Understanding HubSpot CRM: How Can It Improve Your Customer Experience?
TL;DR: HubSpot CRM helps businesses manage and organise their customer data, track interactions, and streamline sales and marketing efforts, an all-in-one solution if there ever was one.
Managing customer relationships effectively is becoming increasingly crucial for success, considering the rapidly evolving nature of today’s business landscape. One tool that has gained significant popularity in recent years for achieving this goal is CRM tools.
But, just like with everything else, there is an abundance of options available in relation to CRM tools. One such tool that has positioned itself as arguably the most popular platform in its niche is the HubSpot CRM. When it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM), HubSpot stands out as a formidable powerhouse. What makes it truly remarkable is its free edition, which often outshines many paid CRMs available in the market.
Whether you opt for the free or paid version, HubSpot CRM seamlessly integrates across marketing, sales, and customer service teams, making it a top choice for businesses seeking to enhance their customer relationship management strategies. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into our extensive research and experience with HubSpot, highlighting both its strengths and limitations to assist you in determining whether it aligns with your needs.
But, while exploring HubSpot CRM, it’s timely to acknowledge the buzz surrounding INBOUND 2023, this year’s edition of HubSpot’s renowned Marketing and Sales Conference happening at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from September 5th to 8th, 2023. For everything marketing to sales and business development, it is one of the premier events on the planet. So, be sure to check it out!
Now, without any further ado, let’s shift our attention back to the focus of this article, starting with the big question.
What is HubSpot CRM?
HubSpot CRM is a robust software solution designed to help businesses of all sizes manage and nurture their relationships with customers. Unlike traditional CRMs, HubSpot CRM is known for its user-friendly interface, ability to work seamlessly with HubSpot’s other solutions, and an array of features that simplify capturing, organising, and analysing customer data.
Exploring HubSpot’s CRM Capabilities
At the core of HubSpot lies its CRM platform, which empowers you to monitor leads and customers at various stages of their journey. Remarkably, HubSpot’s CRM is entirely free and comes equipped with an array of tools, including live chat, dynamic lists, lead capture forms, and email marketing capabilities.
Efficient migration and data population grant you access to a unified customer view, enabling you to track their interactions with the relevant company, colleagues, activities, correspondence, list memberships, website engagement, and much more. This holistic customer view, coupled with its seamless integration across the platform, stands as one of HubSpot’s standout features.
Empowering Your Data with HubSpot
Forms serve as the backbone of HubSpot, facilitating data capture into the CRM from your website, social media platforms, or landing pages. HubSpot offers the capability to capture and store a wide array of data about your prospects and customers, including their website behaviour, personal information, and a comprehensive historical record of their engagement with your brand.
However, the true potential of HubSpot unfolds when you incorporate one or more of the paid toolsets, known as ‘hubs,’ tailored to your specific requirements.
Advantages & Disadvantages of HubSpot CRM
Extensive Free Plan
HubSpot’s free plan sets a new standard in the CRM landscape, unlike most free plans that often fall short in delivering features essential for effective CRM strategies, HubSpot over-delivers.
Whether you require customer support, marketing tools, sales functionality, content management, or operational CRM capabilities, HubSpot’s free plan provides access to hundreds of robust features and allows you to manage up to a staggering one million contacts without incurring any costs.
Variety of Pricing Options
While HubSpot’s paid plans can be costly, there are multiple ways to bundle services to suit your budget. You can opt for individual hubs or upgrade to multiple hubs at discounted rates. Alternatively, you can create a fully customised CRM solution with only the features your team requires if none of the pre-packaged bundles align with your needs.
Modularity and Scalability
HubSpot’s motto, ‘there’s no better way to grow,’ is a testament to the scalable tools it offers. Whether you seek assistance with operations, content creation, customer service, sales, or marketing, HubSpot has you covered.
Furthermore, all of HubSpot’s tools are modular, allowing the platform to evolve in tandem with your business’s growth, catering to your increasing need for advanced CRM features. You have the flexibility to mix and match solutions and payment plans for each module, rendering HubSpot a truly adaptable and scalable CRM system designed to propel your business forward, regardless of its size.
Fantastic User Experience
Despite the complexity of HubSpot’s modular pricing structure, the platform itself remains intuitive and user-friendly. The developers have succeeded in making the software’s myriad features accessible and easy to navigate. Even users of the free plan will find no trouble in utilising the software.
HubSpot’s emphasis on ease of use is particularly important for free plan users, given the absence of live customer support. In our experience, HubSpot is so user-friendly that you won’t require extensive support. Should you ever need assistance, HubSpot offers an extensive knowledge base and third-party tutorials.
