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6 customer activation tools to increase engagement, product adoption

To boost retention and build great customer relationships, you need active customers who experience the maximum value of your product at every stage of their journey.

With the right customer activation tools, your users will remain engaged and loyal to your product or service.

Last updated

6 Aug 2022

Reading time

8 min


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In this article, we show you the best customer activation software to keep your customers happy and engaged—and increase their lifetime value.

Ready to boost customer activation?

Hotjar's product experience (PX) insights tools help you understand your users to guide them through the customer journey.

Why do you need customer activation tools?

Customer activation matters because it helps users get more value out of your product and moves customers to the next stage in their journey. This, in turn, leads to a better retention rate, increased lifetime value, word-of-mouth recommendations, and more feedback—which you can use to keep improving your product.  

Activating your customers requires multiple steps. You need to:

  • Get to know your customer persona, and understand how they use your product

  • Map out their typical journey

  • Nudge customers toward conversion actions at the right times

  • Provide first-rate customer support to solve user problems quickly

  • Remove friction and continuously improve your product experience (PX) to deliver more value to customers

Doing all this manually is incredibly time-consuming and often unreliable. Luckily, there are many great tools to help you boost customer activation at every stage of the process.

Using the right tools lets you take a systematic approach to customer activation, as you collect better user data, understand how customers use your product, and find every opportunity for improvement.

The 6 best customer activation tools to increase your product value

You’ll need a combination of software to yield the best results from your customer activation strategy. Look for a mix of tools to help you understand your customer journey, communicate with customers, and improve your user onboarding and support experience

We’ve put together a list of the best six tools to help you increase customer activation for your business:

1. Userpilot

Userpilot is a customer success and product experience platform that helps you increase customer activation and product adoption by providing users with a complete onboarding experience, helping them understand all your features, and nudging them to take action.

#Userpilot improves onboarding for faster customer activation
Userpilot improves onboarding for faster customer activation

With Userpilot, you can:

  • Reduce 'time to value’: design custom onboarding experiences to help new customers quickly get value from your product

  • Segment users based on their behavior: this helps you personalize your product experience based on user behavior and the next stage of their journey, like converting a freemium user to a paid plan

  • Set up helpful hints: hints help new users get acquainted with your product on their own, and reduce frustrating first-time experiences that prevent customers from activating. They can also direct customers to the most valuable ways to use your tool, so they start seeing results fast. 

  • Highlight relevant features: send nudges that trigger customers to try out your best features to ensure they aren’t missing out on ways to get maximum value from your product

  • Track user activation: Userpilot tracks customer activation metrics, so you can see how well your customer activation strategy is working. If you notice that customers aren’t activating, you can make adjustments to your strategy and continue tracking the results.

Price: from $249 a month

2. Hotjar

Hotjar gives you a deep understanding of your customers⁠—their needs, wants, and behavior—through qualitative and quantitative data, so you know exactly how to improve the customer experience at every stage.

#Insights from Hotjar can be combined for an even deeper understanding of user adoption journeys
Insights from Hotjar can be combined for an even deeper understanding of user adoption journeys

You can’t increase customer activation until you understand exactly what your customers want and how they currently move through your journey. The best way to find out is to gather insights on how customers use your product and what they’re thinking and feeling as they engage.

Marc Linneweber, a product manager at Hotjar, explains the importance of understanding your users’ unique needs:

Different users have different pain points and use your product for different goals. Only by deeply understanding the intent of each segment can you decide what problems to focus on.

With Hotjar, you:

  • See what customers are doing with your product: Heatmaps show you an aggregate of your users’ behavior on any given page. You’ll see where customers tend to hover and click, what attracts their attention, and what they ignore.  

  • Watch real user journeys: Session Recordings let you see the exact journey particular customers go through. While Heatmaps give you a visual of aggregate behavior, Recordings show you individual customer experiences you can filter according to different user attributes. For example, examine how power users interact with your software and compare their journey with less active customers or those who’ve reported dissatisfaction. Maybe your customers are going inactive because of frustration or confusion on your product page—with Session Recordings you’ll be able to pinpoint confusing elements or frustrating features and improve the user experience (UX).

  • Collect valuable feedback: Hotjar’s Feedback widget lets customers reach out and explain their product experience, meaning you never miss an opportunity to capture user opinions. Both positive and negative customer feedback helps you ensure customers are getting as much value as possible from your product and improve customer activation.

These powerful features help you:

  • Empathize with your customers and spot user issues or frustrations that prevent customer activation

  • Understand not just what customers do, but why they do it

  • Listen to your customers as they tell you what they love and what frustrates them in their own words

  • Optimize your product for customer activation. You’ll be able to use product experience insights to prevent customers from getting frustrated or stuck. 


Hotjar’s basic plan is free forever, for both Hotjar's Observe (includes Heatmaps and Recordings) and Ask (includes Surveys and Feedback tools) products.

