The Ultimate Guide to Customer Expansion and Retention for Revenue Teams

Streamline communication, deliver personalized experiences, and reduce churn with Drift.

Table of Contents

About This Guide
What Is Drift’s Conversation Cloud?
Let Your Customer’s Activity Drive the Narrative
Constant Communication Delivers Positive Results
Customer Experience Is Just ABM in Disguise
Final Thoughts and Additional Resources

About This Guide

“Global recession warning.” “Sharp economic downturn.” “Polycrisis era.”

Today’s economic headlines are anything but comforting.

In times like these, when every dollar seems to matter more than ever, businesses have been forced to sit down and look at what’s really making an impact on their revenue.

And number one, of course, is customers.

It’s no secret that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain one. In fact, a company that decreases their churn rate by just 5% can increase their profitability by anywhere between 25%-75%.

But that’s easier said than done.

When faced with economic uncertainty, your customers are also putting their tech stacks under a microscope. Every team is having the same debate: What parts of their tech stack can’t they live without? And what can they afford to say goodbye to?

Drift isn’t immune to this reality. Our go-to-market teams spend every day thinking about what makes a customer stay and what makes them want to grow with our brand.

So, what have we found helps us stay at the top of our customers’ “must-have” lists, no matter the state of the global economy?

That’s what this guide is all about.

By the end of this book, you’ll learn:

  • How to leverage data from Drift Analytics & Insights and Drift Prospector to inform your next steps with a customer.
  • Why asynchronous communication is the key to keeping your brand top-of-mind for your customers.
  • How to leverage the power of account-based marketing (ABM) in your post-sales experience to turn customers into advocates of your business.

What Is Drift’s Conversation Cloud?

The key to delivering a positive customer experience is ensuring that all of your go-to-market teams are singing the same song. A customer should never be left confused when they’re being handed off from one team to another.

Through the power of conversations, Drift’s Conversation Cloud helps keep communication open and streamlined between all go-to-market teams.

By leveraging the features of Conversational Marketing, Conversational Sales, and Conversational Service, your marketing, sales, and support teams can all unite around the customer, determine the right next steps, and offer the best solution for that customer.

Let Your Customer’s Activity Drive the Narrative

We’ve all been there — that feeling of wanting to reach out to someone, but not quite knowing what to say.

Conversely, we’ve all probably been on the receiving end of it, too. You get a text or email from someone who clearly wants to keep in touch, but it’s like they hardly know you.

Thanks to today’s vast supply of data, relevant and personalized customer interactions are no longer out of reach. And conversational solutions play a big part in this.

In 2022, compared to 2021, 69% more marketers with a Conversational Marketing solution said they were able to deliver relevant messaging for their users. Similarly, 48% of sellers reported that their Conversational Sales solution helped them learn about their customers more quickly.

Not to mention that, when your prospects become customers, you have access to even more data which will help you reach out with a message that will resonate. Here’s how it all works.

Drift Analytics & Insights

Time is money, and money shouldn’t be spent asking questions you could easily find the answers to.

Instead of waiting for your weekly, monthly, or even quarterly check-in with your customers, leverage website data to proactively reach out and make adjustments on the fly.

With the help of Drift Analytics and Insights, you have the ability to see what pages your customers are visiting and what types of conversations they’re starting on those pages. You can then use that information to prioritize product updates and have more productive conversations with your customers when those check-ins roll around.

Conversational insights take guessing out of the product feedback game. We’re able to see which pages support conversations are starting on, and we’re able to tag the chats based on different support issues. This helps the product team prioritize their work and helps us prioritize our customer training content.

Emily McGrath
Director of Customer Experience

Just like how account executives (AEs) aim to quickly address pain points with their prospects, customer teams need shortcuts to help customers resolve product issues. Conversation tags help teams quickly identify common pain points by flagging support tickets they’re seeing frequently. These shortcuts further assist customer success managers (CSMs) in preparing for customer calls and creating content that will empower customers to resolve those issues on their own.

Drift Prospector

The pages your customers visit on your site can tell you a lot about where they are on their journey with your product. But how exactly do you get ahold of that information?

With a tool like Drift Prospector.

Drift Prospector allows account executives (AEs) and CSMs to easily pin down what pages their customers are visiting most frequently and then prioritize their work accordingly. In Prospector, you can see exactly who from which account visited your site and the actions they took, as well as an AI-generated score that tells you how engaged that company is with your brand.

“Intent” isn’t just a word thrown around by sales reps. Just as sales reps think about certain pages (such as the pricing page) as a signal of strong buyer intent, the pages that a customer visits can clue you into their intent, too.

For example, if a customer is frequently on your support page, that may be a sign that they need more assistance in their onboarding. Or, if they’re an older customer, it could mean that they’re looking to take their product usage to the next level. Either way, such visits indicate that it’s a good time to reach back out.

Similarly, if you notice a customer is visiting your product page but their current package doesn’t include that feature, then you’ve just found your window of opportunity to start a conversation about an upgrade.

Our AEs use Drift Prospector to organize their book for retention and expansion. By looking at which accounts are most engaged, we’re able to identify low-hanging fruit for expansion opportunities. Conversely, if we notice a customer isn’t active on our site, it may be a sign to have a strategy call with our CSM.

