There are three parts of the inbound flywheel: marketing, sales and service. Those three functions work together to continuously attract, engage and delight customers. However, for your marketing, sales and service efforts to be successful, you need to have operations working behind the scenes.
What is Service Operations?
Service operations consists of working with professional service teams, customer success teams, customer support teams and customer experience teams.
Like most operations roles, service operations aims to support and amplify a team’s capacity in addition to helping them scale. This is a challenging role because it requires balancing the needs of internal stakeholders and external customers.
Most companies might not have a dedicated service operations team to accommodate the day-to-day need for service operations. Rather, there might be specialists assigned to fulfilling service operations needs on the company’s business operations or revenue operations team.
One of the core components in service operations is the setup and maintenance of infrastructure used by the service arm of an organization. That means ensuring not just that the proper tools are in place to maximize the team’s efficiency, but also that the tech stack is easy for their customers to realize value from.
Plus internal team members need to be able to easily use the tools and systems in place to create a positive customer experience, monitor customer feedback and progress customer engagements forward.
In addition to maintaining infrastructure, service operations will help with capturing and reporting upon metrics around the teams they support, such as time to resolution, tickets closed, how well services are being delivered, staffing efficiency for teams, customer usage of offerings and the ROI of all of those functions.
What Tools Do Service Operations Work With?
While the exact tech stack service operations will help manage and optimize will differ depending on your team structure, it will generally include the following:
- Tools for measuring the success and sentiment of customers like feedback surveys and ticketing
- Tools for providing self-service support to customers like knowledge bases
- Tools for managing your team and their product or service delivery such as project management and enterprise solution management platforms
- Tools for customer communications, such as messaging or chat platforms
- Tools for mapping and measuring the customer journey
- Billing software that customers interact with
Ideally, your service operations team should lie parallel to the customer journey and oversee the process from end-to-end. Thus, they should be assisting with the processes and platforms that contribute to every touchpoint in that journey.
For example, the onboarding process falls under the umbrella of service operations. The touchpoints between when a prospect closes as a customer and when onboarding is complete are the bridge between sales operations and service operations. Setting up relevant internal projects, enrolling those new customers into workflows, informing internal stakeholders of customer information, providing customers with an internal point of contact information, integrating any necessary tools and setting up the billing process are all responsibilities that would fall under service operations; thus, service operations would use all the tools necessary to accomplish those tasks.
Once onboarding is completed, processes related to collecting feedback about client sentiment also fall under service operations.
For example, service operations would be responsible for ensuring NPS surveys are sent to the right contacts at the right cadence. Then once a customer responds, there needs to be automation to take the appropriate next step. As another example, if there’s positive feedback, a workflow might get triggered to notify the people working with that customer of the good news.
On the other hand, a negative survey response would need to trigger an escalation ticket notifying the employees responsible for that customer’s success and experience to create a response plan.
While the specifics of determining who gets contacted for various outcomes may fall to the leadership of customer success and service teams, ensuring that each automated step occurs properly would be the job of service operations.
The Overlap Between Internal Operations and Service Operations
You can’t have a great customer experience without a happy internal team delivering that. The tools the internal team uses needs to make them more efficient and scale them up as opposed to bogging them down.
If internal tools are difficult to use, team members might have to spend so much time on day-to-day documentation and communication that they’ll struggle to carve out the time to focus on customer success or delivering results.
Because of that, service operations can’t effectively operate in a vacuum. They need to work in tandem with the marketing and sales operations leading up to customers closing and the internal operations that enable customer support, service, and success teams to do their jobs.
Solution to Service Operations: HubSpot Service Hub
Coordinating between two teams is difficult enough for your service operation team to manage. Instead of worrying about silos and potentially detracting from the customer, if you implement HubSpot’s Service Hub, all of this can be completed automatically.
With a full integration within the overall HubSpot CRM, Hubspot’s Service Hub can deliver enterprise-level skills to your service operations. Your customers will experience a cohesive and authentic experience, and you will easily eliminate silos.
