How to Use a Messaging Platform to Assist With Holiday Returns

As customers buy up clothes, collectibles, décor, toys, and appliances this holiday, some of these products will inevitably be returned after the season ends. In fact, a survey from 2019 showed that the majority of consumers were likely to return at least some of their holiday gifts. This trend leaves retailers with a massive number of returns, which is why refining the customer return process in preparation for the holidays is essential.

Using messaging platforms for returns is a convenient and economical way to manage more customers and provide fast service. Quiq provides messaging software with seamless integration and chatbot capabilities for retailers looking to streamline communication.

The Benefits of Using a Text Messaging Platform for Returns

Text messaging creates a more personalized customer experience. It also offers a way for agents to keep consumers informed by using a common communication channel. With a texting platform, retailers can:

  • Quickly provide support: Mobile technology allows people to access messages from anywhere at any time. Texting is personal, and it gives retailer representatives the ability to operate at a faster pace. It’s a better option for shoppers who are looking for immediate service.
  • Organize the returns process: With texting platforms, retailers can prioritize messages, create inboxes for separate topics, and monitor incoming inquiries. These capabilities make it easier to organize the returns process according to retail business specifications.
  • Reference order and customer information easily: While talking on the phone or speaking in person can be a hassle for both the consumer and the agent, SMS messaging allows you to access essential information in minutes.

How to Use Bots to Help Automate Holiday Returns

Advanced text messaging platforms allow retailers to improve their return processes with chatbots. Automated systems can now guide customers through the beginning steps of a return, and they can often operate much faster than human agents. Chatbots:

  • Address frequently asked questions: Chatbots generate fast responses to simple questions that a buyer might ask. For example, if someone asks how to make a return, a bot can get them started on the right track.
  • Automate obtaining order information: Automated messaging systems also collect order information, such as names and order numbers, from consumers. This process speeds up data gathering so that agents can focus on the more complex parts of the process.
  • Preview messages: With message previewing capabilities, bots can answer questions more quickly — much faster than a person can. The faster a buyer receives a reliable answer, the more satisfied they will be.
  • Have a past history log of interactions: Bots keep a record of past interactions with consumers, which helps retailers provide a more individualized approach to service. The history log gives retailers quick access to customer information, which simplifies the return process.

Facilitate Holiday Returns With Quiq

Modern technology improves returns processing for retailers in all sectors of the industry. If you’re looking for a way to expedite holiday returns this year, Quiq can provide a comprehensive messaging platform solution. For more information, contact Quiq for a demo.

How to Scale Customer Service to Keep up With Business Growth

Consumers need information, and they need it right away. It’s a retailer’s job to make sure every buyer or lead receives the customer support they need. That’s why it’s important to foster growth with the help of scalable methods and technology.

Scaling your customer support strategy takes time and careful planning. There are several methods that can help reduce the burden on customer service agents and provide shoppers with the answers they need faster.

How to Scale Customer Support to Keep up With Business Growth

As a retail business grows, so does the number of people who need customer service. Responding to each question individually takes time, and this can be a major inconvenience for shoppers who have immediate needs. Scaling customer support ticket volume is a detailed process, and it’s important to understand what to prioritize before you get started. 

Hire More Agents

In some cases, hiring more agents is the best way to respond to the increasing demand for customer support. A greater number of agents helps retailers divide responsibilities more evenly and reduce individual workloads.

While hiring more agents is a less cost-effective way to scale customer service than using some of the technology available today, it can be a smart option for expanding retailers who want to improve customer management.

Prioritize Important Customers

Although every shopper matters, some customers have more urgent needs than others. It’s important for service representatives to take this into account when deciding which inquiries to answer first.

Marking questions by urgency is an effective way to separate and prioritize the buyers who need assistance right away. Those with less urgent questions may be able to wait a little bit longer for answers.

Manage the Workload and Tickets Effectively

If you want to prevent customer service agents from becoming overwhelmed by the number of tickets, it may be time to consider a more effective management strategy. For example, developing specific emails for tickets can keep messages organized for agents.

Assigning tickets to service representatives who specialize in specific topics or separating questions by key phrases can also help simplify the process.

Implement Software

Today’s retailers can enhance their customer support with the help of messaging software. SMS communication software allows for easy integration across multiple channels and creates a more personalized experience for shoppers.

Quiq offers a Conversational Customer Engagement Platform for retailers looking to implement efficient communication technology. Our platform expands your mobile presence and improves customer satisfaction.

