5 Ways Chatbots Improve Customer Service

Business messaging is easy and convenient for consumers. Quiq’s robust messaging platform makes it easy for employees and managers to manage these customer conversations, while boosting conversion rates, increasing engagement, and reducing costs. This little slice of digital nirvana has Quiq’s clients thinking “It just doesn’t get any better than this”. Well, cue the confetti and noisemakers because surprise, it does.

Enter the business messaging bot – with a whole lot of swagger, I might add. You’ve probably heard a lot about bots lately and with good reason. These little marvels of code can help increase your agent productivity, while delivering an even better customer experience. We’re going to dive into 5 times business messaging bots made a conversation wit a customer faster and better, but before we do, let’s take a closer look at bots.

What are bots or chatbots? In the simplest terms, bots are computer programs that can carry on quasi-conversations, usually by recognizing pre-determined rules.

Let’s say, for example, you own an airline with a great reward program. With Quiq, you can create a bot that greets all your customers right away and asks them to enter their rewards number if they have one. Your bot, the Reward Bot, as she’s been so affectionately named, will use the information gathered to help recognize members of your reward program that have reached platinum status – the highest level that can be achieved in the rewards program. Reward Bot has been told that platinum status members should be routed to a special VIP queue where they receive a higher level of support. Done and done, consistently without hesitation.

Reward Bot can collect other information as well, such as confirmation numbers for reservations, updated email addresses, or contact numbers. All of this data gathering can be done before a human agent steps into the conversation. The bot has done the work to arm the agent with the information they need to deliver better service.

There are plenty of other ways bots can be used in messaging conversations, but for brevity’s sake, let’s just unpack our Reward Bot example and highlight 5 times the bot made the conversation better.

1. Decrease customer abandonment

First things first. Acknowledging a customer with a fast, friendly greeting lets them know that they’ve started on a path to resolution. Reward Bot was able to greet customers immediately while agents were busy. Agents may be busy with other conversations (we’ve seen agents handle upwards of 8 conversations at a time) but that doesn’t mean the customer can’t start engaging with your business with the help of a bot. Unlike a phone call, customers don’t have to wait stagnantly in a queue with their frustration building. A bot can collect necessary information such as name, reservation number, or other identifiers to help the human agent move the conversation forward faster.

2. Get faster, more accurate customer responses

Reward Bot was able to collect fast and accurate information. Customers can input data without creative ways of spelling out their name in the aviator’s alphabet “My last name? Ross. as in”romeo, “oscar”….uhh…“sandwich”, “sandwich”. C’mon, we’ve all done it. Bots help to avoid some of the human error when an “S” is heard as an “F” and the frustration that customers feel when they have to repeat the correct response, over and over.

Because it is messaging, the customer can see the data they’re providing and they can confirm right away if there is an error in the information. The customer can at least reference the information and catch any typo’s in their email address or the fact that they’ve provided their old phone number. It happens.

3. Prioritize customer conversations

Reward Bot was able to recognize our platinum rewards members so that they can receive the special attention loyal, repeat customers deserve. Bots can help you prioritize conversations in other ways too. For example, you can set rules within Quiq to recognize keywords such as “buy” or “purchase” to prioritize customers who may need help with a transaction. Depending on the situation, this may be placed at a higher priority than say a conversation for a password reset or one containing the word “return”.

4. Get customers to the right place

Just like our Reward Bot example above, chatbots can help route customers to the appropriate department, agent, or even another bot for help. A simple example would be a credit union with a bot that greets customers and simply asks “What can I help you with today”.

The bot can present suggested replies to the customer such as “Auto loan”, “Mortgage”, and “Savings and Checking” that the customer chooses from with just a tap of a finger. This information directly routes the customer to the appropriate department.

5. Schedule appointment reschedules

Reduce the delays and back and forth on email trying to schedule appointments. Appointment setting with business messaging and bots is faster and easier for your employees and customers. With Quiq business messaging you can present customers with available dates and times. Customers can choose and confirm a date from available calendar options.

In our particular example above, we didn’t get to see Reward Bot schedule an appointment, but I have faith in her. I bet she could do it. If needed, she could present travelers looking to change their reservation with alternative dates and times of a particular flight.

