Sea of Knowledge

HubSpot’s Service Hub: What is it, and why should you use it?

If you’ve ever worked in customer-facing roles, you know just how complex customer service is. And with good reason, as customer service reps usually only hear from customers when things are going wrong. 

By the time a customer reaches out with an issue, tensions are high, and expectations are higher. So, a poor customer service experience only makes matters worse. In fact, one of the most common complaints from SaaS users is the inability to connect with a human for support, followed by the inability to solve the issue in the first call. So much so that First Call Resolution (aka FCR) is a golden standard of customer service.

High-quality customer service is essential for your business to build long-lasting relationships with customers and earn brand evangelists. And Service Hub is HubSpot’s tool designed to enable your CS team to excel. But what is it exactly?

What is Service Hub

The HubSpot ecosystem functions based on the inbound methodology, which encompasses a user’s every interaction with your company from before they’re a paying customer to the post-purchase stage through what HubSpot calls the Flywheel — a circular model that expands the customer experience beyond the sales funnel.


Put simply, the stages of the Flywheel include Attract (marketing), Engage (sales), and Delight (customer service).

Service Hub is HubSpot’s product for managing the customer service phase of your operations. It includes both behind-the-scenes features (CRM functionality, reporting, and more) and front-facing features like chat, email support, and a knowledge base so your team can provide seamless customer service all through your buyer’s journey from one platform.

As with anything HubSpot, Service Hub is loaded with automations and easily scalable features to enable your team to grow without extra resources or steep learning curves.

How to Use HubSpot’s Service Hub

Now, if you want a taste of the power of Service Hub, you don’t have to commit straight away. Service Hub is part of HubSpot’s product suite. And, just like the Sales and Marketing Hub, there are different tiers for Service Hub

Companies can sign up for the free version with limited functionality and work their way up to the Professional or Enterprise plans as they uncover new features and applications for the software. 

Here’s a look at what each tier of Service Hub includes:

Free Plan

Service Hub’s free plan includes basic access to tools like contact management, tickets (including tickets closed reports), live chat, and chatbots. 

You can leverage Service Hub alongside your CRM and track contacts’ interactions from a single place. This means that your customer service reps know everything from the customer’s first touch point up to the latest request they submitted.

Next, the Free Plan enables access to a key feature — Tickets. A Ticket is simply a submission by one of your customers asking for help. Use them to keep everyone on the same page regarding customers’ status within a workflow and a clear picture of who needs to do what next.

And finally, use the reporting feature to find tickets by status, source, type, response time, and more. This reporting feature is essential for finding customer service trends, common issues your customers are facing, and even internal areas of improvement.

Starter Plan

The Starter Plan includes everything in the Free tier, with the addition of simple automations, multiple pipelines and currencies, conversation routing, and calling SDK — a fancy way of saying you can call customers directly from HubSpot.

Ticket automations are a great way to simplify your customer service. For example, you can set it up so that tickets automatically change status based on incoming or outgoing emails, so your reps don’t miss a thing. You can also create workflows to manage progress and make reporting easier.

Professional Plan

The Professional Plan is a level up from Starter — and it includes Help Desk automation. This helpful feature creates a Ticket any time someone submits a request and assigns it to your reps based on aspects like priority and reps’ pipelines.

Another valuable feature in this plan is the knowledge base tool — a one-stop shop for your team to compile answers to the most common questions and issues your customers face. If you’ve ever googled a HubSpot how-to and found their knowledge base ranking in the search results, you’re already familiar with how powerful this tool is — so it’s worth considering adopting it in your organization.

Next, manage your SLAs so that team and customers have clear expectations and every issue is resolved properly.

Additionally, HubSpot recently added playbooks to their Professional plan! With playbooks, your team can access how-to and process documentation directly from HubSpot to walk them through the trickiest of customer challenges right in HubSpot.

And rounding up the Professional Plan, there’s a customer portal feature perfect for enabling customers to find the timely answers they need to keep enjoying your services. 

Enterprise Plan

Last but certainly not least, the Enterprise Plan includes the tools to manage your growing team (with hierarchies, permission sets, and field-level permissions). You can also customize your processes with custom objects, calculated properties, and record customization. And you can leverage growth-oriented tools, including goal setting and conversation intelligence.

Ready to geek out? Conversation intelligence is one of the most remarkable features you can get for a CRM/customer service tool. Why? HubSpot’s conversation intelligence uses AI to take notes during your team’s calls, which is priceless for getting a deeper understanding of your customers’ journey and business or industry trends. Use conversation intelligence to find your most-named competitors among your prospects or customers and understand their biggest pain points or objections. And use this knowledge to improve your processes and drive your product, marketing, and sales.

