Inbound Customer Success

Featuring Mark Kilens, VP of HubSpot Academy and Michael Redbord, GM of Service Hub

 
 
  • - Hello folks, happy Tuesday. Thank you so much for tuning in to today's HubSpot Academy Master Class. My name is Mark Kilens I head up HubSpot Academy. If you don't know what HubSpot Academy is, we are a learning platform that's gonna help you learn all about inbound marketing, inbound sales, how to use up HubSpot platform. And today I've brought in a very special guest, a friend, a former coworker of mine; still a co-worker but on a different team, Mr. Mike Redbord.

    - Hey everybody, pleasure to be here today. Thanks Mark. Mike heads up the product that we're building right now, that's coming out very soon, our new Customer Hub. We have three hubs, we have the Marketing Hub, the first one that we built a while, while back, Sales Hub. Now we're launching a Customer Hub. He's the GM of that and used to be, actually, the VP of the customer support and success team here at HubSpot.

    - I was, my job before my current job, which is about making software to turn your customers into a great growth engine for your business, was to help HubSpot's own customers be a great growth engine for our business. So, what I did was look after support and service and onboarding and customer success and all the different things that made up the post sale team at HubSpot. That was one of the most, sort of, proud episodes of my professional career. It was just amazing to see how successful customers could be with HubSpot and to help them to get there, right? And before that I did a bunch of other stuff too involving like, you know, I actually did onboarding myself for awhile. If any of you are out there, hello, I really loved working with you. And before that I had kind of a career in consulting and doing those like late nights and early flights type things, so I've seem customer service, client service, customer success, all this stuff from a bunch of different angles. I'm really excited now to be building a product that actually is gonna enable everybody to take advantage of some of the things that we've done.

    - Yeah, a fun fact, Mike started, I think, three months before I did in 2010. We were both, as he just mentioned, inbound marketing consultants, basically helped people implement HubSpot for the first 90 days or so. Then Mike started the support team basically, I mean, the support team existed but you rebooted it. I started HubSpot Academy and our worlds have now just come full circle back around where Mike is building this product, like he just said, and HubSpot Academy is actually one of the first beta users of the product. We'll talk very little about the product today, this is all about customer success, customer service, how to help you folks make your customers part of your growth engine and help your customers grow better. So Mike I want to start with, kind of, what's going on in the landscape of customer service today. I'm gonna ask you a couple questions. But before I do that, folks tuned in, make sure that you check out the comments stream of the Facebook messenger thing we were using today. Is it Facebook messenger? Or is it just a Facebook app?

    - Yeah, Facebook comments, Facebook messenger.

    - Something like that.

    - It's on Facebook, yeah.

    - The Facebook thing and ask us questions. We're gonna be throwing some questions out to you folks, but I wanna make sure that this is a very engaging master class Like I said, I got a few questions teed up for Mike but make sure you're asking us questions, we see them right in front of us. The first question I have for all of you folks, actually is, how big would you say is your Customer Service or Success Team? I do that in quotes because maybe it's a team of one, maybe you got one person doing that and some of the selling, maybe it's a blend of your Sales and Customer Success Team to account like, kind of, What is that, Account Executive kind of team?

    - Yeah, like Account Manager, Account Executives, lots of different names for the same thing.

    - So let us know how big your team is today and as you do that, I want to have Mike answer the question, around, what's going on today in customer service and as you kind of think about that, is it customer service, is a customer success, is there a difference? Maybe we start there.

    - Sure, yeah. Well let's start with the customer thing. Because we can all sort of, we know what it's like to be a customer today versus ten years ago and we can speculate on what it's gonna be like in 10 years, right. I think, like today, is actually a pretty good time to be a customer. You have just like a wealth of choice in front of you and your ability to, sort of, understand what those choices are, is better than ever. So, What does that really mean? I think you have a lot of competition out there and there's a lot of industries that have a lot of different options. If you want to go buy a water bottle or a cactus or one of these succulents, right? You have a number of different options, there's brick and mortar, there's online, there's all sorts of different things. And the discoverability of where you can buy it the water bottle is really, really good too. You can go online and you can go to, like, review aggregators or forums or social or whatever, to understand where these things can actually be acquired.

    - That makes sense.

    - So as a customer, or a prospective customer, as a consumer you got a wealth of choice and you really have a good ease of discoverability, which I think it's kind of a game changer compared to ten years ago. That's a big step forward that, inbound marketing has been a part of, right. But I think now power really is with customers to choose where they do business and to be, kind of, mindful about how they do it.

    - That dynamic has shifted completely away from the business to the customer.

    - It's totally turned on its head.

    - And I think the internet kick-started that and now with the advent of social it's just accelerated it.

    - Yeah and now, as a customer too. Social, I think, has gotten to a point where it's completely ubiquitous, right. It's woven into every single thing that we do. As a customer, if you have a good experience you can share it. If a bad experience, you can share it. If you work at a business, especially in a customer service function, you've probably seen both, right? As a customer then the power really rests with you in a pretty complete way and the impact that feedback can be tremendous, right. You hear these stories about businesses that get really good feedback and do amazing things, they get written up in the newspaper, they're all over the place. You also hear these stories about businesses that are doing, kind of like, not so good things, right. And that they just get totally, lanced for this kind of stuff on social and that also kind of catches on. So the ability of a customer to take their unit of one and turn it into a story from many, I think, is massive. That really puts the power with the customer today too. It's a good time to be a customer.

    - It's a really good time to be a customer. So we have a few people responding about how big their customer teams are now that you've kind of set the stage that it's really about the customer being in control and being empowered to make these decisions on their own, with their friends and whatnot. So let's see what people have to say about their customer teams. We got a few people with three, some four to six, just one so far. So there's at least some folks listening in today that have dedicated teams focused on this.

    - Yeah.

    - What if you don't have a dedicated team? Focus on this because you just made the case and I completely agree with you. It's so important to be focused on the customer to enable both their success but just ongoing support. What do you do to get started, how do you get this thing going?

    - So the moment that you have a customer, you're in the business of doing customer service, right. It creates an obligation that you need to fulfill on. Once you have a customer, now you're doing customer service. At some point that customers going to come and ask you a question, at some point you're gonna be like, "Hey why don't we help you get some value out of the thing you just bought," or make sure it works or something like that. So the moment you have a customer, you're in the business of customer service, right. I think the interesting thing about small customer service teams or customer success teams, whatever you want to call it, whatever lable we put on it, is that small teams tend to be very very close to their customer and tend to actually provide really exceptional service and in most cases, right. Because if there's just like two, three, four, people on your team you sit, basically, with your customer all day, you're not sitting in strategy meetings at your company. You really focus outwards on your customer. You live and breathe with them and you're really, typically, able to work with the customer that's right in front of you, provide an amazing experience. It's when teams scale that things sometimes get messy so it's kind of cool to hear that people that are listening in today live have relatively small teams because you're probably very, very focused on the customer which is amazing.

