Let’s Start a Conversation – With HubSpot!
Our clients consider us their digital partners, and as such we are commonly asked for opinions on the best tools and strategies for engaging with users. Our recommendations vary depending on a clients’ goals, needs, capabilities, and budget. One common topic is chat – should they use it, how can they engage on multiple platforms, what are the benefits, how much work is involved? The answer to this question is complicated – until now. HubSpot has created an all-in-one collaborative inbox, chatbot, lead nurturing tool designed to bolster the capabilities of small companies and provide transparency and cohesion to large corporations.
To make a long story short, if you ask us our thoughts on chat our answer is going to be “you need to look at HubSpot.”
On August 7, 2018 HubSpot launched Conversations, an exciting collaboration tool that takes marketing automation to the next level. HubSpot previewed the Conversations tool at Inbound 2017 and described it as, “an addition to HubSpot’s CRM that will help teams manage, scale, and leverage one-to-one communication across their site pages, Facebook, Slack, and other messaging channels.”
What is it?
HubSpot has a Sales Hub and a Marketing Hub, think of the Conversations tool as your Hub for all lead and customer communication. It is a centralized inbox for all conversations, on all channels.
Functionality within the Conversations tool:
- Live chat
- Respond to chat or email
- Chatbot tools
- Reassign and respond to a bot conversation
Dharmesh Shah, co-founder and CTO of HubSpot, explained that, “with Conversations, [HubSpot is] going beyond a single solution, like site chat, to build something that centralizes all of a business’s communications with customers and prospects into one collaborative environment.”
How Can Conversations Help My Business?
Conversations is unlike any tool on the market. It embodies the culture HubSpot has created around selling and marketing to your customer base – if you can better understand your prospects and provide solutions to their individual problems, they will be more likely to become customers and brand ambassadors.
Improved Customer Interactions
The Conversations tool was created to serve as a hub for all user interactions. These interactions are always recorded in the CRM, but can now also be found in Conversations. This provides your team a full understanding of the user. Whether they are reaching out to Support, Sales, Marketing, or any other department, you can simply pull up their history and past interactions to better service this lead or potential client.
Imagine this: a current customer uses chat to contact support about what appears to be a routine issue. The support team uses the Conversations tool to reply to the customer, but before replying with the typical troubleshooting information they see that the customer has experienced this problem multiple times and gone through the typical troubleshooting steps to no avail. By being able to quickly review the customer’s history across all channels, the support team can skip preliminary troubleshooting and quickly get to the root of the problem, saving this customer time and aggravation.
This may seem simple, but if this occurred at a company that did not use the HubSpot Conversations tool, it could have ended in wasted time and effort, aggravation, and potentially the loss of a valued customer.
A Solution for Companies without Customer Support
The Conversations tool was created to help companies better service their potential and current customers, as well as to provide a solution for companies that do not have around the clock customer support.
It is not uncommon for small to medium (or sometimes even publicly-traded) companies to say that they cannot support chat, whether it be on their website, Facebook, Slack, or any other public messaging channel. In the past, incorporating chat into your digital strategy required a person on the other end of that conversation – and not just any person. This person needed to be a sales consultant / customer service hybrid, able to provide product and pricing information as well as troubleshoot. Answering chat feels like it should be an entry level position, but the knowledge necessary to properly service potential and current customers can be advanced. So, who is this person? Does this person exist? I doubt it. No one person can be everything at once. And sure, you can hire or assign multiple people to manage your chat channels… but didn’t we get here because your company didn’t want a fully staffed customer service team?
The Conversations tool solves this problem.
Conversations includes chatbot technology. In 2017, HubSpot acquired the chatbot platform Motion AI. They incorporated this technology into Conversations to allow HubSpot users to create, for lack of a better term, chat workflows. Here are a few of the ways Conversations uses chat workflows to enhance the customer’s experience as well as simplify your role as a marketer.
- Chat workflows are great because they can expedite a conversation in a way that a real person could not. How? Channels like Facebook or Slack contain basic information like your name. The chatbot does not need to ask for this information and is therefore able to skip this part of the conversation.
- Chatbots, whether it be Facebook or an online chat window, can also use multiple choice questions to guide the conversation in the direction it needs to go. Quickly understand what department a user needs to speak with, if their question can be solved with a simple answer or link, and if they need to speak with a company representative.
- Chatbots can be autonomous or just help you manage multiple conversations. You can set times for the chatbot to notify users you are unavailable or just have the chatbot completely take over the conversation using workflows. If you see a conversation that needs your attention, you can take over the conversation from a chatbot at any time. If a conversation needs your attention while you are away from your desk, the chatbot can request an email for future follow-up.
- Chatbots can provide targeted messages to your users. Create chat workflows and choose the audience as: everyone, anonymous visitors, tracked contacts, or segmented lists. No more generic messages. Engage with the user and make them feel valued. An example of this would be if you created a list of customers who submitted support tickets within the last 30 days. You could create a message that asks, “Are you still experiencing the problem we talked about? If so, we’d love to help.” This makes the user feel like their problem is important to you and it helps you to avoid ongoing frustration with an unresolved issue.
Targeted messaging isn’t just good for following up on support issues. Targeted messaging helps move potential customers further down the funnel. For example, if a potential customer participates in a free trial of your product, you can use targeted messaging to ask them, “What did you think of your free trial? Is there anything you didn’t like or that you would like to better understand?” Chatbots can help you follow up with potential leads, better understand their buying process, and nurture them further down the funnel.
These are just a few of the features in Conversations. It’s a robust communication tool that promotes internal transparency and efficiency, while also enhancing overall user interaction.
Your Company Needs HubSpot Conversations Because Your Customers Demand It
If you are still unsure as to whether your company needs Conversations, here is some research you need to consider:
- Consumers want to use live chat to communicate with your marketing, sales, and customer service teams, but most companies only allow buyers to chat with ONE of these three teams.
- Almost ⅔ of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes to any marketing, sales, or customer service inquiry.
- Buyers engage with companies on 13 different channels, most of which are disconnected.
- Employees spend 10 percent of their time reconciling disconnected systems to ensure they’re answering buyer inquiries correctly.
- The expectation of immediate responses leaves little room for companies to hide the misalignment in their go-to markets. Live chat’s true opportunity is that it might finally force companies to break down their silos.
And the best part? It’s free. Yes, HubSpot is including Conversations in their (already free) CRM. What are you waiting for? Contact Arc to talk about the ways HubSpot Conversations can improve your digital interactions.