Identifiers to zoom into
Quite simply, custom objects are identifiers within the database that help to separate specific aspects of the company, determine the points that need to be tracked and help to target communication precisely to the people or points to be reached.
While this is a feature developers work with, it provides clients great flexibility to define the objects that drive their business.
Examples of ‘custom objects’ will probably drive better understanding.
In the CRM, employees inside the company need to be separated within the database from customer contacts, for example. The system has to recognize different aspects of the company and the relationships according to functions. So, employee data becomes a ‘custom object’ and this helps to drive internal communication or any other dependent data right to whom it is intended for.
Another ‘custom object’ example. In most cases, referrals are tracked to see where customers have come from. But in the database, there could be a set of people who have referred not one, but more deals and helped to close them. How do you figure out which ones are the most important referral sources and then incentivize them further? Marking them as ‘referral partners’ in custom objects helps to see how much business or deals they have helped to generate.
Define customer requirements through custom objects
Now, let’s take sales people who are out in the field interacting with customers who ask them pointed questions. Now this is precisely what the internal content team is looking for – actual customer problems. This may or may not be part of the sales report but if a custom object is created around ‘Customer Query’, it goes into the database and the teams working on content get ideas fed to them on a regular basis. How well the content piece worked from this idea can be connected to other sales and marketing systems to build up a picture. And then, there’s a deep content piece generating business simply because it was picked up and categorized as part of a sales conversation. When sales teams see how their inputs are being used, the incentive is to add more content ideas that arise from sales calls.
In short, for any aspect of your business you define what needs to be tracked, create ‘objects’ for identification and connect the dots internally, so that you get a clear view of how well marketing, sales or services are working. Even after signing up customers, they can pass through an ‘onboarding’ custom objects stage where the process of onboarding is defined and then they can be moved or categorized under other heads later, depending on how the company is structured.
Expanding the power of HubSpot with Custom Objects
In HubSpot, there are four standard CRM objects: contacts, companies, deals, and tickets. There are also HubSpot-defined objects, such as products and calls. When your business requires a different object, you can define it as a custom object. Embrace flexibility to name the object, determine what properties it has, and decide what other objects it can be associated with.
Custom objects are very similar to any other standard objects in HubSpot, so there’s no adjustment period for your team or new apps to figure out — just better data. With custom objects, you can structure your data exactly how you need to, leveraging the uniqueness of your business to grow better.
Once defined, you can create properties and build associations between these and other objects. It gives you complete flexibility and control to match CRM data to business data and associating them with data parameters for your business.
Custom objects can be used to easily organize more information and handle functions inside the CRM. They are designed to run on the same internal infrastructure that of standard CRM objects.
Custom object privileges are only available for enterprise accounts. The only way to define a custom object is via APIs defined by HubSpot.
Some of the possible functions include:
- Personalizing automated marketing emails with custom object property values
- Report on the custom object records
- Enroll custom object records into workflows.
Slice and dice custom object data into reports that highlight exactly what you want to track. Select the exact custom object metrics you want to represent, then decide how you want to visualize it. Pie charts, bar charts, donuts charts, area charts, and more — the sky’s the limit. Compile your custom object reports into dashboards to summarize the insights your team cares about. Generate quality reports with quality learnings hassle-free.
BlueOshan can help you leverage HubSpot’s powerful marketing, sales, and service platform to grow your business. And use the power of automation triggered by data from your custom objects. We offer you assistance in understanding and maintaining all of the power and ease-of-use that teams need to scale and grow.
The untapped potential of WhatsApp
With over 400 million users and growing, India has the largest active user base of WhatsApp in the world. Supporting over 55 languages, WhatsApp is ubiquitous and businesses cannot afford to ignore it.
WhatsApp for Business was introduced in 2018 and it marked a big change in terms of access for companies to integrate into core business applications. Customers are comfortable with the interface and use it for messaging all day long, which increases the chances of transacting on it.
In the last couple of years, airlines and hotels started enrolling consenting users into their WhatsApp for Business numbers; tickets, booking updates, reminders, and cancellations, to name a few scenarios got delivered to the WhatsApp number.
The next stage of growth will see automations and integrations into WhatsApp that go far beyond what is being seen today. And in a population that gets on the Internet largely through mobile, this is a significant entry e-commerce point for companies who work through the teething troubles.
Conversation marketing for better customer experience is a wide topic. Let us begin by exploring some foundational items:
WhatsApp for Business - Fundamentals
There are 3 types of WhatsApp accounts:
- WhatsApp Messenger - a super popular mobile app that we all use everyday for personal communication (mostly).
- WhatsApp Business - a mobile application meant for listing your business and communicating with your customers.
- WhatsApp Verified/Official Business account.
The difference between 2 and 3 is that, with your business account you can list a phone number as a business account by setting up your business profile, catalogue, and quick replies whereas to get a verified official business account, there is some work involved, viz. you need to make a formal application and comply with WhatsApp’s commerce policies. Only a limited number of applications get approved. And if you wish to apply for WhatsApp Business API to run your WhatsApp Bots and integrate it with your Conversation Marketing platform and CRM application, it is advisable to go with a reputed WhatsApp partner company like Yellow Messenger, a Conversational AI platform. Usually the approval process for getting an account verified can take 7-10 business days. Depending on your use cases, it can take 2-3 business weeks for the business API to start working.
WhatsApp can be a useful last-mile connection tool...
