Aircall’s Louis Dumortier explains when to upgrade from HubSpot Calling. We explore real inbound and outbound examples of pre-call and post-call efficiency that create a better customer experience.
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Louis is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships for Aircall in North America. He has overseen the partnership with HubSpot for the better part of 3 years. That includes for example strengthening ties, identifying integration needs, and generating revenue through direct and marketplace referrals.
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Direct Transcription of Podcast
Greetings everyone, a very warm. Welcome back to another edition of the HubDo podcast, where we talk with software vendors, subject matter specialists, and end users who share real stories of how to do more on HubSpot. I'm your host, Pete Nichols. I'm coming to you from beautiful Copenhagen in Denmark, and I'm joined today by Louis Dumortier, who is, uh, from Aircall, uh, Louis, a very good day to you.
Where are you joining us from?
Hey Pete. Very good day to you as well. Thanks very much for having me. I'm calling in from actually cloudy, New York City, New York.
Well welcome, uh, for our listeners, Louis de Mortier is the manager of strategic partnerships in North America at Aircall. Louis is building and executing the go-to-market strategy with key partners as Aircall's primary growth channel Louis we're delighted to be one of those partners and we include Aircall on the HubDo marketplace so that people can do more on HubSpot. So we're gonna unpack that today. Our topic is called dialers or telephony providers, how to make the right call. So let's kick off with what types of customers are a great fit for Aircall and maybe who isn't a fit.
Yeah, absolutely. I think, uh, first when asking that question is it's important to look at the sort of the two different, um, the two different sectors. So industry and, and really com or, or persona, really. Uh, so when we look at the industry, we really tend to consider ourselves to be industry agnostic. Really? Any industry that's using telephony, right? If you're trying to make calls or receive calls, you're coming to the right place. Right. Naturally, I think being a telephony provider that can address those needs, um, some. Common industries or popular ones tend to be eCommerce, uh, SAS, health, and wellness, but you know, all the way down to real estate and, uh, construction, even manufacturing, it really depends on your needs.
When it comes to persona, we really tend to find, um, Customer facing teams to be our ideal customer profiles. So typically sales or support, but it could be somewhat different such as customer success or otherwise. Uh, but folks that are constantly interacting with either leads, contact, or some type of end-user on the B to C or B2B market, tend to be our, forte.
Great. Thanks for that. So it sounds like everybody's potential, uh, a great fit. Is there, um, anyone who may be Aircall would look at and think, well, maybe you don't quite a need Aircall, anyone fit that profile?
Yeah, that's a great question. I think it's important to really understand what the telephony needs are, right?
I think Aircall strengths are really being able to strengthen your tech stack by pushing data in and, uh, allowing you to best understand the interactions and the customer length of the customer life cycle. Um, and, and sharing that amongst all teams when relevant. Where it's less relevant is potentially those that don't need that information. Those that might not need to, um, interact with, uh, end users or with customers or leads or contacts such as, you know, the finance teams, HR teams, marketing teams, and such, um, those that tend to be very highly mobile as well. We definitely do have mobile applications. However, you know, when moving around, you don't necessarily are able to use or maximize on the value that Aircall provides, which is really coming from our integrations. If you're on your mobile device, yes you can make calls, and yes, that information can log to, uh, the different tools that you're using. However, it's more difficult to gain access to that information or use that information uh, when, when needing context before either receiving a call or making an outbound.
What about customer size? Uh, does it, uh, like for really small teams, if you've only got just a, a more handful of people, uh, using HubSpot, would it make sense in that situation?
Definitely. Um, we really pride ourselves on being the modern phone business, excuse me, the phone provider for modern business, uh, for small and medium-sized businesses.
We're not looking really to enter the Enterprise space, at least just yet. Uh, and so we're really focusing on small to medium businesses, which of course means some smaller teams. Uh, our wheelhouse really tends to be around the three to 300 user mark, uh, even a little bit above that as well, works very well, but, uh, typically what we tend to see most common is the three to 300user size as well. So that's not necessarily employee killed. It's really more. So users meeting those that would require, uh, an Aircall license or those that would be using the phone.
Right. So we're talking phone calls, uh, but, uh, let's go into the second question, which is really where people maybe, um, common, common misunderstandings, uh, around the telephony solutions. So what are the commonly misunderstood features or maybe mistakes that people make?
Um, could you clarify between mistakes between, uh, which types of tools
well, so I think if, uh, let's say someone rocks up and, uh, decides to, uh, add Aircall to their HubSpot implementation, but, uh, uh, maybe the clue is entitled of this session of dialers versus telephony providers, right? Because it's, is that an area that's commonly misunderstood?
Yeah, definitely. I think, um, dial telephony providers, telephony apps, right? They tend to be categorized and put into one bucket, which is phones, right? Making calls. They all, at the end of the day, do the same thing. It's supposed to empower conversations and connect two or multiple individuals together to engage in the conversation.
