Chatbot technology: Drift vs. Intercom

December 10, 2020

Drift vs. Intercom

Chatbots can be found all over the internet. Businesses and brands of sorts and sizes are giving their visitors the chance to start a conversation with their teams–and do it on their terms. Visitors to your website (especially new ones) want the chance to poke around and do some of their own learning beforehand without getting bombarded with emails from a newsletter or for marketing purposes. Although these more general messages can keep your brand top of mind, it lacks the personal element that conversational outreach offers.

Keep in mind: Not every person who lands on your website is a ‘good fit’ as a customer. If they are, they should be recorded in your CRM. They could be on your website for several reasons, like doing research on the space your business falls into, or getting a general understanding of your business offering.

There are different stages of the buyer's journey, which HubSpot breaks down well into Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Awareness is the stage where new and early website visitors sit, while those in the other stages are deeper into their research process, or pretty much ready to buy. They’re likely going beyond your home page or “About” and looking for things more high value content like case studies, downloadable resources, and pricing pages.

Now, let’s go back to the idea of chatbots. If someone is further along on the buyer’s journey and has a more definitive plan around purchasing, they might just want to speak with your team right away. If you’re using a chatbot, you want to ensure that you have a way to draw people in and make it easy for people to approach you. The bot should greet and follow up with a question to break the ice.

 

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For instance, if they want to get information on pricing and your team is no longer online, the chatbot can serve up this content instantly. Think about the impact of this experience.

When people find what they’re looking for and it takes little or no time and effort, they’re more likely to continue down that path with your organisation.

When your team is online, they have the chance to not only create an excellent customer experience and give a good first impression to website visitors, but they can build rapport right from the start. For visitors, there’s no filling out of forms or waiting 1-2 business days for a response. If you’re shopping around for a new tool, hear good things about one, but find a similar product that has an easier information-gathering process, you’re likely just going to go with that option, or at least it’ll be a front runner.

Here are a couple of options for chatbots that are hot on the market right now:

Business messenger: Intercom

Intercom is a conversational relationship platform, or simply put, a messenger platform for business. It’s split into two parts: customers and team.

Here’s what the business messenger offers for customers:

  • Conversational bots
  • Interactive apps
  • Product tours
  • Self-service tools

The business messenger only scratches the surface, as the platform itself offers a lot for teams:

  1. Apps and integrations: More than 250 options available out of the box, plus the chance to build custom ones that suit your business
  2. Customer data platform: Personalise interactions with customer, company, and behavioural data
  3. Management tools: Monitor how customers interacting across all channels with collaborative inboxes, automated workflows, and reports

Here are the available trial and purchasing options:

  • 14-day free trial
  • Start
  • Grow
  • Accelerate (with annual plan)
  • Scale (with annual plan)

Revenue acceleration: Drift

Drift is probably known best for their conversational marketing and conversational sales offerings. They’ve since grouped these into the overall bucket of revenue acceleration. Both give go-to-market teams the ability to personalise the customer experiences they provide in real time with custom chatbots.

Here are the other main offerings of the Drift platform:

  • Live chat
  • Drift Audiences, Automation, Email, Intel, Meetings, Prospector, Videos
  • Online certifications to help you optimise your use of the Drift platform
  • 50+ integrations including all major customer relationship management (CRM) systems (i.e. Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot Eloqua, Pardot, Eloqua)

Benefits of conversational marketing:

  • Increase prospect and customer engagement
  • Heighten return on investment (ROI)
  • Provide a better customer experience
  • Give website visitors the option to start conversations with your team when they’re ready
  • Appear ready for conversations that can bring more pipeline and accelerate deals
  • Generate more pipeline for your sales team
  • Improve productivity by serving up warm conversations
  • Engage with target accounts
  • Free
  • Premium
  • Enterprise

Benefits of conversational sales:

Here are the available trial and purchasing options:

Signs your business is ready for chatbot technology

There are a number of reasons that organisations consider using chatbots on their website, and likewise reasons why some organisations haven’t adopted this technology. If you’re focused on building up inbound, in particular, chatbot technology could be a great option for your business.

Here are few signs you might be ready to adopt a chatbot platform include:

  • Your team is missing the opportunity to start conversations
  • Your marketing or sales content has a “spray and pray” approach
  • You have plans to grow your marketing and sales team
  • You have content that you want to serve up to website visitors more organically

Key takeaways

  • If you’re looking for a more customisable platform, Intercom offers far more integrations and the options to build your own
  • If you’re looking to bridge the gap between sales and marketing with technology, Drift is focused
  • If you’re looking to upskill and optimise chatbot technology, Drift offers more education
  • Both platforms offer a free trial version of their tool, which is risk-free for your business

Conversational Marketing Guide