    - I think one thing that we've learned here at HubSpot and I've learned through talking to thousands of other businesses, you spoken to a thousand of our customers, is there's two main parts to the equation of doing customer service well. One is the technology and we'll talk about that, alright you need to have some type of system to keep track of everything to some degree, even if it's just a Google sheet, an Excel doc to start with. But you also need amazing people. It comes down to the people and I think you've learned, I've learned, HubSpot's learned that who you hire and we talked about you hire for character, train for skill, that's so important I think these days. I think everyone, no matter what your role in the business is, could be sales, could be marketing, could be customer service should all have this customer mindset. And be thinking about how to help them.

    - I totally agree. We just got a comment in from Jenna who says, "Everybody at our organization does customer success."

    - Love it!

    - I think that's an amazing perspective to take and as long as you can keep that going, you absolutely should because when it's a shared, when your customers are a shared asset I think you really walkin' the walk of putting the customer first, which is the right thing, right.

    - I think that's great, bravo to Jenna! Yeah I mean, it's a culture!

    - Yeah it is and if everybody's sharing the culture and your, if whether you're growing or not and hiring a new people or not, right, growing your headcount that is. If you have that culture, if you do put somebody new into it they'll just absorb it. If they don't, the antibodies will get them and they'll get pushed out. But if you have that culture and it actually is real, right, if it's really real and you walk into the office and you feel it and you smell it? Then that is what enables you to put your customer first and businesses that do that tend to grow a lot faster than businesses that don't. We've done a bunch of research on this and the businesses that actually value their customers, most highly, are the businesses are growing the fastest which is really cool to see.

    - Your customers are gonna grow better, you will grow better as a business. Let's throw it to the audience, Mike. Who is focused on that kind of mindset right now, at your business, are you focused on making sure the people you bring on, the way you train your folks, the training you're getting as an employee, is it customer centric? Do we talk about, do you folks talk about the customers, do you understand them? I think understanding the customers is really important as well and that's just making sure that you have enough, you know there's data, yeah, but just enough conversations with customers to learn about what are their problems, how are you helping them solve their problems, what are the blockers getting in their way? So as people answer that question, let's talk about what's going on now with people's expectations and these expectations can either really help your business or really hurt it. Because like you are saying, everything now is this word-of-mouth megaphone that's happening. Brian Halligan, our CEO, talks a lot about that the word of mouth is the most important channel for a business these days. Talk to us about that and what maybe you've seen here at HubSpot or what's going on in the world.

    - I think as I work with businesses that are growing, you tend to see that these guys view service in a certain way. They view their customers as sort of, again, that obligation and we have a responsibility to these folks. Not just, "Hey we closed the deal, see you later!" They have a different mindset about it which is what, hopefully, you guys are commenting on right now. They also understand that customers are smart, they're like them and they have options. So businesses that are that kind of get it, they see all this and they're all in onto that mindset and really what it means that as competition goes up and more and more entrants come into a given market, service will become a competitive differentiator. If you are offering something that, you know, sure you have some differences but at the end of the day from a consumer perspective, it's relatively similar. Then things like service become really, really key to be what makes you different than them and what increases your word-of-mouth, your ability for your customers become your best marketers. I think, if you go back in time and, you know, this is a bit of an old school perspective this is maybe a 10,15 years ago, I think service was a necessary evil. You sort of did it cause, ugh, you got these customers and, like, man it's really telling when they ask you questions. So you have to deal with it and so you'd play this, like, tennis game where you sort of just knock the question away or you'd end up with a queue of questions so you knock them all away and then you go home at the end of the day, like, "Ah all the queue's done, my job's done." I think smart businesses is that they understand that service is a competitive differentiator. They see what's happening in the marketplace, they see what's happening in word-of-mouth, good or bad, or they want more word-of-mouth and it's just this, sort of, you know, deafening silence cause there's nothing there yet and then understand the service can really be a competitive differentiator. So when I see a business like that and I see that they get it, as a customer person myself, they're always the ones that I buy from because I know that we're just on the same page about how I want to be treated as a customer.

    - We have some folks chiming in now. We have Matt asking a question actually on what tools will HubSpot be developing. Matt, we're gonna answer that question a bit later. Before we get to the tools, we'll talk about this Customer Service Model that you're developing, it's very interesting. A few people have asked about what's the way to actually go about doing this, kind of, step by step, so we'll get to that. We have, what do we have here? Sherry, yeah, customer focus goes into every decision we make. That's basically what she's saying. That is fantastic, that's the mindset that we're trying to use every day here at HubSpot. I think, inbound. I think what inbound means. And folks let us know in the comments, are you someone who's using inbound today and are you a Spot customer. Just let us know, get to know each other. I would encourage you folks to talk amongst yourselves maybe you can learn a few things. But if you're using a demo today or you're a HubSpot customer you, probably know inbound is all about being helpful and human. I feel like that just naturally lends itself to the ways you should be thinking about using customer service in your business. How helpful can you be and human-centric can you be and use this holistic approach to it. Because you're not gonna just use one tool, Mike, to figure out customer service, right? It's not just one tool, there's a collection tools. So I don't know, do you have any thoughts on how inbound and customer service are coming together because we're building the customer hub.

    - Yeah I think that inbound marketing, kind of changed the game a bit for the way the customer experience unfolds because customer experience doesn't start at the point of transaction, right. It starts before that it's a contiguous experience across the whole lifecycle of someone's first exposure to your business and actually deciding to do business with you and then actually becoming a customer and then what happens from there on. So the thing that inbound marketing changes, is the very beginning of that experience, which might seem like it's somewhat far away from the transaction but it's actually really important because it's a first impression. In the first impression, I think, is really really critical to making or breaking any relationship. When someone discovers your business on, say on Facebook right, that's a pretty different kind of door into your business than your website is a pretty different door in than a blog post on your site it's pretty different door than, you know, running into someone on the street who talks about you. So if you sort of respect the way that inbound marketing has changed the channels by which we actually acquire customers, then you gain an understanding for the fact that well, downstream things are getting different too. I think one of the interesting things in there is that because businesses now acquire customers and all sorts of different places there's probably a bunch of marketers that are out there, hi. And you guys are thinking, "Oh well LinkedIn used to work for me. "Well it doesn't really anymore." From your customers perspective, if that one channel, say LinkedIn or something like that, worked for you that's the place where they view you as existing, right. They're gonna go back to the hand that feeds and they're going to think of you as having a presence there so even though inbound marketing has caused this explosion of channels through which you apply our customers, I think that it has actually changed the downstream experience even more. The customers are that much more demanding of engaging in conversations and interacting with your brand post-sale or in all these different places. So it doesn't just start at the transaction, what happens at the beginning is really key and I think inbound marketing changed the game there, starting about ten years ago.

