When your pipeline springs a leak, you need more than just expertise to fix it—you need the right set of tools. Customer retention tools help product managers find, patch, and prevent future weak points in your product that cause your users to leak away and churn.
There is no panacea when it comes to customer retention. You need several coordinated solutions that analyze your customers, segment them into efficient cohorts, and then add value to their experiences through targeted messaging, onboarding flows, and customer support. With these personalized retention strategies in place at every stage of the customer journey, you continually convince users that they should continue to invest more time, energy, and money into your product.
Without customer retention tools, it would require a veritable army to analyze UX data, send personalized communications, and do the hundreds of other tasks needed to create an amazing product experience. Instead, PMs can leverage these cost-effective tools to save time and labor while still increasing retention rates and giving users the optimized and personalized product experience they’ll stick around for.
1. Amplitude: Find your stickiest features
Amplitude lets you quantify everything your users do and then group them by what they’re doing with your app. Comparing retention across those cohorts allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff and see which features keep loyal customers coming back. This way, you can invest in the features that people love, promote the ones that get missed, and increase overall feature adoption—a driving force behind increased user retention.
- Amplitude Analytics: Collects a variety of user metrics and organizes them so you can understand how your users interact with your product and its features.
- Amplitude Recommend: Analyzes your analytics with AI and makes recommendations to improve personalization.
- Amplitude Experiment: Runs A/B tests informed by your user analytics so you can make informed UX and UI decisions about in-app experiments.
“There are so many good features in Amplitude, but I think the biggest thing is that it really changed the way we operate. It has made my team and I so much more data-driven in how we think, in how we work. If you make more data-driven decisions, you make better decisions.”
Ran Chen, Head of Consumer Product at GoFundMe
2. Appcues: Help customers through onboarding
Appcues is a no-code product adoption platform that can help you create the best possible onboarding process for your new users. Nearly 75% of users churn within one week, and a lot of that pain stems from poor onboarding experiences. If your current customers can’t quickly learn how to use your product and start getting value from it, they won’t hesitate to leave. Appcues’ user onboarding software makes designing onboarding experiences easier with no-code flow builders, analytics, and in-app messaging so you can point users to key features that’ll have them loving your product faster.
- User Onboarding and Feature Adoption: Use Appcues’ no-code design software to build user onboarding and feature adoption flows that engage users, increase activation, and reduce churn.
- Announcements: Boost growth and engagement by designing and sending targeted in-app messages to users.
- Insights: Get product adoption and usage metrics all in one place so you can see how optimizations are working and find opportunities for new growth.
“As Head of Customer Success at a startup, I’d been looking for something to do what Appcues does so that our engineering team didn’t have to spend time building, implementing, maintaining, and tweaking [experiences].”
Sam McDonnell, Head of Customer Success at Sitemate
3. Crazy Egg: Optimize your site design
Crazy Egg generates heatmaps to show you which parts of your site customers click on and scroll to the most. While raw data and spreadsheets can tell you a lot, they don’t always give you a clear window into how your customers actually interact with what you’ve built. Heatmaps let you look at your site through your customers’ eyes to see which parts they’re drawn to so you can remove friction points and address your customers’ needs. When you iron out these friction points, you reduce frustrations that lead to churn and create a better UX.
- Heatmap and Confetti Report: Shows where users click so you can get an idea of what people are most focused on.
- Scrollmap Report: Illustrates how far down the screen users scrolled so you can make sure all of your most important info is where they’ll see it.
- Website Recordings: Records actual users so you can see how they interact with your page so you can find and spot UX problems.
“With the confetti report’s new vs. returning visitor analytics, I can look at the returning visitors specifically and see what actions they have taken on the pages, and what sections of the website they have engaged with. And that’s the kind of data we had no access to before we had Crazy Egg. It’s fantastic.”
Veronika Vebere, Inbound Marketing Manager at Sendible
4. Optimizely: A/B test your product
Optimizely is the go-to for A/B testing software. Its platform makes it easy for non-technical folks by making setup simple, automatically collecting data, and presenting it in an easy-to-understand way. This ensures your whole team is empowered to improve your product, whether that’s experimenting with ideas like referrals and gamification or just adding testimonials to a landing page. Constant experiments aimed at reducing churn can then become a team sport everyone can contribute to.
- Web Experimentation: Allows you to A/B test or multi-variant test any of your pages that are connected to the internet.
- Full Stack Experimentation: Run in-app experiments to find the best version of your new features, search functions, and much more.
- Email campaigns: Segment and test your email campaigns so you can improve customer engagement and product adoption.
“Now that we have this [testing] capability, other groups have started using it. We went from one or two teams doing one or two tests a quarter to now, when we probably have at least 10 tests live at any given moment, and a large number of tests every quarter being run by every product team.”