Implementing bots within your organization may seem intimidating now, but Quiq can help you navigate these waters. We can help you orchestrate bots throughout your organization, whether you need one or many.

With Quiq you can design conversational experiences your customers will love using native bots or third-party bots. Once you create a bot, you can run that bot across all of our supported channels to deliver a consistent experience no matter where your customers are. Set up some time to get your demo today and let’s talk bots.

Top 5 Business Messaging Use Cases

Business messaging is the way connected consumers prefer to engage with you. They are mobile and busy and need to reach you on their terms. If they need to ask about the status of their order, they’re going to want to text you. If they need help navigating your website, they are going to use live chat.

As the number of channels that customers want and expect to engage with your company grows, the possibilities for companies to impact customer experience in a positive (and negative) way increases exponentially. In this post, we provide 5, plus one bonus, must-do business messaging use cases that companies need to leverage today to up their customer experience game.

Business Messaging Works Smarter

First, let’s consider why business messaging has become the preferred way for companies and consumers to engage with one another. Sure, the fact that everyone has a mobile device helps and that they use messaging apps to communicate with friends and family more frequently than any other function on their phone doesn’t hurt either. But, it’s not just the pervasiveness and convenience of messaging.

Business messaging also allows for more efficient and streamlined conversations. There are valuable business messaging features that make it easier to engage with digital-first consumers. These features bring the best of older engagement methods, like the immediacy of phone calls, to messaging conversations, while casting off the parts that just don’t work anymore, like long wait times.

Take, for example, the ability for agents to get help. Call centers use call monitoring to listen in on agents and even join calls in some instances. This functionality allows managers to observe calls and intervene if the agent needs help.

Business Messaging offers the same ability for managers to silently monitor messaging conversations and intervene if necessary. With messaging, these features get the added upgrade in the collaboration department. Instead of the agent having to put the caller on hold to ask for assistance, agents can ask for the help of peers or a manager without the customer even knowing. This is just one example of the many business messaging use cases that make digital customer engagement a better experience.

Business Messaging Use Cases

1. Convert shoppers into buyers

Quiq Messaging helps convert tentative shoppers into customers. Clients like Tailored Brands, owners of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos A. Banks, uses Quiq to help customers to choose the right suit, place an order, answer promotion questions, or set in-store appointments. If a consumer wants to make a purchase but has a question, it needs to be easy to get an answer right away.

Back in the day, many companies implemented web chat for just this reason. However, the majority of website visitors today are on mobile devices and web chat simply isn’t the best option for a mobile phone.

Why not make it as easy and comfortable to contact your company as it is to text with friends? Quiq clients have seen a higher conversion rate from text messaging than any other channel (over 5 ppts higher than web chat and 8-14 ppts higher than email and phone calls).

2. Shift phone calls to text

Quiq Messaging can help significantly reduce your contact center costs by converting phone calls into messaging conversations. In fact, Brinks Home Security reduced phone calls by 10% just by adding messaging. By converting a phone call to a text, the conversation is moved from the most expensive channel to the least expensive channel and the customer will actually be happier. Hey, let’s face it, they didn’t want to make a phone call in the first place, but they needed help right away.

Just add the option to text to your phone system (IVR). If they call in, your customer will hear something like this when they contact you:

“An agent will be with you shortly. If you’d rather text with an agent, press 1….”

When the customer presses 1, they immediately receive a text message to start a conversation directly with an agent, resulting in a cost savings of 80%! Customers will be more satisfied because they prefer to text and you’ll be more efficient. Win-win!!

3. Provide post-sales service

Even though most consumers have their phone in their hand or within reach 24/7, business messaging goes beyond SMS/text messaging. Factors such as your target market demographics and the nature of your business can influence the channel your customers prefer to reach you. Younger consumers may look for you on Twitter, while Gen X buyers expect to see you on Facebook.

With Quiq, you can meet your customers wherever they are to provide service and support however and whenever they need it. Quiq can open one or all of these channels to your customers, based on your business requirements. No matter what channel the message originates from, your employees can manage, access, search, and report on conversations through one, unified, intuitive platform.