    - Expectations?

    - Yes, totally different expectation.

    - Interesting expectations. Tonight I've talked about this with you, and I think others, there's kind of two chains that we're all in the business of creating with our prospects and customers. There's the trust chain. How can you develop trust and add more links to that chain so it gets stronger? That's really important, I think. And then the value chain, how do you add more value to the prospect then hopefully becomes a customer because you maybe pull them in through some great inbound tactics, right? And now you have to deliver upon the expectations you kind of said in the sales process, however you've sold to them. So I know, do you thoughts on those two chains and maybe an example with you, that you've seen here at HubSpot. How we have created trust and then value with our customers.

    - Yeah, I think there's something really simple that can be applicable to basically any business that we do and that lots of businesses do. But think about in this way, maybe it's a bit different and hopefully we spark some thinking with you guys about how you can do this in your own business and for your own customer experience. So here's a simple thing, you said we both did it at one point. We do onboarding for our customers and, you know, there's no textbook out there that says thou must do onboarding for your customers or thou must help, you know, set them up or something like that.

    - [Mark] It's true!

    - We started doing it. Why did we do that, right? We did it because we thought that we had an obligation to our customers to sort of help them see success, see value and be happy, basically, be happy customers, turn customers into happy relationships, that was number one. And the number two, we actually we knew what they were going to encounter. And we knew that they were going to need some guidance to be successful and to see value, right. So there's an interesting thing that happens there we didn't have to do that onboarding thing and have to help them get set up, but we sort of, we thought we knew the right answer and we didn't wanna let them stumble, fall and then pick them up out of the mud when they when they screwed something up. We thought no we're gonna be here, we're gonna guide you along this and we're gonna do it arm in arm. I think that perspective that enabled us to create that onboarding team in the first place, that really is something that builds trust and that the onboarding team was one place that had happened but there's lots of other places where I think that mindset, sort of, seeps out and creates, hopefully, an impression of trust, guidance and relationship, as opposed to like, "Well we're here if you need anything, "see you later."

    - So let's ask the audience that question. Who are actually helping customers right after they buy? It doesn't need to be anything like us, where we're doing a 90 day onboarding only invitation. But are you, folks who are listening, helping your customers after they buy your product in some way? As you folks think about that and answer that, and it doesn't have to be anything big. Let's take a question from Jane. We've talked about customer service and customer success. We've mentioned we can kind of use them interchangeably. Is that the case, is there a difference between service and success?

    - Yeah, good question Jane! Yes there is a difference, but the reason that I think we're trying to use interchangeably is just to talk in broad strokes here, at the beginning but let me differentiate cause it's a really worthwhile question in topic. So I think there's actually three different flavors here. There's customer success, there's customer service and then it's customer support and I would say they actually, these three are themselves quite different. It's along a spectrum. So--

    - [Mark] Three of them. There's three.

    - I think there's three.

    - So support, service, success?

    - Yeah and I think even some of these get muddied up and talked about differently. When I work with bigger businesses, HubSpot sized or above, you start to create finer differentiations. I think sometimes and the businesses that typically are HubSpot customers. you see them, kind of, having two but I think there's actually three in the end. So let me differentiate. The support angle is really about reacting to your customers needs. It's like we're here for you and there's a lot of ways to do it really, really well, to be there on every channel forum, to be really fast, to be really human. There's all sorts of different things they can do to support excellently but at its core, support is a somewhat transactional event, it has a beginning and an end and it's initiated by the customer. That's one type of interaction. You guys have all had these types of interactions with businesses. You perhaps even do some of these for your customers. They're, sort of, time-bound. They're finite. That's support. Service I view as something that, that word service means something different than support, right. The key difference to me, in service, is that it's proactive. And if support is about a customer saying, "Hey mark I need something you from you." Service is about saying, "Hey Mike I "have something for you."

    - Say that one more time. Say that one more time, that's interesting!

    - Support is a customer who goes to you. It says I need something from you and you fulfill on it. Service is about being proactive and saying to your customer I have something for you. So to me, support is about a business reacting to a customer. Service is about a business being proactive and guiding the customer. If you can do both of those, if you can sort of engage reactively and guide proactively, you're actually doing pretty good out there, I would say. Most businesses struggle doing just those two in tandem but the third piece of the puzzle is this kind of success thing. And I think your trust value equation, there's a lot here that's about the value part of it. And a success part is a, it's actually something that is really initiated by the business, it's doing something that the customer maybe didn't even know they needed or wanted. It's a bit of an anticipatory effect here. It's saying look, because you saw such value or you liked that thing you bought from us before so much, what about this other thing that's kind of adjacent. If you operate an appliance repair business and you repaired a dryer, it's like, hey we also repair kitchen appliances like dishwashers and sinks and stuff like that. There's adjacency there. You'll see Apple do this fantastically well where they've integrated the entire vertical supply chain. Like, hey if you use a phone as a piece of personal technology, you need a computer too. Success is about expanding value for the business and for the customer too, at the same time. I think the key with the success part is really only earn the opportunity to do that once you're able to reactively support well and then proactively guide well. So success is kind of this apex of the pyramid in my view of the world where all three go together. Success is kind of where you want to get to but your customers won't let you do that, if when they call you, you don't pick up the phone.

    - And this kind of bleeds into this model that you've developed. That we're gonna talk a lot more about. There's gonna be a new certification course coming out sometime in 2018 around this model, so stay tuned folks. It's very exciting, inbound customer success, name's still pending, I think. Regardless, what's this three-stage process? You kind of mentioned each word just now, but break it down very simply for folks, those three steps.

    - Sure! Yes I think I used all these verbs but I'll say it clearly. It's engage, guide and grow.

    - [Mark] I like it!

    - Three steps. Three verbs and it's really about in the inbound methodology, we talk about customers and then sort of there's this delight thing that happens and then there's promoters. It's about filling in those gaps in a more tactical, clearer, more operationalized way. And so engage, guide, grow. A couple cool things about it. One it spells egg, E-G-G, big deal.

    - I love eggs! What's your favorite type of egg, just really quickly.

    - You know I've recently learned how to make good poached egg, it's a pretty big game-changer.

    - A poached, I love a good poached egg and with a good hollandaise sauce.

    - Mmm, so good!

