In today's episode of the Support Insights Podcast we talk to Ben Gardner, VP of Customer Support at Drift, about the recent initiative they've introduced that's taking their customer contact strategy to new levels - their customer community.
Ben will be taking us through how Drift's customer community is allowing them to offer pro-active support that gets every department involved in customer centricity and knowledge sharing.
We'll be discussing what exactly makes up this customer community and the effects on retention and product adoption that Ben is hoping to see in the coming months as a result.
Plus, hear Ben's advice on how to unify different departments in your organization around the central goal of customer centricity, and how this will help your overall business goals in the long-run.
Watch the full episode, or read the highlights below 👇
What are the different facets that make up the customer community?
Some of the key areas that make up the customer community at Drift include their forum, knowledge centre, product releases, events and webinars and the customer academy. Each component of the community is fed into by different areas of the business to ensure it's kept up to date and brimming with valuable information.
The forum is the area customers can ask questions and have discussions on anything and everything relating to Drift's product. The internal teams can weigh in here and even pose their own questions, but it's a great place for customers to learn from each other's real like experiences.
The next aspect, the knowledge center, contains very focused information on different topics. The knowledge centre will offer very specific answers to questions to guide customers through solving their product query.
Drift's product team also send out release notes in the customers community, so that customers can see what's coming up and get excited about new features.
Events and webinars are where different teams at Drift come together to give customers unfiltered access to answers on anything and everything that they want to know. This could be understanding more about a feature of the product or finding out what an SDR's day looks like using Drift.
If I am a customer and I land in the community and I search a term, it's gonna bring up information across the entire community. So if there was a webinar on it, If there was documentation on it, if there's training on it, it will pull up that information. So it's like a one-stop shop where they can get all the information they need.
What is the early impact on customers looking like so far?
Since launching the community in April, Ben's team have been tracking a steady increase in community engagement and an uptake in people viewing the various materials.
The next measure of success is going to be in tracking customer health scores in comparison to community involvement to identify a measurable correlation between the community and potential retention/expansion.
Measurable factors will be things like product adoption utilization of more features and seat expansion, but these measures will come once there's a bigger sample size to review.
We have seen that some customers that are in there that are seeing the most value out of Drift are some of the biggest spokespeople or cheerleaders for it and just really love the product. They're also the same people that are in the community sharing information, asking each other questions. So I think from a benefit perspective, we're already seeing that if they're champions internally across their organization, chances are they're gonna be champions just of the product itself.
Ben mentioned that they have already seen a higher number of views in the new customer community than they used to see in the previous knowledge center and they're hoping to soon see a knock on effect in metrics like ticket volumes as a result.
What are you hoping to achieve with the customer community?
The biggest thing is we want our customers to see value from Drift. And so that's gonna come from a couple different areas that we're hoping to look to get is product adoption. So just in general, we should see hopefully an increase in the number of users in the platform, the different features that they're using.
As Ben points out, the more successful customers are, the more successful the organization is. So ensuring that customers are getting maximum product value and maximum ROI is only going to lead to happier customers and ultimately more revenue for the business.
In addition to contributing to business success, the community will also act as an ear to the ground for different departments in the organization, who will be able to monitor what conversations are happening in forums, what knowledge center articles are being viewed the most and which product releases are getting the most engagement. These insights will help Ben's team to keep on adding the most valuable materials to the community, Marketing teams to put on the most relevant webinars and Product teams to inform their strategies.
What advice do you have for support teams looking to start their own customer community?
I would say the number one thing is get buy-in across your entire organization. You need everyone's involvement in their buy-in because it's gonna be really hard to set up and manage if it's just one department owning it.
Start with 'What is the value to the customer?', What is the value to all of your internal stakeholders? When you have that information, then you can start creating.
Reach out to Ben on LinkedIn to learn more about his tips on creating a customer community!
Music: Savour The Moment by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com
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- In the next 5 years, customer experience is 45% of companies top priority.
- Investing in CX initiatives has the potential to double your revenue within 36 months.
- 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.