An in-depth look at Service Hub’s Key Features

Knowledge Base

What is it, and why would you want it:

A knowledge base is a resource library where your customers can find the most common questions and DIY a solution to the issue they’re facing. Your knowledge base can cut back on customers’ requests because it answers all of the questions that your sales & service teams answer 10x a day in one location that’s easy to find and navigate without a rep’s involvement.

Plus, a knowledge base is a valuable asset to increase your SEO ranking by following the They Ask You Answer framework. It positions you as the knowledge source for your industry (in more ways than just your blog!).

How to do it: 

Creating a HubSpot Knowledge Base is just as easy as creating a Blog in HubSpot. You simply add a new article, create content (with links, images, call-outs, and more) and publish.


What is it, and why would you want it:

A Ticket is a request one of your customers makes when something goes wrong. Many companies, especially in tech, do the same process manually — creating a task within their PM tool to track bugs or users’ reports. 

Instead, you can consolidate your task management and CRM all in one platform. Manage customer requests directly from the customer record in HubSpot and eliminate the need to go back and forth between your CRM and PM tool.

How to do it:

Tickets in HubSpot are managed just like deals. You can have multiple pipelines, view them in Kanban or list format, use assignment rules & workflows to manage progression, and more.

HubSpot associates Tickets to the relevant contact & company records, which keeps your team on the same page — further improving alignment between marketing, sales, and customer service!


What is it, and why would you want it:

Picture this: A customer contacts your team about an issue, and one rep gets the email. When someone else needs to step in, the original rep CC’s them individually. This goes on until, suddenly, the email thread is filled with CC’d teammates, and your customer is still awaiting an answer.

Conversations are HubSpot’s way to remove unnecessary friction from the customer communication process. With this feature, your customer communications are all routed to the same place in real-time. 

Your team can communicate via private comments in HubSpot until the right person is found for the answer and respond directly to the customer's email in one thread. All customer conversations are logged in one place, the full team is able to react quickly (to accommodate for vacation, turnover, coverage, etc.), and the customer gets a response quickly.

How to do it:

Easy as pie. Customers can message in using their email or a chatbot. Once a chat has started, the team can communicate back using the shared inbox. You can privately @ mention team members easily and respond right away. 

When a new conversation comes in, you can customize alerts for the team or use Workflows to customize even further (think — Slack notifications!). You can even set up inbox rules to have emails from certain inboxes forwarded to the shared inbox to clean up your inbox even further.

Customer portal

What is it, and why would you want it:

If you’re emailing back and forth with your customers’ companies, there are a few things that can go wrong. First, something can fall through the cracks as different reps on your side or different teammates on your customers’ sides engage separately. Second, it takes a lot of time to troubleshoot this way. And third, it’s simply not a fun part of your customers’ day.

You want the customer service experience to be seamless and quick. And Customer Portals allow you to do just that. A Customer Portal is a branded portal your customers can log into to find all the information they need in a single place. 

How to do it:

Once the customer starts a conversation (by chatting with a bot on your site, submitting a support form, or emailing your service inbox), they can see all active issues from the Customer Portal, which has a login associated with it so your customers can access it securely.

Internally, your team can use the Customer Portal to see all of the questions (or, in Service Hub, tickets) their team has submitted. And you can communicate with the customer OR use private, internal messages to help find a resolution fast.

Feedback Surveys

What is it, and why would you want it:

Left unprompted, most satisfied customers simply won’t say anything about their work with you. But customer feedback is crucial for improving your services and measuring your impacts. HubSpot knows this — which is why the Feedback Survey tool is included in Service Hub. 

How to do it:

With the Feedback Survey, use email or chat-based surveys to collect feedback at every stage of the customer lifecycle. This makes it easy for your customers to provide feedback.

Responses are stored directly on the customer & company record in HubSpot and can be used for reporting or triggering actions like tasks and emails to customers! One way to use this data is to define KPIs for your CS team and uncover growth opportunities within your customer journey. Additionally, filter lists and personalize communications to your neutral customers, promoters, or detractors.

To start, create feedback surveys for NPS (Net Promoter Score), CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), or custom surveys and easily trigger them using workflows or custom criteria. 

Using Feedback Surveys is as easy as building a survey and creating an Active List in HubSpot!

Adding HubSpot Service Hub is easy!

With Coastal Consulting, setting up Service Hub is easy as can be. Our team partners with you to configure your shared inbox, build guidelines for your knowledge base, set up your ticket pipelines & automation, add chatbots to your website, and tie any loose ends. So you’re up and running with Service Hub in a month or less. 

If you’re ready to harness the power of Service Hub, book a consultation, and let’s chat about it!