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Studio Designer’s Customer Service Team Switches from Zendesk to HubSpot Service Hub and Recoups 25% of Its Time

Studio Designer was using Zendesk to manage their customer service, but the tool became more challenging for their team. Studio Designer decided to switch to HubSpot Service Hub, putting their sales, marketing and customer service under one unified experience. As a result, teams are responding to support questions cross-functionally, driving up customer satisfaction and saving the customer service team 25% of its time.

  • 25% Service Time Saved

Studio Designer

Studio Designer is the leading digital project management, product sourcing, and accounting platform for the interior design industry. For 30+ years, it has enabled the world’s leading designers to drive efficiency and growth, save time, and deliver beautiful projects to satisfied clients. Studio Designer is used by 6,500+ users across 3,000+ firms with over $2B in orders and has been featured in Architectural Digest, Forbes and Business of Home.


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    Moving from Zendesk and Salesforce

    Studio Designer was using Zendesk as its customer service platform, but it was becoming more and more complex with every update. 

    Rick Raven, Director of Customer Success at Studio Designer, felt that Zendesk was sacrificing usability in an effort to compete with other complex solutions, such as Salesforce. In the process, it was making life harder for his customer service team with no corresponding payoff. 

    So Rick decided to re-evaluate their options. 

    “If Zendesk had been running smoothly, this wouldn’t have been a conversation,” says Rick. “But it wasn’t.”

    Studio Designer had already switched from Salesforce to HubSpot Sales Hub and Marketing Hub due to similar concerns about complexity and cost.

    “Salesforce is expensive and hard to set up,” says Rick. “We don’t have a dedicated IT person or systems admin, so we needed something that’s easy to use and manage, which is why we made the switch.”

    Rick was motivated to make a similar change with customer service because of the inefficiencies inherent in having sales and marketing on one platform and service on another. 

    “Sales and marketing had no insight into what was going on in customer service and vice versa,” says Rick. “It made no sense to me.”

    Having everything on one powerful CRM platform was particularly important for Studio Designer because of its relatively small size. It wasn’t unusual for team members in sales, marketing and service to work cross-functionally. 

    “There’s a lot of benefit to having overlap,” says Rick. “Team members can work beyond their roles without having to learn an entirely different system.”

    While HubSpot Service Hub seemed like the obvious choice, Rick talked to different solution providers, read reviews and watched demos for his due diligence. He also checked with industry contacts to get their perspective. 

    “Every marketing person I talked to who had used HubSpot was satisfied and happy,” says Rick.

    Aligning Sales, Marketing and Service On the HubSpot CRM Platform

    To Rick’s relief, Service Hub was easy to implement with the help of HubSpot’s training and customer support. 

    “I dove right in,” says Rick. “My implementation specialist had little to do. It was essentially plug and play.” 

    Having sales, marketing and service under one system of record aligned all of Studio Designer’s growth teams, giving them a single view of the customer with all data unified into one contact.

    This improved alignment is having the biggest impact in the following areas:

    Shared features among teams

    The HubSpot CRM Platform gives team members access to features they wouldn’t have if each function was on a separate platform, which has negated the need for standalone tools. 

    For example, Rick explains how customer service is using sales-related features:

    “HubSpot’s meeting tool is technically a sales feature,” says Rick. “But our service team is using it to allow our clients to book calls. If we weren’t all on the same platform, our service team wouldn’t have access to this tool, and we might have to move to an inbound call center instead.”

    Improved efficiency 

    Before, when customers reached to account managers with issues, account managers would have to email customer service for help. Customer service would have to look through its support tickets, compile information and then reply to the account manager—who would then respond to the customer. 

    Today, many customer issues are resolved without involving the customer service team at all. Sales and marketing can see the entire history and context of customer interactions and can respond right to the customer. 

    “Everyone can do a lot more on their own,” says Rick. “And when they do need to talk to the customer service team, they know what questions to ask. It saves them time, it saves customer service time, and it saves the customer time.”

    Improved customer experience 

    Having one source of truth is also improving customer experience. 

    “Anytime you have a more robust picture of a customer, your interactions with the customer are going to be better,” says Rick. “HubSpot gives us that complete picture.”

    This is particularly important when customer interactions are complex and knowing the history is important. 

    “We can see whether a customer opened an email or whether they were emailed release notes,” says Rick. “We can identify and fix issues on the spot with HubSpot, unlike Zendesk where marketing and service were in two different worlds.”

    Ability to transition between roles

    Sharing a single platform is also making it easier for team members to step outside of strictly defined roles and take on adjacent, cross-functional tasks when needed. 

    “Knowing how to use the software that the other teams are using makes it easier for those teams to cross over when needed,” says Rick. “It gives us a lot more flexibility.”

    Managing projects

    When Studio Designer migrated its clients to an upgraded platform, it used the HubSpot CRM Platform to manage the project. 

    The project team tracked client upgrade status, communicated with migrating clients and monitored support tickets all within HubSpot.

    “It was a multi-team effort that came together seamlessly because we were all working on the same platform,” says Rick.

    Investing in the future

    Rick is impressed with HubSpot’s orientation to future development. Rick pushes the HubSpot CRM Platform to its limit, and his HubSpot customer support team is always upfront about what they can and can’t do, while also bringing those ideas to product development. 

    “If I can’t do precisely what I want right now, they work with me to grow the platform in that direction,” says Rick. 

    Early in their relationship, HubSpot surprised Rick by proactively moving Studio Designer to a lower priced program, which helped inspire trust and confidence for the long term. 

    “They were keen to get us on this program, even though they would make less money off us,” says Rick. “I’ve never seen that happen with a SaaS provider before.”

    Saving Two Hours a Day Responding to Customer Inquiries

    Rick and his customer service team are saving almost two hours a day in responding to customer inquiries. 

    Often, other teams are handling questions directly, and when customer service does have to get involved, it can do so faster and more efficiently.

    This ability to respond to and resolve customer issues faster and more thoroughly has also improved the customer experience. 

    Rick looks forward to implementing more Service Hub features in the future to achieve even greater levels of customer satisfaction and efficiency. 

    “HubSpot is very forward thinking,” says Rick. “They’re not going to become stagnant, which I’ve seen happen with other SaaS companies. I’m confident that as our organization and needs become more complex, HubSpot will grow with us.”

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