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The Importance of Customer Feedback Optimization with HubSpot's Kevin Dunn

On this episode of The Marketing Cave, Carter sits down in Boston with HubSpot's Kevin Dunn. He is the Manager, HubSpot Academy Education and dives into the critical process of gathering feedback from your customers, uncovering insights within that data, and then putting those learnings into action.




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Here is the transcript:

Carter:
Hey everybody Carter: here. Welcome back to another episode of the Marketing cave. And on this week's episode, we're actually taking you guys out to Boston with us. So we are out there a few weeks ago for the HubSpot inbound marketing conference. And I actually got the chance to sit down with Kevin: from HubSpot. He's the manager of HubSpot Academy education. And in this episode, we really dive into Voice of the Customer optimization and what that actually looks like how to collect that feedback from customers and actually put it into action. So I apologize, there's a little bit of background noise in this. We were in a big room with a lot of people. But I really want you to hone in the content here. I think it's really good stuff. So let's just go ahead and dive in. WE're at inbound in Boston, so we had to tryto get him on for a quick conversation. So welcome in.

Kevin:
Thanks for being super psyched to be here. Obviously, we get to find ourselves at corner in the bustling partner lounge and HubSpot village. So yeah, happy to be here, man psyched to talk about the voice of the customer.

Carter:
Yeah, absolutely. So that's obviously something that we'll get into. And that's kind of the main topic of this episode is his voice of the customer and optimization and how to uncover some of those insights and actually implement some of that. So want to get into that for sure. But before we do, I did at least want to let you kind of briefly introduce yourself. So so really quickly, Kevin is a host of the YouTube series now podcast series. We'll include links to all that in the show notes for you guys to check out. But yeah, I wanted you to kind of talk about what you do outside of just, you know, the agency unfiltered and kind of what you do.

Kevin:
Yeah. So at the highest level, HubSpot academies, like the the training and education arm of HubSpot, right, so the marketing software platform, and we create education, it's all free. For any user, you don't have to be paying HubSpot customer. And we create education of three distinct lanes. So we have customer education, partner education, and then developer education. So I'm is the professor teams who create partner in developer education. So obviously, folks like creative cave, you know, you know, the agency partner content or solutions partner content is for folks like you. And then as you kind of teed me up for also host a biweekly web series, available in video, audio and text based formats. And it's basically, you know, a series of interviews with agency owners to really dig into agency operations, agency growth agency scaling. And actually, we did a podcast at Doubleday for us today, because we we just had john there as well.

Carter:
Yeah. So that was a cool experience for us. You know, for me, as someone who's running an agency was really great to take together some of that content and be you know, keyed into what other agencies are doing. That kind of helps you sometimes you get so far into the rocky forget to take a look out and see what other people are saying and try to implement that in your own organization. So that was kind of how I stumbled upon Kevin and found him and then we found time to kind of do a trade here on each other's podcast show you

Kevin:
to be a manager of education with HubSpot Academy and not be down for some content creation. So this fits the bill for sure.

Carter:
Definitely. Okay. So I would be remiss to not talk a little HubSpot with you. Sure. So obviously, we're a HubSpot partner agency. You know, we were all in on it. Pretty much every client we work with is on HubSpot. And that's what they're using. So, um, you know, I was looking at your, your LinkedIn, it's like you you've been at HubSpot for almost four years. Yeah. Yeah. So so I want to know, you know, what's it like working at HubSpot? Yeah. And then we'll kind of get some other questions. So we'll start there, like, what's it like to be a part of the HubSpot team?

Kevin:
Yeah, I couldn't recommend it enough. And I think just one more shameless plug for HubSpot number two, the education is free. So don't feel like you have to purchase a subscription to HubSpot to gain access to that. Obviously, there's plenty of lessons courses, certifications that are tied into our tools. But you know, our purposes to just educate inspire people so that we together, you know, transformed the way the world does business. And so there's plenty of learnings in education that don't necessarily have to do with our tools, Facebook ads, right, which I know you guys do a lot with content marketing, email marketing, there's a ton of learnings in there for best practices, regardless of you know, whether or not your HubSpot user there for sure. So yeah, again, we'll link all that below so you guys can check that out. Definitely would would encourage you, even though you know, the certifications in the free education is huge for your career, whether you can be a HubSpot or not.

Carter:
So, okay, so let's transition into our actual topic for today. And I don't know if you are familiar with the office, but this is a newer topic to me. So I'm going to do the whole like, explain it to me, like I'm five.

Kevin:
The lemonade stand up for that. Yeah, sure. The surplus. Yeah. Yes, yes. Yeah, chairs are a copier.

