Customer-Driven From The Start: 3 Phases of Exploration That Led To Driftt
(This post first appeared on the Driftt blog, where we share thoughts on building teams, customer experience, collaboration, and productivity.)
Did you know we turned one this month? It’s ok. It snuck up on us, too.
We’ve been working quietly with some awesome private-beta partners to test what we’re building and make it the best it can be. Before this party gets any bigger, we wanted to take a minute to tell you what is we’re doing (finally!) and how we got to be so excited about it.
Take It From The Top
For years, our founding team has been obsessed with improving the way businesses and customers communicate. At Performable, our goal was “to transform the way businesses and customers communicate with each other.” When Performable was acquired by HubSpot our focus shifted to “getting more leads for businesses’. We built a startup and later a product machine that was customer driven. Now with Driftt we’re excited to have focus back on the original goal: to build a customer-driven company that enables other businesses to transform their organizations to a customer-driven model.
We had a goal, but we needed to be sure it was a customer-driven goal. So we began the exploration phase.
Phase 1: Communication With Teams
After a lot of whiteboarding, and little sleep, we started building our early tools for workplace communication. We thought that better communication within teams could lead to more context around customer issues, and better support as a result. As people started using our tools we saw they used them not only for work but for personal communication as well.
Our initial excitement around fixing workplace communication didn’t match up with how our tools were being used, but people were passionate about what we built. Instead of powering through, we changed our approach. We stopped looking for a fit with our vision and focused on observing how people were using our tools.
Phase 2: Communication With Anyone
Our learnings led us to build Annotate. We gave it to people to use, then went all-in on customer development: watching, interviewing, and listening to anyone who would give us a few minutes (and thanks, you know who you are!). Over time, we saw excitement buzzing strong among people in customer support and product roles. Communication in these roles is complex, and Annotate only helped with small pieces of it. So, we broadened our lens to get a full view of how they communicate.
What we found was a mess.
Phase 3: Communicating with Customers
We quickly learned that for these folks to find the right customer information they needed to open nearly a dozen tabs. Want to see a user’s billing information? Go to the numbers guy and pull up the software he uses. Need to know when a customer first signed up? What about how active they’ve been this week? Or if they reached out to support in the last month? Those are all different departments relying on different (expensive) platforms.
Why is information about your customer, the heart of your business, split up into so many fragmented places? Shouldn’t this all be in one place so you can spend less time digging for information and more time using it to create the best customer experience?
We think so. Smart communication with customers is the inspiration behind the Driftt Platform. That’s what Boston’s next pillar company is being built on today.
Ready to know and communicate with your customers through a single platform? Get access to Driftt.