MarTech Interview with Poorvi Shrivastav, GM and VP of Service Hub at HubSpot

Poorvi Shrivastav, GM and VP of Service Hub at HubSpot chats about a few trending customer service and customer experiences best practices in this catch-up:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Poorvi – tell us about your journey through the B2B Tech segment and more about your time at HubSpot…

Thank you for having me! Customer service has always played a foundational role in my career. My first job was at a call center in India, where I learned how to balance empathy with outcomes – how to resolve customer issues quickly while never losing sight of human connection. These learnings have laid the foundation for my career.

After undergrad, and during the 2008-2009  financial crisis, I was presented with an opportunity to work in customer service with Microsoft. I led support, engineering and product management in various businesses with Microsoft globally. Thereafter decided to pursue MBA, and joined Salesforce, and led product teams for platform, and core CRM business including emerging line of products during these last five years. I joined HubSpot almost a year ago as the Service Hub GM and VP of Product. In this role, I lead product and go-to-market teams, and together with my team I am prioritizing the idea and value of delivering a well-connected CRM driven authentic service experience for our customers.

We’d love to dive further into the new relaunch of HubSpot’s Service Hub: tell us about some of the exciting updates and what users can look forward to?              

Our updates to Service Hub this year are built to create a more connected, authentic experience for customers. Too often, customers suffer through painful customer experiences that leave them feeling ignored and frustrated, which is why we originally launched Service Hub in 2018. Since then, the pandemic has changed customer expectations for service and customer engagement, and the relaunch solved for that shift in expectation. The new and improved Service Hub is an easy and connected platform that delivers authentic service, ultimately enabling teams to retain and grow their customer base.

For the businesses, we’re creating efficiencies in operations that allow them to maximize revenue. According to Harvard Business Review, acquiring new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones. Investing in customer service today means better customer experiences and improved retention and profitability.

Companies and organizations that use Service Hub see strong business outcomes. In fact, our very own customer support team saved $2.3M in annual headcount, increased productivity 1.6x, and has helped our sales team generate $38 million in recurring revenue since 2019 by passing them leads. All of this began when we started leveraging Service Hub.

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How are you observing trends in automation and current marketing trends redefine the need for certain kinds of automation and martech features?

The hallmark of automating your customer service is how it saves staff time by reducing the friction of administrative functions. The customer is always right, but let’s face it, teams can’t ask service staffers to be online 24/7. One tremendous leap forward made in automation is the role of processes that automatically alert and create workflows based on off-hour engagement to help companies communicate when their customers need them the most.

Service Hub uses an automation engine that triggers workflows and assignments that further improve efficiencies without sacrificing authenticity. Further, service level agreement (SLA) management tools help companies prioritize incoming requests to ensure that teams are meeting customer expectations. With SLAs, teams can set working hours, build in automation, and report on attainment.

When it comes to the use / adoption of martech, what are some of the most common problem areas you still see teams struggle with?

Barriers between a company and building a CRM capability are lessening by the day. In 2020, 65% of sales professionals used a CRM, while 97% considered the technology important.

There are numerous competitors in the field, each offering their own unique value to customers. The most important factor at play, however, is how a CRM keeps pace with your organizational growth. Over time, you’ll add more sales channels and team members to your business and it’s imperative at these points that you have a dynamic and scalable CRM that empowers your growth, rather than limit it with inflexible structures.

In March, Hubspot was named the #1 CRM on G2’s Spring 2022 CRM Grid Report, based on customer reviews, which touted the platform’s flexibility and personalization.

HubSpot has led an exciting product and growth journey through the years, we’d love to hear more about your side of the story developing/growing the Service product and the typical processes you follow to loop customer needs into product innovation…

HubSpot prides itself in how we use customer feedback in every stage of the product innovation process. We use an NPS system to get the pulse of how our customers think and feel about our product offerings. From there, we can quickly learn where customers are seeing the value of our products, what might be falling short, and how we can truly delight them with new capabilities and offerings.

We also offer Town Halls, which gives customers and partners an opportunity to come and speak to our executive team. In addition to keeping the lines of communication open between HubSpot and our customers/partners, this also helps our network get in touch with each other as well.

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We’d love to hear a few predictions you have in mind for the future of martech and B2B marketing!

One idea that we are always thinking about, using our own experience, is how sales processes are changing – especially in the past two years, we’ve seen remarkable evolutions in how a resilient sales organization functions. For instance, companies are no longer just focused on selling, but rather interested in delivering a strong end-to-end customer experience.

Most notably, we’ve changed our mentality around sales from a funnel, where leads are transferred from department to department with little personalization, to more of a flywheel, where the onus is on every team to attract, engage, and delight customers. In a digital space, we have unparalleled visibility into every customer touchpoint. This allows customer service individuals to see the entire sales, marketing, and service history of a customer, leading to richer, more contextualized interactions.

Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up!

Providing authentic customer service means providing customer service when, where and how customers want it most.. We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of being tied up on hold for far too long, to then only be transferred to another, unhelpful department, and then left with no solution and ultimately a frustrating experience that weakens your relationship with that business.

Customers want timely, transparent and effective resolutions. By providing those resolutions across channels — like live chat, email and phone – that connect with one another, Service Hub introduces genuine human connection. Additionally, by enabling self-service options like a knowledge base, customer portals and custom surveys, businesses are able to better understand their customers. This ultimately results in a delightful end–to-end experience, leaving your customer with consistently positive experiences from your brand.

HubSpot is a leading CRM platform that provides software and support to help businesses grow better. The platform includes marketing, sales, service, and website management products that start free and scale to meet customers’ needs at any stage of growth.

Poorvi Shrivastav is the GM and VP, Products at HubSpot. Shrivastav has more than a decade of experience leading global customer, product and engineering teams. She has launched products and built high performing teams across enterprise SaaS companies and is known for scaling emerging businesses. She is passionate about education, technology, and culture and is an investor and advisor for multiple educational and software organizations. She holds a Bachelors in computer science engineering from India and a MBA in strategic management from The Wharton School.

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