By Brian Halligan, co-founder and CEO, HubSpot
One of my biggest ah-ha’s in the last year is that when I speak with HubSpot’s customers, I’ve been hearing that the reasons they buy from us have really shifted over time.
Word of mouth is increasingly becoming one of our biggest growth drivers. In fact, I’ve stopped thinking about our business like a traditional sales & marketing funnel. It’s more like a flywheel where the customers are the main driver that pulls in prospects.
That flywheel spins at the rate of customer delight.
The funnel was a great way to think about our business 10 years ago, when our sales and marketing was the loudest voice in the market. But in today’s market, our customers’ voices are the loudest.
This shift in the way humans make buying decisions is the first big reason we launched our Service Hub product line. We want to enable our customers to grow better by matching the way they go to market with the way modern buyers actually evaluate and buy products today. We want to enable our customers to create a delightful end-to-end customer experience and get their own flywheels spinning.
Another shift afoot in human behavior — and the second big reason we are getting into the Service Hub business — is that people’s expectations of service have dramatically changed over the the last couple of years. Traditionally, if you had a problem, you’d call support, wait on the phone, spend 10 minutes describing yourself and problem, not get your question answered, get transferred, and do the whole thing over again until you either gave up or had your question answered.
This was just the way things worked. Life in the big city for us humans.
But not anymore.
Today, if humans have a problem or question for a vendor, they start with Google and expect to find an answer. If not, they go to the vendor’s website or Facebook and expect to chat with someone who will quickly find the answer. If not there, then they call and expect that person to be clueful and have all the context they need to to answer their question quickly and completely.
That leads me to the third reason we got into the Service Hub business. Building a modern system that enables a vendor to create that modern service experience is very complicated. To do it right, you’d need:
- a knowledge base system
- an SEO system so those knowledge articles could get found in Google
- a chat system for your website
- a messaging system for Facebook
- a bot builder
- a ticketing system
- a Net Promoter Score system
- and a customer marketing system
…and all that would need to constantly sync with your CRM system. All very doable if you’d like to buy 8 systems, pay 8 bills, and learn 8 user interfaces. But, it’s just too painful for a small or medium sized business to pull this off today.
As you can tell, I’m excited about the opportunity to help companies build a fantastic end to end experience for their customers and move from an old school funnel mentality to a new school flywheel mentality. Service Hub is available as of last Thursday. You can learn more about it here.