John Cline, Engineering lead, Growth/Member Experience at Blue Apron
5. Qualaroo: Send targeted surveys
Qualaroo lets you send surveys to your existing customers based on their behavior, how they were acquired, the device they’re on, and more. You can send simple net promoter score (NPS) surveys or something a little more involved with multiple questions. Either way, it ensures a constant stream of targeted, real-time feedback so you can get ahead of churn by better understanding your users and customers.
- Survey Templates: Saves you the time of designing your own so you can send out professional surveys in no time at all.
- Sentiment Analysis: Mines your survey response data to get results more quickly.
- Question Branching: Creates smart surveys that ask questions relevant to that user and increase response rates.
“In less than 5 minutes, teams can go from having almost entirely opinion-backed ideas to having ones that are data-backed by targeted customer feedback. This step in the discovery process makes us more efficient and increases the chance that the experiments we run will yield a positive impact.”
Laura Schaffer, Product Manager for Twilio’s Experimentation Platform
6. Totango: Keep an eye on customer health
Totango tracks the health of every customer. You can set up health scoring models based on unique actions for different segments of customers. Totango updates you on who’s at risk of churning, who’s ready for an upgrade, and everything else in between so you can plan follow-ups and interventions for your customers.
- Customer Health Score: Measures overall customer satisfaction so you can see how your optimizations are improving adoption and retention efforts.
- Customer 360: Organizes your customer data in one place so you can see all of the important metrics associated with this account quickly.
- Customer Segmentation: Allows you to segment your users so you can see which groups are the most at risk for churn.
“A user-friendly tool that gives you the best way to manage thousands of accounts. The best tool I have used in many years for account management.”
Kareen Resterio, Customer Success – Renewals Manager at Zoom
7. Segment: Connect your data sources
Between all your analytics software and SaaS tools that collect important info—your email marketing software, help desk, CRM, social media engagement platform, etc.—it’s easy to get buried in data. Segment lets you integrate all those sources and consolidate your data in one centralized location. It’s also got a handy integration with Appcues that allows you to plug all your user onboarding data into your data warehouse.
- Journeys: Allows you to create customer interaction opportunities across multiple platforms that guide users down successful user journeys.
- Warehouses: Houses and standardizes your customer data across all of your integrations so you can easily see all of your data in one place.
- GDPR: Keeps data localized so you can meet data protection regulations.
“Segment helps businesses set up analytics the way it was meant to be — quantifying product-market fit, understanding customers, and trying new tools — all without redundant or time-consuming work.”
Gustaf Alströmer, Partner at YCombinator
8. Customer.io: Send relevant lifecycle messages
To keep customers engaged, you need to keep in touch with messages that ensure they continue to be successful with your product. But most marketers just send the same generic emails to their entire customer base. Customer.io automatically sends unique, behavior-triggered emails to each customer based on the actions they take within your app. It ensures that every email feels relevant and personalized so you can boost user engagement and improve your customer retention rate.
- Workflow builder: Allows you to easily plan out and execute a messaging and marketing strategy across multiple platforms.
- Newsletters: Send multi-channel newsletters to get the news out about your platform.
- Collections: Customize each message by including specific information about your business that is relevant to that user, whether it’s a new feature they should try or a webinar they’d be interested in.
“Recently, I created a segment for people who had asked for a feature we were launching. Those emails perform really well because people know that we’re paying attention to what they’ve asked for. With Customer.io, it’s really easy and saves me a lot of time.”
Heloisa Assis, Marketing Manager at Olivia
9. Zendesk: Automate customer support
Zendesk is a help desk software that uses automation to enable customers to fix common issues themselves. This makes Zendesk a crucial time-saver and helps you handle a lot of support requests with a smaller team. It also helps you proactively solve customer issues, so you get ahead of the negative feelings that might affect customer loyalty and lead to churn.
- Answer Bot: A chatbot that augments your customer support team by providing answers to easy or repetitive questions.
- Help Center: An organized and searchable knowledge base so your customers can find the answers to their most pressing questions.
- Agent Workspace: An easy-to-use workspace where your customer service team has the info it needs to provide top-level service.
“Agent Workspace was a big win for us with ticket handle times. Before we implemented it, our average handle time was about 25 minutes. Using Agent Workspace we were able to get that down to right around 15 minutes.”
Justin Michaud, Senior Customer Support Manager at Tile
Pair the right customer retention tools with an effective customer retention strategy
Having the right tools is only half the battle; now you need to know how to use them as part of a cohesive customer retention strategy. One way to do that is to design product experiences that delight users at every stage of their user journey, from evaluating your product to actively championing it.
You can learn about creating these kinds of customer experiences in our Product Experience Playbook. This free guide contains 20 expertly drawn-up strategies that can help you reduce customer churn through proven product-led solutions and not flash-in-the-pan fads.