    - What is your favorite egg folks? My favorite egg? Today, as you said poached eggs, I like a sunny-side up egg. You dip the toast. You dip the toast. Or you put it on a BLT, Egg BLT, with some avocado. I don't know, there's a lot, anyway! Engage, guide, grow, it spells egg. So it's good there.

    - Which basically makes it perfect!

    - Okay, yeah.

    - Yeah, so anyway! Engage, guide and grow and then the engaged part of it is, again, just the foundation. It's about being there for your customers when they need you, being able to react, opening up channels, being sort of like we'll talk to whoever, wherever, about whatever. That's kind of the engaged part of it, put that over here. The guide part is saying like, look, we've actually, you know, we've seen enough for this engagement that we sort of know what's gonna happen. We know you're gonna need help unboxing the product, we know you're gonna need help with this particular part of getting value or being a happy customer. So it's about proactively guiding that when when you see it. That's the guide part and to me, you know you've guided well when you feel like you have a really solid relationship. And somebody's actually like, yeah I trust you, to talk about the trust chain. They're saying look, you know, we're in this together. And that's a really good thing. And hopefully not, we're in this and let's get out of it together but we're actually going to see some value and get to where we want to go together. So engage, guide. And the grow part, that apex of the pyramid. Once you've, kind of, been able to provide service and help people to get value or to be happy customers from you then you have this opportunity out there that is really massive and this is the place I think a lot of businesses, they don't invest a whole lot of calories in here because this is really tricky. But how do you take an existing customer and sell them something else all, right? How do you take an existing customer, help them get more value from the thing they got off of you in the first place? In order to earn them promoting you on, you know, a review site or on a social media or something like that. So the whole third part, this grow part, the last G and the EGG, is basically about getting to the point where folks have seen so much value that they're actually promoting you and turning them into your best marketers.

    - It's a growth engine, your customers. Your growth engine word-of-mouth really happens there. I think word-of-mouth can happen in other spots too but the other one especially, you got engaged, excuse me please, more transactional a little bit. I like the way you put it whether you're calling you or reaching up to you for something versus you reaching out to them. Folks let us know what you think about EGG, engage, guide and grow, in the comments. We're gonna take a couple questions really quick. You might have, kind of, half answered this one, Mike. But you and I both have a lot of experience with this we can probably both answer it. How do we motivate frontline employees, staff, to be more customer focused?

    - Yeah, man, this is a tricky issue because if you're asking this question, you're not in a good place.

    - Really, why?

    - If I see the question of how do we get them to be customer focused, that implies to me that they're not today, right? And if you're starting from a place where they're not, it actually takes a lot of energy to make this change and it's a massive organizational mindset to me to go from a business that's not customer focused to become customer focused. I'm also probably if you're asking this question, I'm just gonna go and assume more stuff, that your team is relatively large and so it's not just, like, having a good long dinner with those three or four people and getting everybody focused and amped up. You might have a global team where you have, like, different shifts so there's some complexity and actually getting to everybody, getting inside their heads and affecting that mental change. So I think that it has to start at the very very top, look to whoever the most senior person is in your business, whether it's a CEO or a chairperson or the board, whomever. I would go way, way, way, up to the top before I go down to the edge of the organization and try to make that change and there's a lot of things that you can do tactically to make it happen but you need the sponsorship from the very top.

    - I think sponsorship is key I'll throw the question at the audience now too. Let us know in the comments section of Facebook or on Twitter, #HubSpotMasterClass. HubSpot master class, that's the hashtag, Mike. We've got check it out later. What do you do to get this mindset? I 100% agree with you to mindset. I also think it's a lot about the people you bring on. It's that hire for character, train for skill. You hired so many people in the support team.

    - Basically the whole thing.

    - I asked this question, I used to train some of the Support hires. I ask this question of them Mike, "How many of you, raise your hand, "how many of you have worked at "a previous software company?" Two or three, maybe the most five, out of twenty, every time would raise their hand. Then I would ask them, "Why did we hire the rest of you that didn't raise their hand?" They were, I could see minds being blown. So I don't know, I mean talk to us about your experience because you've interviewed thousands of people, probably.

    - Yeah, I think we who hires a lot of people, right. But this applies to everybody, I think. We actually have a preference for people that, actually, in some ways don't have experience doing what we do because we want to be able to introduce them to these concepts from a cold start. And we think when we do that we can start on the right foot and we think we can get to a place where they do see the customer as valuable and become really customer focused without being jaded by another company's experience or something like that. So it's not to say that everybody that's ever worked in service is like screwed up in some way, it's not I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that we have a bias for people that we think have great potential to grow really successful careers, that have really good character and that we can basically say, look this is the way that we want to do it and we actually don't have to challenge some assumptions in there. It's like what my response was to the, "How do you get a team to be customer focused," and my first response was, "Oh you might not be in such a great place." We sort of take that same mindset. We want to go from that cold start which is actually very, very useful with our new hires who work in support. Then oftentimes they'll grow their careers off to work in other functions like success and service.

    - Quick question, How do you engage your customers with onboarding if you have limited staff? Like, what are you gonna do, if you don't have a ton of resources to offer as an onboarding service?

    - So it's kind of an age-old problem of how do we create a fulfillment model that we want to do everything but we're, sort of, we're cost constricted. It's a few different ways to scale it, I think, right. And we've seen success scaling our onboarding through, I suppose, two different pillars. One, being like a lot of self-service. So when you actually start with HubSpot you sort of go through this process and you can do a lot on your own. Yes, we require you to have some level of onboarding but what that person actually does with you is, hopefully, higher value by you having done some of the basic stuff on your own, that maybe you don't need to be guided through with a person anyway and people want to do more stuff on their own.

    - [Mark] Its content!

    - It is, it's just content!

    - You could use, I mean, this is kind of how HubSpot Academy was born, you could use existing marketing content and maybe modify it slightly for the customer but you should be thinking of how you can use your content in both spots. You don't need new content, necessarily.

    - No it just needs to be readapted. It's the same thing as taking a webinar and turning into a blog post or something like that. It's the same content, just readapted around. Take that thing, put it on a knowledge basis in a Getting Started section. Now it's in a nice structure where people can go and sort of see, hey this is how I'm gonna get going. I think that was one way in which we've seen success. Another way that I've seen success too, is by taking onboarding. And this is something that I think requires relatively high volume, so if you're selling a well priced product at a high volume, this is easier. But you take, basically, onboarding and you look at lots and lots of examples people have gone through this and you say, oh there's an emergent, there's some emergent properties of this. And there's a structure that I'm starting to notice that everybody goes through. And okay, they go through this phase, it's kind of like a set up thing and if you look at just set up I can actually subdivide that into like three or four things. They go through this next phase which is about like getting to their say, first point of usage or something in a software example, whatever it is, and you can kind of just take it and subdivide. It's basically a process engineering exercise. Once you have that mapped out in a way that's simple, maybe just like five, ten steps. Now you can use some tools that are actually, again, pretty familiar to marketers. Things like, smart calls to action to say do this at this point to new life cycle. Things like workflows, to tee up email or other forms of communication you want to get out to them at the right time. I think the challenge for most customer teams is actually being able to step back and think about that process and do the process engineering. I know we found that hard at times and we know we're relatively flush with resources to do this kind of stuff too.

