Why your software tools need to be customised to your business
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When you’re choosing a software tool for your business, you’ll spend a long time looking at features. You’ll go through your specific needs and then check that the tool can tick each requirement off the list before settling on your choice.
It’s easy to become features-focused and – yes, this is important as you’ll be using this software every day. But focusing on bright-and-shiny functionality (sometimes features you don’t actually need, but look “cool”) can be to the detriment of the real question: how is the software going to improve your daily life?
HubSpot as it was: the all-in-one solution
It’s one of the reasons our clients love HubSpot so much. They come to us with their requirements and, more often than not, the tool can do exactly what they want. Out of the box, HubSpot is incredibly powerful. It has fantastic features, from automation to lead scoring and A/B testing potential, but these functions aren’t just ‘bells and whistles’ add-ons that blind you with their sparkliness: they’re genuine features you’ll want to use day in, day out.
Once in a while, however, there’s a very specific need that isn’t currently in the HubSpot toolkit. That’s when HubSpot’s approach makes it even more powerful. A few years ago, HubSpot considered itself to be an ‘all-in-one’ solution. That’s great but if that all-in-one tool doesn’t do what you want, you’re stuck. How can it be all-in-one if it doesn’t do everything every use might require from it? They were stumped and knew they needed to change, not just their messaging, but their functionality.
HubSpot as it is now: the all-on-one solution
Recently, HubSpot’s self-identity has switched to all-on-one. In other words, it’s gone from being just a tool and transformed into a platform. A living, breathing, customisable place where you really can get rid of the features you’ll never use, and add to the ones you will.
As a result, your HubSpot portal can become the ‘hub’ that connects all your other tools. Even the ones you build yourself. It’s integration potential is (almost) endless.
So, if you can’t find a tool that does exactly what you want, the solution is to build that feature yourself and plug it into HubSpot via its powerful API. This is something we do on a routine basis for our clients. As I type, two of our developers are building additional ‘client exclusive’ HubSpot features that meet their specific needs. If you don’t have the development skills at your fingertips, simply outsource the request to someone who does – an inbound marketing agency (such as ESM Inbound!)
Why we needed HubSpot to shift
It’s a great mindset shift from HubSpot. They’re not trying to be everything to everyone, but they are trying to make it easy to connect everything to your CRM. If you claim to be the ultimate or final solution in something, you’re only setting yourself up for a superior competitor to come along and topple you off your perch. If however, you acknowledge the fact that you don’t offer every service or product... but have the capacity to adapt so you can still offer value to your customers, then the sky’s the limit.
What mindset shift could your business apply to expand your appeal? Instead of going elsewhere, how could you convince customers that your offer is just what they need... with a few additions made to it? How could you embrace being an ever-evolving brand, rather than rigidly sticking to your specialisms?
How the all-on-one approach is benefitting our customers
Before we start, the ticket feature in HubSpot is great. Having the ability to structure a dialogue between customers and providers, focused on specific problem-solving tasks is a great way to define, document and delegate work – and we’re all for it. This processification is at the heart of ESM Inbound.
That doesn’t mean it’s without its quirks though – and one of our clients was keen to change the way they book meetings. Our client – a treasury solutions specialist in the US – was fed up with their clients’ meeting requests going to the wrong person in their organisation. The meeting booking and notification is automated to go to whoever the contact owner is, not who the meeting is actually set up with.
This means that while a sales rep might be the contact owner, the customer actually wants to speak to your client services manager – but is unable to book with them. This can create confusion and missed meetings – a sure way to deliver a bad customer experience. So we got our whizz of a web developer, Wilbert, on the case.
Wilbert’s goal was for both the customer and appropriate team member to receive an email confirmation and diary link; not the contact owner. He created a Google Cloud application which received the data of the ticket, then used a Zoom or Hangouts integration to update both participants’ diaries. Wilbert explained that this was a tricky project – even for him!:
“It was a very complex integration. But now it’s easy for the client to quickly see the correct meetings in their diary. They can check their emails or calendar and see who a meeting is with, instead of having to cross reference the information with colleagues.”
Our client was thrilled with the outcome. This additional functionality is something most other businesses would directly benefit from too, if they are having problems with their meeting assignment. It’s now a service ESM Inbound can happily roll out to other customers.
In a world where you can get everything customised, from your socks to your coffee, why would you settle for ‘status quo’ software at the heart of your business?
Businesses don’t have time for “baggy” solutions that offer more than they need and don’t do the things they really want: if it would make your life simpler, your data more accurate and mean you can spend more time actually delighting your customers, then it’s worth getting software right.
If you think you’d benefit from finding out more about HubSpot’s all-on-one platform, or are interested in a customised solution? Talk to ESM Inbound about our integration offerings today.