Case Study: ILHM Customer Support Operations



The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) is a career development organization that helps real estate professionals acquire the knowledge and skills to work with upper-tier clients and luxury properties.

The Challenge

 Historically, ILHM’s customer support team had been operating without formalized workflows. 

Despite the team’s singular goal of solving the customer’s problem, processes varied widely from representative to representative. The lack of coordination created inefficiencies in tracking and reporting, and hampered efforts to provide timely assistance.

We identified four key customer support functionalities that would need to be addressed:

  1. Enable individual CSRs to track their support requests more thoroughly and efficiently
  2. Ensure that contacts who submitted a support request email had accounts created within ILHM’s CRM
  3. Allow CSRs to quickly and easily create tickets and associate them with the respective contact account in the CRM
  4. Empower ILHM management to access and analyze support issues as they relate to the brand’s various products and membership tiers

The Solution

 We decided that HubSpot’s Service Hub would be the best product to build uniform processes, unite customer support with the client’s CRM, and provide functional reporting capabilities for ILHM.

Here’s what we did:

  • Built a ticketing system to allow CSRs to track and manage support requests. This involved creating four “Ticket Pipelines” that would help CSRs manage issues relating to different products or membership tiers.
  • Created custom ticket property fields. Being able to customize and categorize ticket details allows for more granular ticket-level reporting.
  • Bridged the process gap between email creation, ticket creation, and ticket management. This was the biggest hurdle in the project, as ILHM’s support email addresses were created as email aliases which are not compatible with HubSpot’s Conversations tool. 

Additionally, One of the support email aliases was receiving high volumes of spam. We needed to ensure that contacts with actual support requests would generate a corresponding CRM record, and keep incoming spam from generating invalid CRM accounts.

We explored two workarounds to overcome the issues with ILHM’s email aliases. One was to use the HubSpot support inbox as a forwarding address for all support requests. After some testing, we found that this method was hindered by the volume of spam coming through ILHM’s support email address.

Ultimately, we decided to use HubSpot’s sales plugin to link Outlook and HubSpot Service Hub. With the plugin installed, contacts would only be generated in the CRM when a CSR actually responded to an email. From there, CSRs could create and associate tickets with minimal time and effort.

The Results

ILHM now has a fully integrated customer service process. Tickets are customizable, trackable, and linked with corresponding CRM records. Additionally, reliable and detailed dashboard reporting is enabled, allowing management to oversee efficiency, spot service issues, and assess productivity.

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