CRM at the service (also) of décor and design. Here’s how

We interviewed Adib Mouchanan of HubSpot, a company that provides other firms with an “all-in-one” marketing tool. He explained how this technology can also be applied to companies in this sector

“In design and more generally in the sector of fashion and luxury, there is a lot of investment in events and trade fairs. Which is just fine, though it is hard to gauge the efficacy of these initiatives: digitalization can also be useful in this sense.”
Adib Mouchanan is the account executive for Italy of HubSpot, a company founded in 2006 in Massachusetts, whose product – of the same name: HubSpot – provides companies with an “all-in-one” marketing tool. Specifically, this is software created to optimize and automate all activities of marketing, sales, assistance and “communication” with clients, namely what is known in jargon as Inbound Marketing.

In a coordinated way, it is possible to manage SEO, e-mail, marketing automation and social media, also building an entire site and using it for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to implement interactions between the company and potential or existing clients.

Mouchanan explained how this technology can be applied to the furnishing and design sector. “Think about events and fairs: today companies spend lots of money to be on hand, but then they spend entire days in their booth, waiting for people, and in the end it is hard to know how many visitors came, and who they were. Starting with an agenda already full of appointments would make it possible to map and profile possible clients in advance, and then to follow up more effective afterwards, inserting them in a specific workflow that meets their interests.”

Could you give us an example?
“For an importer in Asia who works only on luxury hotels, it makes no sense to have the same type of communications as an architect in London: the information has to match the profile, otherwise there is the risk of getting lost in the flow and leaving room for possible competitors.”

Adib Mouchanan, Enterprise Account Executive at HubSpot

Your systems are based on overall data management.
“Until now, data have been divided into separate compartments, without intercommunication: data on sales, assistance, suppliers, etc. Today it is possible to synchronize them all in an integrated way, leading to great savings in terms of time and energy.”

Are there also advantages for clients?
“Obviously. Just think about a client going home with a piece of furniture that needs assembling: she goes to the website, and thanks to the knowledge-base function she can download the instruction booklet to know how to proceed; if she realizes that a bolt is missing, she can directly open a ticket to receive assistance. There is no need to call ten times, talking with a different operator each time, sending registered letters and faxes, without ever managing to solve the problem.”

The systems of CRM are clearly very useful for large corporations. What are the advantages for small-medium businesses?
“The size of the company is not very important. Providing employees with a tool that enables them to work well and to interact with clients in a constructive way cannot help but bring benefits for all. If the employee has to struggle to fix a problem, the client will become impatient and will lose faith in our services. I can give you an example.”

Please do.
“A pure digital beauty startup we are covering has activated an online ‘beauty consultant’ service. What does that mean? It means that anyone who is interested in a product or makes a purchase at their site can directly make an online appointment, in chat mode, to receive assistance and advice on beauty. This obviously helps to construct an ongoing relationship with the client, and to boost the level of trust which is the foundation of any commercial activity.”

Don’t mind my asking… but is the beauty consultant that responds a real person or a robot?
“The consultant is real, but the important thing is that when bots are utilized – which are not so bad, and even have quite an appeal for certain clients, because they help to save time and to cut down on chit-chat – they have to be indicated and transparent: the worst thing is to have bots that pretend to be real.”