After a full year of working nonstop with our heads down, today our team is launching Catalyst, a Customer Success Platform (CSP) that helps to reduce churn, increase productivity, and improve customer experience. At Catalyst, we believe in growing revenue organically and taking such good care of customers, you turn them into your best salespeople.
When I first joined DigitalOcean four years ago as the Head of Customer Success, I was a team of one. While stressful, it was an invaluable experience in which I learned intimately about the customer lifecycle, customer likes/dislikes, reasons for churn, adoption rate, and how to efficiently manage a group of high-value customers with a very small team.
As I scaled the team from one to five to 15+ people, I realized we needed a better tool to manage our work. No longer was it scalable to take meeting notes in Google Docs or Apple Notes, capture customer feedback on paper, and sift through 10 different windows for information during an intense customer conversation to find relevant information. It was also inefficient to have to ask engineers for custom reports everytime we needed to understand our customer's product usage. Not to mention, there were only so many times I could ask the marketing team for help to send one-off emails to 100+ customers regarding an update. While I loved working across departments, we needed to have more control.
After searching the market for a tool to fit our needs, our team couldn’t find anything that had a great user experience or was flexible enough for us to manage customer success the way we saw fit. Many of the tools in the market would have forced us into their methodology and had way too many features (that we knew we wouldn’t use). Based on a few customer reference checks, some of the tools available required more than 6 months to implement prior to use, plus several months of user training. This intensity made the expensive price tags seem unjustified. How could we wait more than eight months before seeing ROI from a tool? In start-up world, that was a decade.
So, we ended up building a CS tool ourselves that would help Customer Success Managers (CSMs) be more efficient. We nixed trendy features that have no utility and built a tool that is intuitive, based on mission-critical needs.
The tool started off as something that just aggregated all customer data from various sources, displayed run rates, invoices, and some basic data science algorithms to predict where the customer will end up based on product usage patterns.
Then we added the ability to send automated re-engagement campaigns, a function to log product feedback, and then finally dashboards to run reports.
Beyond having an exceptional team who always went above and beyond for our customers, the tool was a critical reason for how we maintained a less than 1% churn rate every month for enterprise customers and grew revenue by millions of dollars.
As the tool translated to results, it was only natural to share it with other customer success leaders I was connected with in the community. After 20+ customer success leaders said the internal tool looked more usable and effective than the tools they were paying thousands of dollars for on the market, it became clear we had a solution that could potentially help many others.
Kevin and myself, Catalyst's Co-Founders and two brothers who live next-door to one another (queue the Everybody Loves Raymond jokes), set out on a journey to create our own customer success software company in 2017. As we learned more about the market, we knew building a tool from scratch that would work for the larger market would require a deeper understanding of how different teams operated customer success. After organizing our own set of CS best practices and workflows, we set out to interview several customer success operators throughout the community.
What we found was interesting. Though every company operates customer success differently, we all share very similar workflows and goals. As a CSM, a big part of your job is to respond to customer requests via email, operate through a set of predefined tasks depending on customer journey, log product requests/bugs, and increase a customer’s product adoption.
Using our experience from building a successful customer success organization, existing product domain knowledge, and extensive customer interviews in the community, we present to you Catalyst: a full-featured customer success platform designed in a way that only focuses on the critical tasks of CS management.
Some product features include:
Interested in learning more? Visit GetCatalyst.IO!