HOW EMERSON HARNESSES THE POWER OF DRIFT TO DIGITALLY TRANSFORM CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
bot traffic from net new contacts
Beginning in 2015, Emerson sought to elevate its digital engagement with prospects and customers in a way that complemented its traditional approaches. COVID-19 accelerated this initiative, driving Emerson to deepen its commitment to a digital go-to-market strategy, which included pairing its digital experiences with real-world connections.
Already driving millions of web visits annually, the company wanted to ensure those sessions offered a better customer experience and a way to connect customers with subject matter experts. With the right tool in place, the Emerson team knew that they could reduce the time it takes for customers to get their needs met, replace form fills, capture intent, and deliver high-value leads directly to their product experts while reducing the time required for customers and prospects to get questions answered.
Brian Fretschel, Director of Digital Customer Experience for Emerson, explained that the team started off with a simple web-based calendaring solution. While they had initial success, scalability was a challenge given Emerson’s size, personnel depth, and geographic diversity. “We needed artificial intelligence with chat capabilities, which our previous tool didn’t have,” Brian said.
Emerson had experimented with website chat tools before, so they knew in order to match the depth and breadth of their product portfolio and expertise, they needed a globally scalable solution that would consider customer intent. Also, they would need a partner that could support them without adding headcount.
For Emerson, the solution was Drift. As Brian put it, “We had less success using simple chatbot technology, and more success with the nimbleness of Drift’s playbook model — it enables us to more quickly adapt to each customer’s needs and direct them to the right resources.”
With Drift’s Conversational AI, Emerson provides a dynamic and relevant experience for each site visitor — whether they need to connect with an Emerson expert or use self-service web resources. Uptime is critical, which is why Drift is available to customers 24/7/365.
Mike Caspers, Digital Sales Enablement Manager at Emerson shared, “This approach is helping us to see which visitors put their hand in the air with a question or need. Those are the folks that Drift is helping us to uncover and respond to much more quickly.”
A TRUE PARTNERSHIP FOR DRIFT AND EMERSON
Brian knew change management could be a challenge for the organization, but evolving their customer relationships using digital was their top priority — and Drift had the expertise to support them.
“We got a lot of support through the technical evaluation and integrations. We had folks on the Drift side that helped us do the financial ROI and justification,” Brian explained. “Drift took our team all the way from the invite to getting their calendars set up and their headshots loaded. That level of support they offered for a big corporate enterprise like ours has been invaluable.”
A lot of vendors might give us some training and then cast us off into the world and say good luck. If we don’t get our money’s worth, we don’t renew the contract. But Drift actually took the time to sit down and ensure that we were successful. Drift understood that the value of the platform isn’t in the contract we sign — it’s in the business value that we deliver.
From the beginning, Emerson invested in Drift’s professional services offering, ensuring that their team had a dedicated Drift resource to build and optimize playbooks. “I don’t have the resources in-house to manage and build playbooks,” Brian said. “But Drift does, and that was a differentiator. We talk to our professional services consultant about the strategies we’re trying to execute, and they do it. The consultation and the hours of support that we get from the team have been amazing.”
uncovering high-intent traffic
Today, Emerson has Drift active across multiple product pages within their Measurement Instrumentation offerings. Business development representatives, customer care technicians, and technical specialists all leverage Drift to support customers and buyers by quickly booking meetings, live chatting, and leveraging AI to solve an array of customer needs.
For reps out in the field who don’t have immediate access to a computer, Mike has trained the team to use Drift’s mobile app to chat on the go. “Our experts can be traveling, but if their phone buzzes and alerts them that someone is on the site and looking to chat, they can instantly connect via live chat directly from their phone.” If they don’t have time to chat, Drift Meetings ensures that the visitor can still connect with a product expert.
One approach that has been particularly successful is Emerson’s “Talk to an Expert” button, powered by DriftLinks. When clicked, the Drift chatbot immediately launches to connect the site visitor to the right resource. As Brian shared, “Our ‘Talk to an Expert’ button is an incredible tactic for increasing inbound conversion rates, and reps are thrilled.”
We see a high level of intent with Drift leads because we’ve given that customer multiple different avenues to self-serve or branch off towards their intended resource.
an accelerated front-end sales cycle
With solutions engineered to order, Emerson’s sales cycle can be extensive. But having a tool like Drift helps accelerate the front-end work required to make that initial sale. As Brian explained, “Some of our solutions take time to engineer, but the front-end prospecting, cold-calling, and traveling on-site is where we see a reduction in the sales cycle. Drift is driving down our cost to service.”
Emerson’s always-on, automated approach is also saving site visitors the time and frustration of waiting for answers, which ultimately makes for happier customers.
A DIGITALLY TRANSFORMED BUSINESS
With Drift, the Emerson team is transforming their customer’s digital experience. “We’ve taken a step back from a ‘build it and they will come’ mindset. We have a website and we’re going to get visitors, but if we fumble the transaction or communication with us, they’re not going to come back,” Mike explained.
Drift also captures key insights through buyer and customer activity which Mike and Brian can use to create a better website. “It teaches us what our customers want to know about us and how to use our site,” Mike said. “And experimenting with different bot messages through Drift’s A/B testing functionality helps us learn what works best for our visitors.”
Of that bot traffic, 60% are new contacts at known accounts, 20% are known contacts at known accounts, and 20% are new contacts at new accounts.
For Emerson, that translates to one new contact per business development rep, per week — and still scaling. These results show that Emerson’s hypothesis was correct: With the right tool in place, they could drive high-value, net-new leads — without requiring additional resources.
As Emerson grows with Drift, they’re excited to see where this digital transformation takes them next. “Buying habits have changed,” Mike said. “So there’s no reason to think our customers’ buying habits haven’t changed as well. We need to keep evolving with that through our thinking, our actions, and the technology we’re using.”