In the few months since we implemented Drift and began tailoring our playbooks to AccessPay-specific scenarios, our chatbot has quickly become our most valuable lead generation channel. It now drives half of our inbound opportunities. Even more impressive, it delivers that kind of performance while simultaneously delivering a superior customer experience that makes it quick and easy for people to get the information they need.
At AccessPay, we’re all about quick and easy. It’s a big part of why people love our middleware, which makes it simple to securely connect business back-office systems to more than 11,000 banks and other payment schemes. The truth is that everyone likes things to be quick and easy, including not only using software, but also buying that software.
We use a variety of channels for lead generation, including SEO, referral sites, PPC, and really strong content on our blog. We had also tried using chat on our website, but the initial solution we chose didn’t work out because it was difficult for salespeople to use, didn’t allow for easy routing, and didn’t integrate well with Salesforce. Thankfully, our leadership team decided to give chat another try, and after exploring a variety of options, they made the decision to implement Drift. It was the solution most closely aligned with and equipped to handle our primary objective of capturing leads so we could turn them into meetings and then revenue.
A multi-prong strategy that leverages chat’s many strengths
In our second time around launching chat for our website, we used a variety of strategies to ensure we were getting the most out of the opportunity. We were also careful to keep an open mind to learning as we went and adapting along the way. Like a conversation, implementing chat successfully requires some back and forth. You listen, and you learn, and you get a little better each time.
Our initial Drift setup was very simple. We started out using one generic playbook, which leaned heavily on the Drift sample playbook, across our entire website. It didn’t take long, however, for us to start evolving that approach to include AccessPay-specific playbooks tailored to complement our core product pages. The customized playbooks help us determine a visitor’s precise interests relative to our different products. By suggesting different content pertaining to specific finance roles, levels of seniority, and so forth, we can collect useful data and route to specific people on our sales team.
Based on engagement and results, we learned quickly that it’s important to adapt your playbooks based on the page a visitor is on and what you’d like that visitor to do. We found that the bot buttons are an exceptionally helpful way to easily direct people along a specific journey right from the start. They are clear and flexible, and they give visitors a super simple way to jump into the conversation.
With each adjustment and adaptation, we learn something new and are able to apply those learning to optimize our chat conversations. For example, early on we required visitors to provide personal details (name and email) before we passed them to a rep. Because this seemed to be a deterrent to engagement, we switched it up so people can now speak directly with a rep without providing that information. This decision to make the chat channel more “open” does increase the quantity of general, non-sales inquiries; but it also increases the volume of viable inquiries. It’s a bit of a give and take, and you have to find the right balance through experimentation.
Working with the SDR team
One of the biggest challenges that comes with implementing chat is getting internal sales teams on board. Salespeople sometimes perceive the addition of a chatbot as extra work or even a threat to their ability to sell. In our case, there was some of this, but we were also dealing with the issue that, before we adopted Drift, our SDR team wasn’t really incentivized to handle inbound leads.
Drift gave us a great opportunity to bring our marketing and sales organizations together. Our SDR team now loves that they can hop on Drift and qualify people right in a chat. Drift allows them to get some of their pipeline going and book demos with the field sales reps quickly and easily. It really works for everyone, and all our teams are happy.
To ensure that we keep everyone happy, I work closely with our SDR team to filter out chat conversations that would be a waste of their time. Our non-sales conversations fall into three main categories: success/support, recruitment, and general information. To handle the first two categories, we have given the relevant internal teams access to Drift and their own playbooks. This ensures that those inquiries go straight to the people who own those functions. Our general information inquiries come from people who are interested in the overall industry. These people have broad questions about FinTech, as well as upcoming changes to financial regulations and standards; but they are not potential customers. To head these kinds of conversations off at the pass, we’ve built bot flows that address the non-sales questions either by providing relevant information or referring the visitor to more appropriate resources. This keeps our SDRs focused on viable conversations.
Combining with other channels
Another really strong strategy we’re using is combining Drift chat with other channels. We do a substantial amount of PPC, and we have implemented Drift on our paid search landing pages as an alternative to a traditional form. Already, we’re seeing a clear trend that many people prefer engaging via chat to filling out the form.
Poor integrations were one of the reasons our old chat solution wasn’t working for us. Like most businesses, we use a lot of different tools, and we need them all to work well together. Drift’s Salesforce integration is incredibly useful because you can go into Drift and easily see how much pipeline chat has actually contributed and how many opportunities it has created. It’s absolutely brilliant.
And Drift integrations aren’t just for sales. We have also integrated Drift with Zendesk as part of our customer engagement initiative. Setting our support team up with Drift licenses ensures that our website serves our customers as well as it serves our prospects. Drift helps us provide fast and easy customer access to our support staff, upgrades, FAQs, and even ticket creation.
Results that impressed my Director and CEO
Overall, the entire AccessPay team is very happy with Drift. And as the primary user and admin, I love the integration capabilities and the fact that Drift delivers insights that make it easy to prove the value of what you’re doing.
Case in point, our CEO came into the office one day and said he wasn’t too sure about the “Drift thing” because he couldn’t see the value of it. I was able to open our opportunities report in Salesforce and – because of the tight integration – instantly show him just how many opportunities had come in through Drift. It was half of our inbound opportunities for that quarter, which makes Drift far and away our most valuable channel. My CEO didn’t have any further questions.
At the moment, I’m adding a new layer of reporting that will make it even easier for us to see exactly where and how Drift is powering up our lead gen efforts. Despite Drift’s integration capabilities, it’s currently now always immediately obvious where a lead came from because of the way we report on attribution. Once I’ve made adjustments, we’ll be that much more clear on Drift’s actual impact.
In general, we’re finding that people convert much better via Drift than on traditional forms, on the phone, or via any of the other ways we offer them to connect with us. The transition was pretty quick. It wasn’t long after we’d implemented Drift that my boss came to me with concerns about a dramatic decrease in form fills on the website. I was delighted to be able to hop onto Drift and put him at ease by showing him that while – yes – form fills were down, conversations in Drift were up 95%. Visitors just prefer chatting to filling out a form and having to wait two days for someone to respond. Again, my director didn’t have any further questions.
An expanding world of use cases for our entire organization
Based on the tangible results we’ve already achieved and the market trends in how people are buying software, I believe that Drift is the future of our website and our entire customer experience. Overall, Drift delivers a better experience for our prospects and our customers, while making it easier for our internal teams – sales, customer support, and account management – to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
And, as I said before, Drift enables an endless opportunity for learning and optimization. I went through both of Drift’s certification classes – Conversational Marketing and Conversational Sales – both of which were immensely informative and provided a lot of great ideas that we can apply to our own business.
That training combined with what I learn using Drift every day helps me continue to make Drift a more valuable channel for our organization. Drift gives me a great deal of visibility into exactly what’s working and what’s not, which makes it easy for me to optimize on the fly. As I optimize playbooks, I see large corresponding increases in the number of Drift-driven opportunities, which means that I’m actually able to influence business outcomes. That’s the direct power of Drift at work, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much more we can accomplish.
Kasia Bargielowski-Foster is the Digital Marketing Lead at AccessPay.