CS Platforms: Catalyst, Totango, Involve.ai

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Kelsey Peterson
Kelsey Peterson Member Posts: 6 Contributor
edited February 2022 in CS Technology
Hi Folks,

I'm evaluating CS platforms for our start-up and so far it looks like core functionality among Catalyst, Totango, and Involve.ai is reasonably consistent.  Can anybody vouch in favor of (or not in favor) of any of the three?  I'd love to have a clear winner or otherwise eliminate one.  For context:
  • We're a CS team of 4 expecting to be 10 by EOY
  • Prioritizing upsell & renewal is most top of mind
  • Line of sight into our customer health score is key
  • Thank you!
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  • Shelby Czarnota
    Shelby Czarnota Member Posts: 11 Contributor
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    edited February 2022
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    Hi Kelsey,  

    My experience mainly from a very large complex enterprise, is technology overlay needs a foundation of clear process, practice and roles and data.    Gainsight and Totango seem to be more ready for an enterprise, naturally they have been in the category the longest, however there are many CS solutions in the CS tool box of vendors that likely work for small start ups as well.     
    I am not sure how many of your top contenders have free trials / try before you buy, however Totango does, and it would likely give you a playground to discover ease of set up, configuring use cases based on your priorities and way more practical hands on experience versus brochure ware comparing feature / function.   May be see if your other vendors offer the same.   
    You can actually try Totango for free here -
    https://app.totango.com/signup/?edition=community&_gl=1*cnzbwm*_ga*MTkzNDAwNzE4MC4xNjIwODQ4MTA1*_ga_FFFGPC5R8J*MTY0NTA0OTQyNS45OC4wLjE2NDUwNDk0MjUuMA..
  • Jeff Heckler
    Jeff Heckler Member, CS Leader Posts: 80 Expert
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    edited February 2022
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    Before you get into the CSP evaluation phase, you really need to have a directional foundation on your CS Ops team and strategy.
    And your processes established.
    And that doesn't happen without having your Customer Journey(s) mapped.
    I've written a lot about this on my LinkedIn page.
    And...I've successfully built CSPs from CRMs with my teams.
    Many advantages to that route, as well.

  • Catherine Rush
    Catherine Rush Member Posts: 2 Navigator
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    edited February 2022
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    Hi, 


    We have been looking at building out our CS operation at my start up too. I had looked into Catalyst originally, but they require Salesforce to work and we are a Hubspot company. 

  • Kelsey Peterson
    Kelsey Peterson Member Posts: 6 Contributor
    edited February 2022
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    Thank you both -- surprising to me that Catalyst requires Salesforce (we use both HubSpot & Salesforce so not a problem for us as an org, but interesting for sure).  Appreciate your input!
  • Dror Sabbag
    Dror Sabbag Member Posts: 3 Seeker
    edited February 2022
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    Hi Kelsey

    Happy to jump on a call and share my experience with Totango.

    I've evaluated few before choosing this one. 

    Here's my calendar 


    Dror
  • Jeff Heckler
    Jeff Heckler Member, CS Leader Posts: 80 Expert
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    edited February 2022
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    This might be helpful: https://customersuccessbox.com/blog/top-6-tools-for-measuring-customer-health-in-2022/
    And always remember to consider the source...
  • LouiseC
    LouiseC Member Posts: 8 Contributor
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    edited February 2022
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    Hey Kelsey,

    I actually use a different platform - Churn Zero https://churnzero.net/.... yuo might not want another tool in the mix but i think definitely worth a look if you haven't reviewed already!

    We've been on CZ for coming up on 4 years now after doing a lot via Hubspot and spreadsheets.  The biggest struggle I had was monitoring real-time health and i have to say Churn Zero has given us so much and allowed us to scale our clients experience over the last few years, my team wouldn't be without it, and i believe it's been a real benefit to training up new team members. 

    Upselling & Renewals can be built into journeys with subsequent plays which can incorporate automated or semi-automated emails as well as tasks for your CSMs at relevant points in the client journey to ensure no steps are ever missed - this has been a godsend, especially when our client base has rapidly grown and the team are taking on more and more clients at once. 

    I've also been able to build out multiple health scores related to size/sector/platform version and drill right into the specifics of the data i need for each type of client and off the back of this create real-time alerts when something changes, allowing the CSM to get the immediate notification and decide if action is required there and then or if monitoring is more appropriate.
    There are loads of other things like in-app announcements and journey checklists for onboarding inside the system which have been immensely beneficial to us as well. 

    Similar size team to yourself! 

    Please let me know if you have any other questions :)

    Louise Cunningham

    Director of Customer

    Firefish Software

  • Kelsey Peterson
    Kelsey Peterson Member Posts: 6 Contributor
    edited February 2022
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    Thank you for the offer, Dror as well as the link, Jeff!  Both are helpful :)
  • Klaas Schippers
    Klaas Schippers Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited February 2022
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    Hi Kelsey,

    Sounds like you have a great opportunity ahead of you. I wish I had a CS Platform when our team was smaller. 

    Churnzero is great for using very large books of business, as it has a lot of great automation included that will help streamline your upselling and renewal activities. 

    You can, for instance, enroll a customer in a play that will be different based on the customers health score, and that play has different actions needed to secure the renewal. I.E. you'll spend more time on a customer with low health, and less time on a customer that is very healthy and more likely to renew. 

    One of the eye-openers for me was how great CZ is at working with Dashboards that can use just about anything from survey results, to engagement, to commercial values. You can mix and match these and even send them to Slack or Salesforce for the entire org to have visibility. 

    Any questions happy to talk you through the ups and downs of Churnzero, 

    Best,
    Klaas

  • Abbey Byrne
    Abbey Byrne Member Posts: 4 Seeker
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    edited February 2022
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    We have been using Totango for about two years. I really like it, but I will echo others in saying that it's important have processes, strategy, etc. in place before looking at platforms.
  • Mary Poppen
    Mary Poppen Member Posts: 1 Navigator
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    edited March 2022
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    Hi, Kelsey!! Exciting time to grow your team from the ground up!! I've been through the same challenges you're outlining and I'd be happy to chat through processes, systems, pros and cons of various directions, and other topics if desired. Just let me know a time that works!!
  • Kelsey Peterson
    Kelsey Peterson Member Posts: 6 Contributor
    edited March 2022
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    This community is super helpful - thank you!

    Louise & Klaas - ChurnZero is now on our radar as well and we just had a demo; appreciate it.
  • Anoop Sasi
    Anoop Sasi Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited March 2022
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    @Dror Sabbag Hi Dror, I am in a similar situation to that of Kelsey. It would be great if you can provide some insights

    Regards
    Anoop
    Develop Diverse
  • Andrew Marks
    Andrew Marks Member Posts: 54 Expert
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    edited March 2022
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    Kelsey,

    Echoing a number of others on this thread, you need to have your process dialed in and a clear understanding of what you're looking to measure in order to get value out of any of these systems (unless of course, you want to go with whatever the vendor recommends). Here is a tool you can use to help you get that laid out.

    Let me know if its helpful.

    Andrew