Delayed support times endlessly answering the same questions and missed tickets. Do you know what those equal?
Frustrated people, damage to brand loyalty and trust, and lost customers.
If you run a B2B, B2C, SaaS, or even DTC company, you have to have a solid customer support process and team in place, and more importantly provide them with the tools to effectively manage and support your customers.
That’s where HubSpot’s Service Hub thrives. The Service Hub is designed to give your team an edge by making managing client relationships easy. You can automate workflows, improve communications and ensure no problem ever slips through the cracks again.
Jessica Crosby, HubSpot Nerd, is here to walk us through all the features and functionalities of Service Hub so you can leverage it to the fullest with your team.
Our Favorite Features
While Service Hub offers a number of features, Jess has a few favorites within the tool. “These features streamline the support and customer service process as well as establish healthy feedback loops for opportunities for improvement,” she explains.
The ticket pipeline is your customer service team’s home base. This is where you house all your support tickets, no matter where they were created — via form submission, through a chatbot, email or even Facebook Messenger.
“The takeaway here is that HubSpot Service Hub allows you to connect various channels to one source of truth so you’re always providing accessibility to your customers while making it easy for your team to track tickets,” Jess says.
Like almost all of HubSpot’s other services, you also have access to automation within the ticket pipeline. You can automate things like:
- Set reminders if it’s been X number of days since a ticket was touched.
- Send follow-up emails when tickets are opened or closed.
- Assign tasks to team members when an action is taken on a ticket.
You also have access to features that are similar to the HubSpot sales pipeline, such as custom properties and objects. This means you can tag someone on another team for additional support with an issue and utilize automation for analytics reporting.
“Together, automation, the ticket pipeline, customer properties, and ticket pipeline data bring your entire team together so you can better craft customer journey support,” Jess says.
Service Hub also features a Chatbot builder to create “chatflows” that you can implement throughout your website, allowing you to create live chat options or pull in conversations from other channels. Jess says this is one of her absolute favorite tools “because of the endless potential.”
With smart chatbots, connections for chatflows to the Knowledge Base, and live chat capabilities, Service Hub offers great versatility to customize customer interactions without stressing your team.
“Before anyone even gets into your ticket pipeline, you should consider building a chatbot for your website,” Jess recommends. “It can live on your website or even connect through Facebook Messenger if that’s applicable.”
If you're hesitant about adding a bot to your site, Jess encourages you to consider the volume of requests your customer service team has to handle.
“If a single Knowledge Base article delivered at the right time could reduce your customer support volume by just 20%, that would improve efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, create a better customer journey and allow your team to focus on higher priority issues. That’s the power of a HubSpot chatbot.”
Although we’ve been focused on customer service teams in this section, it’s worth noting that chatbots can also help your sales team become more efficient. You can use bots to help qualify leads and trigger notifications to your sales team when a warm lead engages with your brand.
“Think of a chatbot as a multi-purpose tool that helps funnel leads to salespeople and support requests to your service team,” Jess says.
This is not the inbox you’re thinking of 😉. It’s the inbox within Service Hub! That’s right, you have your very own inbox within your HubSpot portal that helps you keep track of all your customer service communications.
Track communications across different channels, such as:
- Form Submissions
- An email account
- FB Messenger
“All of these channels can feed into your inbox and provide your customer service team with a centralized communication center,” Jess explains. “More than that, you can also loop in other team members, control who has access to which inboxes and more readily communicate with customers, which improves your average response time.”
Another bonus is that, once again, you have access to automation for your inbox. You can use conversations to trigger a nurture series, alert internal team members, create support tickets and more. Plus, you can see a contact’s full record at a glance in your inbox — do they have a deal in your pipeline, any past submissions, etc.?
“At the end of the day, the inbox is the heartbeat of your customer service comms,” Jess says. “And this is only the tip of the iceberg!”
If the inbox is the heartbeat of your team, then a Knowledge Base and its articles are the arteries that distribute information. This feature extends far beyond just your service team to your marketing, sales and ops teams and even directly to your customers.
“Most clients and teams I’ve worked with don’t fully realize the potential of the Knowledge Base until they start building it out,” Jess says. “You can think of it as a mini customer service team. Build out articles around specific categories, topics or services that address common support ticket requests so your team can easily deliver answers to customers and learn about other areas of your business.”
The benefits don’t stop here. You can also use Knowledge Base across your business to create more efficient workflows and gather important information. Here are some of Jess’s recommendations to get the most out of this feature:
- Utilize Knowledge Base across other HubSpot tools. You can easily tag and send Knowledge Base articles from your HubSpot email, service inbox, ticket pipeline or even directly within a contact record, without ever having to leave your place.
- Collect customer insights. Leverage reporting and analytics to see what customers are searching for on your website and create Knowledge Base articles around those topics. You can track performance of search topics, search volume and article performance to see what’s helping and where you can improve.
