimberlyReneeKnowles Member Posts: 21 Navigator
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    I agree with whoever said to build out your systems and processes first.

    I am new to learning about CS, but I am going through end-user trainings for Gainsight and have been really impressed with it. My guess is it is probably really expensive.

    I also wanted to point out that Client Success is still taking applications to give away a free year of their system. That could be worth applying for. @Kristi Faltorusso - didn't that get extended? I'm having trouble finding the link or and the extension deadline. If you search her posts on Linkedin you'll probably find it.

    Finally, I wonder if just some project management software would help at this stage. And a slightly cheaper CRM like Hubspot. I'm learning ClickUp at the moment, and I think it integrates with ClickUp - perhaps something like that would be helpful as you build out your processes!

  • colin-userlot
    colin-userlot Member Posts: 8 Navigator
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    Good to see startups taking CS seriously.

    It's very common for CS to really only 'grow up' in an organization once recurring revenue exceeds new sales, so it's tempting to just fudge along until then.

    BUT!! We don't do this with development, marketing, etc.. so the earlier processes are set up the better you are ready to #scalecs

    I've love to chat about your experience and needs as our product (Userlot) is targeting aspects of our features direct to startups

  • KimberlyReneeKnowles
    KimberlyReneeKnowles Member Posts: 21 Navigator
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    Following up on this. The deadline to apply for the @ClientSuccess giveaway is today, February 10th - just saw it on their website!