Seamus McGrath
Mid-Market Sales Manager

Constant Communication Delivers Positive Results

Earlier, we talked about the potential stress you might feel when reaching out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

While data can help to alleviate some of that pressure, more frequent communication can help too. That’s why we suggest taking the data gathered from your conversations and Drift Prospector to be more proactive in your outreach.

The health and retention of a customer relies on a multi-threaded approach. It’s the healthy balance of Drift strategy and execution, relationship-building, and keeping everyone informed that drives success.

Nikki Theohary
Senior Manager, Mid-Market Customer Success Team

Drift Video

Just because communication is important doesn’t mean that it always has to be synchronous. That said, no matter what method of communication you choose, it should always leave a lasting impression.

For that, we’ve got just the solution.

Drift Video is a great way to let your customers know you’re thinking about them without taking up time on their calendars. With Drift Video, your customers can easily put a face to your name while you answer their questions clearly and concisely.

If your customer has follow-up questions, they can use the chatbot alongside the video to ask them. Plus, you’ll receive a notification when the customer starts watching the video, so you can respond in real time. And if you’re not around or if the customer wants to talk more, they can easily book a meeting in chat for a time that is most convenient for them.

Need some inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite video plays that you can steal to spark conversations with your customers 👇

  1. Congratulations!
    When your customers hit a big milestone with you, send them a quick video to congratulate them. You can send this video to the most active user of your product, but you might also want to send it to their bosses and executives. These people may not be in the weeds with your product as much, but they do sign the checks.
  2. Color the White Space
    A personalized video can be a great way to broaden your connections within an account and make friends in higher places. One of our favorite plays is to send a video via LinkedIn Messaging to our customers’ executives.

    Through a video, you can directly explain who you are and why you’re reaching out. That way, you allow your customers to put a face to your name — while showing how much time and effort you put into building relationships with each individual customer.

  3. Support

    Whether it’s to solve a problem or learn more about the ins and outs of your product, your customers rely on your expertise to make the most of what you offer. A quick way to answer your customers’ questions is to send them a video going over the solution in real time.

    This saves you from the constant back-and-forth of scheduling a meeting (which might not even happen for a day or two), and it lets your customer resolve their problem when it’s most convenient for them.

    Pro Tip: Create a database of videos where you answer frequently asked questions and address logical next steps. This way, when a customer comes to you with one of those questions, you can send them an answer in less than a minute.

  4. Don’t You Forget About Me

    Customer teams aren’t immune from getting ghosted. If the responses to your emails seem to be getting fewer and fewer, try including a video with your message. Address the topic of the email in your video, then prompt your customer to book a meeting to discuss the topic further.

    Even if your customer doesn’t book a meeting or reply to your email, with Drift Video, you’ll be able to see who has watched your video and exactly how much of it they watched. This way, even without a response, you at least know that they’re thinking about you too.

Drift Meetings

Even in a digital-first world, face-to-face meetings are invaluable. Getting them on the calendar, however, can be a real headache.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a meeting on the books by just clicking a link?

With Drift’s Meeting Links, you can.

Pro Tip: Because your customers are already known site visitors to Drift, you can use Drift Meetings to greet your customers by name and drop a calendar right into the chat, so they can book a meeting with their AE or CSM immediately.

By dropping just one link in an email thread, your customers can instantly book a meeting at a time that works for both of you. Plus, they can loop in other stakeholders without any additional back and forth.

Adding your meeting link to your email signature will also allow customers to book a meeting with you anytime a question pops up. This way, your customers don’t need to wait for a formal check-in and can get their questions answered when they’re most top-of-mind.

I love being able to send a group link, so I don’t have to chase a bunch of different calendars. I can suggest a time, and the customers can propose new times as needed.

Chris Cardone
Customer Success Manager, Focused Mid-Market

Customer Experience Is Just ABM In Disguise

Marketers invest a lot of time and money into their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies, and for good reason: One study found that 72% of marketers saw a higher return on investment with ABM compared to other types of marketing.

But ABM shouldn’t end after the pre-sales experience. In fact, with all the customer data you now have, the post-sales experience is where the ABM party really gets started.

Post-sales is the opportunity to bring the account-based experience to the next level to accelerate adoption, maximize the value of your service, drive strategic engagement, and ultimately, expand and retain your best customers. By strategically aligning marketing, sales and customer success, you can create highly personalized customer experiences and treat customers differently based on their company size, their seniority, or their title.

Myriam Diarra
Head of Customer Lifecycle Marketing

As a customer becomes more mature with your product, their use cases expand, which means you can suggest new features to them. However, the most important thing here is to foster a strong relationship. You want to make sure your customer knows you care about them, that you recognize their goals, and understand that their goals differ from those of other customers.

Automation, custom messaging, and direct mail can all help you connect with your customers more effectively.

Conversational AI

The first step towards creating a personalized experience for your site visitors is determining what your different site visitors may need. Artificial intelligence (AI) has proven to be a valuable assistant in creating personas based on visitor needs, goals, intent, and behavior.