Carter:
Yep. Okay, that's good. There's another points for Kevin. So yeah, with that in mind of like, you know, let's, let's break it down. And why is why is voice of the customer appreciation? You know, so important?

Kevin:
Yeah, for sure. So, I think that the best place is start is this distinction between voice of the customer and then Voice of the Customer optimization. And so I kind of had to make that distinction, I would say voice of the customer is a program a company would put into place just to get a general sense of how their customers feel, right. So it makes you aware of how customers feel about your brand, working with your brand purchasing your products or services, right. So just their experience, Voice of the Customer optimization actually drives action orientation around it. So it's not just sourcing that feedback, it's actually doing something about it.

And the reason why that's so important, is because, you know, consumers, I you know, I forget the exact study, but like, far and away, the number one source of trust in regards to making a purchasing decision is word of mouth, referrals, social proof, and I think people are just starting to trust traditional marketing, traditional sales, less than less organic reach on Google has never been more difficult. Same thing with organic social posts.

And so if I'm a business, and you know, I want to try and get continue to get my name out there and, you know, help supplement the declining marketing and sales channels, you know, you have to have strong referral programs, strong word of mouth. And to do that, you have to give customers what they want. And that's kind of where Voice of the Customer optimization comes in.

Carter:
So from a perspective of getting that information or gathering that information, or what's the process look like for that? How do you actually tap into those insights?

Kevin:
For sure, I think just the Absolute Easiest way to start is to just build some programmatic surveying functionality within your business. So the step one, just build something like an NPS survey or net promoter score? And how likely would you be to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague, have them scale you on a one to 10? Nine or 10s? Are promoters? zero to six are detractors and others, like pastors in the middle, and then have them explain their score.

And if you just sent that out to all of your customers, and just start gathering that data, that's the exact like, that's the perfect first step for something like that. I guess that would be you just send out an email, right? And you just ask them to that's exactly what exactly it says, I mean, for all of our HubSpot service of customers, that's kind of part of the functionality. But by no means there's Yeah, Survey Monkey or anything else. So any sort of survey, but that's absolutely we want to start regardless of tool is really like

Carter:
Is there any incentivizing your customers to take the time to fill it out, or is there a conversation that happens beforehand to let them know that's coming?

Kevin:
For sure. Yeah. So I mean, I wouldn't ever recommend anybody bribe their customers to complete a survey. But I have seen it work in some regards, where, you know, if you go ahead and complete a survey, you're eligible to win, you know, $5, Starbucks gift card or something like that. I mean, I think we've all kind of seen that stuff. So I think that's a really great way to incentivize.

But when you say about, like, letting customers know that kind of gets into, there's there's opportunities to improve response rates and survey completion rates. And one of those things is proper preparation and planning. And it's actually giving customers a heads up ahead of time. "Hey, next week, you're going to see a survey come through from us two questions three minutes long. We just want to make sure we're delivering the best experience we can." And I think that's a total valid, like, pre survey email to send out.

Carter:
What do you feel like the next step is like there's there's something that that happens when you identify 15? That all gave you eight 9-10? Those are the people that you really want to be out as your referrals, or do you want to ask them for a referral recently, we had a new new client, who's about to come on and said, Hey, everything looks good. I like what you guys do. I like you, I like your pricing. Can you send me over a handful of your existing clients that we can talk to? That's kind of like, okay, yeah, we absolutely can. But we didn't have anything in place where we've gone and surveyed a bunch of customers

Kevin:
You have to go by gut feeling that regards, right. And sometimes you you tend to know who those promoters are, probably or are. But sometimes it could surprise you, right? And I say, I think you're spot on there where the actions you take are dependent on the scores that folks give you. But I think some of the things like a nine or a 10, and Promoter Score than the other absolutely the shortlist of folks that you send to share referrals. But you could also put to ask him to put a case study or testimonial together for your website. So that stuff is just ondemand readily available. I think that's the perfect network to tap into for that.

Carter
I guess that we were kind of doing this in the background without having a formal name process.

Kevin:
Basically just saying, you know, just covering CYA, right? But like, if there are zero or six, and you didn't know, right, maybe they just haven't been able to express their concerns and working with you. Like, you don't want to send those to other customers. I would say, the nines and 10s the promoters that you do put on your shortlist for testimonials, referrals, etc. Those zeros and sixes, you know, you put it put together your triage team, like we gotta we gotta solve what's going on here. And you can surface that to the relevant parties based on the survey data.