    - I mean you kinda have to be scrappy too. You know if you find someone on your team who's really passionate about helping customer succeed more, tap them on the shoulder. See if you can maybe, you might not even need to, but you might give them a little incentive to do a little bit more nights and weekends or in the Flex time they have during the week, to focus on this.

    - Yeah, we just got a great comment for us. He uses the the inbound certification course as a way to actually do onboarding. We use a ton of resources in our onboarding for our employees that are third party. And if you can figure out a way to work those in for your customers too, I think that's great as well. People really hunger for the ability to get a lot of distance and a lot of valley without talking to somebody nowadays. You should enable that by pulling whatever you can.

    - Well the beautiful thing is to, soon we'll have a whole inbound customer success course.

    - Indeed.

    - It's gonna teach people to listen that I think having, again, not just the people focus on the customer go through that type of content, have the sales team go through it. Have a lot of people go through it, right?

    - I love that comment we had earlier, that customer success is a team sport. The entire team must play it, otherwise it falls apart.

    - I agree with you 100%. So let's maybe switch to a few different things that are still very customer and kind of experience related. If you had a, think to someone who's really a standout leader, in this space. What's a name or two that will come to mind.

    - Oh Mark Kilens, number one.

    - Don't pay attention to that, that is not true.

    - I think there are a lot of people that do this stuff very very well. There are some names that are big names that most people know that I think you know are somewhat probably controversial because big names tend to be controversial.

    - [Mark] Really?

    - Yeah! I think somebody like Jeff Bezos and the kind of high-water mark that Amazon says for this, I think, is really, really impressive. But where I was going with that, is that, I think most of the customer success leaders are actually relatively quiet and they tend to be somewhat operational. They're by, definition, not marketers. They spend a lot of time with customers, hopefully, but they don't necessary spend a lot of time them trumpeting what they're up to and maybe there's case studies or stuff like that. It's actually tricky to find names of customer success people who are exceptional at this. I'm a fan of a community called Support Driven, which I think is just exceptional.

    - [Mark] Support Driven?

    - Yeah, they're great! If you google Support Driven slack you'll see it and basically, in there, are people talking about support, doing support all day. And it's a community of primarily support professionals and over time it evolved into more, kind of, service and delivery oriented folks and leadership and others and other people like that.

    - Okay.

    - And I think the people in here are, pound for pound, incredibly high quality, right. They're just amazing, have you ever heard of any of them? Unlikely, right? I think it's a quiet fight and I think it's a fight that when, you do well and you win at it, a lot of people look at it and say, "Oh cool, "you did your job" and so as a result, you don't have a lot of Paragons of customer success standing up. I think there are a few companies out there to do a great job at it, but when I think about names like that, I think of the the millions of people that work with the customer in front of them every single day. they're my hero, that do a great job at that customer.

    - Here's a call to action for all of you listening, let us know in the comments section who you admire in this customer support, service or success space. I'm gonna have you maybe name a few more names. But let us know in the comments section of Facebook. I know you folks have some people, before you maybe think of some names, and maybe this will trigger some names, how about a book or two? Okay, is there a book or two that you really have read that's like, "Man that has "influenced my way of thinking."

    - So, I think that the Gainsight book is really, really good if I think about what the inbound marketing books at HubSpot wrote was. You know years ago I think the Gainsight book is like that today. I think I think it's really excellent. it's very customer, kind of, success-focused and it's really good for software companies, but less for, sort of, service out there. I think that the Zappos book is really exceptional.

    - Delivering Happiness.

    - Everybody knows it, it's sort of a seminal work at this point.

    - Sure.

    - But, you know, I don't think people have changed much since that book was written. I think it's still a really good one. those are the places I start, with Delivering Happiness. We're, sort of, just the human approach and then Gainsight, I think, has a more sophisticated operational sort of approach to it. Those are two pretty good reads.

    - [Both] By everyone!

    - Yeah, I was just gonna say, quickly, by everyone in the organization. If feel like you can change this mindset, Delivering Happiness.

    - Yes, it's a great book.

    - Just have them read it and then have a discussion about it at lunch. if you're a small business, you can do it over probably lunch with 20-25 people. I was gonna say, Delivering Happiness, I actually think there's some interesting leadership books about, they're not really about customer service, but there's a lot of parallels, right?

    - Yeah.

    - One would be, on some people like this guy, some people don't. Again, to your point about big names, big figures, Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership. There's some servant leadership type books, that's one of them that are interesting. Serve people first, that's, kind of, a mentality we have here at HubSpot. We have this notion of solve for the customer, SFTC. Very important, kind of, goes with the ethos of inbounds, be helpful be human. So, I think any type of servant leadership, where you're putting people that you're trying to help in front of yourself, before you, those are good books to put on the table for your team to read.

    - Yeah, I think it's also worth saying that, when you're a relatively small business and you're trying to get off the ground and make a product market fit, or just get that traction. You come to work every day, hungry for that, your needs are a little different than when you're a big business. And I think that going out there and reading and ingesting those ideas is really, really healthy. But some require focus and when you're small, I think you really just want to engage and get good at just the basics, right? And as you grow you, sort of, want to eat more of that egg, you want to engage, guide and grow over time. But focus is actually one of the most important things for small teams. And read everything but very selectively choose what you're actually gonna action.

    - 100% agree with you and we have a few people saying The Effortless Experience, from Katie. I, actually, was rereading some of this book. I reread this book on a regular basis. Principles, I love that book from Matt. Matt threw that out there, that's awesome. Let us know what are your favorite books and maybe favorite online classes or courses, that's what Academy doesn't have many, yet. They will be coming. Mike is recording some as we, not maybe speak here literally, but right after this. Some lessons and the Academy Learning Center, you're gonna find those soon. Also, One Plug, the customer success blog. That's been up and running for a long time now.

    - Yeah. It's fantastic. I've written a bunch of stuff on it. I think our content there is great. Funny story, I actually found out about that, I don't know a year ago or something, when we first started it. Back before I had this job I was doing something else and I saw it and I was like, "This is great content like who's writing this?" And I was really, really impressed with the quality the stuff they were putting out there. I think it's continued to put out more good stuff as we've ramped up some of the volume there. That's really great.