WhatsApp Automation and Bots
There are quite a few brands that have implemented WhatsApp bots. You may want to check out bots of these Indian brands Spencer’s Retail Grocery Assistant on +91 9007470000 and Asian Paints +91 9920990225.
Let’s understand how this process works. You will definitely need the WhatsApp Business API and a smart Conversational AI platform to build and test your conversation flows/bots. Once tested the bots can be deployed. There is a process around your communications templates that has to be adhered to. These templates need to be approved by WhatsApp as they do not allow blatant marketing. In our subsequent blogs, we will discuss how brands have adopted this idea rather creatively and yet managed to market without getting in the face.
With WhatsApp business API, you can report on message deliveries, usage and engagement. Chatbots can save a lot of help desk/support time and money, making the process efficient. When your bot is on WhatsApp, it's even better. FAQs is a classic case for WhatsApp bot, isn't it? When your bot can’t answer a question, it can seamlessly hand over the user to a human. With the interactive chat feature, it's literally ‘one click' to call.
At times Humans prefer talking to Bots…
What’s your preference - BOTS or HUMAN??
As a marketer, this is a critical requirement for me. You should be able to see the WhatsApp conversations of your contacts in your CRM and in their timelines. This will give you the ability to analyze, understand, and set-up workflows that trigger timely and relevant communication back to your prospects and customers.
It is possible to set up integrations with HubSpot, Salesforce, Freshdesk and a host of other CRMs as long as the subject platform is API ready.
Connecting your core business applications such as your e-commerce store, business ERP systems and CRM is crucial to make your WhatsApp automation program a successful one.
BlueOshan is a Digital Agency with specific focus on tech enablement of marketing, sales and advertising processes. We have built integrations between HubSpot and WhatsApp and have automated customer communications using workflows. At BlueOshan, we try and understand your use cases and find a solution to deliver it smartly using technology. Should you wish to talk to a MarketingTech Consultant, give us a shout!
Setting up e-Commerce stores is tougher than it looks. Customers have to find products they want and the shopping as well as checkout experiences should be smooth.
When there are several product lines to be featured, the complexity increases. In addition, they must be linked to available stocks, so that customers are not disappointed when they’ve made the effort to choose a product and then find it’s not available.
The basic implementation right through registration to finding products, adding them to carts and then checking out is familiar to a large number of people. The complexity is in the finer details and Blueoshan has the technical expertise to help set up stores with thousands or even hundreds of thousands of SKUs.
Since Shopify and other e-Commerce facilitators like Woo Commerce have standard implementations in place that cover the basics, additional customizations need deeper knowledge.
As the store transactions ramp up, they have to be protected from all manners of cyber attacks. Having a robust and secure implementation and training all people involved on best security practices goes a long way in ensuring safety.
In addition, HubSpot and Shopify integrations have proven to be robust and scalable across the world. HubSpot uses proven technology and the APIs with Shopify and Woo Commerce make operations less stressful for shop owners.
Addressing gaps in the shopping experience
E-Commerce seeks to make online shopping with a few clicks an easy process for customers but human behavior is replicated on online shopping behavior as well.
People abandon carts after filling them up with merchandise. They may be confused about when to apply coupons or deals offered. These deals and coupons should be tracked and the conditions where they apply implemented on the site.
Stockouts of popular products and surging demand at discount sales require provisioning additional bandwidth before the customers arrive in large numbers at the site. There are implications right down the line, from adding to carts, checkout and payments as well as tracking deliveries.
All of these add up to the overall e-Commerce experience and define the trajectory of the site’s performance.
BlueOshan works to resolve the technical issues that arise from implementation and the integrations required with the client’s existing systems. These are the most important aspects for long-term success rather than the aesthetics of the site alone.
Image management, for example, where people spend the most time browsing through the product catalog has to be optimized for different devices depending on whether customers are logging in from a mobile device or a desktop.
Aligning payment, cart management and returns/refunds
Each of these processes have to work in perfect synchronization. And at each stage, customers have to feel they are in total control. Speeding up every stage of the process requires several backend checks to happen without the customers thinking the site is slow.
Returns and refunds need to work differently from order processing. They have to be linked back to the order for traceability and to provide data on the percentage of products on which there are returns and refunds. Since this is a major component of customer satisfaction, it has to be monitored and steps have to be taken to manage customer expectations.
As the traffic to the site increases and the number of orders processed per day increases, a different set of challenges arise. Like we’ve seen with some of the major e-Commerce portals, the provisioning of systems to meet increased demand and traffic planning plays a crucial role in the success of special sales and discount days.
Integrating marketing with e-Commerce
Increasing the customer base is key to continued success. But existing customers are the ones from whom additional value is easier to get. Presenting the right combination of products at checkout, playing on the impulse factor and ensuring continued contact with them after the purchase increases revenue potential.
HubSpot makes it easy to schedule and run email marketing campaigns or newsletters for new product announcements and to build a relationship with the base of customers.
The data from each of the campaigns can be mined to build customer profile and product combinations that work. Each of these involves developing systems for review, workflows and implementation.
Besides social media campaigns, blogs and building depth into the e-Commerce site is far easier to manage with HubSpot. Streamlining the marketing and sales efforts and crucially maintaining the customer relationships builds both long-term value and customer acceptance.
BlueOshan can help you get there, building up the technical connects and workflows to implement them within the e-Commerce engine.
Talk to us and we’ll be happy to have a conversation.