Interview: HubSpot's Sarah McDevitt on working from home, team communication, and useful tools at this time

Businesses face a rocky future in the wake of COVID-19. We sat down with HubSpot's Sarah McDevitt to discuss working from home, and the challenges of this.

Picture of Alex Martin Alex Martin

Published: 13 May 2020

10 minutes read

Interview: HubSpot's Sarah McDevitt on WFH, teamwork, and more.

This week, our resident BDM Jack Williams got the chance to chat to Sarah McDevitt, HubSpot’s Head of Partner Services and Customer Onboarding EMEA. Working with HubSpot partners, as well as direct HubSpot customers, Jack caught up with her to chat about the pros and cons of moving to a completely remote way of working, as well as how to keep up team communication during these trying times. Check out the video for their chat!  


Key takeaways for marketers

The hardest part of working from home? Being away from your team. 

Both Jack and Sarah agree - not having the human interaction you normally would in the workplace is definitely the most difficult part of moving to a home-working environment. Maintaining a human connection with colleagues through a computer screen can prove difficult, which is why regular activities like team quizzes, lunchtime Zoom catch-ups, and even the occasional bingo night can make all the difference.  

WFH is highlighting the importance of video - now more than ever. 

“People sometimes mistake that they need a physical human connection in a meeting room - what you actually need, far more than anything is eye contact, because you need to be able to pick up those nuances in conversation.” (Sarah) 

Does working from home signify the end of the physical meeting as we know it? Marketers have been banging on about the importance of video for a few years now, but now more than ever we’re seeing how it can help to carry on communicating efficiently, even through a screen. 

There’s never been a better time to rethink the online tools that you’re using to communicate with customers

“More and more consumers are being driven online with no choice, let’s face it, and it’s important that companies meet them however they come in contact with them.’ (Sarah)

With customers wanting answers now, instead of later, there’s been a rise in customer service communications like chatbots, ticketing, and traditional channels like phone calls. If you’re not engaging with customers ASAP on their preferred channels, you aren’t providing them with the support they need. 

Chatbots are essential in dealing with customer queries, and can have a serious impact on the efficiency and productivity of your customer service team. Jack notes: 

“We’ve definitely found an increase in enquiries asking about bots and live chat … one of our customers [has] quite a large dedicated customer support team. Now that team now operates remotely, and around 80% of the enquiries they used to receive came through the phone … we implemented a bot, which categorises the type of ticket and the enquiry that they’ve got, then divvys them out to the relevant support reps through the live chat feature. That has dramatically changed the way that they’re handling enquiries now.” (Jack) 

Plan for the future by investing in your online presence 

“This is an opportunity for businesses to dip their toe, for sure, into the online world, but make sure that they’re creating a benchmark and an opportunity for customers to feed back to them in real time, so that they can adjust when they need to.”(Sarah)

In the wake of a global pandemic, thousands of companies are seeing the need to ‘get online’, more than ever before. With the modern consumer turning their attention online to find the products and services they need, a future-focused business needs to rethink their strategy. Sarah highlights the importance of customer feedback, and using this to grow and adapt in terms of what your customer base wants and needs. Feedback is absolutely instrumental in developing and scaling your business, and allowing your customers to have their own voice can provide ideas that you had never previously considered. 

By getting online, and listening to your customers, you can begin to navigate the uncertain times that we live in, while providing the best possible customer experience. Plenty of businesses will seemingly go back to normal once this period of time has passed, but many more will have dramatically shifted the way that they do business. This isn’t a bad thing - working alongside your team, and your customers, is a sure-fire way to adapt and provide flexible solutions for the future, boosting business growth in the long-term. 

It's essential, now more than ever, to have a strategy in place. For this reason, we've created a free digital marketing pack, complete with strategy planner, content calendar and more to ensure that your marketing is organised and bringing in leads in the future. Download it for free below! 

free download


Kickstart your digital marketing journey with our free bundle.