    - HubSpot Customer Success Blog, just typed into Google. I'm sure Mr. Peters, who's watching the comments and questions come in will also throw the link out in the comment section, thank you Eric. So we've talked about books, we're talked about people, we've talked about EGG, engage, guide and grow. Let's talk a little bit now with around some tools. I just really like, no, not HubSpot though.

    - Sure.

    - Let's talk about other tools. You know HubSpot is building something, you're heading that all up. We'll get to that in a second. What are some tools that people can use today? Do you have some low-cost or free tools they can just use? Something, maybe even some hacks.

    - Yeah I think just like, you gotta think in categories. What do I need to do, like, before you think about a tool think about the job trying to get done.

    - Great point there, by the way, great point.

    - I'm a big fan of the jobs to be done framework. And sort of how that goes, which is like, okay, what do our customers need to become happy customers? What do we need to have somebody see value in our product or service? What do we need for somebody to feel as though they were fulfilled on what we've, on what we're selling? So you start with that question. You sort of itemize, okay here are the things that we're going to need. Usually there's a few different categories I see. One is some way to do that engagement thing. That category of software is generally called Help Desk. It's kind of an old-school word, right?

    - [Mark] Help Desk, Yeah.

    - Yeah. But it's, you know, it's essentially that somebody can contact us and we can like, you know, follow that ticket through a process and all that.

    - If you're a really small business though you could just use, probably, a shared inbox, right? There's some tools like that, too.

    - Yeah something like Front does great for that.

    - Front app.

    - Intercom is great for that, Drift is great for that. There's lots of different ways you can sort of open up the channels to just communication, which is really what you're trying to do. You're trying to engage with whomever, wherever about whatever. And when you're small you want something that's relatively inexpensive, hopefully, free. And that you can basically run your business on. You don't wanna have something that's going to force you to all of the sudden, like, hey now we did this thing so we need to do more, like you don't want to have a five ticket limit. You want to have like a many ticket limit, stuff like that, as you consider these products.

    - You need like a holistic view of it though, which is what inbound means, being holistic. Eventually, very soon, HubSpot will have a complete platform. Marketing, Sales and Customer, three main hubs with this holistic view of these tools and how to use the tools with the methodology to get to a point where you are able to help your customers grow better.

    - Yeah, the context part is key. I think when businesses engage with customers, if they don't have that context, it's like nails on a chalkboard, man. It's bad, it's like oh hey so, like if you're a hotelier and they're like, "Hey you've never stayed here before." And you're like, I stay here every, like, first Monday out of the month or something like that. And there actually is a hotel in Dublin where I was, just recently, where every time I go, "Hey Mike, first time staying here?" They're very friendly. "No, I've spent about half my life in this hotel." What they don't have, is an ability to integrate their front desk with their CRM. So you kind of need the staff to all work together. And one of the things that businesses do when, as they're in that growth phase, that I've observed, is when you're first starting out, yeah, you sort of beg, borrow, steal. Whatever tool you can get. Just to make it work but as you actually grow, this becomes a bigger and bigger issue because your customers expectations get higher. And you actually need to be able to provide that context. So you end up with this kind of Franken system in customer service land and what happens, is this is kind of a sad story. What happens is that your person that's now in charge of your customers they probably were your very best frontline person a year ago and now there's like three people doing this and they're sort of in charge, like some kind of team lead. And they used to, man, they used to be so customer focused. Where do they spend their time? Where do they spend their energy? What blogs are they reading? They're not reading the HubSpot Success Blog about how to service your customers better. They're not reading operations blogs. They're trying to do that process mapping thing but they're really just stuck in a systems mess. And they end up with all these different tools, trying to do all these different things. They can't get out of it. I see a lot of teams in this, sort of, four to ten person range with this problem and it actually involves a lot of surgery to kind of get out of that and get into it, into a new state. But you need to, otherwise you can't service your customers in the way they want to be serviced.

    - It's like, oh it's a triangle we're talking about here today folks. We have tools, and let us know what tools you recommend in the Facebook comment section. Please share the tools, #HubSpotMasterClass on Twitter. But you got tools, you got people, and you got mindset.

    - Yeah.

    - It's a triangle.

    - Yeah it's the old people process technology but it's, I think it's reframed for a modern customer. Which I think it's important because as a customer changes you need to change along with it, you need to develop the way that you service them and your tools need to go with that. I always know because, I guess, I'm on the inside of the Machine here and I consult with folks and all that. You know when you work with the business that gets it and their systems are all lined up because you're like, "Wow that was that was cool. "You just, how'd you do that? "That was cool! "You knew that thing that I didn't think you would know you were gonna know." Like you knew it and you see it. And it's like magic when it happens.

    - I agree.

    - And then when it's not, when I work with somebody else, where that's not the case, that feels even worse. The high-water mark is getting higher for service today because tools are getting more sophisticated and more integrated and when it's not there, it just feels even worse.

    - It's true, I mean, instead of minus maybe it's people, instead of tools it's processed. People, process, philosophy, alliteration. I know Dharmesh loves alliterations.

    - Three P's.

    - Who doesn't love the three P's? People, process, philosophy and make sure you use EGG with that.

    - Yes.

    - Eggs are very important, very healthy for the diet too. We actually had some really interesting comments around what kind of eggs people like I love those.

    - Yeahthat was a popular question. I loved it. Food, who doesn't love food? I love food, we both love food.

    - Especially on a Tuesday morning

    - Love to eat, love to eat.

    - Everybody loves--

    - Love to eat, love to eat. Anyway we're talking about customer success, customer service if you folks just tuned in. I'm here with Mike Redbord. What do you think is gonna happen now, in the next couple years? I mean we've talked about how expectations keep going up, and up, and up. But do we have any, do you have any idea around what is actually going to change in a big way or there's just gonna be a lot of small changes?

    - Yeah I think it's a collection of incremental changes. I could take this question differently. I could have said it's gonna be bots, it's gonna be AI guys and that's, gonna do it. But I don't actually believe that. I think that bots and AI are an incredible tool that we're starting to see more and more of, you see more and more conversational UI, you're seeing more and more about how businesses are able to help people, help themselves. It's kind of a continuation of the self-service, the guidance sort of stuff that we talked about in engage, guide and grow. But no, I don't think that in the next five years bots are going to have a tidal effect. It'll be incremental over time and, you know, they'll slowly consume more and more in the same way that when you have an article to answer somebody's question. They maybe call you less or email you less about it. Bots will be part of that self-service universe. Twenty years from now it'll change but I don't think that bots actually create massive incendiary change in the business. That's one thing I think will be incremental. Another thing I think is incremental, is that rising tide and I think that is a big, big deal for me and how businesses need to think about their customer service and choose where they invest time, energy and money. Because the competition is going to be incrementally improving their customer experience, you need to do that too and old-school businesses at some point, with sufficient competition will get wiped off the map. Will it happened in the next few years? No but that's a wave that is coming and it's growing and it'll be here eventually. I think there's probably some other stuff too. It's a little more detailed, like we're doing this on Facebook today. I think Facebook Messenger is a massive change for brands but, you know, at the end of the day it's probably just another channel, a smart channel that does a lot of cool stuff that you need to be on and add it to the list of all the channels.

