Why Customer Connection Matters

September 06, 2023

By Stephen Moseley

Access HubSpot's Guide to Connection in the Age of AI

At INBOUND 2023, HubSpot CEO Yamini Rangan introduced changes to the customer journey driven by the recent surge of AI technology.

Where people spend their time, how they buy, how they share information, and how they expect to receive customer service is all changing. What’s not changing, however, is the importance of connection.

The advent of AI makes this an extremely exciting time. The businesses that can effectively leverage technology to drive deeper connections will ultimately be the companies that grow better.

AI will help level the playing field with features that give you incredibly powerful content creation tools. For example, HubSpot AI features such as Content Assistant and ChatSpot.

Both leverage the same large language model that OpenAI’s ChatGPT, but conveniently packaged directly within your HubSpot portal.

At HubSpot, we affectionately refer to our top 20% of growing customers that prioritize the art of forging deep customer connections in their growth strategies as “Connectors.”

These remarkable businesses understand that meaningful engagement with customers is not just a buzzword, but a powerful catalyst for driving sustainable growth and building lasting relationships.

But how do we know customer connection leads to growth? We decided to dig into the data and find out.

I lead Product Analytics at HubSpot; our mission is to understand how using HubSpot helps our customers grow.

With over 184,000 customers spanning 120 countries and 149 different industries, we’ve built a strong point of view on the importance of connection — and have the data to back it up.

I’m excited to share some of these best practices here.

Digging Into the Data

In most data science projects, 80% of time is spent on data prep and this project was no different.

We started by defining a growth metric: year-over-year closed-won deal volume. We focused on consistent Deals tool users for 2+ years, giving us high confidence in our measurements.

From there, we isolated customer behavior impact by grouping customers (20+ segments) by industry, size, HubSpot tenure, and feature access. Each segment was individually modeled for performance comparison among peers.

Here’s what we learned.

1. Customer Connection Drives Growth

After HubSpot talked to connectors across a variety of industries, we discovered something we are calling the “Connection Gap”. It turns out that HubSpot’s top connectors are growing 29 percentage points more than average companies.

Said another way, connectors are growing 5x more than average companies that aren’t prioritizing customer connection in their growth strategies.

Year Over Year Growth Outcomes by Prevalence of Connection Behavior

Furthermore, we learned that customers in less digitally mature industries (e.g., manufacturing) see a larger connection gap (40 percentage points) and will benefit even more by focusing on customer connection.

2. Growth Compounds as You Connect Across More Lifecycle Stages

Connecting in more customer lifecycle stages increases total growth.

On average, companies that connected with customers across all five journey stages (aware, prospect, lead, deal, customer) grew 19% more than single-stage connectors. Contrary to what you might think, each …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

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