The service hub utilizes a robust ticketing system, allowing your team to see the big picture and respond swiftly and accurately to any issues. This allows you to meet your customers where they are and help solve issues one-on-one. Additional high-impact benefits include helping you:
- Speed up response times
- Organize support tickets
- Track prior interactions
- Manage multiple support tools
- Offer self-service support
- Filter for relevant views
- Collaborate on support issues
Through the Service Hub, you can continuously create customer satisfaction, improve your service quality, and take one-time buyers from being your customers to being your number-one supporters.
Main Features of Service Hub
Let’s take a look at some main exciting features of the Service Hub and how you can put them into practice.
Not everything in life always goes to plan. When something goes wrong and your customers need help, ensuring they get the support they need is vital to maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with them. Your customers can reach out to share their issue through tickets, which you can then track and resolve in a timely manner.
Service Hub’s tickets tool helps manage these ticket requests by creating an organized pipeline. You can separate internal and external tickets, sort them by team, priority, etc. This ensures that the ticket reaches the right person for the job every time.
Additionally, Service Hub keeps a record of these tickets and can help you identify any potentially recurring issues that need to be addressed.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. When you run into a problem with a service, you’d want to control your own problem-solving experience before reaching out to a services team, right? Well that’s exactly what Service Hub lets your customers do. Customer Portals right in your CRM empowers your customers to gain ownership over their experience by providing a secure space for them to ask questions, and gives you the opportunity to deliver transparency when needed.
You can design your portal to look and feel like your brand, while still maintaining Hubspot’s sharply organized database.
When your customers have visibility into the progress of their tickets, it can dramatically decrease the amount of time they wonder “Is my problem really being fixed?” and lead to overall stronger satisfaction.
Say goodbye to your reps only answering questions behind a desk. Service Hub’s Mobile Inbox feature supports reps in helping customers on the go. This not only saves time but encourages collaboration between teams through rapid response times. With the feature of sending snippets of status updates and documents, your reps will have the full picture of where your customers are at in the ticketing process.
Having a resource library curated around your company’s specific products or services can act as a self-service for your customers. Instead of pinging a service team member with a commonly asked question, a knowledge base gives them the opportunity to discover it for themselves.
Service Hub’s knowledge base feature gives you full control over your knowledge base by establishing permissions at the page level. This gives you the flexibility to create resources that only customers and employees can see and create resources for individual audiences, all while conveniently supporting them in the same space.
One of the best ways to improve your product or service is to hear feedback directly from your customers. Feedback surveys are a key way to gain a deeper understanding of your customers’ wants and needs, discover pain points, and see how your product fits into their problem-solving ecosystem.
Service Hub’s feedback surveys cover a wide variety of surveys for your decision-makers and developers to see how your customers are responding to your products and services. This includes:
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Customer support surveys
- Customer loyalty surveys
By housing all three of these surveys within one tool, Service Hub makes it easy for your decision-makers to analyze not just your overall score, but come up with new ways to fill any gaps or opportunities that may get uncovered.
Integration With Conversations
Another way to streamline your processes, the integration of Service Hub with Hubspot Conversations means that your support requests go into the universal conversations inbox. This allows you to utilize a chatbot to help you reference your knowledge base and ticketing systems for faster ticket resolution.
If you’re already using HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hub, you’re aware of the time-saving strategy that is automating workflows, sequences, and a variety of other routine tasks. This shouldn’t just be implemented to your revenue teams — your customer service team can benefit too.
Service Hub’s automatic workflows can keep your customer service team on top of every customer interaction. Whether it’s automatically flagging a customer who responded negatively to a customer satisfaction survey or setting up a trigger to roll new customers into nurture sequences, there’s an endless variety of ways your support team can save time through automation while still delivering excellent customer service.
Amplify and Empower Your Service Team
Service operations play a crucial role in the customer lifecycle, linking marketing, sales, and customer service. As the unsung heroes working behind the scenes, service operations teams ensure a seamless and delightful customer experience by maintaining the necessary infrastructure, managing essential tools, and overseeing essential metrics for teams they support.
Remember that a robust and efficient service infrastructure is not an optional luxury, but a necessary mechanism that can make or break the overall customer experience. By investing time, effort, and resources into enhancing your operations, you can expect to see significant improvements in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall revenue growth, as your customers become your number-one supporters.
Taylor is COO and Director of Customer Success at New Breed. He is dedicated to providing excellent service to our customers.