Carter:
Yeah, absolutely. So that kind of give me another thought when you just said that as a part of our onboarding process, right? We bring a new client on, we do a whole strategy phase where we're building out their buyer personas, all the stuff, you're doing that process, but also part of that is serving their customers. Yeah, so in that sense, that's something that we've done. You know, where, where it's like, okay, we were identifying a handful of customers, we want to talk to what were the reasons that they were happy with their service? Why did they come to you guys? Why did they sign up? Or what what was the differentiator for you guys, so I guess that's a different capacity.

Kevin:
I mean, I think something like Voice of the Customer optimization is exactly kind of an area of expertise, that it would make sense to partner with an agency or a services provider. Because, you know, it's not just sending the survey out with like best practices in mind. But it's actually categorizing identifying trends and types and themes, and then actually driving action plans and roadmaps and like actually putting some some action orientation in place. It's a perfect use case for finding a partner for that.

Carter:
So I guess the next question that you just alluded to, is like, you know, how can you actually strategically analyze, you know, this customer feedback that you just collected?

Kevin:
Yeah. So this is going to be different for every business. But I think what you have to do is just categorize feedback by verbatim, the theme which in like, within that feedback, so verbatim theme, and then the last ones, like type, right? So like, what aspect of your business? Are they critiquing, regardless if it's positive or negative, right. And if you can start categorizing all of your, your survey responses, your feedback by, you know, verbatim type and theme, you should be able to start to see some trends emerge. Once you have those trends, it's literally just prioritization at that point, right. And I think the best way to prioritize and I kind of visualize like a matrix here, right? It's high in low cost, and high and low impact, right? If it's going to be low cost to fix, but it's going to drive high impact, you got to start there, you know, what I mean, maybe high impact, high cost from there, but and then you can kind of, you know, prioritize based on all the feedback, but getting those trends amongst types, and, you know, feedback themes, and then just prioritization from that.

Carter:
One thing I did want to get to as well, it's like now that we've kind of talked through some of this was we were chatting this morning, and you gave the example of dominoes, I found that to be really interesting. And I remember when when they did that, and it was, it was like, Oh, that's a big move.

Kevin:
When you start to unpack it, like people start to remember the commercial and in things, but just to give you some context of dominoes is listening, I'm still looking for a sponsorship. So you know, I hit him up, free pizza for life would be a good place, you know, we can start there. But so just briefly, the history of dominoes, right, I think it was like 2003 2004, the original owners, Nick sold the majority, like 93% of the business to Bain Capital. So an investment firm, they took them to an IPO, you know, probably hundreds and hundreds of locations across the states. But soon thereafter, like mid 2000s, their their shares bottomed out the IPO to like 12 $13. They're down to like sub twos.

And I forget what newspaper what publication it was, but there was a poll or a survey to find the best and worst tasting food chains in America. And dominoes came in very last place. So their financials are tanking, everyone hates the taste of the pizza. And so it's like, major, major hole that they have to climb out of. And how they solved it was brought in a new CEO, Patrick Doyle, and his emphasis was the customer experience. So they created like this ad campaign of like real life focus groups trashing the pizza, it's basically telling the consumers like we hear you, right? Like, we understand that this is a pain point. So they fixed the recipe. But they also looked again, at this whole customer experience. So they gave full autonomy to any employee to triage, you know, customer feedback, if a delivery was late, or ingredients were missed. No manager approval was needed to just do what was right in the eyes of the customer.

And then they invested a ton in like technology as well. So like you can order on the app, it's never been easy to order, you can tweet a pizza emoji and you get your food near door. And the cars are tracks now so you can see the process and what your pizzas being made, delivered. And so they basically like lived and breathed Voice of the Customer optimization, put a spotlight on everything that folks were unhappy with. I mean, they turn their business around and like a big way. So they're the largest pizza chain globally, they overtook Pizza Hut shares are like 200 plus to 90 at one point. So huge, huge, huge turnaround.

Carter:
Yeah, so that is a real world real life example. Like, okay, let's let's get to the core of what's going on? And how do we find that besides talking to customers, right?

Kevin:
Yeah, you got to just sort you guys just take the feedback, positive or negative, and then just do something about it. And they grew like 1600 percent. So by no means am I promising every voice of the customer focused business will grow that much. But I mean, it's a good case study for it.

Carter:
Yeah, that's really interesting about that. And I didn't know the part that you that you mentioned about the like, employee empowerment, that's a huge piece of like, those are the people who are who are interacting with their customers, right. And you can apply that to any business.