- Implement Knowledge Base specific chatflows. Instead of spending tons of time live chatting with every customer, consider building out customized chatflows that pull from or offer Knowledge Base articles that address various prompts. In some cases, clients have seen up to a 50% reduction in ticket volume simply by implementing these articles in their chats.
“Bottom line is your Knowledge Base can act as an extension of your customer service team while bolstering your customer’s trust in you as a brand because you always provide relevant value and timely support,” Jess explains.
Now that we’ve covered all the tools within HubSpot’s Service Hub, it’s time to figure out if they’re really improving your customer experience. You can do that with NPS surveys.
NPS — net promoter score — surveys are similar to customer feedback surveys. You ask new customers to rank their experience from 1-10 at the end of their initial engagement, and your business’s NPS is the average of all your scores.
“Your customer’s feedback is crucial to the success of your business,” Jess says. “If you put this much energy into building a Knowledge Base, setting up chatflows, establishing communication pathways and more, then you should absolutely pair it with a method for collecting feedback.”
When customers see that you ask, listen and are willing to find solutions to their problems, it speaks volumes to the trustworthiness of your brand and builds stronger relationships.
Want to learn more about NPS surveys? We’ve got you covered. Check out our blog!
Who Is Service Hub Right For?
“Service Hub is great for really any business,” Jess says. “I think people get caught up in what the Service Hub tools might have been originally created for, but that’s the beauty about HubSpot — the features stay the same so it’s how you apply them that matters.”
If you work in B2C, then it’s probably pretty easy to see how Service Hub makes it easy to connect with and support your individual customers. However, if you work in B2B, you might need a little more convincing. To help wrap your head around the benefits of Service Hub, Jess offers this example:
Imagine you run an information technology company that primarily provides IT solutions to enterprise clients. You could use the Knowledge Base as a resource center for new clients and build specific categories unique to the industries you serve. You could even create onboarding documents for new clients, such as “Getting started with us” or “What to expect during onboarding.”
You could also install a chatbot on your website that’s personalized to specific customers. For example, if the client is exploring a new service page, your chatbot could pop up to help answer questions and provide more information. This can help not only with educating clients but also promoting upsells on your site.
Another way to utilize Service Hub as a B2B company is to implement the ticket pipeline as a way of tracking your new client onboarding or projects through their lifecycle. “Coupled with reporting, you’d then be able to track the performance from the ticket reporting dashboard of specific projects and aptly name your ticket pipeline stages for additional insight into the project performance,” Jess explains.
As you can see, Service Hub can be applied in many ways outside of the standard customer service funnel. If you’re still wondering if Service Hub is right for your team, consider the following points:
- Volume of and reasons for support tickets
- Size of your customer support team
- What product/service you offer
“I want to be clear that the size of your team isn’t necessarily the deciding factor for Service Hub,” Jess says. “You may have one customer support team member but that person receives up to 100 support requests a day. That would be a strong case for implementing Service Hub as a way to optimize the customer support journey and reduce the volume of tickets a single employee is responsible for.”
Jess continues that with larger teams, the goal of implementing Service Hub is streamlining communications and organizing customer information so it’s more accessible to your team and customers.
Choosing Your Level of Service
As with all HubSpot Hubs, Service Hub is available in four different pricing tiers:
- Starter ($45/month)
- Professional ($450/month
- Enterprise ($1,200/month)
“The right plan largely depends on your current customer service volume, products or services, and how you’ve mapped your customer support process,” Jess notes.
The Starter Plan typically works well for businesses that match these criteria:
- Small to medium team
- Fairly straightforward products or services
- Low volume of support tickets
- Few repetitive tasks or emails
However, if you have a larger team or need more technical support for your customer journey, then Service Hub Professional will likely be your best bet. It helps you build processes, collect feedback, provide additional resources for customers and automate certain workflows to improve customer communications and streamline internal operations.
If you’re leading an enterprise-level company and want a significant edge in your customer support, then the Enterprise plan is the best bet for you. It’s designed to support large teams and includes more robust and high-tech features, such as AI-run Conversation Intelligence.
Need help choosing the right service level? We can help! Schedule a call with us today to chat through your Service Hub needs and options.
Can’t Beat Great Service
HubSpot didn’t become known for inbound marketing by accident. From their CRM platform to their email templates and marketing automation, they’ve been focused on customer success since day one. So whether you’re considering Service Hub as a standalone product or as an addition to your Sales Hub and Marketing Hub, you can rest assured that you’ll have the features you need to provide the very best customer experience.
As an added bonus, you never have to go it alone with HubSpot. There are partner agencies, like us, that can help you get set up and even manage your portal. Check out the benefits of working with a partner agency in our blog.