Learn and Implement Improvements

One of the best ways to scale customer service is to implement improvements for training, records, and technology. For instance, chatbots from Quiq can speed up customer support by providing individuals with immediate answers.

Keeping organized documentation and developing training programs for agents can also help streamline operations.

Contact Quiq for a Demo Today

You can save time and money this holiday season by organizing the customer service process and integrating the latest software. Quiq offers numerous platforms and messaging solutions to help growing retailers scale their customer support options, so contact us today for a demo. 

5 Tips to Ramp Up Your Retail Business to Prepare for the Holiday Season

The holiday season is fast approaching, and retail businesses are preparing for another boom in sales throughout November and December. Cyber Monday 2019 alone generated over 9.4 billion dollars in the U.S., which is just a small indication of how critical online sales are to holiday shoppers.

Online shopping is more prevalent in 2020 than ever before thanks to the current restrictions placed on traditional retail. With these tips, you can learn how to prepare your retail business for the holiday season while taking advantage of all the capabilities that digital media has to offer.

5 Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

When you prepare your retail business for the holidays, it’s important to find new ways to reach and interact with consumers. Shoppers expect to find what they’re looking for quickly and at an affordable price. A personalized experience can go a long way toward helping someone find the perfect holiday gift for their loved one. These five tips will provide this personalized experience and ensure consumers feel comfortable while shopping.

1. Prioritize Mobile

Using mobile devices to communicate, conduct business, and shop online has become mainstream for the general public across the U.S. That’s why developing a mobile-friendly shopping experience is an essential part of today’s retail engagement strategies.

Shopping sites and applications look different on mobile devices than they do on PCs. It’s important to optimize visuals, text, and interactive components so mobile shoppers can access information easily.

2. Support Multichannel Experiences

Retailers can provide a more holistic experience by using multiple channels to reach potential buyers. Multichannel experiences can make communication between the consumer and the representative more convenient and efficient.

For example, retailers have the power to use apps, SMS messaging, and even live chat to connect with consumers on different types of media.

3. Have Personalized Shopping Experiences

Buyers love it when shopping experiences are tailored to their needs. Personalizing solutions is a great way for retailers to show consumers that they care about them and their interests.

Today, retailers often use the power of data and one-on-one engagement to personalize the customer experience. Real-time messaging and analytics can also help representatives create a more individualized approach.

4. Prepare Customer Service Agents

Customer service agents need to be prepared for the demands of digital sales and engagement. Retailers need agents who can keep shoppers informed and provide useful updates. 

Friendly and knowledgeable service agents inspire trust, and they can help build loyalty over time. Consumers who have had positive interactions with a representative are often more likely to return in the future.

5. Use Chatbots

Covid-19 Chatbot

Instead of assigning a customer service agent to answer every question or provide every service, you can prepare your retail business for the holidays by integrating the use of chatbots.

Chatbot technology is highly advanced, capable of finding solutions and answering simple questions for engaged consumers. It also helps potential buyers get answers faster, which saves time in the long run. Quiq’s Conversational Engagement Platform allows you to integrate both AI and human interaction for the optimal customer experience.

How Quiq Can Help You Prepare for This Holiday Season

Messaging and mobile solutions can help retailers everywhere succeed this holiday season. If your retail business needs help preparing for the holidays, Quiq provides a smart and cost-effective way to manage messaging channels. To learn more, contact Quiq for a demo today. 

Sending Customer Updates is Easiest With Text Messages

People use their mobile phones to work, play, text, and scroll every day. That’s why businesses use customer service text messages to stay in touch with customers. It’s a great way to increase loyalty and reach a wider audience. For industry leaders who are looking to enhance their customer service strategies, integrating SMS solutions is essential.

How Businesses Can Use Text Messaging for Customer Updates

The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to implementing customer service text messages. Customer service agents can use SMS to interact with consumers in easier, more engaging ways with higher levels of satisfaction.

Asking for Feedback

The key to success is the willingness to grow and adapt. With this in mind, you can implement SMS messages for customer service by using them to gather feedback. Consumers like to feel heard, and they like to know that businesses respect their opinions. 

Asking for constructive feedback during and after service is a great way to connect with consumers and show an interest in their needs. This can help increase customer engagement and lead to company growth over time. Automated messaging solutions can expedite this process by helping companies reach customers and collect meaningful data more quickly.

