How Toon Boom turned customers from the risk of churn to expanding

7 min read

You've seen it without realizing it. Or maybe not even fully appreciating it. The craftsmanship, expertise, and creativity that are made possible thanks to Toon Boom Animation. Because behind those animated series you see is a skilled team of creators. And behind them? There is Toon Boom Animation.

Today, their software is used by everyone from students and freelancers to companies and organizations to the very best animation studios.

This – a global company working within the animation industry, in multiple markets, and with even more buyer personas – makes up for an extensive product offering.

In 2015 the company made a shift from being an on-prem solution only to also offering a subscription model.

Marie-Ève Chartrand, Director of Customer Success and part of the company executive team, immediately realized what that change meant for the business.

"Adding the subscription model gave us new possibilities and some new challenges. For example, churn became more evident. We realized we needed to go even further to ensure our customers got the value they wanted from Toon Boom."

| The Challenges

  • A broad mix of customers makes it difficult to standardize solutions.

  • The customer success department looked for an optimized way to handle all their tasks.

  • Finding the best way to analyze and take the correct actions based on all the available data.

To help Toon Booms customers get closer to achieving their dreams, Marie-Eve Chartrand started digging into the data they already had. Soon she realized that although the data was there, it consisted of way too many variations to make use of.

"We have customers within B2B, B2C, and B2G, and they all have different needs. We also have a wide array of products and offerings. This means a lot of variables, from the type of customer to contract value, contract length, and stage of the customer journey. It‘s complex, but we needed to track it all to offer the best experience possible for our customers.”

In short, Marie-Eve Chartrand’s challenge was to find a flexible software that could make Toon Booms customers happy - no matter what part of the customer journey they were on, what role they had, what market they operated in, or even what animation dream they had.

“We were handling many customers with a small customer success team, and getting the right tool onboard would be like adding a new team member that’s great at data analysis.”

Marie-Eve Chartrands wish-list was long. It declared that the software Toon Boom was looking for needed... :

| The Solution

  • Planhats flexible tool makes it easy to create unique solutions

  • Revenue reporting provides crucial business insights

  • The intuitive interface creates fast time to value

  • No need for extra developers - it's all done by the team

After doing due diligence, starting at the review sites, and following up with product demos with the CSMs in her team, Marie-Eve Chartrand decided on Planhat.

“It was love at first sight. Planhat was easy to use, the interface was intuitive, and we could configure it ourselves without the need for extra help from developers. I felt that it was made by CS-professionals for CS-professionals.”

Planhats flexibility was another great winner. For example, Toon Boom relies heavily on SalesForce and tracks its customers via NRR and MRR. However, the subscriptions are much customized depending on the type of customer. But in Planhat, this wasn't a problem.

Other strong points during the evaluation process were the simplicity of creating playbooks, triggers, and automations, as well as the flexibility of aggregating data to create segmented health scores and forecast revenue.

Also, Planhats pricing model with unlimited seating was a big deal since it meant a fast time to value. Toon Boom already had a customer-centric culture in place, and now everybody could be invited to Planhat, but nobody had to worry about additional licensing costs.

And in the end, one more feature stood out to Marie-Eve Chartrand and her colleagues around the executive table: the model for revenue reporting.

"This was ready right out of the box. To get a full 360-view of every customer and all the revenue reporting in the same place. When I saw it for the first time… my brain exploded."

Marie-Eve Chartrand might be more tech-savvy than many others in her field, but the ease-of-use and flexibility of Planhat are appreciated by her whole team and by other departments.

"I showed it to a colleague within our professional services team and went away for a short while. When I came back, she had started to use Planhat by themselves, trying out their different actions and adapting them to their needs. That's how easy it is!"

| The Results

  • Revenue tracking facilitates focus on key indicators

  • Customers turn from the risk of churn to expanding

  • Reduced cost of operational management

  • No additional cost for developer thanks to flexible UI

  • Improved CS capacity means the team creates more with less

With a small team, a wide array of customer scenarios, and a big global market, adding Planhat has resulted in all that Marie-Eve Chartrand was hoping for. She not only got a “team member skilled at data analytics,” but the new team member also proved to be highly qualified in financials.

"The revenue tracking in Planhat is fantastic. I can see the MRR for each customer, for each company, for different segments. Our offering is very complex, but now I can track our growing revenue month over month. And thanks to this, I can show our executive team what impact customer success has on our business."

It quickly became evident that adding Planhat means a smarter and more efficient way of working. Now the customer success department can handle more customers with less.

"Our capacity has improved and at the same time reducing the cost of operational management. It’s a transparent tool that helps the team keep track of everything, and everybody knows what everybody else is doing. It definitely saves the number of seats we need to have."

During the evaluation process, it became clear to Marie-Eve Chartrand that some of the other alternatives came with an additional development cost in order to adapt the tool to Toon Booms needs. But with Planhats ease-of-use, this isn it necessary.

"The flexible UI is a key saving. Otherwise, we would have to add budget to the project only to put a developer in the team for us, and that was a big no-no."

Today, Planhat is the foundation of their day-to-day operations, and the improved financial results are already in. But in the creative and ambitious animation world, things are rarely finished for good. The industry keeps evolving, and so does Toon Boom.

"Planhat keeps putting out new features that are all very valuable to us. It helps us continue improving on how we do customer success at Toon Boom. And by doing that, we are also helping our customers achieve their goals and fulfill their creative dreams."

Get a demo to learn more about Planhat and how we can help you solve your customer success needs.

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