Supporting the Oil and Gas Sector Without Field Visits
Many businesses took a hard look at their costs when COVID-19 hit.
SPOC Automation was no exception. Prospects in the oil and gas industry were wildly uncertain, so SPOC reached out to its marketing agency, FitzMartin, to find ways to reduce its spend without compromising customer service.
Customer service is critical for SPOC Automation because its high-tech applications have to work under the most challenging field conditions imaginable.
Pre-pandemic, SPOC Automation reps spent time in the field helping customers troubleshoot issues. But with a highly contagious disease circulating and much of the world in lockdown, that option was off the table with no return to “normalcy” in sight.
Driven to see SPOC Automation succeed, FitzMartin worked with the SPOC team to turn the request to reduce costs into an opportunity.
Will Riley, Director of Revenue Operations at FitzMartin, explains:
“This started as a cost-reduction initiative. But we thought, instead of just cutting costs, why not use this as a chance to elevate how the service team functions? After all, losing customers—and finding new ones—is expensive. So, let’s focus on supporting customers better than ever and make that a point of attraction.”
The FitzMartin team started compiling a wishlist of features and processes that could improve the delivery of customer service while also gaining new efficiencies, such as feedback surveys and automation.
Next, Will and his team surveyed the market to see which platforms could deliver on their wishlist at a reasonable cost.
As it happens, SPOC Automation was already on the HubSpot CRM platform having implemented HubSpot Marketing Hub. The FitzMartin team realized that if they implemented HubSpot Service Hub, they would have both marketing and customer service on the same platform, which would bring significant advantages for the SPOC team. “Typically, marketing does marketing, sales does sales and service does service,” says Will. “We wanted to break down the silos so that everyone could work with everyone, however and whenever.”
Further, Service Hub could fulfill everything on SPOC Automation’s wishlist, without the need for additional third-party tools.
Thus, Will and his team pitched Service Hub as a solution to SPOC Automation. As an innovator in its own industry, SPOC immediately saw the value in choosing an innovator in the marketing and customer service space.
“SPOC has always been an early adopter of technology,” says Will. “So HubSpot was a great fit for them.”
A Robust Knowledge Base to Answer Common Support Questions
With the help of HubSpot Service Hub and Marketing Hub, SPOC Automation is setting the bar high for customer service in the world of oil and gas automation technology.
Reduced reliance on third-party tools
Once FitzMartin consolidated SPOC’s marketing and customer service on the HubSpot CRM platform, the team started eliminating redundant third-party tools.
One of the first to go was LiveChat, an expensive third-party live chat tool that lacked automation and workflows and couldn’t scale with SPOC Automation’s needs as it grew.
FitzMartin also removed Qualtrics as an expense item on SPOC Automation’s behalf.
“Service Hub brings together several different technologies that are expensive to buy individually, such as Qualtrics and LiveChat,” says Will. “Having these tools built into a single platform is the future of customer service.”
Repurposing video campaigns into a knowledge base
Next, the FitzMartin team focused on repurposing SPOC Automation’s existing video assets.
SPOC had created a video series called “Two-Minute Drives” just before the pandemic hit. In these short videos, SPOC Automation experts deliver training on a variety of topics, from drive technology to SCADA remote monitoring.
In the wake of the pandemic, Will and his team segmented these videos into tertiary pieces and then categorized each clip by topic. They then added the clips to the SPOC Automation knowledge base to answer the most common customer questions.
As this robust library of videos and articles has grown, the SPOC Automation customer service team is referring more and more customers to it to resolve problems without the need for a phone call, which can take three or more hours in some cases.
When problems can’t be resolved with a phone call, field service technicians would normally make a field visit, which can take one or two days depending on travel time.
SPOC Automation’s growing knowledge base is making a lot of these phone calls and field visits unnecessary.
Will explains with an example:
“That first month, we had several requests for help to replace a drive fan. Under previous circumstances, SPOC might have sent someone out to replace it. But instead of making a service call, we can refer customers to a video that explains how to do it. All they need is a good Internet connection, a screwdriver, and five minutes.”
Facilitated by the HubSpot CRM platform, marketing and customer service continue to work together closely to identify gaps and create additional content for the knowledge base, using customer questions as a guide.
In fact, Will and his team have built out a calendar for the next round of videos and content they plan to create, with 33 more videos in the queue.
The knowledge base is such a success, it’s now the number one search result for some of its targeted keywords, and FitzMartin estimates that these actions have doubled SPOC Automation’s SEO presence.
Using chat workflow to direct customers to content
SPOC Automation is also using sophisticated workflows with keyword triggers in the chatbox to direct customers to content.
“If a user searches “fan” in the chatbox,” explains Will, “it will automatically pull up a link to the article How to Replace a Frame 9 Drive Fan in the knowledge base.”
Improved reporting and data insights
With the HubSpot CRM platform, SPOC Automation is getting reporting and insights it never had before.
For example, Will and his team can now see how many searches they’re getting on the SPOC Automation website for particular keywords. If they don’t have content in the knowledge base for that keyword, they prioritize building it out.
They’ve taken this approach even further with chat:
“We can pull reports on people engaging with live chat and then connect to the search data based on page views,” says Will. “It’s elevating our scoring methodology to where we can get predictive insights.”
This data is also helping the team identify and qualify leads.
“We can measure and score chats based on the conversation, the keywords used, and other user actions,” says Will. “It’s turning into a whole new lead funnel.”
Aligning marketing and customer service
By aligning marketing and customer service on the HubSpot CRM platform, SPOC Automation is gaining the greater efficiencies and cross-functional insights it had hoped for.
“HubSpot eliminated the silos between marketing and service,” says Will. “Service Hub allows us to interact with parts of the business that marketing typically isn’t invited to participate in. That's a big deal to us.”
968% Increase in Total Video Views
With the help of Service Hub and Marketing Hub, SPOC has increased its total views by 968% since the start of the pandemic.
It’s also generating way more content, increasing the number of videos created by 151%.
These videos are capturing and holding attention, with a 208.52% increase in average attention span and a 69.5% increase in usage.
Amazingly, all of this additional content hasn’t come with additional costs. In fact, SPOC Automation reports saving $140,000 in the first month alone.
With these kinds of results, both SPOC Automation and FitzMartin couldn’t be happier to have consolidated on the HubSpot CRM platform.
“We took a one-time event that was driven by external circumstances and made it part of our ongoing strategy,” says Will. “The fact that we got some lift in the first few months is a big deal. But the fact that we’re still getting great results a year later is huge.”
SPOC Automation CEO Bobby Mason agrees:
“One of our core values is innovation. Because of this, we knew we had to change the way we communicate with our clients. With the implementation of Service Hub, we were able to cut costs and introduce a cutting edge FAQ library to better our communication efforts with current customers and prospects.”