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How Automation Helps Olark Give Sales a Human Touch

Joey Blanco
Joey Blanco / July 26, 2017

In the age of automation and efficiency, some tasks are better suited for a robot, or more realistically, a computer. If it's repetitive, there's a good chance a tool exists to handle it for you. But some tasks and jobs require a human touch and approach. Especially when it comes to interacting with people, as you do in sales and support roles.

For Olark's Guru of Customer Happiness, Bill Thompson, that human touch is an essential piece of Olark's process: "Sales at Olark are very much human-based. That's our big push and it has been for years. Humans talking to humans; relationship sales."

Olark is built on those interactions. As a live chat client, Olark gives you the ability to provide instant customer support or even create a sales opportunity from someone browsing your website. For eCommerce stores, having a chance to connect with a shopper via live chat is akin to asking a customer browsing shelves if they need help finding anything; it's that human connection.

Making Lead Management As Efficient As Possible

"As a small team, in a startup, the challenges we face is managing what to do with all the info, the lead generation, the followups, the tracking for metrics," Bill explains. "A lot of it was done manually for a good year and a half, almost two years."

"Every time I did a sales call, I would have to enter the information into a spreadsheet, into Google Docs. Who you are, when we met, notes about it, what you were looking to do, what your expectations were."

Now multiply that manual work by a team of three, four, five people. No matter how good your team is, manual work lends itself to inaccuracies. And pulling data manually? Bill found that he was digging through their database to figure out which sales agent converted a lead, who had followed up—it was all taking too much time.

"For scheduling myself and my team, I use ScheduleOnce, which is pretty cool. We have a landing page on our site, so if [a customer] want a sales demo or they want to call, they can go on there, click on the application, and that allows them to translate the timezone into their timezone and pick a time," Bill explains. "And then I found I can actually integrate Schedule Once with HubSpot through Zapier."

"Zapier is just my savior."Bill Thompson, Guru of Customer Happiness, Olark

With Zapier, an app automation tool, Bill built a workflow that automated his manual tasks. Instead of entering in the details of each lead, Bill built out a questionnaire form in ScheduleOnce that the customer fills in.

Now, with every new lead, Zapier creates a Hubspot contact and populates it with the information from the ScheduleOnce form, giving Bill and his team the details they need to complete the sale.

If you want to save time and create new Hubspot contacts from new ScheduleOnce bookings, this Zap is for you. When you configure the Hubspot contact section, you can even have the Zap pull information from a ScheduleOnce form, and set the Lead Status in Hubspot to 'New', just like Olark.

"Now, Zapier allows us to automatically take that lead from ScheduleOnce and boom! Sends it into HubSpot as a contact assigned to me, the sales manager."Bill Thompson, Guru of Customer Happiness, Olark

Bill's automations don't stop there: Determining whether the lead is qualified or not can come down to something as simple as whether or not they show up to demo with Olark. Keeping track of who shows and who doesn't used to be a manual task. Occasionally, Bill's team would wind up contacting folks that no-showed, losing time that could've been spent on more qualified leads.

If a customer attends Olark's demo and the booking is completed, Zapier updates the contact in Hubspot; specifically, Zapier updates the Lead Status field, changing it from 'New' or 'Potential' to 'Demo Attended' or 'Qualified'.

Let Zapier update your Hubspot lead status with this Zap:

Now, what if the customer doesn't attend the meeting and doesn't reach out to reschedule? There's a chance you might have yourself an unqualified lead. If you do, you can have Zapier update Hubspot automatically if an appointment doesn't show up. Just use this Zap:

"All the automation has just made my life a thousand percent better."Bill Thompson, Guru of Customer Happiness, Olark

Generating Sales Leads from Support

ScheduleOnce bookings and appointments aren't the only places Olark generates leads. "We have people are on Olark live chatting every day. And a lot of chats are sales related," Bill explains. Those leads would get to Bill and his sales team any number of ways–direct messages, emails–but now, Bill simplified the process:

All they have to do is to tag the call or chat with "Sales" and Zapier automatically takes it and boom, it's in HubSpot. I get an alert telling me I have a new opportunity from Help Scout that came from so-and-so, customer service representative. Here's the gist of the conversation that she had already. And they're okay with a followup. It's like a whole other sales funnel and Zapier is just my savior.

Now, Bill can review the chat or the support rep's notes in Hubspot, see what they already discussed, and go into a demo or call more informed about the lead. If you're interested in pulling information from Help Scout tickets into Hubspot contacts, give this a try:

Support as a sales avenue gives Bill a great new resource and ties back into his mission to have human connections. "We are finding that our live chatting with customers make sales because we create a human touchpoint. The good news I found is that doing a sales demo and getting on the phone with somebody sells more, so there's my job security," Bill jokes.

Photos courtesy of Olark.

Photo of Brian Harris

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Bryan Harris, founder of Videofruit

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