Inbound 2019 attracted over 26,000 people to Boston, MA, to see and hear over 250 speakers. The annual event provides visitors a chance to network and learn from industry experts discussing business topics wide and far.
From inspiring spotlights to education breakout sessions, this year’s conference focused on improving customer experience by leveraging a Flywheel Marketing Strategy.
The big talking points centered around providing a streamlined, frictionless experience for customers. Chief concepts at the core of this optimization include flywheels, data and CRM hygiene and optimization.
HubSpot Co-founder, Brian Halligan, used his keynote to express the idea of being an “experience disruptor.” Halligan noted the primary way companies can stand out from competition is to radically improve the customer experience.
Here are our takeaways from the event for how to use HubSpot software to improve your customers’ journeys and disrupt their customer service experience expectations.
What’s the Flywheel?
If you missed Inbound 2018, HubSpot introduced the idea of the Flywheel at the conference last year.
With word of mouth, online reviews and customer satisfaction becoming the driving forces of marketing, the general idea is to stop thinking of customers as something you build a funnel to capture and rather to put them as at the center of everything you do so that their satisfaction creates a self-perpetuating force for new leads and conversions.
For a full recap of Inbound 2018, watch our video from last year.
Driving a positive customer experience requires squeaky clean data. The quality of your data can make what you record either your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to making informed decisions.
Good data means we can use it to the benefit of the customer/end-user. Incorrect or inconsistent data leads to false conclusions. So, how well you clean and understand the data has a major impact on the quality of the results.
Practices to keep your data clean:
- Adhere to clean data standards and measure ongoing results to adjust your standards as necessary (the better you get, the stricter your standards should be)
- Identify essential data and clean quarterly
- Do a thorough database cleanup at least annually to remove inactive or gray contacts
Customers have discovered that their data is valuable, so when they share it, they’re expecting it to be used to improve their experience. If you want to prioritize your customers’ needs and give them a good experience, you need to provide value to their online experience.
Here are a few examples how customer data can be put to good use:
- Personalized account access
- Status of orders/history
- Urgent alerts
- Service updates
- Instant deals
- Special offers
- Reward programs
- Valuable content
Voice Search Optimization
Voice search optimization has been buzzing around marketing communities since the dawn of the personal assistant. Voice assistants and voice search for businesses are not going away — the data is very clear on that. However, before consumers use voice search as a primary search and shopping method, businesses need to make the process more user-friendly.
Getting ahead of your competitors will position your business well when the process is more commonly held. Today, just 3.8% of businesses offer correct information in voice searches, signaling big opportunity for businesses to position themselves for success among competitors.
Here are a couple items you can do to optimize:
- Confirm the accuracy of your information on Google, etc.
- Strive to get a Google featured snippet
- Add local information to your site such as neighborhood names and landmarks
- Include “near me” in title tags and meta description on your website (especially if you’re looking for local traffic)
- Add structured data to your source code on your website to make it easier for search engines to crawl, organize and display your content
In order to be an experience disruptor, you have to make yourself immediately available to customers. In a recent HubSpot study, 82% of consumers rated an immediate response as very important when they have a marketing or sales question.
HubSpot offers several tools to improve the customer experience. One common tactic that has increased in popularity among businesses is the chatbot, a tool to simulate a live chat experience for site visitors.
When it comes to building a chatbot, strategy is everything. You should be incorporating three steps in your conversation: greet, investigate and solve, all with the intention of determining who in your organization the customer can be helped by the most and creating a painless connection between the two.
Once connected, the chatbot passes the conversation to a live chat, where your customer service team can provide a convenient, live experience.
The story of live chat is about convenience. This is an inflection point for your business — set up live chat the way buyers want to use it and you have a shot at finally breaking down the silos between departments. That’s a bigger upside than live chat could ever offer by itself and it’s why we’re so excited about it.
Key takeaways from the HubSpot study:
- 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% 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.
2020 Marketing Goals
As the transition from customer funnels to full-on flywheel models perpetuates a cycle of customer satisfaction, the tools needed to optimize this experience will continue to increase in sophistication. If you’re looking to prioritize customer experiences, we suggest a two-plank plan to improve your services.
- Get your data hygiene in a healthy place.
- Investigate what communication barriers exist between your departments and make a plan to reduce them.
If you’re excited about how marketing automation and data can improve your customer experience but you’re unsure about learning new technologies or prioritizing your marketing efforts, let us help.
Whether you want to work with our HubSpot agency partner team or just need a one-on-one with our HubSpot-certified trainer, Simple Machines has the expertise to help modernize your marketing materials for 2020 and beyond.