Customer experience is everything these days. Deliver a delightful experience and your customers are likely to tweet about it, leave a positive review, or tell a friend. Deliver a bad experience, and your customers are likely to … churn.

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In fact, a startling 89% of customer service professionals believe that customers are more likely to talk publicly about their positive and negative experiences than they were in the past. The stakes have never been higher.

So, how can growing companies begin to tackle the issues causing bad experiences and deliver more tweet-worthy experiences? Well, it all starts by thinking about your business as a flywheel.


It's been nearly two years since HubSpot's CEO, Brian Halligan, took to the stage at INBOUND and unveiled HubSpot's flywheel for the very first time. It's a moment that will go down in HubSpot history — after all, it's not every day we fundamentally change the way we think about sales, marketing, and customer service. We were excited about the flywheel then, and we're just as excited about it now.

The flywheel places customers at the center of a business' growth strategy and recycles the energy used in acquiring new users to help generate more leads. Those leads then become customers who, in turn, help attract more leads. And so on.

Many successful startups and small businesses use the flywheel model without even realizing it. The customer is at the center of everything they do, and their size allows them to move quickly in unison and act on feedback as soon as they receive it. In some cases, this can be as simple as a service team member getting a phone call from a customer about a bug in their app, then shouting across their office to a product manager who quickly fixes what was broken, and then following up with the customer to tell them the problem has been solved.

What a delightful experience for that customer, but this can only happen with a small- to medium-sized business.

Things aren't as straightforward for companies that are scaling rapidly. As a business grows, communication becomes more complex, service and product teams become disconnected, and friction enters the flywheel. And instead of growing better, companies grow more distant from their customers.

Sources of Friction Between Service and Product Teams

There are so many ways friction can negatively impact customer experience, and in many cases it can be traced back to a breakdown between service and product teams. Below are three of the most common sources of friction I've seen over the years.

1. Data Silos

As a company increases headcount, builds new teams, and expands its product offering, data silos emerge and make internal communication more complex. Service teams struggle to close the loop on product-related inquiries, and product teams struggle with updating service on the items they're working on.

This friction becomes more pronounced when these teams are using different tools that require them to come up with unwieldy workarounds to make those tools work together. That's a lot of work just to make sure the right information is getting to the right place at the right time.

2. Resource Constraints

As a company grows, more demand is placed on the product team's resources. There are new features that need to be built to advance the value of the product. There's also a higher volume of customer feedback to absorb and act on. And, there are new integrations and solutions that need to be developed to solve for internal processes that are broken.

With so many competing priorities, efforts to reduce friction between teams are often deprioritized to make way for whatever the most pressing issue of the day is. As a result, growing companies continue to rely on people to reduce friction, when what is needed are productive processes and powerful products.

3. More Tools, More Problems

As companies grow, they adopt more and more SaaS apps. According to Blissfully, companies with 501-1,000 employees use over 150 different apps on average, and companies with over 1,000 employees use more than 200.

Over time, the data that's spread across all of this software can become out of date and inconsistent, meaning there's no single source of truth for the customer. So when a customer provides feedback and tries to find out if their feedback has been actioned, the support team won't have accurate information available. Not a good experience for that customer.

In this third example, we see that software itself can be a source of friction. But, it can also be a catalyst for delight. For this to be the case, it should create clarity where there once was complexity, productivity where there once were problems, and seamless synchronization where there once was stagnation.

And, that's where app integrations, like HubSpot's and Atlassian's Jira Software Cloud comes into play.

Bridging the Gap Between Support and Product Teams

App integrations connect software together, removing data silos and making it easy to access information. For example, when used individually, HubSpot's Service Hub and Jira Software Cloud are powerful tools for service teams. But, when used together, they become greater than the sum of their parts, bridge the gap between service and product teams, and ensure the voice of the customer is kept at the center of everything.

With the new integration, Service Hub users can create new Jira issues as soon as they arise, directly from within a support ticket, company record, and contact record. And, once a member of the product team changes the status of an issue, it's automatically reflected in HubSpot. This keeps the flow of customer feedback moving smoothly back-and-forth between service and product teams, even as internal organizational structures become more complex.

The integration also enables users to attach multiple support tickets to Jira issues, giving service and product teams first-hand insight into which issues are causing the most friction within the customer experience. This enables product teams to strategically manage the flow of issues, and to prioritize their work with the customer in mind.

App integrations benefit sales and marketing teams, too. For example, when a Jira issue is attached to an existing support ticket, the information is reflected in the company record and contact record associated with that ticket. This ensures that customers have a contextual experience at every touchpoint and helps deliver a single source of truth on customer data across every team at a growing business.

Deliver Delightful Customer Experience At Scale

In the words of Forrester's Caroline Robertson, "at a time when product innovation is so rapid, experiences are what leave an enduring and differentiated impression." To deliver these differentiated, delightful experiences at scale, companies need software that empowers them to confront the points of friction that often appear with rapid growth.

With HubSpot's integration for Jira Software Cloud, we have a solution that enables growing businesses to tackle these points of friction head on, helps them to keep the customer at the center of their flywheel, and supports them as they grow better.

Learn more about HubSpot's Jira Software Cloud integration here.

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Originally published Mar 17, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated March 17 2020


Customer Experience