Drift’s Conversational AI proactively engages with every site visitor and fuels the conversation using what you already know about them (be it their company size, annual recurring revenue, or the topic mentioned).

With Conversational AI, you can hold more conversations with site visitors while still keeping things personalized. In fact, 69% of marketers surveyed claimed personalization was a key reason for implementing an artificial intelligence solution in the first place.

Plus, more conversations equals more data — which means you’ll be able to easily identify and categorize your customers’ conversation topics. You can then use that information to train the AI chatbot to better respond to customers and deliver a better website experience.

So, even if it’s a small customer outside of your ICP that is looking for support, Drift’s AI chatbot will serve up resources to answer their question quickly and effectively. And, of course, if the AI doesn’t know the answer or the customer still has questions, they will be routed to your support team.

Conversely, if a VIP customer comes to your website in search of support, you can directly route them to their CSM who can answer the question and guide them through potential next steps.

Want to know what’s even better? Thanks to real-time notifications from Drift, AEs and CSMs get notified when their customer is live on their website. So, even if the customer is engaging with the AI chatbot, your team can click on the notification and jump right into chat to deliver a truly VIP experience.

Custom Messaging

Customers don’t need to be sold to in the same way a prospect does — but they do need to get their questions answered just as efficiently. So, when a customer visits your website, they should be greeted as your customer.

With prospects, you need to make your best educated guess on what they’re looking for, and what the best next steps are for them to take. With customers, however, you actually have the data to inform the type of conversation you have with them.

Stacy Chen
Conversion Marketing Manager

  1. Greeting

    Take advantage of Drift’s personalization tokens to greet your customers by name and to suggest what they may be looking for. You can even direct them to a new product you’ve released or an event you’re hosting.

    • Hey Sam! 👋 How can I help you today?
    • Welcome back, Sam! Did you hear about Whitewhale’s latest update?
    • Sam, here’s your exclusive invite to our Conversation Advisory Board event! 💌

  2. Call-to-Action

    The typical call-to-action for a prospect is to book a sales meeting. Clearly, that doesn’t make sense for someone who has already purchased your product.Instead, try encouraging your customers to book a meeting with their account executive or offer up a new use case for them to try. Some CTAs you can try include:

    • Ari, your account executive, knows a thing or two about that. Want me to connect you?
    • You’re in luck because I’ve got just the thing. Check out this use case:
    • Great question! There are lots of ways to implement ABM into your existing campaigns. How about I connect you with Jesse, your customer success manager, to chat through all the options?

Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail is far from dead. In fact, it’s a great way to show your customers how much you care and turn them into advocates of your brand.

The goal of a strong customer marketing campaign is the ability to surprise and delight your customers.

Ashlyn Paquette
Customer Marketing Lifecycle Manager

When someone receives a gift from your company, you increase your chances of having that customer post about you on social media. For the price of that gift, you now have more word-of-mouth affirmation of your product and brand.

Harnessing the power of ABM will help you take your gifting strategy to the next level.

Holiday Gifting

While you should always be showing your customers you care about them, the end of the year is a great time to give them a little extra love.

So, don’t just email a holiday greeting and call it a day. Consider gifting your top accounts a little something extra. You can simply add a link to the end of your email which will invite them to your website to claim their gift.

To make it easy for your customers to claim their gift, turn your page into a Conversational Landing Page. This makes it so that, in just one or two clicks, your customers can claim their desired gift. You can include a picture of the gift directly in the playbook, so your customer knows exactly what to look out for.

New Offer Promotion

If you’ve just created a new landing page or content offer, consider enticing your customers to the page with a gift.

Make sure that, once a customer clicks the link to the new page in your email, they will immediately be met with a personalized chatbot to greet them. Set things up so that if the customer finishes going through the bot flow and books a meeting with their AE, they’ll receive the gift in the mail.

Final Thoughts and Additional Resources

Ready to streamline your path to more revenue by creating advocates for your business? Drift is here to help.

Regardless of the state of the economy, customers should always be your number one priority. Luckily, showing your customers you care takes very few additional resources.

With a little bit of research, a little bit of prioritization, and a whole lot of creativity, you can turn your customers into your biggest brand advocates.

Check out these additional resources we’ve compiled to dive deeper into some of the topics discussed above:

The Go-to-Market Guide to Drift

Read how the Drift team uses Drift for marketing, sales, operations, and service.

Personalization That Actually Feels Personal

Learn how to use ABM to build relationships and revenue, according to Drift, 6sense, and Qualtrics.

The Account-Based Personalization Playbook

Read how to bring traditional in-person selling to real-time digital experiences.

AI for Humans

Understand what AI really is, how sales and marketing teams can use it, and why robots aren’t coming for your jobs.

Understanding Drift Conversational Service

Learn how Conversational Service can help you grow customer value, improve team efficiency, and reduce costs.

Game-Changing Go-to-Market

Get 12 GTM experts’ tips, tricks, and tactics for navigating an ever-changing market.

Revenue Talks Podcast

Hear how industry leaders across sales, marketing, and customer success are thinking about today’s biggest revenue-generating obstacles.

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