Now, there are very key differences though, between dialers and Telephony providers. And, and I wanna give my team a quick shout-out as well. We've talked about this in-depth for the past few years and, uh, in preparation for this conversation as well naturally. Um, and, and there are some key features that we wanted to highlight to really clearly differentiate between the two I'll start with what a dialer might be considered.
A dialer is oftentimes considered to be just that, right? Just a one-to-one dialing mechanism where one individual can call another. That's the end of the experience, perhaps there's the option to jot down some notes, perhaps there's the option to record the call and perhaps it's integrated into a tool, right? Let's use the HubSpot dialer as an example. It's a great option. Uh, it's a very affordable option as well for those that are looking for a basic one-to-one calling. When do you then graduate into a telephony provider? And that's really where you get to understand the key differences between dialers and telephony providers or telephony apps such as Aircall is in the features and the capabilities that you can then do with said features.
So let's just look at a few, uh, for one. Call routing capabilities, right? Having that inbound call routing options, whether it's an IVR, which is your, your menu options, right? The interactive voice responses, uh, whether you're smart routing, where you want to route to certain route calls to certain deal owners inside of HubSpot, for example, uh, user management, right? Setting business hours, uh, adding extensions, um, Creating and purchasing numbers as well is something that, um, is overlooked oftentimes, right? For companies that are scaling that are looking to go global, they would like to provide different phone numbers for different geographies. Right. That's something that can be done natively within the Aircall dashboard, for example, as opposed to being able to do so, um, with a dialler, such as the HubSpot dialler in this case.
Looking at multiple integrations as well on this path, of scalability. Right. Um, integrating with one tool is great, but where Aircall tries to position itself, um, as a telephony provider, which, which can't always be the case with the dialer is the ability to integrate with your entire tech stack.
Being the core of communications, uh, at the, at, at the core of your entire tech stack. And we briefly mentioned it. I briefly mentioned this earlier about the ICP, right, understanding the entire customer life cycle from presales to postsales to support and beyond. And if you have the same interaction tool or the same intellectually provider, You need to be able to have that context and to be able to see and understand the entire customer journey, right from pre-sales to post-sales and more often than not, you can only do that with a solution that integrates not only with your CRM, with your chat tool, uh, with your ticketing solution, with your data analytics dashboards.
Right? So being able to have all of that same data and the same context provided in all the different tools is extremely important.
The primary difference then between dialers and telephony providers, cause dialer sounds like a very sales, outbound calling tool, uh, as opposed to telephony provider, which is a, a whole of business support desk, um, maybe accounting, HR, all of that as a phone system that, uh, Aircall is a whole of business phone system, as opposed to a sales focused dialer. Would that be a fair comparison?
Yeah, I think that's a very fair comparison. I, I would say that, uh, a sales dialer could also even fit into a telephony provider.
Right? We have a dialer, ourselves that can also be used for, for outbound, uh, you know, sales calls and for teams that have, um, uh, high volume of outbound sales dialing. Now I think, I mean, I wouldn't put accounting necessarily into that mix right there. I don't know necessarily how much they're interacting over the phones. Maybe that's the case. And in which case, uh, it's lefty provider as a great option, but yes, it's that flexibility, right? It's the ability to use Aircall in, in multiple different types of use cases, uh, and, and integrate with all the different tools that, uh, one team might be.
Absolutely. I mean, you could have the accounting, uh, the team doing outbound dialing, just, uh, can we have our money, please? Your builder is overdue, but, uh, you know, if, if you need a phone system to optimize that, then you've got other problems. Um, let's go into the Aircall plus HubSpot conversation where HubSpot, you mentioned has some capability within that. There's some built-in ability, to dial out. So where does the balance tip of, um, where a business is fine to just use what's built into HubSpot, and then at what point you really order to look at adding on Aircall, what's the trigger?
Yeah. There are multiple triggers and there are really two ways that we could look at this. The first is looking at what the feature needs are right. And we've just listed a, a bunch of those out. I think they speak for themselves. It's, it's very, quite limited what you can do with a dialer. And if that suits your needs then excellent. Right, it tends to be a more affordable option. Uh, it's just not the most scalable option. It's just not the option that will provide, uh, the ability to, uh, you know, try new things and to improve on your processes. And that really brings me to, to my next point here is from what we've seen, the customers that we've worked with and, and who we've interacted with, it really seems that process should drive technology.
And not the other way around technology should not drive the process, understanding what you need, uh, what infrastructure and capabilities you might need to empower the people of your company to do their job best, to then best assist with your customers are really gonna be key to be able to, to grow your business.
I think ultimately what Aircall can provide is an ability to increase and maintain the lifetime value of your customers. If you use a tool its core is relatively, quite limited, right? As a dialer or one-to-one call your processes become limited and thus the ability to help, uh, your, your customers becomes limited as well.