Kevin:
And it can be hard to write because you probably have, and I you know, I'm a little younger, until how you know, dominoes chain works. But I would assume that there's like some managers and shift managers, but then you might have a part time employee that just works weekends, you know, a teenager after school or something like that. But that person like anybody else in that, in that business, has full autonomy to do a try with the customer. No chain of approval, no lag time, to just delight as quick as you can.

Carter:
And it's also a weird dynamic that more or less face of your company is a 16 year old kid.

Kevin:
Sure, yeah. But both autonomy from the top down.

Carter:
There's also in college when I was working through my work shifts at Home Depot, sir. Yeah. And we had, and this might be insider information, I don't know. But we had the we had the right to give up to like $50 discount for any given reason. So if they complain about all this is damaged, or had to wait too long, or whatever it is.

Kevin:
We're trying to close on a house, that's good to know. Yeah, put that one right in my back pocket.

Carter:
It is in every employee without a manager approval, and he was like up to $50, like you could and I was a cashier for some time. And I was in paint department. So like, there are always times where we mixed our color for somebody or somebody got is something so that's an interesting tactic that I think applies even you know, not in retail.

Kevin:
Yeah. I think that the practices of Voice of the Customer optimization, yes. Regardless b2c b2b, I think it definitely is where like, you could have two customers or 200. I think surveying on a consistent basis to I will say this, I think the first commercial of those dominance focus groups, that's the famous one, what they did, once they made a little bit of a turn around, they went back to the people that were in the focus groups, and had them try the pizza for the first time. And so I really liked that follow up commercial because it's regardless of what a score is, the first time you survey somebody, you put the action orientation in place. Always remember to continue surveying because scores change over time. And it's going to be helpful to know if what you've put into practice, improved, low scores kept high scores high, etc. So it's not just survey one time you want to do it on a consistent basis for sure.

Carter:
What's the timeline look like you think or what makes sense for an organization? 12 months? 18 months?

Kevin:
Yeah, it's hard man. Because it's going to depend on your customer lifecycle, your customer journey, how many touch points you have, I think for some businesses, something that HubSpot, we, you know, we send NPS surveys out quarterly, right. But that doesn't mean quarterly is going to be the number for every business, maybe it's just on their annual renewal cycle. Or maybe it's every time you came in and service to job, right. So I don't know if there's a concrete answer for that.

Carter:
Gotcha. Yeah, that makes sense. And that's it's always subjective, right? You should know, in your business. What makes sense, or if not, you'll figure out pretty quickly for sure. Yeah. Okay, well, cool. So if someone wants to learn more about this, you know, voice for the customer optimization and the steps involved. Obviously, we kind of talked high level, but where can I find more information about this?

Kevin:
For sure. So it sounds like we have some resources that are attached to this. So I have given a presentation on the topic. So happy to just make sure that if anybody's tuning in, they get full access to that. And happy to just field questions as they come in as well. So make sure folks know where to find me online. But I think just googling voice of the customer. HubSpot certainly has some content education around it, and so completely unbiased. I think that's a great resource as well.

Carter:
For sure. Yeah. So yeah, I guess the last thing is where can people find you follow you interact with you? Yeah. So my LinkedIn handle is HubSpot. Kevin. Twitter's Kevin underscore done. But if you just go into HubSpot Academy, you'll probably see my face pop up once or twice. A

Kevin:
And let me just I'm going to ask you a question now. Yeah, it's gonna be like a quiz question. And so I think oftentimes, companies can feel pretty confident about their customers like customer experience, they go, you know, we deliver remarkable service. So I don't know voice of the customer is going to be that beneficial for me because like, we already have top notch, right. And so the survey is this 80% of businesses think they deliver superior customer service, when they pulled consumers, what percentage of businesses that you interact with deliver customer service that's superior. What do you think that consumer percentage was? businesses say 80%consumers think? What?

Carter:
I'd say half of that.

Kevin:
So 40? 8% of consumers think they experience superior customer service. So, you know, just I think it's going to be worth while for anyone to explore, because there's a gap there.

Carter:
Yeah, there's clearly something missing and like I always say, You're too far under the rock. You don't know what's actually going on out there.

Kevin:
And yeah. That clearly is a disconnect.

Carter:
Yes. Yeah. Well, that's really crazy. Okay, well, cool, man. Thank you so much for the time I appreciate it. All the stuff that we talked about like so it'll be in the in the show notes. And then obviously, if you're watching and listening to this, please go follow Kevin. Interact them in the shadow. But thanks so much for coming on.

Kevin:
Yeah, super psyched to be here. I'm glad you guys made it down to inbound. They appreciate being on Thanks for having me.

Carter:
Thank you guys for tuning in. Please give us a like a follow a subscribe interact with us on social and we'll see you guys in the next one.

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