4. Increase response rates

Business messaging is the way to get a consumer’s attention and response. If you seek to increase response rates to promotions or notifications, then sending an outbound message is the way to go. Considering most text messages have a 98% open rate and are read within 3 minutes of receipt, it’s easy to assume that your message won’t be lost in a sea of subject lines or mistakenly filtered as spam. Plus, recipients can be easily segmented so that only targeted, relevant, and timely promotions are sent.

Even industries like financial services have realized an increase in response rates. Credit Unions, like Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, have seen an increase in collection recovery because they’ve made it easier for members to respond to loan collection notifications with inbound text replies.

5. Gain efficiency

Business messaging, by nature, increases efficiency because employees can handle multiple conversations at once, unlike a 1-to-1 phone call. Messaging has a higher concurrency, regardless of what channel the customer chooses to reach you over. This is due, in part, to shorter more concise messages that are sent over SMS or live chat for example. Efficiency can also be attributed to the asynchronous nature of messaging conversations that allows employees to address other customer conversations while waiting for responses.

Bots, also known as chatbots, can boost your agent productivity even further. A couple simple use cases for bots would be to greet customers, capture data to route the customer to the right agent or department, and close the conversation with a feedback survey. These are tasks that can usually be done prior to a human agent getting involved with a conversation.

6. BONUS TIP: Decrease inbound calls with notifications

Quiq Messaging makes notifications 2-way, allowing consumers to respond. Everyone is familiar with shipping and other notifications delivered via SMS. However, very few companies have the ability to allow customers to reply and to open up a conversation.

Quiq Messaging can send notifications and handle responses just like any other messaging conversation. Why is this important? Proactively informing customers of eliminates inbound phone calls by 10-15%.

Here are a few examples of reasons why 2-way outbound messages that are having huge impacts across a myriad of industries:

Retail Brand: “Your order has been delivered ”. Text us back if you have any questions. Thanks!!”
Customer: “Hi, I received the wrong color. Is this something you can help me with.”

Higher Education: “As an incoming freshman, you need a student ID card. Please click here to take a photo and have your card created.”
Student: “Thanks. I haven’t received any response on my financial aid application. Who should I contact?”

Credit Union: “Good morning. Your loan payment is past due. Please click here to make a payment.”
Member: “Oh thanks, I was out of town and forgot to mail the payment. Can I pay online?”

Now Is the Best Time for Business Messaging

These 6 business messaging use cases are just the basics. They are the “table stakes” to compete for today’s customers who demand ease and convenience when engaging with companies. There are many additional ways to use messaging that will propel your business ahead of the pack.

As the demand for business messaging grows, you’ll need a messaging solution that can scale with your business and has the flexibility to work with your current and future business needs. Now would be a great time to set up some time to talk with Quiq. Schedule a demo today.

5 Ways Live Chat Drives Revenue

Using live chat to drive more revenue is just smart business and plenty of companies have embraced this technology as a way to grow their top line. Live chat is always on and at the ready to greet website visitors, field inquiries from prospective customers, and connect consumers to the help they need. It’s really no surprise that live chat has evolved from “nice-to-have” on a website to a necessary feature. There are so many companies currently leveraging the power of live chat and seeing their numbers grow in terms of both revenue and new customers that we felt obliged to highlight 5 of the top ways live chat drives revenue. Looking for a way to build customer loyalty, increase customer retention and boost your average order size? Read on.

Key Stats on Live Chat for Business:

Before we jump into the meat of things, let’s start with a few statistics to whet your appetite on how live chat for business is driving more revenue. Consider these important stats that showcase how valuable this channel is to your business:

How Live Chat Drives Revenue

1. Live Chat Closes More Sales

Online chat provides the opportunity to speak with a customer when the interest in your product or service is at its peak. With chat, customers can get questions answered and concerns addressed before that interest waivers. According to sales consultancy firm, SalesforLife, chat delivers a 20% boost in sales conversions. This can be attributed to the immediate response to specific needs that move the prospect through the buyer’s journey. Consumers know there’s always some risk with a purchase. “Buyer Beware” hasn’t become a saying for nothing. But the ability to have a real-time chat conversation with a representative prior to purchase gives the buyer confidence in doing business with your company because they know help is accessible

2. Live Chat for Business Increases Customer Retention

Live chat is one of the most immediate forms of communication available to online customers. In today’s always-on-the-go world, people want to get answers fast. Your customers will not wait for hours to get an answer through outdated methods, like filling out a form on your website to submit a question and then…you guessed it, waiting for a reply to hit their inbox. When it’s all said and done, meeting your customer’s expectations of delivering fast, personalized service builds customer loyalty and the economics of customer loyalty definitely work in your favor. According to Harvard Business Review, increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can increase profits by 25% – 95%.