Now, if you look at it the other way around and you implement a tool that has a wider variety of capabilities. So calling, but also SMS, you know, providing call context into all of your entire tech stack, uh, growing into a global, uh, environment as well, right? Aircall is a global company. We, we, we have customers all over the world.
We can provide phone numbers for over a hundred different countries as well. Um, these are all capabilities that a dialer might not necessarily have that can empower your team to then scale to grow the business and maximize value when it comes to their customers. Another one on top of that is also, um, you know, just coaching capabilities, right?
A dialer might not necessarily have the option, um, to, to have managers and leaders listen into calls and to, and to coach those calls, especially now, as we entering into a much more remote or, or hybrid work lifestyle. Having those monitoring capabilities is going to be extremely important and tools such as HubSpot's dialler in which case, uh, won't have features like that.
Yeah. I think you mentioned a few things. I've, I've used hub HubSpot's dialer, uh, quite a bit. Um, myself enough, I compare that to what you've described as Aircall. If I want multiple phones, phone numbers present in other countries to appear. Local then I've gotta go and get those phone numbers from, from somewhere else and then add them into HubSpot. That's not really part of HubSpot's setup, but it can support them and that's okay for dialing out. But, uh, if the customer then calls me back, HubSpot is oblivious to that it hasn't happened. So if I want the HubSpot CRM to know that customer's call will be back and log the two-way development of the relationship, uh, then I really need to be adding Aircall for that.
And you mentioned SMS, uh, as well. So there's no text capability in HubSpot at all. So soon as you hit that trigger, you've gotta start looking at add-ons. Could be a dedicated SMS addon, but if it's Aircall, then you've got the SMS as well. Those are sorts of things. I've, I've come across solving problems for people and needing to add the telephony solution.
Uh, maybe we should dive into some real examples here, Louie of, um, what do you think would be some great examples of the types of, um, or, or businesses specifically that you've helped where they had a problem until, uh, Aircall helped them to do more.
Yeah, absolutely. I think I'll take two different examples for two different use cases. Um, I'll look at one more inbound use case, then one more outbound. We'll start with the inbound. What's key, at least I think in today's industry and, and what we're seeing, having spoken to many of our customers today as well is that context. And I've said that a few times in this conversation already, and I'd like to take a deeper dive into what that means.
Receiving an inbound call, whether as an inbound sales line or, or in a supportive environment as well, because we tend to address the needs of a lot of support teams as well. Is understanding who's calling, uh, the history of, of that person's call history, um, and being able to address them and, and provide that personalized approach, right. Feeling heard and feeling, um, feeling like you're really being listened to is really key with customers these days. They expect to have that, that old school or rather traditional mom and pop shop interaction, right? Where with Aircall's, um, insights card capability and call ID, when an inbound call comes in, you're able to see who's calling based on, uh, that contact being inside of your HubSpot environment. So without naming names necessarily here, there's a, there's a, there's one company in particular that, uh, we know we've helped out with. They were using a more traditional, um, older school telephony provider. Uh, it was handheld devices. They didn't really have that flexibility in terms of knowing who's calling what the history looked like, or any sort of previous notes they may have left themselves. And what the experience would be like as a call comes. You answer the call and you have to say, hello, how may I help you as opposed to, Hey, Pete, how are you?
Right. It's a much different experience. It's a lot more powerful to be able to call up, uh, whoever you need support by and to be greeted by, by your first name. So that was, um, you know, a, a, a huge switch in, um, their customer satisfaction rates. And then also their SLAs in that they were able to take a lot more calls. And why, because once you receive that call, there's a lot more happening in the backend as well. The ticket is created automatically. You then leverage the option of using tags, which is a key feature as well, that isn't always available with, uh, with dialers, which are essentially sort of dispositions or labels that you can click, uh, when you're live on a call that can then trigger automation.
Right. So you can trigger workflows inside of HubSpot, for example. So this particular customer was not only, um, increasing their customer satisfaction rates, but they were also decreasing their SLA times by being able to answer calls more quickly and then log that information automatically. And at the click of the button, be able to send out emails or be able to send out reminders or, or text messages or whatever it really may be, um, to, to automate that, that post-call process, because the value isn't necessarily just of the interaction itself or even the pre-call process where you see that insights card, that caller ID pop up. It's also what you're able to do after the fact, right? We don't want that experience to stop there. We want Aircall to be able to interact, to be able to, uh, automate the post-call process as I've mentioned. And so that was a huge, huge game changer, for this company in particular.
Additionally, that comes with cost savings. Time is money as the saying goes. And so, um, being able to maximize the amount of time spent on the phones with the staff that they had on hand being able to speak to as many customers in the most personalized way possible. Uh, that's just a win-win for everybody.