    - Make sure you use a holistic approach, that tentative inbounds right? Like you can't just rely on phone and email anymore. It's a great point there. Let us know folks if you have more questions. As you do that, they'll also think about this. Mike and I, we love talking about customer success, customer service, all those things. Do you want us back? Do you want Mike and I back? I mean, I'm sure it's not because of the way we look, it's probably more for the content. So is the content resonating? Do you want us back for another topic? Let us know the topic, if you do. We're just curious. Should we do another Master Class? I don't know.

    - Yeah. So here's a staff that, sort of, makes me believe what I just said is true, about that rising tide and how over time businesses that don't improve their customer service and customer experience will get wiped off the map. So if you ask, we did a research study here a HubSpot, who knows, probably a few months back, if you ask businesses, "Do you deliver superior customer service," what percentage do you think say we do?

    - Superior customer service, less than 5%.

    - Do you think they say they do, for themselves?

    - Oh, for themselves? 50%.

    - Yeah some pretty big number. It turns out that number is 80%. So 80% of businesses

    - Interesting.

    - claim they deliver superior customer services or rate themselves as delivering superior customer service. But you're right, the number of consumers that actually think businesses deliver superior customer service it's in the 8%. Let me say that again. 80% of businesses think they deliver customer service in a superior way. 8% do. That's just like a massive disconnect and of course it's hard to look at yourself critically and actually, you know, applause the 20% out of that 80, out of that 100, out of the pie there, that are saying we don't. They're probably being honest with themselves because by and large, if like one in twelve businesses is delivering superior customer success you probably don't, you probably need to be pushing yourself. So it's interesting to me that businesses look inwards and they fail to, sort of, be honest with themselves about their customer experience. Why is that? Do they not see what's happening on the marketplace, do they not get sufficient feedback from customers? A lot of reasons but there's this huge disconnect between the way that consumers feel and businesses think and to me that is just like, that's part of the change that's happening out there. And it's part of the reason why I'm so inspired to create tools and software to help businesses engage, guide and grow better customers because customers are hungry for that and they're not getting it. They need more eggs.

    - Let's talk about those tools then because we talked about the philosophy, the people. We talked about some processes and tools that weren't HubSpot related. You're building some tools! They're coming out soon! Do we have, can we have a date? Do we share the dates? Is the date not official?

    - It's still gonna be this year. We're not sharing a date yet We're still in, kind of a, actually kind of like an alpha state right now.

    - Alpha state. HubSpot Academy is one of the first customers though.

    - Indeed.

    - It's very cool. What are some of the things you can share then, around these tools.

    - Yeah I can share what they are. We've hammered home here the framework, engage, guide, grow. And I've also hammered home sort of, my perspective on the world which is that over time, service people become these queue-tending creatures, right.

    - Wait, what kind of creatures?

    - Queue-tending, you tend to the customer queue. It's a very dehumanizing, kind of, notion. And so if you're a customer person that really wants to work with customers, to put the customer first, but you're stuck in a Frankin system of tools that are a mess and you're just trying to get that queue down to zero at the end of the day. You're not doing your best work and you're not able to solve for the customer and put the customer first.

    - Not very inspiring.

    - No, like the message that support leaders often use, "Okay guys we're gonna zero out the queue." That's not exciting, I mean.

    - I thought only omission.

    - It's not omission and it's something that a customer said, listens to and is like, " What are you talking about, I'm one customer. "I don't care that you have a thousand."

    - That's an order almost. Sorry I'm getting off track here though.

    - So anyway, we got the framework and we're gonna go deep on that and make it really prescriptive. I think is gonna be excellent. It's a lot of that's based off the HubSpot journey that we've taken. And then we have sort of, this mission that we want to do, we wanna put help put the customer first. What we're actually going to be building is a way for you to engage in conversations with your customers, turn some of those into tickets, so they're week tickets of HubSpot. There'll be conversations about HubSpot. And you can think about putting those two together, especially when you add is something like workflows. Now you can actually do quite a bit. Oh, when a conversation comes in through this channel with this, from this contact who has this property, you know, create this ticket then assign it out to this team this way. That's pretty cool, right? Actually quite sophisticated stuff. I'm just, we should put a big warning on the top of the product, "Don't use this to create too much process, all for the customer first."

    - Bingo.

    - Anyway, Engage, you're gonna be engaged with conversations and tickets. The guide part of things, we're going to take our first shot of that which is helping you sort of codify some of the knowledge that you have into a very easy, findable and integrateble way with your tickets in your conversations, knowledge base.

    - I love that

    - And one of the keys with knowledge base is difference from different from a blog too, is yeah it's content and everything but they're very different goals. A blogs goal is to go get a conversion and that singular point at the end in an action. The knowledge bases goal is to solve a problem, not get someone to do something they weren't gonna do otherwise, sort of, a different structure. And so we think knowledge base actually is a different kind of structure to it--

    - Excuse me, in a good knowledge base can go back to that question we had, probably 40 minutes ago, around how do you do onboarding.

    - Yeah.

    - Like that.

    - It should be where all that content lives. It's the hub for your customers to go to learn stuff and you should have a section that says, "Getting Started." And we're gonna make that really, really easy to stand up, almost, like no effort to get that Getting Started section.

    - An example of that is just academy.hubspot.com. Check out the knowledge base, do a search you'll see the knowledge article. So if you just go to read docs, it's the first thing in the nav, Mike. Read docs, you have the docs.

    - It's sort of table stakes now a days.

    - It has to be.

    - Even if you--

    - Actually, sorry to interrupt you. Table stakes just for software companies?

    - That's where I was gonna go.

    - Okay, okay good.

    - I don't think it's table stakes for a software company. Like, you know I consume all sorts of things, like probably most people, I'm an active participant in the global economy and when you buy stuff you get stuff with it and oftentimes, I bought a new mattress the other day and like Casper sends me stuff and like how to get the most out of it, how to tend to it. When it comes in the mail it comes in a big box, sort of exciting, it comes with an instruction manual, that's a form of knowledge--

    - The mattress comes in a box?

    - Yeah, they roll it up in this big machine like a burrito. Put it in the box and then kind of cut it open and it unfurls.