Content Creation Support
HubSpot not only simplifies daily navigation and usage for its users but also streamlines content creation. Features like landing pages, forms, and emails are designed with a drag-and-drop interface. Additionally, you can efficiently create and schedule social media content, providing a significant advantage to businesses that lack the time for extensive content creation.
Dedicated Customer Support
HubSpot is renowned for its outstanding customer support team. Depending on your chosen plan, you can contact the support team via chat, email, or phone. Additionally, HubSpot Support is available on Twitter. While these support methods are primarily reserved for paid plans, users of the free version still have access to an extensive online knowledge base and community.
Plenty of Free Tools
HubSpot offers numerous free tools that are accessible to all, irrespective of whether they use HubSpot’s CRM. These tools encompass a blog idea generator, an invoice template generator, free business templates, an email signature generator, and more.
HubSpot equips new business owners with an extensive arsenal of free tools, ensuring they start their ventures on the right foot. In the realm of B2B software, HubSpot arguably boasts the most extensive library of free tools.
While HubSpot CRM is a robust standalone tool, it also integrates seamlessly with other business apps and tools, offering more than 1,400 applications for added functionality. The integration process is hassle-free, allowing you to combine HubSpot with your existing tools effortlessly.
Popular integrations include Gmail, Google Calendar, Facebook Ads, Zoom, Slack, Canva, Eventbrite, Shopify, Stripe, and SurveyMonkey. The HubSpot Marketplace offers a plethora of apps across various categories, from workflow integrations to marketing, productivity, finance, and more.
AI-Integrated Productivity Tools
By subscribing to HubSpot CRM, you gain access to HubSpot’s latest AI writing features. These tools are tailor-made to enhance the quality of your marketing and sales emails while simultaneously boosting your team’s productivity.
What sets this feature apart is its ability to adapt to your preferences and your audience’s needs. As your segments become more advanced, you can leverage AI to adjust the tone of your messages, ensuring alignment with the intended recipient list. Whether you’re sending mass marketing campaigns or highly targeted sales messages, HubSpot’s AI writing tools simplify and elevate your communication efforts.
Complex Pricing Tiers
HubSpot’s flexible pricing structure can sometimes be overly convoluted. The plethora of plans and pricing options can overwhelm potential customers, potentially leading them to either stick with the free plan or explore alternative providers.
Additionally, the pricing information is not readily available on a single page, as HubSpot breaks it down into standalone pricing for individual products and product suites. Within these already intricate plan options, additional costs may arise based on factors such as contact list size or internal users.
Lack of Customer Support (on the Free Plan)
Users of the free version have access to the online knowledge base and HubSpot community. However, there are instances when you simply desire human interaction. It’s regrettable that HubSpot does not offer at least live chat support to free plan users, as this could serve as a means to showcase their renowned customer support capabilities.
Free Plan Limitations
While the free plan is a valuable offering, it has its limitations that you must consider, especially when compared to higher-tier options. For instance, the free plan restricts you to 200 email tracking notifications per month, whereas the Starter plan provides unlimited email tracking notifications.
Moreover, the free plan limits you to a single automated email for each form, and it includes HubSpot branding in your customer communications. While some of these limitations may not be significant for your business, others could be deal-breakers. If these constraints adversely affect your business operations, you may find greater value in upgrading to a paid HubSpot plan or exploring alternatives.
Limited Custom Configuration Options
While smaller businesses may not be significantly impacted, larger organisations should be aware of certain limitations regarding custom configurations in HubSpot CRM.
The Enterprise CRM does support custom objects, granting more flexibility and control over your CRM data and its properties. However, for organisations seeking to create entirely customised CRM modules from scratch, HubSpot may prove somewhat restrictive compared to other options in the market.
Key Features of HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM offers a plethora of features to streamline your customer management efforts, these are some of the standouts amongst others:
- Contact Management: Easily store and manage customer information and use contact segmentation for targeted marketing campaigns.
- Lead Tracking: Monitor leads through the entire sales funnel and prioritise leads based on engagement and behaviour.
- Email Marketing: With the email marketing tool, you can create and send personalised emails, as well as track email performance and engagement.
- Sales Automation: Automate repetitive sales tasks and use lead scoring for better sales prioritisation.
- Reporting and Analytics: Gain insights into customer interactions by measuring the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts.
How HubSpot CRM Enhances Customer Experience
HubSpot CRM plays a pivotal role in improving the overall customer experience. Here’s how:
- Personalisation: You can personalise interactions and offerings with detailed customer profiles and history.
- Timely Communication: HubSpot CRM’s automation ensures timely follow-ups and responses to customer inquiries.
- Data-Driven Insights: Understand customer preferences and behaviours, enabling better-targeted marketing and sales efforts.
