It seems like all we’ve been talking about lately is digital transformation—and with good reason. As businesses have scrambled over the last two months to move their operations online, the importance of digital marketing and sales tools has been more apparent than ever.
“Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new—or modify existing—business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.” – Salesforce
For Raka and many of our clients, HubSpot has been critical to helping us transition to online-only operations. Between Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub, businesses can quickly pivot their operations without breaking too much of a sweat. And if you’re not on HubSpot yet, the company has reduced costs drastically for many of its tools in response to the pandemic.
It’s time to put your resources and tools to good use. This blog post will outline some of the key tools within the HubSpot platform that will help your business adapt to the digital landscape we’re now all a part of.
HubSpot’s marketing tools are extensive and extremely robust, so there’s a chance that you might not even know about all the tools available to you. However, there are a few specific features in the platform that stand out as especially helpful to saving time and headache.
Live chat and chatbots
First, let’s dive into chatbots. You’ve probably heard some buzz around these over the last few years, particularly among larger businesses. They have become essential for large corporations and they’re also a great way for small businesses to stay in touch with their customer base, answer questions, qualify leads, and even book virtual meetings. Right now, it’s critical to be present and helpful for your brand’s audience, and chatbots are an easy way to make your customer service shine.
If you don’t have any experience building a bot, don’t sweat it. HubSpot makes it simple with customized, pre-made templates that function to help your business meet its chat needs. Depending on your team’s bandwidth, you can choose from a live chat option—where a team member will chat with a user—or a fully-automated bot. We love this free tool for how it helps brands create a customized experience for users. Adding personalization widgets is easy, which lends even a completely automated chatbot a human side.
It’s simple to schedule your live chat to appear only during hours that a customer service representative is available, so you don’t have to worry about any frustrated customers waiting for a response when there’s no one working. Adversely, you can also opt to leave your live chat on the site 24/7 and collect the email addresses of users to follow up with them later. Whatever works best for your business and team, HubSpot’s chatbots are completely flexible.
Let us stress just how convenient and easy it is for your team members to speak directly with customers as they are live on your site—even more so than emailing back and forth. You can completely avoid the oftentimes lengthy process of emailing back and forth and instead help users in real-time, which usually contributes to more satisfied customers.
Email marketing automation
If you’re not already using email marketing automation, consider this your sign to start. For a busy team, it’s not only inconvenient, but detrimental to waste time sending individual emails to customers.
Automated email workflows are the way to go. Not only will they save you countless hours of time (seriously, you’ll save so. much. time), but they make it simple to nurture leads as they move through their buyer’s journey.
Automated email workflows help your marketing and sales teams nurture prospects, cross-sell to existing customers, and to work new sales-qualified leads. And, if your business has Sales Hub, be sure to use the Sequences tool that allows sales reps to enroll individuals or groups into email automation programs (rather than send individual manual emails).
Right now, people are searching online for solutions to their problems or needs, and it’s critical that your brand can offer them the value they’re looking for. Just be careful—if you’re already using workflows, review content carefully to ensure that every communication you have with customers is sensitive to our current situation. This tool is essential, so even if you ignore all the rest in this blog post, be sure you’re utilizing automated email.
Social media monitoring tools
It’s not enough to just post to social media, especially in a time like this. You need to also take the time to monitor all your social accounts to answer questions, respond to messages, and find out what people are saying about your business. This gives you important insight into brand sentiment surrounding your business and helps you prioritize messaging that resonates with your audience (or, on the flip side, avoid messaging that could be perceived as insensitive to your audience).
HubSpot makes monitoring easy with their simple, straightforward in-platform social media tools. Not only can you bulk schedule posts, but it allows you to monitor activity, conversations, followers, and interactions across all your social channels. Having all of this information in one place makes it easy to manage your brand’s social media presence without spending too much time each day wading through a mass of notifications and information. Your time is valuable, and HubSpot’s social media monitoring tools give you back more time in the day.