Sending Business Updates

Text messaging is an excellent opportunity to send quick, convenient business updates, such as:

  • Shipping notifications: Text notifications can provide customers with shipping details and updates.
  • Billing reminders: Billing reminders help ensure consumers make payments on time and know when their funds have been withdrawn.
  • Promotions: Advertising discounts and new product updates are easier than ever with outbound messaging platforms.
  • Troubleshooting: Asynchronous troubleshooting allows customers to address issues and fix them quickly and at their convenience without having to talk on the phone.
  • Replacement product options: Representatives can give customers more options by sending product replacement opportunities via text.
  • Delivery updates: It’s easy to design brief automated texts that provide location, arrival time, and delay updates.
  • General business information: The business can send out information regarding products, business hours, company updates, and more.

The Benefits of Text Message Updates

Offering customer service updates through text message is a major part of staying competitive in retail and online markets. The benefits of SMS message updates include:

  • Improved customer experience: Selling products and services is about more than making the sale. It’s about engaging with customers and providing the high-quality experience they deserve. Text message is a more intimate and accessible form of communication that improves the experience for both consumers and customer support.
  • Increased customer loyalty: Happy consumers become loyal consumers. While one negative experience can sour a person’s experience, effective communication helps prevent misunderstandings and inspires the customer to keep coming back. Customer loyalty is great for business, and it can improve a retailer’s reputation in the long run.
  • Asynchronous: With customer service text messages, retailers, and eCommerce providers have the freedom to engage with consumers at a faster pace. Asynchronous communication is perfect for mobile users, as it allows them to message back and forth with representatives on their own time. This method also ensures that all conversation messages are saved so the two parties can pick up where they left off.

Contact Us to Learn More About Business Text Messaging

Using SMS messages for customer service is a smart way to improve consumer relationships and foster more efficient communication. Text messages are useful for all types of communication, from promotions and reminders to convenient technical support. If you’re interested in learning more about how asynchronous messaging enhances the retail industry, contact Quiq online today.

What Is Conversational Commerce?

By now you may have heard the term conversational commerce. Aside from some catchy alliteration that, honestly, just makes it fun to say, you may not know much about it why everyone’s talking about it. Let’s clear things up a bit.

Example of conversational commerce on a smartphoneConversational commerce refers to the transactions that take place through digital conversations consumers have with brands on messaging apps like web chat, Apple Messages for Business, text messaging, and even Facebook Messenger.

The interactions that take place are powered primarily by chatbots that process consumer messages and offer relevant responses. Conversational commerce takes on many forms and can take place across a multitude of channels.

Here are a few examples of conversational commerce in real life:

  • Consumers shopping and completing transactions within a messaging conversation
  • Brands helping consumers shop by find a store location or online promotions and deals
  • Customer experience agents Interacting with a customer to reschedule an appointment or a delivery

These are just a few ways messaging has greased the commerce wheel, making it easier and faster for business to get done. In this article we’ll take a close look at conversational commerce and what companies need to do to fully leverage its benefits.

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How Does Conversation Commerce Work?

Consider the smartphone — you know, the thing that is essentially glued to everyone’s hands now-a-days — and reflect on how much searching, browsing, buying, and texting takes place on any given device on any given day. Even before it was egged on by mandates, Online purchase being made on a smartphone using Apple Paywhen our normal was just normal, consumers leaned on the ease, convenience, and speed that shopping from their smartphone offered.

As the world still works through “new normal” restrictions on physical locations, we’ve seen a surge in use as more consumers have looked to online shopping, delivery, and curbside pickup to get through their days. According to comScore consumers spend 85% of their smartphone time using only 5 apps, which tend to be either social media, messenger or other media apps. It makes sense that businesses would marry the power of messaging with consumers preferences.

He predicted these real-time conversations would facilitate more convenient online sales. Mr. Messina has yet to comment on where he picked up that incredibly accurate crystal ball of his, but looks like he was pretty spot on. Now, let’s talk about how your company can benefit from an investment in conversational commerce.

Why Invest In Conversational Commerce

Consumer expectations of speed and convenience have birthed new innovations that are opening up a seamless communication between brands and customers. Gone are the days where customers were satisfied with dialing an 800 number or having to write an email to get help.

Whether it’s a chatbot on Messenger, someone managing direct messages on Twitter, or taking orders via text message, consumers will choose brands that go that extra mile to make their experience personalized and efficient. Needless to say, businesses are investing to make that happen.

