HubSpot Service Hub offers all the basic features you need in customer service software. It’s simple to get started — with a Free tier — and can scale with your business. We think it offers a great user experience and will fit the customer service requirements of many companies.
Here are the four features we like best about HubSpot Service Hub.
One of the most valuable features of Service Hub is that it’s built into the HubSpot platform. That means it’s directly integrated with the rest of your marketing and sales data, creating a seamless experience — customer service data is automatically part of the buyer’s journey. There’s no bouncing back and forth between tools and all your teams have visibility into the entire customer experience.
Another thing that sets Service Hub apart is the way you can scale it according to your business needs. For small companies, it offers all the basic features you need in customer support software. But as you grow your business and requirements, you can also grow your Service Hub, with access to advanced features like custom objects and the ability for larger teams to handle more support requests. That means there’s a price point for every budget.
The main differences between the four tiers is the sophistication of the feature set and the amount of data that you’ll likely be handling. Note that the Pro and Enterprise tiers include automation and triggers, which most customer-service heavy companies will expect out of the box.
Most support solutions enable agents to use text or voice to communicate with customers. But for issues that are technically challenging or complex to resolve, it’s not always possible to get a customer on a call, particularly if they have busy schedules or if your team is located across different time zones. That’s one of the reasons we were excited to see that Service Hub provides the ability to record videos and send them to customers.
How does Service Hub do this? It includes a Vidyard integration. Service agents can record their screen right from a ticket and then send the video to customers, improving service and solving issues faster. Service teams can also host and embed videos in their knowledge base.
This is truly a game-changer for agent efficiency and the speed with which they can resolve support requests. It’s also a much better experience for customers, because it means they can watch the videos at their convenience, and as many times as they need to understand your agent’s response.
The visual ticket pipeline in Service Hub is unique and another of our favorite features. It provides a quick snapshot of all the tickets and what stage they are in. This is a tremendous benefit for people who prefer to categorize things visually.
The columns can be customized to fit the ticket flow that your organization wants to follow — but using columns is just one of the ways that you can view the information. Here are some of the other ways you can use it:
For example, if you want to see the tickets that are at a specific stage, you can create a view in the table settings to display just that information by using filters. You can also customize the columns to showcase the information that’s most relevant to that view, such as who a ticket is assigned to, the date it was created, etc.
Note that these are just view options. If you want to automate any activity based on these stages, you can do that in workflows.
While we loved Service Hub's integration with marketing and sales, we noticed a few limitations you might struggle with.
HubSpot’s Service Hub doesn’t yet offer keyword recognition and automated support request routing based on ticket contents. This surprised us because it’s a popular feature in other service desk applications. We’d love to see this capability added to speed up the process of getting tickets to the right agents. Today, the only workaround is to manually route tickets.
On the topic of AI/machine learning, HubSpot recently released some conversational intelligence tools in the Enterprise tier, which provide real-time insight into calls with automatic recording, transcriptions, and call analysis. This allows team leaders to coach their agents and gain better visibility into customer conversations.
For people who are accustomed to “tagging” customer support requests, this isn’t really how it works in Service Hub. Instead, the product relies on lists, views, and filters. Since we prefer the tagging experience, this was definitely a downside for us.
Note that the lack of a tagging feature does not limit your ability to enter tickets into workflows, triggers, or automations, or assign them to specific agents.
One workaround is to create “categories” and manually categorize your support requests. Although it’s not as intuitive for new users, this will give you a similar outcome to tagging.
To set up this workaround, create a custom view based on a filter, then pin that view to the top of the tickets page.
Note, you can also create multiple pipelines. For instance, you can have one pipeline for Tech Support, another for Customer Support, and a third for Development.
We also found the reporting feature to be less robust in the Free and Starter versions than in other service desk applications. Fortunately, Professional and Enterprise tier users have the ability to create custom reports, so you could consider moving to one of these tiers:
The built-in reporting included with the Enterprise tier will likely serve the reporting needs of most organizations, so that is definitely something to keep in mind as you evaluate the software. Beyond that, HubSpot does offer a reporting add-on for Service Hub. However, we suggest that you identify the things you want to measure to determine if you really need it, before you make a decision.
Service Hub is one of HubSpot’s newer modules, so we anticipate that over time they will continue to grow the reporting capability based on how agents are using the software.
Today, searching for tickets is not easy in Service Hub. Even though there is a Search function, it’s limited to simple searches of ID, name, or subject. You cannot search on ticket stage, status, priority, or customer name, for example.
This means it takes longer for agents to track down specific tickets. Imagine you’re looking for a ticket that belongs to a specific customer, but you don't know which agent the ticket was originally assigned to — it can take a while to find the ticket in question without a comprehensive Search capability.
The best workaround right now is to search based on the subject of the ticket. Otherwise, you can use specific views to narrow down ticket characteristics. As HubSpot continues to refine Service Hub, we hope to see more robust search capabilities built into the product.
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