    - Okay!

    - It's modern stuff, man. Yeah, anyway the mattress

    - Must be a really good--

    - comes with, basically a collection of knowledge as it were, which is sort of an instruction manual but you know what I did, I didn't read any of that. I went their site and clicked like, "How to unbox my mattress." I think that's pretty common nowadays, you know.

    - That'd be so sweet though to go take it to the next level if that mattress came with some way you could get onboarded with the mattress through a conversational interface. I don't say box it but it's just a cover. Maybe it's on the website, maybe it just comes with the thing.

    - If I could go to the Casper site, maybe they have it similar but, if I could go to a mattress site and I could be like, you know, go to a mattresssite.com/gettingstarted and in there is bot that I can talk to him, be like, "Hey I just got it, here's what I should do." They walk me through it step by step and I can say, "Yep did it," whatever. I think that's very, very cool. In time, we'll build that too.

    - At the end of day it's just conversations. We're just trying to have conversations with people and then the tools help you have conversations, either proactively, reactively and keep track of the conversations.

    - An all-in-one place because when you're actually a customer of business you have that expectation that you should know who I am. I'm your customer. In fact, I am your customer are the words that come out of people's mouths, oftentimes when they're most upset when things don't go right. So, it comes with this indignation. It's like, "I'm your customer, "you're supposed to," fill in the blank. And so, if you treat somebody like that from the get-go and sort of have it all in one place and have all that context, things are likely to go way better, keep you out of that state.

    - And you're also building one other tool that's gonna help you understand how well these conversations have been going. Like are they good, are they crappy? That's like a feedback tool?

    - Yeah so we have the engaged, guide and grow part. For the grow part of things, I think the thing that businesses need the most, small, medium or large, is feedback.

    - Marcus the champions!

    - It absolutely is and physicists do not get enough feedback from their customers. Or they do but it's in a way that's like, "Hey how did that ticket go?" It's very transactionally focused. It's very, very challenging I think, at a business to really get in and then action real feedback. That's what I would call longitudinal. So over time, how is your experience going? That's the feedback that helps you re-engineer your customer experience, helps you improve your product, helps to improve your delivery, all that kind of stuff. A feedback tool, I think, is gonna be sort of the secret weapon in the customer hub toolbox.

    - Sentiment, How happy are you right now?

    - An actionable stuff too, right? Like we do lots of feedback with our customers. The thing that's most important to me, is not the number or the percentage or whatever of satisfaction we produce out of that, it's the little bits of insight that we get on a per-customer basis where somebody says, "Hey this was good but like it could be better if you did this," I'm like we should do that! That times a hundred every year, that's a game-changer for a business and I think what we wanna do is, open up we want to democratize that perspective and that tool.

    - Yeah just listen. You know, listen.

    - It's listen, sort of, action and then, hopefully get to the point where customers want to help you grow because they're such braving fans of you.

    - So before we wrap it up. You have a way people can sign up for the product?

    - We do indeed, yes. So we have a beta list. We'll be working through it at some point in the relatively near future. So if you interested and you haven't already signed up, or even if you have, you can sign up again. Doesn't hurt us, at least. You can go to, we made a Bit.ly link just for this.

    - Bit.ly! That just seems like a good idea. Bit.ly/newcustomerhub, all one word. N-E-W customer hub. So, B-I-T dot L-Y, slash new customer hub. That'll take you to a page where you can click "Learn More." And there's a whole sign-up and it has a bunch more detail, what we're actually building there. Some of you guys, maybe, who have been on this since day one, have already seen it. But hopefully it's new for many of you. I'd also say the success blog that we have is great too, if you go to HubSpot's blog, it's one of the few blogs that we have and, sort of, marketing blog, sales blog and now this customer blog. Again, I personally think the content there is really good and I'm proud of what we put up there so you should go check that out too if you work in if you work in the industry.

    - 100% agree with you, Mike. Any final thoughts around everything we talked about today that we talked about a lot, is there some way to maybe recap it all, summarize it all with final thought you have?

    - Yeah my view on the world is that it's a good time to be a customer. And what does that mean to be a business? And me, as a consumer, I come to work, I work at a business, but I feel like it's really good time to be a customer so businesses need to adapt. And it's not gonna happen sharply but at some point over time, if you're not putting your customer first, if you're putting a process first, if you're putting your system messy integrations first, you're spending all your time on operations, on getting the queue to zero, all this kind of stuff. That's gonna take your eye off the ball, which is your customers. And businesses that are able to actually focus on the customer get the messy systems out of the way. Take all that other stuff off the table, have a culture of customer first-ness. They'll win in the long run and so if you really want to be a business that you can be proud of, that your grandkids can be proud of for generations to come, I think you need to focus on the customer and that means a lot of different things in detail. But I think people need to really, honestly ask themselves, "Am I, as a customer person, as a CEO, as anything, am I more focused on the customer or am I more focused on something else?"

    - I would 100% agree. I would encourage everyone to just draw a circle and it doesn't matter what you do right now, if you're a CEO listening, a founder, someone who is in sales, or marketing or customer success, and draw this circle into Mike's point. Fill it in like a pie chart. How much time do you think, what's your perception here of your business focused on the sales piece of it, the marketing piece, kind of, product or service piece and customer piece.

    - Yeah, go to the next leadership meeting that you have. Make that pie chart of that meeting. What's it look like? How much you talking about investors? How much you talking about employee? How much you serving your customers or serving other interests? So a lot of ways to get at this and I think that if you actually, really are honest about it, when businesses are honest about it they say, "We can do better." I think customers deserve better and I think businesses have a massive opportunity in this day and age to do better too. But you got to be honest with yourself first, otherwise you're gonna say, "Yeah we're superior, we're great!" And in practice, consumers are out there saying we want better.

    - So check out the Customer Success Blog, the HubSpot one, HubSpot Customer Success Blog. Check out the beta list. The links are in the comment section. Before we go I want to ask Mike and you folks one more question. We just talked about pie charts. Mike what's your favorite pie? What is your favorite pie? So what's your favorite pie?

    - You know, my grandmother's from Virginia. I'm a big fan of southern style pies. I like me some pecan pie.

    - I think I knew that actually, about you. We've talked about this in the past.

    - We've eaten pecan pie together. What about you?

    - Raspberry with vanilla ice cream, like homemade vanilla ice cream. It's good stuff.

    - That sounds great.

    - Alright folks, enjoy the rest of the week, Happy Tuesday! Mike, it's been a pleasure, thank you!
  • Mark Kilens, HubSpot Academy
    Mark Kilens
    VP, HubSpot Academy
  • Michael Redbord, HubSpot
    Michael Redbord
    General Manager, HubSpot Service Hub

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