Iliyana's Blog

Using the Customer Code to Grow Better

[fa icon="calendar"] 02-Oct-2018 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

the 10 key tenets of the customer code by HubSpot

At HubSpot, one of our key principles is SFTC which stands for Solve For The Customer. 

Why do we believe in this?

Because we know that if you focus on your customers, your business will grow better in a much more remarkable and sustainable way.

But truly walking the talk is difficult. 

Not just satisfying but delighting customers is only possible when you have a company culture that puts the customer first through action. 

And you can't just have a department trying to push for this. A customer-first mentality needs to sit on top of the entire flywheel so that you can truly grow better

Such a mentality recognises that the customer experience doesn't start when a customer purchases and doesn't end when they stop buying or cancel. The customer experience starts with the customer's very first contact with you and never really ends. 

During his #INBOUND18 keynote, our Founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah truly nailed this point. 

In addition to introducing The Customer Code (see below), Dharmesh shared some research stats that you need to pay attention to as you are designing your marketing, PR or any communications strategies and plans: 

  • 85% of customers lower their opinion of a company if they get an unwanted outreach from that company. 
  • 75% of customers look for an alternative if a company doesn't have pricing information on their website.
  • 69% of customers won't buy from a company whose pricing is confusing. 
  • 89% of customers say that if a company makes it easy and simple to cancel, they are more likely to buy. 

Watch Dharmesh' talk here (it's quite entertaining!): 

In his talk, Dharmesh outlines five of the key tenets of our newly launched Customer Code.  

In essence, The Customer Code outlines a shared set of principles and beliefs on how to build a company that customers love. 

The 8 Key Tenets of the Customer Code: 

#1 Earn my attention, don't steal it.

Your time is precious. So is your customer's. Give them something they'll value before you take up their time.

#2 Treat me like a person, not a persona.

It's fine to market to a persona, but you build relationships with a person. Be prepared to interact with them how, where, and when they want.

#3 Solve for my success, not your systems.

Don't make your process your customer's problem. They care more about their own problems than your departments.

#4 Use my data, but don't abuse it.

Your customers shouldn't be in a relationship with someone who doesn't remember their name. Give them a personalized experience, but don't sell them out (or creep them out).

#5 Ask for feedback, and act on it.

No one knows your customer experience better than your customers. Ask them how you can improve — and do it.

#6 Own your screw-ups.

Everyone makes mistakes. It's how you deal with them that sets you apart. Say you're sorry, be sorry, and make it better.

#7 Help me help you, by helping myself.

Your customers know what they need. Give them ways to answer their own questions and solve their own problems.

#8 I don't mind paying, but I do mind being played.

Customers shouldn't need a math degree to figure out their bill. Keep your pricing open, clear, and fair.

#9 Don't block the exit.

You make signing up so easy. Don’t make leaving so hard.

#10 Do the right thing, even when it's hard.

Especially when it's hard. What you do defines your company's destiny.


Take a look at the entire Customer Code here: 


Here's a CTA for you: grade your company on how you are doing against your customer focus using this framework and share your results in the comments below! 

How are you scoring against the Customer Code? 


Topics: Marketing, Brands and Business

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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