3. Live Chat Delivers a More Personal Experience

With the use of live chat for business, you can talk to your customers or potential customers on a much more personal level. Live chat allows you to ask probing questions, provide suggestions, and even offer complementary goods or services based on direct interaction with that customer. Consider this example: A mom is shopping for a bassinet for her newborn. Without any engagement, the customer may just add the item to their cart and checkout, Or, she may get frustrated with all of the choices and tire of reading reviews and look elsewhere. Now, consider the scenario with engagement from a live chat representative. After so many minutes on the product page, a chat window pops up and asks the customer “Can I help you find anything?”. The customer shares what she’s looking for and the agent helps her narrow down choices. In addition to helping her find a bassinet she loves, the representative suggests sheets and some popular sleepwear to add to the cart. This customer-centric approach leads to higher satisfaction rates not only because they are getting fast responses, but also because they are getting the answers that are specifically targeted to helping them with their questions. According to Econsultancy; 73% of their customers were satisfied when they talked engaged on live chat.

4. Live Chat for Business Builds Momentum

You did the work and drove traffic to your website. You’ve got consumers coming in and you need to follow up fast to keep the momentum going. If your shoppers filled out a form so they can be contacted, there’s always a chance that the customer may have failed to provide the right information or made a mistake when entering their contact information. What will you do then if you can’t follow up? You lose the sale. There’s also the chance that a competitor could catch your shopper’s interest while they’re waiting to speak to a representative who can help them make a decision.. Give your customers the opportunity to start a conversation in real-time, when they are most excited about learning more about your product or service and focused on you.

5. Live Chat Increase Order Value

Average order value (AOV) is a key metric to gauge how much revenue a company generates with each transaction. A growing AOV is an indication that either customers are buying larger ticket items per transaction or buying more items in a single transaction. Either way, life is good.   Live chat gives trained agents the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell and influence average order value. Agents can present complementary items or higher ticket purchases to consider. Many times, companies decide to implement chat so that help is available when customers need it and chat sessions are initiated when the customer requests it. In some instances, like what an item is added to a cart, some companies have implemented proactive chat to offer customers additional items they may find valuable.

What is Business Messaging and What Does It Mean for Your Business?

What is business messaging, you ask? Oh, it’s only a way to get better customer engagement, attract more customers, and deliver a better customer experience is all. That seems like a tall order for something as simple and commonplace as messaging right? The truth is, the simplicity and reach of business messaging is what makes it so powerful for your business and preferred by your customers.

In this post, we’re going to define what business messaging is and what it isn’t. We’ll also highlight what business messaging means for your revenue growth, your customers, and your employees. Basically, everything that keeps your business going. Let’s get started.

What is Business Messaging?

First, let’s talk about messaging and get really clear about what business messaging is. Business messaging is a set of channels over which companies and consumers can communicate with each other. The most common messaging channel is SMS or text messaging. We’ve all had experiences with shipping notifications, marketing offers, promotional campaigns, and appointment reminders. These are the kinds of messages we typically associate with business messaging.

But business messaging isn’t just one-way and it isn’t just SMS/texting. Business messaging can happen on any digital channel where your customers already spend their time and it’s expected that dialog can flow both directions.  Here are a few scenarios that happen all the time:

  • A home security subscriber who needs help setting up their new video camera.
  • A shopper on your website who needs help finding a product and reaches out via web chat for help
  • A loan processing officer texts an applicant to send in missing paperwork to complete an application
  • Direct messages exchanged over social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Kik to provide one-to-one customer service
  • A heating and air conditioning company setting up an appointment to install a new unit
  • A retailer proactively communicating shipping and delivery information to consumers to help prevent an inbound phone call

Business messaging delivers the ease and convenience consumers have come to expect when they engage with family and friends to pre-sales and post-sales interactions with companies. In fact, 66% of consumers rank messaging as their preferred channel for contacting a company.

