Why BI Software is Simply Not Enough for Customer Success Teams

bi is the data cs is the brain

Have you ever tried to recreate a meal you had at a restaurant? You went to the store, purchased the ingredients, and then came home and put your culinary skills to the test. But, somehow, it just didn’t taste the same. Even though you had the right ingredients, you didn’t have the recipe.

This is kind of what it’s like trying to make a Business Intelligence (BI) tool work as a Customer Success (CS) tool. You’ll have the right ingredients (data) but you won’t have the recipe (data application) to help you succeed. While BI tools are great for collecting data, a purpose-built CS software helps you put that data into action.

What is Business Intelligence Software?  

BI software is a data analysis tool that is designed to collect, analyze and report data for data queries, visualizations, and reports or dashboards. It provides CS teams with much-needed insight into company-wide customer data and makes it more accessible and convenient to organize and analyze.

What is Customer Success Software?

Similar to BI tools, CS software collects data from multiple platforms into one place to provide a full 360-degree customer view. However, it then goes several steps further by helping companies act on that data to drive customer retention and growth, and foster ongoing customer value after the sale. 

What CS Software Does that BI Software Can’t

BI tools are built for data but they are not built for data application. While they can collect and democratize data for the whole company, they are not equipped to manage internal and external projects, tasks, workflows, and other important factors. Consider these three things that CS software does that BI software simply cannot do:


CS automation is the process of turning data into goal-oriented, results-based action. While BI software can collect and disseminate real-time information on the customer experience, its usefulness ends there. A CS platform, however, has automation features that use the data it collects to trigger action, driving proactive, personalized engagements that create a more consistent experience, and ultimately, increase renewals and reduce costs. This automation can also help to predict and prevent churn. For instance, if customer usage of your software falls by a certain amount, an automated trigger would alert a team member to follow up with that customer to identify struggles and create a game plan for success. CS automation is crucial to preventing churn and ensuring growth opportunities are recognized and acted upon.

Intelligent Workflow Optimization

Similar to how challenging it can be to recreate a dish without a recipe, it’s tough to standardize and support customer success workflows and best practices without the help of purpose-built CS software. Getting your team the data they need is a start, but it’s equally as important to have the next steps preset and ready to go for situations you know will come. Building a standardized workflow ensures that the CS team is able to deliver a scalable, repeatable customer experience. And a CS platform can help by optimizing the steps the team takes, enhancing collaboration, and empowering teams to make decisions on how best to work with customers. It captures customer interactions and engagements, which adds to the intelligence of the system, and can also reduce the risk of errors and increase efficiency. And from the customer’s viewpoint, it creates a seamless, high-quality experience throughout the entire journey.

Customer Lifecycle Management

In order to foster a lasting relationship with your customers, it’s important to be able to predict and address their needs and goals as they naturally grow and evolve over time. While BI software is unequipped to facilitate this crucial task, CS software is built around the customer journey to help map, visualize and track key tasks and milestones, including both internal project management and task assignments, as well as customer achievements. It provides your team with the flexibility to drive different engagement models according to your strategy for various customer segments, driving human or digital outreach based on the defined strategy, and leveraging a combination of both data and human intelligence. 

While it’s important to evaluate customer satisfaction in the moment, it is equally as important to be able to view such data within the larger context of the customer journey. For instance, what stage is the customer at, and are they headed in a positive direction? A CS platform is able to help answer these questions quickly and comprehensively, while also helping you build out a digital strategy using targeted campaigns that will resonate with each individual customer at the right place and time in their journey. 

Use the Right Tools for the Job

While BI software is extremely powerful and can be beneficial to the entire company, it simply is not dynamic enough to provide everything a CS team needs to deliver an optimal customer experience. Data is only as good as its application, so CS teams need a powerful CS platform that is designed to help them act on their data and scale their operations.

Totango’s innovative customer success platform combines functionality with flexibility, allowing your team to configure everything from best practices and standard operating procedures to scorecards and templates for communication in order to create a system that perfectly fits within your overall vision for your enterprise. Modular SuccessBLOCs allow your team to prioritize action items, segment customer data, and strategize for success with ease, while our advanced early warning system promotes proactive action, helping team members address potential problems before they escalate.

Stop trying to cook without the recipe and start using Totango to optimize your customer success and reach your business goals.

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