Consider these statistics by Gartner:

  • At least 60% of companies will use artificial intelligence to support digital commerce.
  • 30% of digital commerce revenue growth will be attributable to artificial intelligence technologies, such as those that power conversational commerce.
  • 5% of all digital commerce transactions will come from a bot, such as those that power conversational commerce.

All of the major trends in commerce over the past couple of decades have been in moving to where customers are. Rather than forcing customers to come to you, you go to where they are. The next generation of that is conversational commerce.

Create A More Natural Brand-Consumer Relationship With Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce, much like regular conversations, are meant to build relationships. Conversational commerce is an opportunity to move beyond email blasts, promotional posts on social media, and other communication methods that provide just one-way communication. SMS and other messaging apps enable you to keep your customers informed with updates, and allows them to respond on the same message thread. A real-time exchange of information? Now that’s a conversation.

Creating engaging experiences on these channels are better and easier if your agents have a single view of your customers. Quiq makes it easy for companies to manage conversations with an intuitive agent desktop and native integrations with, Zendesk, Shopify, and Oracle Service Cloud.

Quiq is architected with an “API First” strategy which means we seek to work in harmony with your existing systems. With Quiq’s integration frameworks you can customize our UI to include data from your internal operations systems or synchronize conversation data into your reporting, customer and other backend systems.

Get Started with Conversational Commerce

Getting started with conversational commerce isn’t complicated. Start with one new channel that customers visit every day such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Better still, start with text messaging, a universally accepted way to engage with consumers.

If you’re ready to put conversational commerce to work so that your business can thrive schedule some time to speak with one of our conversation experts today.

How to Use Conversational Commerce To Change Your Business

From increasing conversion rates to receiving more on-time payments, the results from brands that have embraced conversational commerce speak for themselves. Conversational commerce can help brands resolve inquiries and satisfy customers.

Conversational commerce means using messaging and bots to enable two-way conversations with your customers. You won’t  just tell your customers things like “Hey, we’ve got a promotion on these products today.” You can have a conversation in real-time about ways you can help them shop, find what they need, and complete transactions..

Conversational commerce enables you to listen and learn from your customers while building a solid relationship. That relationship means everything to your business.

Here’s a few of the biggest benefits conversational commerce can bring to your business:

  • Increased sales  
  • Broader reach and engagement
  • Higher customer satisfaction 

In this article, we take a look at how conversational commerce can change your business. We review the solutions that help businesses enable conversational commerce for sales and customer service and the simple steps you can take today to get started.

As a quick refresher, we defined conversational commerce in a previous post as the transactions that take place through digital conversations consumers have with brands. These conversations take place on messaging apps like web chat, Apple Messages for Business, text messaging, and even Facebook Messenger.

Conversational commerce is all about answering customers’ questions and concerns when and where they prefer. Your customers are given hands-on, personalized support, across the digital channels they prefer like SMS/text, live chat, and social media platforms.

Consider how differently the conversational commerce experience is with technology’s help:

  • With proactive chat on your website, chatbots or human agents can intervene at critical moments, like when a visitor toggles back and forth between two product options or hesitates at checkout to help them make a decision
  • Rich Communication Services (RCS) like Apple Messages for Business and Google’s Business Messages enables agents to present products in carousels, schedule appointments, and collect payment, all within the messaging conversation.

The possibilities are limitless. Small and large brands alike are using conversational commerce to reach customers, boost sales, and interact in a personal way with consumers. But where do you start?

Conversational commerce is all about answering customers' questions and concerns

Where Do You Start With Conversational Commerce?

The answer for this question is the same as others where there is no hard, fast, or linear answer — it depends. Where you start depends on a few key things:

  • Your business goals and any identified opportunities for improvement
  • How your customers currently contact you
  • Pain points within your customer’s experience that you want to address

Let’s say you own retail stores that sell outdoor apparel. In-store sales have dropped dramatically so your company has decided to have a summer sale that is heavily promoted across your website. You’ve also decided to test Facebook ads to reach new customers. A lot of retailers probably can relate to this scenario and understand how important the sale is for year-end results. Every transaction counts.

Now, let’s say you’ve kicked off that sale and are getting inundated with calls. Customers are having trouble with the promo code at checkout. While some may stop and call, others may decide to just abandon their cart never to return again. Since you kicked off Facebook ads, you’re also seeing a huge spike in conversations in Messenger about the promo code and other product questions as well.

This is where conversation commerce changes the outcome. With messaging, customers are able to easily reach you either on your website, text, or Facebook Messenger while shopping or while they are trying to checkout. By bringing all interactions together in one platform your business saves time and your customers receive a faster, more fluid experience.

