Hubstaff Builds Customer Success Right Starting on Day-One with Vitally

“If you’re not going to give them all the ammunition they need to actually go ahead and help customers, the whole idea behind a Success team is just moot.”

Who is Hubstaff?

Syed Asad, VP of Sales and Success @ Hubstaff

Hubstaff helps businesses like Groupon, KellerWilliams, Instacart, and beyond, reach new levels of productivity through better team, project, and time management. Hubstaff time tracking software is used by over 10,000 teams across the world that want to achieve more. Organizations can track work hours, pay team members, invoice clients, see in-depth reporting, and more, through Hubstaff’s web dashboard, desktop, and mobile apps.

Check out Hubstaff’s Customer Story

First Sales, Then Success: The Challenges

  • Retaining customers
  • Hubstaff didn’t know what kind of segments their customers could be broken into
  • Lack of visibility into customer product usage

Prior to implementing Vitally, the Success team at Hubstaff didn’t, well, exist—and for good reason. 

“I was the VP of sales, I built out a sales team, and it turned out to be fairly successful. Then we thought, hey, what's the next piece of the puzzle we need to solve?” said Syed. “It turns out, it's Customer Success, right?... We were acquiring customers at a very good pace, and we needed a way to find out how we can go ahead and retain those customers?”

Along with Hubstaff’s goal of retaining customers, the other problem they were initially trying to solve was truly understanding and segmenting their customer base.

“We actually didn't have a tool to be able to tell [us] what kind of customers we have; who would be needing our help. We didn't know what kind of a breakdown we could get…” said Syed. “For example, if they are $100+ in MRR, what exactly are the rules for the [customers] that are going to be managed by a Customer Success team that we're looking to set up? What exactly are they doing inside the application? Are they using a particular feature? Are they not? How often are they using it? How often are they sending out reports? How often are they setting up payroll? All of that information we didn't have at our disposal.”

When Hubstaff decided the time was right to build their Customer Success department from the ground up, Syed raised his hand to run it. Part of his decision was based on the fact that he had a great experience using Vitally at a previous company, and knew the platform would serve as a great foundation for building out this new team. 

“Pretty much all of our game plan, and the playbook that we have set up for our Success team is predicated on how Vitally works,” said Syed. “The workflows, the traits, the segments, even down to how the team filters within accounts—everything is done accordingly in terms of how it is in Vitally.”

Building Customer Success Right from Day-One: The Solution

  • Awareness around renewals and the ability to shift from a reactive to proactive approach
  • Saving time and energy with automation and playbooks
  • Ability to track custom metrics, risk indicators 

When Syed began building out Hubstaff’s Customer Success team, his priority was setting this newly formed team up for success. 

“From the perspective of a company, if we go ahead and hire and set up a Success team, and we don't have any tools to offer to them, or cannot give them an idea of what exactly their book of business is, what are they doing on the day-to-day?” said Syed. “If you’re not going to give them all the ammunition they need to actually go ahead and help customers, the whole idea behind a Success team is just moot.”

With Vitally in place and the Customer Success team at Hubstaff up and running, the day-to-day routine of a Customer Success Manager (CSM) looks a little something like this: 

“Well, they wake up with Vitally and they pretty much log off with Vitally. It's pretty much open on their browser at any given time,” said Syed. “Throughout the day, they're looking at what exactly is happening in their book of business every single day.”

So, what exactly are Customer Success Managers at Hubstaff looking at everyday? Product usage, feature usage, changes in MRR, opportune and at-risk indicators, and beyond.

“Vitally has something called opportunity and risk indicators. So essentially, if there is a risk that pops up on your account, meaning they're about to churn, or they're doing something like removing users, which is a negative, and is something that you should address, it automatically pops up a notification for you that there is a risk on the account,” said Syed. “On the flip side is the opportunity. If they're adding users or MRR is increasing, or they’ve upgraded to the annual plan, it automatically gives you that notification saying there's an upgrade potential or an upsell potential right here, which is what I really love. And my team really loves it because it's all shown in real-time every single day. They can just take a look at which accounts need the most attention or are in dire need of attention.”