What Messaging Means to Your Customers

Your customers want to message you.  Research conducted by Market Strategies International has found that consumers are looking for a company to:

  • Meet them where they already are – on mobile, social, and on the web
  • Proactively reach out to them with relevant products and services
  • Make it easy to do business with you

Quiq Clients like Overstock, Office Depot, Pier 1, and Brinks Home Security have discovered that messaging is an indispensable solution to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. These innovative companies have implemented Quiq Messaging to open new channels of communication with their customers – available wherever and whenever they need it.

CONVENIENCE: Messaging means that customers can reach out to you on any channel they already spend their time on like SMS, Facebook, and live chat when they’re on your website. It also means that your customers can respond to conversations with your company at their pace – as it fits in with their busy lives – versus stopping everything to make a call. With messaging, they can respond and engage in 5 seconds, 5 minutes, or 5 days.

EASE:  Customers keep their mobile device within arms reach at all times. Business messaging makes it easy for customers to shoot off a message whenever they need and then get on with their life. They don’t have to wait until they are in a quiet place to call or vigilantly watch their email for a response.

FLEXIBILITY: Messaging means flexibility to your customers. Customers have the real-time response of a phone call with the ease of reference that an email provides. That flexibility around their busy lives is more than a welcome mat. It’s more like the red carpet and it’s what differentiates companies among competitors and turns prospects into customers.

What Messaging Means to Your Revenue Growth

Increasing revenue is the number one thing that companies focus on. Every strategy and tactic is a means to that end. Often, companies will consider introducing a new product line or service or increasing prices as a way to bolster revenue.

Sure, those paths could lead to higher revenue, but they definitely aren’t the easy way to go. Developing a new product or product line can be a big time and money investment accompanied by the risk that customers won’t buy. Price increases provoke the ire of customers and may even cause some to turn to competitors.   

Ah, but let’s not forget, there are people out there who want to buy what you already have. Oh, and don’t forget your established customers who could come back more frequently. Many companies now look at customer experience as a way to attract more customers and increase the frequency in which they purchase. This is where messaging makes the biggest impact.

Messaging makes it easy for consumers to engage with your company when, where, and how they prefer. Prospective buyers can have questions answered with ease, speed, and convenience. Returning customers get timely service and support at their moment of need, which means, they’ll be back for more and will tell others how great you are.

Consider these examples and how your business can help customers move closer to purchase with business messaging:

  • Service companies win when their prospects are able to get the answers they need to make a decision on a provider. Prospects can book an appointment to receive an estimate easily with business messaging. Messaging avoids delays and missed calls that can drive consumers to take their business elsewhere.
  • Companies in the travel and hospitality industry use messaging to provide a premium experience from the very first interaction. Questions on weather conditions and cancellation policies are answered quickly so that potential guests can ease right into the booking process with peace of mind.

What Messaging Means to Your Employees

In any other day and age, allowing customers to engage with your company through so many channels would have been overwhelming. But it’s not that day and we’re past that age. In today’s modern messaging world, Quiq makes it easy for employees to manage conversations.  

In fact, Quiq Messaging can help optimize agent performance by providing advanced productivity features that improve the customer experience. With Quiq, employees are able to handle multiple messaging conversations at once, thereby increasing their efficiency and reducing the cost to serve.

There isn’t any downtime for training. Adding business messaging is a pretty flat learning curve for your employees. They are likely using messaging in their daily lives and are familiar with sending and receiving messages. The only difference is they’ll have an easy way to manage conversations.

All messaging conversations are managed within a single, unified desktop with features that help employees prioritize conversations, monitor customer sentiment, and make every conversation more personal and effective. Employees can feel empowered to provide the best customer experience possible.

Business Messaging Means Business

Business messaging makes a significant impact on two ways to grow your business – get new customers or have your existing customers buy more.

  • Attract new customers – Make your business accessible so that it’s easy to do business with you.
  • Keep existing customers happy  – Empower your customers to get service 24/7 through business messaging. Make it easy for customers to address questions and issues that may arise after the sale and they’ll be more likely to come back again.

The key takeaway here is that business messaging isn’t just good for your business. It’s a main ingredient to the secret sauce that can keeps your business running successfully. Ready to see Quiq Messaging in action? Sign up to try it right now for free or have one of our experts walk you through a custom demo.