Quiq has helped many large retail clients overcome situations just like this by implementing messaging. Because Quiq supports messaging across SMS/text, web chat, social, Apple Messages for Business, and Google’s Business Messages, companies have the option to start with one or all of the channels.

How Do You Scale Conversational Commerce?

Now. you may be thinking, “That’s all well and good but I still need agents on the other side of the conversation.” Ah, yes but no one said they all had to be human agents. Remember when we mentioned chatbots before?

The beauty of conversational commerce is the ability to automate conversations using chatbots. Chatbots allow brands to scale while still offering a personalized experience.

In our retail scenario above, a chatbot could greet the customer, ask questions to understand the customer’s intent or issue, and then present information to guide the customer along. For example, after collecting some information, the chatbot learns that the customer needs help with a purchase, specifically, they need to know where they can enter the promo code.

The chatbot can inform the customer that they’ll have the opportunity to enter the promo code after they enter their credit card number and confirm their purchase. The chatbot can also share a screenshot of the screen with the exact field where the promo code can be entered. If the customer is still having trouble, the bot can seamlessly introduce a human agent into the conversation for further assistance if needed.

Quiq clients have seen call volumes drop by 20% as customers switch from phone calls to messaging. At the same time, customer service agents are able to handle 6 – 8 concurrent conversations. This boost in agent productivity translates directly to the bottom line and to customer satisfaction scores.

Elevate The Online Purchasing Experience With Conversational Commerce

Now is not the time to get sweaty palms about a digital-centric approach to your commerce business. Now is the time to use conversational commerce to change your business for the better.

Conversational commerce isn’t just an easier, more useful way for consumers to shop.  It’s also a way for brands to continue growing eCommerce revenue.

Ready to support your customers quickly, boost conversions, reduce sales and support costs, and increase customer satisfaction? Contact one of our conversation experts to discuss the future of conversational commerce in your business.

How to Improve Your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction has a direct impact on a company’s ability to retain existing customers and attract new ones. The level of satisfaction customers feel is largely defined by the experiences they have with customer service representatives. As a result, companies that succeed must monitor and improve call center and customer service performance continuously.

A customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is an essential metric companies use to determine how customer service teams are performing and how they could do better. This score is generated by asking customers to rate their experiences and provide feedback after interactions. A low overall CSAT score indicates a problem with the current approach to customer service. Even if a team has a high CSAT score, there is usually still room for improvement.

4 Steps to Improve Your CSAT Score

  1. Create a Customer-Focused Work Environment
  2. Conduct Customer Surveys
  3. Make Changes in Response to Customer Feedback
  4. Create Personalized Conversations With Customer Messaging

If you’re wondering how to increase customer service ratings, you are already on the right path. The following tips can help improve CSAT scores at your call center.

1. Create a Customer-Focused Work Environment

One of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction is to ensure agents put the customer first in all interactions. All aspects of workflow and policy should be designed to produce the most positive result for the customer. This includes giving agents the tools they need to serve customers efficiently in the manner they prefer.

To improve CSAT scores, companies should analyze the customer journey and consider how certain strategies may make customers feel. When the whole team places customer needs and expectations at the heart of operations, customer satisfaction goes up, along with sales.

2. Conduct Customer Surveys

Call centers struggle to make meaningful changes to the customer experience when they lack the data to back up their decisions. Unless you ask your customers how you are doing, you’ll never know exactly how they feel.

To make more informed adjustments to policy and show an active interest in your customers’ opinions, consider conducting customer surveys after every conversation. Just remember to keep it short and respect each individual’s decision whether or not to participate, as overly time-consuming surveys can backfire.

3. Make Changes in Response to Customer Feedback

Gathering customer feedback is only the first step toward improving customer satisfaction. Customers want to feel heard, so it’s important to listen to negative feedback and implement solutions designed to address the root cause.

To repair damaged customer relationships and further increase CSAT, consider following-up with customers. When you acknowledge the problem and explain how you are working to fix it, customers will be more willing to trust your customer support team in the future.

4. Create Personalized Conversations With Customer Messaging

While some customers may find phone conversations convenient, others would rather send a message using social media or SMS. People view text messaging as a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable form of communication. As a result, companies have the opportunity to significantly improve the customer experience and increase CSAT scores when they implement a business messaging platform like Quiq.