Plus, Business, and Scale plans are also available, starting at €39/month depending on your plan, with extras like more sessions, custom-built integrations, and many more.

3. Appcues

Appcues helps you increase customer activation by creating custom flows that encourage users to interact with and explore your product.

#Appcues lets you build flows and experiences to influence customer behavior
Appcues lets you build flows and experiences to influence customer behavior

Appcues’ user flows guide customers through your product and helps you build personalized experiences to influence their behavior, allowing you to target the right customers at exactly the right time

Here’s how Appcues’ key features help with customer activation:

  • Build in-app experiences without needing to code: the Appcues builder is a Google Chrome extension where you can create sequences, such as welcome flows, to guide users through your product and all its most valuable features

  • Create customized events: build sequences that are triggered by certain customer behaviors—such as the use of a particular feature—or by attributes like your user's location or job title. This helps your customers get personalized assistance and encourages them to use the features most valuable to them. 

  • Manage flows and events: the Appcues studio lets you manage and review your flows and get an overview of customer behavior. This helps you see the big picture and understand if you’re successfully boosting customer activation.

Price: from $249 a month (free trial available)

💡Pro tip: once you have an overview of your customer flows, go deeper by hearing your users explain how they experience your product in their own words. Use Hotjar’s Feedback and Survey tools on your website or product pages to capture qualitative voice-of-the-customer (VoC) data and make the necessary changes to improve the user experience and engagement.

4. Intercom

Intercom is a customer communication platform that helps you increase customer satisfaction and provide effective customer service. Great customer support drives activation by solving problems fast and encouraging users to adopt your product solution.

#Intercom helps you communicate with customers and increase their satisfaction
Intercom helps you communicate with customers and increase their satisfaction

With Intercom, you can: 

  • Engage and communicate with customers: using chatbots, personalized support, product tours, messages, email campaigns, and self-service support, you ensure customers always have somewhere to turn when they’re confused or uncertain

  • Proactive support: you don’t have to wait for customers to reach out to you. Instead, you can step in to help when you see signs of frustration or abandonment, reducing churn.

  • Give customers fast support without the effort: Intercom uses chatbots, automations, and flows to reduce workload and support tickets without compromising on the quality of your customer service. You won’t have to worry about losing activated customers due to inadequate or slow customer assistance. 

Price: from $74 a month (mid-size business pricing available on request)

5. Actito

Actito is a customer activation and marketing automation software that helps you make the most of every opportunity to connect with your customers throughout their user journey.

#Actito helps you connect with your customers at the right time to increase activation
Actito helps you connect with your customers at the right time to increase activation

Here are three ways it can help with customer activation:

  • Track customer preferences and behavior: figure out how best to reach customers, no matter where they are in their journey

  • Build and test activation strategies: try out different timings, channels, and messaging to find the best way to engage customers and perfect your customer activation strategies

  • Create a customized customer data dashboard: collect high-level customer data and view customer interactions in one place. Then, use this information to segment, customize, and design unique user experiences that increase activation.  

Price: from €419

6. Zendesk

Zendesk makes it easier for your team to deliver amazing customer service, which lets you resolve product issues and activate your customers.

#Zendesk is a customer service tool you can use to increase customer activation
Zendesk is a customer service tool you can use to increase customer activation

With Zendesk, you can:

  • Provide support across various channels: meet customers wherever they are and sync your conversations across different channels⁠—over messaging, live chat, social, email, voice, etc.—so you never miss an opportunity to activate a customer

  • Create self-serve support systems: create a help center and community forum so customers know where to find information anywhere they get stuck

  • Efficient support with a personal touch: AI works alongside your support team to capture relevant information from each query so customers don’t have to repeat themselves and problems can be solved quickly and effectively

Price: from €49 a month

Note: the Hotjar team used Zendesk to build our powerful, customer-friendly help center and double our self-service score! Check it out.

Boost activation with the right tools by understanding how customers use your product

As demonstrated above, there are plenty of tools out there that can improve your customer activation. 

If you want to keep customers engaged with your product and increase their lifetime value, we recommend getting tools to help you:

  • Gather extensive data about how customers use your product, what they do and why

  • Give customers a chance to leave feedback and answer surveys so you know what they are struggling with

  • Provide extensive support across channels so you can step in as soon as your customer has a problem (or even before they reach out) and resolve the issue

  • Push customers to take action and guide them toward your most valuable features, at the right moment

When creating your customer activation tech stack, it’s important to find the right combination of tools to help you with all aspects of activation, from onboarding to customer service and analytics. The best customer activation software gives you granular insights about customer behavior and helps you understand the meaning behind user actions to improve your customers’ journey and keep them active long-term.

Ready to boost customer activation?

Hotjar's product experience insights tools help you understand your users to guide them through the customer journey