4 Reasons Customers Quit Drift in 2017

Yup, that’s right…you didn’t read this wrong. We’re talking about customers who cancel, churn, leave, and say good-bye to Drift. Are we nuts to write about this? Maybe…but it’s something we talk about inside of Drift a lot.

Our mantra at Drift is “always be learning,” and part of my job is to learn why customers cancel their subscriptions with us, and what we as a company can do better. After another recent conversation with Drift’s head of marketing Dave Gerhardt about why customers leave the question came up:

Why are we keeping this to ourselves?

At the end of the day, we’re trying to create a different type of company at Drift, one that embraces customers and transparency. We talk a lot about this, and what better way to show that we mean it than, well, by putting it all out there?

Moving forward, we want to start putting our findings and learnings out into the universe of our customers (and future customers) to provide better transparency into the themes and direct pieces of feedback we see and receive.

We also want to provide some detail around what we’re doing, and how we can help close the gap between customers who see success with Drift, and those who don’t. I’ve dug a TON into what we heard from customers who left Drift in 2017…here’s what’s on their minds:

1) What we heard: “My target audience is not the right fit for Drift.”

What we’re doing about it:

We heard this from a few customers in November, who told us their industry or target audience wasn’t receptive to messaging or bots. One customer told me, “Bots are creepy!” Yikes…but she wasn’t wrong. I agree, they can be creepy if we don’t support you in getting bots set up in a way that makes sense for your target audience.

As a CSM team, we’re making adjustments to our launch strategy with new customers, so we can spend more time at the very beginning of partnering with you to learn about the type of customers you are looking to attract, and to help you customize your setup of Drift.  We’re going to fix this, and spend more time making sure this is nailed early. If you are an existing customer and need help with this, reach out to me directly and we’ll get you on track.

2) What we heard: “The timing wasn’t right. We didn’t have the resources/bandwidth to make Drift work.”

What we’re doing about it:

We’ve learned a few things from this theme. First, we need to make sure you are ready to not only buy Drift, but to invest in the time needed to get set up and to drive adoption of the tools within your sales teams. We have a close relationship with our partners on the Drift sales team, and this is something we are going to continue to work on to ensure we’re practicing what we preach and qualifying customers. We don’t want to bring on a customer who isn’t ready. Period.

The second piece here is that we want to do a better job helping our customers drive the adoption of Drift across their organizations. We can help much more here by partnering across your sales and marketing teams on setting and working toward shared goals. We’re going to drive training with the CSM team in December on this exact motion. Thanks for the feedback.

3) What we heard: “I’m not not seeing enough lead volume for Drift to work for me.”

What we’re doing about it:

A common concern we hear from marketers who are looking to convert qualified leads is that they don’t yet generate enough of the right traffic for lead capture tools to work. So we want to proactively support customers who are looking to increase the qualified traffic to their site.

We’re in the process of putting together a piece of content we’ll share here and on help.drift.com called “How to Drive More Conversation-Qualified Leads.” (Stay tuned, it will be posted soon!)

If there is interest, the CSM team is also happy to put together a webinar on this topic. Please comment and let us know if that is something you’d like to see : )

4) What we heard: “Please, do a better job telling us how to make Drift work for our business.”

What we’re doing about it:

100%. We couldn’t agree more. We need to make this happen for our customers. Once you buy Drift, we see the role of a CSM as being one-part coach, one-part guide. With that comes strategic support and direction as you adopt Drift and make it work for your industry. We are creating a stronger structure to drive this in 2018. We are also going to partner with marketing in the new year to provide more customer examples and stories. Who doesn’t love seeing how it’s been done?

Final Thought: Thank You

We’re growing, we’re hyper-growing, and that doesn’t come without warts. We earn customer confidence through a great experience with Drift’s people and products, and all of this feedback is a kick-in-the-butt reminder to remain relentless on making sure those experiences happen every day.

Thank you for keeping us humble and focused. We have work to do to get better, and your honest (even if it stings) feedback gets us there. Keep it coming. #radicalcandoralldaylong

If you are an existing customer (or former customer) and want to share feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via my Drift profile or on Twitter @jalicedev.

ALSO. Starting this month we are launching our Customer Alumni Facebook Group, as a way to keep in touch with our community of former customers to continue to learn more about what we can do to improve, and to keep the community up to date with updates we make to our product and process. If you’ve recently parted ways with us, look for an invite today. For those of you who told us the timing wasn’t right (so long for now!), we’d love to opportunity to keep you close for when you are ready.

Thank you to all of our customers and former customers for being the center of our universe and for keeping us honest. Looking forward to continuing to serve you and to learn from you as we grow.

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