Saving time isn’t the only priority of digital marketing. It’s also crucial to look for ways to improve your customers’ experience by utilizing the many tools available within HubSpot, particularly Service Hub.
Collecting customer feedback has never been simpler, and the response is endlessly valuable. Maybe your customers had a wonderful purchase experience, but your product packaging was lower-quality than anticipated. Maybe your customers found the purchase process confusing. You can leverage surveys to find out exactly what your customers loved about your business, and what you can improve on going forward. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple adjustment to a webpage element like a call to action that makes all the difference in the world.
Surveys can be set up as emails or web pages in HubSpot, which allows you to follow up with leads or customers directly, or request website feedback from users who visit your site. Based on their response—Happy, Neutral, or Unhappy—you can set up a follow-up question or email to request further information. Typically, we recommend thanking Happy responses and asking the user to fill out a quick testimonial or leave a review of your company on Google My Business. This lends immense value to your brand’s authority and can even help your inbound marketing efforts!
For Unhappy responses, it’s best practice to ask why the customer was dissatisfied with your business and look for ways you can improve in the future. You may also want HubSpot to automatically submit a service ticket for these users so a member of your team can reach out personally.
…Which leads to the next feature: tickets! If a user had a poor experience with your business, it’s critical to show them you care. Tickets can be automated or set up manually, depending on your needs. You can create a ticket for a customer service agent to follow up with users who had an Unhappy survey response, set up tickets to help users with refunds, or even simply respond to questions submitted through your chatbot.
Tickets are broken down into four categories: New, Waiting on Contact, Waiting on Us, and Closed. This helps administrators like you understand who needs to be helped, who is being helped, and a full history of completed tickets.
This information can be leveraged in a variety of ways in addition to finding ways to improve your product or service. For example, perhaps many users are asking a version of the same question, “Where do I purchase my boarding pass?” If that’s the case, you can start to develop helpful FAQs to answer these types of questions. Help your customers to help themselves! It’s important to empower your audience with the information they need to solve their problems, and HubSpot enables you to do just that.
Sales Hub is a must for larger businesses who have complicated deal stages, multiple sales people, and a lot of information to keep track of. There are also some very basic tools in this platform that you’ll find to be indispensable in a remote work landscape, even as a small business.
Social distancing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to have face-to-face meetings with your customers, leads, and teammates. Video conferencing tools such as Zoom make it simple to have those conversations from the safety of your own home, and they lend a personalized touch to the virtual sales process. HubSpot makes it easy to integrate your Zoom account with your Meetings calendar, allowing you to seamlessly set up virtual meetings with contacts.
It’s also important to integrate Meetings with either your Google Calendar or Office 365 Calendar so that customers can book appointments when they need to. Pre-set time slots each day or throughout the week where you are available for calls, and Meetings will automatically show those times as available. HubSpot’s Meetings tool helps users avoid the hassle of finding a mutually convenient time to meet as well as going through all the steps to manually set up a Zoom call, which is one less headache in your day.
Tasks in Sales Hub are another quick way to keep track of all things you need to do and set priorities for each item. There are a few different Task types: To-dos, Emails, Calls, Sales Navigator InMail, and Sales Navigator Connection Request. You can sort each task by type, due date, or priority, so each day you know exactly what’s on your plate and what you need to tackle first.
You can also view tasks for the other members of your team, which will help you stay on top of everyone’s workload and assist anyone who might be falling behind. Supporting your team is just as important as serving your customers, so be sure that you’re not piling too much on each teammate’s plate.
As you move your marketing and sales fully online, HubSpot is the core tool your whole team will rely on for success. You may already have access to Marketing, Sales, or Service Hub, so be sure you’re getting the most out of the platform’s offerings. Not only do you want to provide the best possible virtual experience for your customers, but you’ll want to ensure that your team has all of the resources needed to do their job well.