Proponents of the customer success revolution to speak at Inspirefest 2019

3 May 2019

Attendees arrive at Inspirefest 2018. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

‘Customer success’ is the spark behind a fundamental 21st-century business revolution.

The digitalisation of business introduced the mantra of customer success, and at Inspirefest 2019 key figures will reveal crucial insights.

Terms such as inbound, inside sales and customer success are actually quite new to the lexicon of business, but they are the heart of what some of the biggest digital companies – from HubSpot to Google, Slack and Facebook – are all about.

‘Even when we think about prioritisation or decision-making, the customer is the first point of reference’

At Inspirefest 2019, leading figures from companies such as Intercom, HubSpot and AIB will outline how the bridge between the customer and the business is now digital, and that the core focus of successful organisations is on customer retention and growing subscription-based revenues instead of squandering time and resources on once-off sales.

Hacking growth

Among the key speakers will be Intercom co-founder and chief strategy officer Des Traynor. Through its messaging platform, Intercom is on a mission to make internet business personal. Traynor helped launch Intercom in 2011, bringing messaging for sales, marketing and customer service to one platform, thereby helping companies of all sizes to grow faster by building personal relationships with customers.

“We wanted to replace this set of disconnected tools with one place where you could actually have a conversation with your customer, and that conversation would carry the context of who the user is, and it wouldn’t be grounded in a ‘this is sales’ or ‘this is support’ mode,” Traynor told in an interview more than a year ago.

Also speaking is Barbara McCarthy, director of engineering at HubSpot EMEA, who has built up a pure-play engineering team in Dublin, home to HubSpot’s European headquarters since 2013. HubSpot is a global inbound marketing and sales platform that is used by more than 48,000 businesses in more than 100 countries.

In a recent interview, McCarthy told that the customer success revolution is informing how the company engineers its products. “It’s so important. Our customers are everything to us. Everybody in the organisation puts the customer first, so, even when we think about prioritisation or decision-making, the customer is the first point of reference. The customer, the company, the team and me – and that’s the order in which we do everything.

“The main ethos of HubSpot is to ‘grow better’ and that’s to essentially help our customers to grow better. Engineers sit in on research sessions, they do empathy walk-throughs, so we are very customer-focused from an engineering perspective.”

The CIO of Irish bank AIB, Tim Hynes, who will also be speaking at Inspirefest, revealed how putting the customer first has shaped the bank’s digital journey and IT transformation. Hynes told recently how, while embracing omnichannel, AI and machine-learning technologies, the bank is placing a priority on backing the dreams and ambitions of its customers.

“While 95pc of engagement with customers is now digital, 64pc of our products are sold digitally and underpin what is sold in the branch,” Hynes said. “When people are making big financial decisions like mortgages, they still want to be able to look someone in the eye. We are all human beings, but even that level of engagement is heavily supported by digital. Everything we do, we put the customer at the centre.”

To appreciate how the customer success movement is permeating the world of big business, it would also be worth checking out Rafferty Jackson at Inspirefest.

Jackson, who has worked on product launches for the likes of Beats by Dre, helps shorten the distance to success for businesses and leaders by infusing design thinking and culture into organisational development and global business strategy. She built her diverse career through leadership roles at major market disrupters Beats by Dre, Vans, The North Face and Macromedia (Flash and Dreamweaver software). Now, she focuses on helping leaders and founders execute their goals through purpose-driven leadership and storytelling at Jack Industries.

So, if you are curious about the future of business, a future where the mantra of ‘customer success’ is key and the customer is always right, make sure to get along to Inspirefest 2019 to divine tomorrow.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event celebrating the point where science, technology and the arts collide. Tickets for Inspirefest 2019 are available now.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years