Best Practices for Maximising HubSpot CRM’s Potential
To make the most out of HubSpot CRM, consider these tips:
- Regularly update and clean your customer database.
- Utilise lead scoring to focus on the most promising leads.
- Continuously train your team to leverage all CRM features effectively.
- Integrating HubSpot CRM with Other Tools
- HubSpot CRM can be integrated with various other tools, such as email marketing platforms, e-commerce systems, and social media management software, to create a seamless ecosystem for customer management.
Common Myths About HubSpot CRM
Myth 1: HubSpot CRM is only suitable for large enterprises.
Fact: HubSpot CRM is suitable for businesses of all sizes, not just large enterprises. While it’s true that HubSpot offers a suite of marketing, sales, and customer service tools that can scale with larger companies, the CRM itself is versatile and can be used effectively by small and mid-sized businesses as well. Here’s why:
- Free Version: HubSpot CRM offers a free version that provides essential customer relationship management features. This makes it accessible to startups and small businesses with limited budgets.
- Ease of Use: HubSpot CRM is designed with a user-friendly interface, making it easy for teams with varying levels of technical expertise to adopt and use effectively.
- Customisation: You can customise HubSpot CRM to suit your specific business needs, whether you’re a small local business or an international corporation.
- Scalability: As your business grows, you can seamlessly upgrade to more advanced HubSpot tools and integrations to support your expanding needs.
- Community and Support: HubSpot offers a supportive community, and extensive documentation to help users of all sizes get the most out of their CRM.
Myth 2: HubSpot CRM is expensive and not worth the investment.
Fact: HubSpot CRM offers a range of pricing options, including a free version, making it a cost-effective solution for businesses. Here’s why it’s worth the investment:
- Affordable Plans: HubSpot offers a variety of pricing plans that cater to different business needs and budgets. You can choose the plan that aligns with your company’s requirements.
- All-in-One Solution: HubSpot CRM integrates with marketing, sales, and customer service tools, providing a unified platform for managing your customer lifecycle. This consolidation can lead to cost savings compared to purchasing separate software for these functions.
- ROI Potential: HubSpot CRM’s features can help improve your sales and marketing efforts, leading to increased revenue and a positive return on investment.
- Pay-as-you-go: As your business grows, you can upgrade to more advanced HubSpot tools and features, ensuring that you’re only paying for what you need at each stage of your growth.
Future Trends in CRM Technology
As CRM technology continues to evolve, we can expect trends like AI-driven insights, enhanced automation, and deeper integration with other business tools to shape the future of customer relationship management.
HubSpot Pricing and Options
Now that we’ve explored HubSpot’s strengths and areas for improvement let’s delve into the products it brings to the table. HubSpot offers a wide range of free tools across all its product offerings, as previously discussed, encompassing free CRM, marketing, sales, and service tools.
Should your business expand to the extent that these free tools no longer suffice, you can opt to upgrade to the premium versions. However, HubSpot’s pricing structure can be challenging to decipher due to the multitude of packages and pricing tiers available.
Here’s a little insider tip to help you save on costs – Bundling your software into a CRM suite offers the best value and is often more cost-effective than purchasing HubSpot products individually.
The CRM Starter Suite, available at AU $68 per month with an annual commitment or AU $75 per month for month-to-month billing, comprises:
- Marketing Hub Starter, Sales Hub Starter, CMS Hub Starter & Operations Hub Starter
- Advanced analytics dashboards
- 25 active list segments
- Email and in-app chat support
- Up to 5,000 monthly marketing emails
For those seeking more extensive features, the Professional CRM Suite starts at AU $2,562 per month. This plan includes the Professional version of each Hub, along with advanced features.
In summary, it’s essential to thoroughly investigate HubSpot’s pricing models to gain a comprehensive understanding of what each standalone plan offers versus bundled options. If you chance upon a bundle, seize the opportunity, as it provides access to a multitude of tools at a price nearly equivalent to that of a standalone plan. HubSpot is a versatile and dynamic CRM solution capable of meeting your business needs, regardless of its size.
Conclusion – HubSpot CRM
In conclusion, HubSpot CRM is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance your customer experience and drive business success. By harnessing its capabilities, you can streamline your customer interactions, gain valuable insights, and personalise your engagement, all of which are crucial for building lasting customer relationships.
To take full advantage of what HubSpot CRM has to offer and discover how it can specifically benefit your business, we invite you to book a discovery call with our experts. During this call, we’ll delve into your unique business needs, discuss tailored strategies, and demonstrate how HubSpot CRM can be customised to your advantage.
Take advantage of the opportunity to transform your customer experience and set your business on a path to success. Click the link to schedule your discovery call today, and we’ll help you unlock the full potential of HubSpot CRM for your organisation.
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