To give quick other examples as well from maybe more of an outbound use case as well. And more of a sales approach is having the ability to use Aircall's Chrome extension. Our Chrome extension is essentially our native power dialler and that allows us to, uh, automatically dial calls outbound. So provides very similar capabilities to a lot of the dialers out there on the market as well.
And it's as simple as adding an extension to Chrome and it will identify any phone number on, um, on any webpage. So whether that be on a list that you might have inside of HubSpot, whether that be a, published Google sheet, for example, or a Google webpage, it doesn't really matter. You can leverage that capability to upload phone numbers automatically into the dialler and make um, make outbound calls automatically. Now I can provide a wide variety of different examples as to where that's, you know, benefited different customers. I think that explanation probably speaks for itself already. That is in essence already the value right there is being able to, um, to call many phone numbers, uh, outbound as efficiently as possible.
But again, that huge value there is that context and the personalization. So having access to the caller ID and the insights card is also available on outbound calls. And so the ability to have that context and to know who you're speaking to before, making that outbound call is, is key, right? Because. If you sound like an automated robot where you're not speaking, you're not addressing the person by their first name, or you have to spend three minutes in between calls to find the right point of contact of the account that you might be calling.
That can be a huge, huge experience differentiator for not only the individual calling but also the recipient on the other line.
Yeah, I think there's a great inbound and outbound example there cuz uh, um, particularly that's, uh, not knowing who dialing in cause uh, I was with a friend of mine has a business, uh, locally. And last week we were talking over coffee and, uh, he had a, a call came in, but he said, I'm sorry, I'll have to take this cause I'm, I'm not sure who it is now. It's, it's actually a customer that he had spoken to that morning, but that morning he had phoned the customer from his laptop. Uh, and when he then took the call, uh, he didn't have Aircall. He didn't have an app. So, uh, he kind of felt embarrassed that he hadn't added the customer into his phone, cuz he had his phone and had no way of telling him this is that same customer calling you back. So it's just that, um, small things, uh, I guess the ability to have, uh, knew exactly who he was answering the phone to and I've been in that situation, uh, before is just the tools supporting the human connection.
So that's the inbound examples for outbound clicking your way around websites because the browser is being enabled. You're on a LinkedIn profile. There's a phone number there, whatever that is that, uh, you could just hit that up straight away and save time.
Exactly, absolutely. I mean, to that first example, it's, it's, it's not great to hear that that happened, but great to hear that there are solutions. Right. And, uh, um, I think that's, that's a key example right there. Right. Having Aircall's automatic contact sync. Would've already had that phone number, um, in, in this gentleman's phone and, and been able to know exactly who's calling in. But to tie back again into the outbound case. Absolutely. Any phone number that you can see on a webpage, a LinkedIn, um, a Google webpage, uh, whatever CRM tool you might be using a click of the button uploads to the phone and you're making your outbound call and that will all log automatically in all your tools.
Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, and globally, as you mentioned you've got that presence around the world and the ability to offer up those local numbers that make it super easy to give that global feel to a company, even if the company isn't, uh, physically globally placed, I guess those real-life examples of, of how you've helped them, you have a lot of customers because I know Aircall is the most installed telephony solution on HubSpot's app marketplace. So there are plenty of examples and comments up there of people who have solved problems and done more using Aircall and HubSpot. Um, any final, last valuable tips or, or resources that you wanna highlight Louis for?
Yeah, definitely. I think, uh, just a couple things, really one we're very, very proud to announce that, uh, we are officially considered a strategic partner of HubSpot, which means that we're able to offer all of our customers a 20% discount on HubSpot.
That doesn't mean that they necessarily have to start on a paid plan. They can always, uh, start for free and, and, and upgrade using that or benefiting from that discount later on. Uh, so, uh, Pete, I think you'll probably be able to. Um, some, some a link or, or a landing page for folks to be able to access that.
So be on the lookout for that folks. Um, and then lastly as well, just, uh, maybe a quick shout out to HubSpot as well. You know, they have really been a terrific partner, uh, over the last several years. Uh, we're very blessed that they had a strategic investment in Aircall as well, which really strengthens, um, our partnership and really, uh, you know, emphasizes the impact that, uh, not only HubSpot has on Aircall, but that Aircall can have on HubSpot customers as.
Yeah. I think the strategic investment that HubSpot's just made in Aircall is super interesting because it kind of, for me resolves part of that question of, well, a HubSpot just looking at building all this capability into the product themselves, or do I need to add on other products here, you're extending the platform and, and HubSpot's really given that public vote by, uh, by putting the investment there into Aircall to keep that development strong and, uh, and the partnership going. So, uh, yes, the discount I'll have the information in the show notes. Thanks, Louis. Uh, people can see that in the notes for the episode. And I'll just say, Louis look, it's been an absolute pleasure talking with you today.
Thanks so much, I appreciate the time.
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