Creating exceptional customer conversations with HubSpot and Twilio
Time to read: 4 minutes
HubSpot noticed its customers were increasingly using WhatsApp and they didn’t offer it as a channel. So they needed to find a way to deploy a solution and offer it quickly.
They partnered with Twilio to build and deploy a conversational solution using the WhatsApp Business API in a matter of weeks, so they could support customers across this key communication channel.
There’s no name in digital marketing quite as ubiquitous as HubSpot. For everything from social media planning, content management, and search engine optimization, to marketing certifications, learning academies and webinars, HubSpot is a worldwide leader in their field.
Nearly 70,000 companies, including Atlassian, Purple, and Subaru, in more than 100 countries, use HubSpot as an all-in-one platform for managing all things marketing, sales, and service. HubSpot integrates with a lengthy list of third-party services, and seeks to provide companies big and small with the tools they need to meet customers where they are and grow their business.
“When people engage with HubSpot, we want them to feel heard, seen and valued,” explained Connor Cirillo, senior conversational marketing manager at HubSpot. “We know it takes a bit of vulnerability to say, ‘I would like to try to grow my business here and I don’t know all the answers.’”
One major part of meeting customers where they are means HubSpot needs to meet its own customers where they choose to engage—and increasingly, WhatsApp has been that channel.
They partnered with Twilio to build and deploy a conversational project using the Twilio API for WhatsApp in just a few weeks, and have just started to scratch the surface of what’s possible with Twilio.
Rule 1: Know thy customer
As a marketing, sales, and service platform that aims to help businesses succeed with soul, HubSpot has to be on top of all the channels customers may want to engage with businesses and brands. While email has been a major workhorse for the company, conversational channels like on-site chat, Facebook Messenger, and social media have exploded in recent years.
“We just know our customers are living in more places than ever, and we know that certain people—maybe based on geography or use case or something else—want to be reached in a different kind of way than we might assume,” Cirillo said.
To provide a holistic experience to customers, HubSpot has to have a holistic view of each customer, Cirillo said. Twilio lets them create that complete picture.
“If you don’t have a holistic view, if your channels aren’t talking to one another, you muddy up the customer experience, which is something we worry about a lot,” he said.
“My team’s charter is to be the champion of the customer and say, ‘We know this is the right thing to do,’” he continued. “So we use tools like Twilio to solve this pain, to complement all the systems together and help meet everyone where they are.”
That includes using Twilio to provide the HubSpot support team with a single source of truth for customers, pulling in disparate data from different sources to create a complete picture of each customer and their relationship with the company. Previously, reps had used their own personal devices to manage customer relationships on WhatsApp, which Cirillo said made for a bad experience on both sides. Now, Twilio lets reps communicate with customers in one central place, via a whole host of channels based on customer needs.
“Our customers are in the driver’s seat—they tell us where they want to meet,” he said. “We’ll meet you there, and Twilio enables us to do that.”
Building a complete WhatsApp integration in a few weeks
Twilio, Cirillo said, lets the company integrate new channels and messaging options easily for better conversations with customers. That includes a recent rapid integration with WhatsApp, which took the company just a few weeks and two developers to build.
“If you’re talking about building WhatsApp infrastructure and architecture, it would seem crazy—you need way more than two developers,” he said. “But, because Twilio so easy to build with, we were able to do it with two developers, and quickly.”
Because the Twilio API for WhatsApp is based on the Twilio Programmable Messaging APIs, it was easy for the team to get up-to-speed and deploy their proof of concept in a short timeframe.
The company put an option to chat on WhatsApp directly next to a “Book a meeting” call-to-action in emails to prospects in Brazil and saw 88 percent more clicks to the WhatsApp CTA. In India, the results were similar: 86 percent more clicks on the WhatsApp option than the meeting option.
The company also added a “Chat on WhatsApp” option in its “Talk with Sales” contact modal in-app, and saw the total amount of people clicking through to talk with sales rise 4 percent overall, with 55 percent of that increase going to the WhatsApp CTA. It goes to show, Cirillo said, that customers want choice and options, and providing them makes a better experience all around.
The sky’s the limit
Now that the company has explored multiple Twilio uses for creating quality conversations with customers, they plan to pursue even more. It’s Twilio’s vast options and extensibility that keeps the company coming back, as well as the two companies’ mutual alignment in philosophy, Cirillo said.
“Thinking about voice possibilities and what the future will be, Twilio helps us validate things quickly and move forward when we see a fit,” he said. “It’s nice to have that peace of mind that the options are there with Twilio, whatever comes next.”
“It’s great that [HubSpot and Twilio] are aligned in our philosophies to meet people where they are and treat them how they want to be treated,” he added. “You’re only limited by your imagination with how to deliver great experiences, and we wouldn’t be able to do that if it weren’t for Twilio.”
“It’s great that [HubSpot and Twilio] are aligned in our philosophies to meet people where they are and treat them how they want to be treated. You’re only limited by your imagination with how to deliver great experiences, and we wouldn’t be able to do that if it weren’t for Twilio.”