Beyond indicators, there are quite a few other Vitally features that Syed really loves, namely reporting and dashboards.

“I like the dashboard. It's pinned literally to my browser,” said Syed. “Every single day I open it up and take a look at the NRR. I take a look at the emails being sent. I take a look at the contraction and the churn and the expansion… It’s my favorite piece of Vitally.”

However the one feature that Hubstaff gets the most benefit from is Vitally’s Customer Reporting feature.

“As a CSM, you are able to see all sorts of data—the number of accounts you have; if they're healthy, they're poor, they're concerning; you're able to see the expansion; you're able to see when new accounts were added to your your book of business; what kind of contraction you have; what kind of churn you have; what kind of net revenue retention (NRR) you have—so on and so forth. All of that information is there,” said Syed. “I think that feature is extremely powerful, to be able to have all that information, and of course to be able to filter that data out and slice and dice it in any way, shape, or form. I think it is the most powerful aspect of Vitally.”

But it’s not just Syed who is a Vitally fan, the rest of the team, new hires in particular, share a similar sentiment.

“So every single time I have a new hire come into our team, one of the things we do [during onboarding] is have them play around with Vitally. The words that come out are usually “Wow” followed by something that sounds more along the lines of, “this is probably the best thing I've ever seen’”, said Syed. “The amount of information that this platform has about our customers is just amazing. There is nothing else you could possibly want or need in a tool to be able to give you everything that you need to do your job as a Customer Success Manager. All of it is right there, from financials to interactions to email sent… everything and anything is pretty much in there to be able to do your job effectively as a CSM.”

As for the business value Hubstaff has seen since implementing Vitally, churn is the lowest it’s been in the past few months, and expansion is the highest it’s been. 

“We can see with the help of our Customer Success team and Vitally, the customers that we have are actually growing way faster than they're contracting or churning,” said Syed. “Churn is actually the lowest we've seen in the past few months, and our expansion is the highest we've seen in the past few months. Those small touches that we do through Vitally are vital to be able to reach out to our customers and showcase value.”

Why Hubstaff Recommends Vitally to Other Customer Success Teams

  • Onboarding support, and customer support in general, is second to none
  • Overall ease-of-use
  • Customer Success could not operate without it

So, would Hubstaff recommend Vitally? 

“I would recommend Vitally to anyone and everyone looking for a Customer Success platform, especially a robust one,” said Syed. “It's a one-stop-shop. Everything you need to run an effective Customer Success team, you can do that in Vitally.”

Syed points to the onboarding process and customer support as two areas where Vitally shines. 

“The folks are really responsive,” said Syed. “Anybody working in a customer-facing role knows that when you have a pain and it's really urgent, you need help stat. Vitally does that.”

As for the onboarding process…

“I think it's probably the best onboarding support that I've ever received from any of the SaaS tools that I've worked with in the past,” said Syed. “That pretty much tells you everything you want to know about a company, especially in such a fragile environment. We're dealing with our customers, and it's over 10 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) just under Customer Success’ belt.”

Syed further describes Vitally as a go-to tool for ant Customer Success team. 

“I just do not know how you can operate without a tool like Vitally,” said Syed. “I just do not know how you could effectively run a Customer Success team without having a tool as robust as Vitally.”

All in all, Syed is clear on where he stands when it comes to both using and recommending Vitally. 

“Let’s just say we're going to be renewing, and we don't plan on canceling anytime soon… a lot of our Success team—the way it runs and operates—is predicated on how Vitally works,” said Syed. “It’s ingrained into our Success playbook. That's the return on investment right there. The fact that we are able to retain our customers. We are able to predict when they might be churning… to be able to have a better understanding of what our customers are doing and the value that they are able to get out of Hubstaff.”

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