Our platform allows customer service agents to engage multiple customers in their preferred form of communication. Text conversations allow for more personalization, and rich messaging features enable agents to provide easy, direct, and actionable solutions. Agents can send and receive helpful pictures and videos to streamline the conversation, and they can even process secure transactions.

Get Started by Requesting a Quote

By reducing call volume, messaging systems allow call center employees to work more efficiently and ensure customers receive answers quickly. To find out how Quiq can help improve your company’s CSAT rating, request a demo today.

Why Use Google’s Business Messages

The lion’s share of any and all research starts simply – with a search on Google. According to Hubspot, Google has 92.42% of the search engine market share worldwide. That translates to approximately 72% of all desktops and 92% of the mobile search engine market share with the United States leading in number of users.

All of this is to say that at some point, it’s basically guaranteed your customers will find you in a Google search or Google Map result. The only problem…those searches often result in a flood of calls because Google pushes your phone number front and center, essentially encouraging consumers to call you.

Most companies are looking for ways to decrease expensive phone calls while still delivering fast, easy, and convenient help. Fortunately, Google created a messaging channel that combines the visibility of search with the efficiency of asynchronous communication with Google’s Business Messages.

With Google’s Business Messages, your company can make it easy for consumers to reach you with text messaging instead of a phone call. In this post, you’ll learn the benefits of using Google’s Business Messages and why you should get started with this channel today.

A Refresh On Google’s Business Messages

Let’s do a quick refresh of what is Google’s Business Messages and why there’s so much buzz about it. According to Google, “Google’s Business Messages is a mobile conversational channel that combines entry points on Google Maps, Search, and brand websites to create rich, asynchronous messaging experiences.”

If you want a little more background, check out this short video. Here you’ll get the breakdown of Google’s suite of business communication products. If you’re already pretty comfortable with Business Messages, let’s dive in.

Your Business Needs Google’s Business Messages

Business Messages does more than elevate a conversation for the consumer. Although, that is pretty valuable in and of itself. The main benefit of Google’s Business Messages is that it can drastically reduce the number of calls your live agents receive so they can focus on higher priority interactions.

Without Business Messages enabled, the click-to-call button that is presented in search results encourages consumers to call your business. With Business Messages enabled consumers can click the “Message” button to have their conversation through text.

A lot of companies are taking advantage of consumers’ preference to message and are implementing digital agents, or chatbots as their first line of defense to handle common customer support issues. For more complex customer journeys, the message can be routed to a live agent.

Businesses can take advantage of the discovery and reach of Google Maps and Search, while providing a more direct way to have meaningful conversations with consumers. Here are a few ways Business Messages makes conversations more personal:

  • Building consumer trust by showing expected wait times and answers to frequently asked questions,
  • Enhancing customer care with the ability to connect with a live agent and driving loyalty,
  • Purchasing, scheduling, and upselling through rich features like carousels, suggested replies, and photos.

With Google’s Business Messages you can leverage the power of the world’s largest search engine as an entry point for your customer service. With Quiq, your agents can efficiently manage these digital messaging conversations within our intelligent, intuitive platform.

In addition to being a super easy to use messaging feature, businesses can work with Quiq to implement bots and automate frequently asked questions. So far, we’ve seen that brands are excited about Business Messages because of the resulting high customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, a decrease in call volume, and how quickly customer inquiries can be resolved on messaging.

At the surface, Business Messages may sound like another messaging channel. It’s more than that. Take a second to think about the definition and what it provides to consumers: to

  • A way for companies and consumers to have convenient and personalized 2-way conversations. Conversations take place on the customer’s preferred channel and mobile device.
  • A rich messaging experience that provides consumers with modern messaging features. Typing indicators, the ability to share gifs and videos take the conversation to a new level.
  • An easy way for consumers to start conversations with companies. It takes a quick tap on Google Search and Map results on Android mobile devices.

Research shows that 75% of consumers prefer to engage with a company in a seamless, convenient way and Business Messages delivers. Here’s a short video that explains more about Google’s Business Messaging:

Business Messages enables you to engage with your customer at their time of need  on their terms, on their preferred channel, and using their preferred device.

How To Get Started With Google’s Business Messages

As a partner, Quiq makes getting started with Google’s Business Messages easy. First, we’ll work with you during the registration process. You’ll be asked to fill out a short questionnaire that we’ll use to get you registered. Next, our team will walk you through implementation and deployment. Finally, we’ll work with you to ensure that messaging is optimized across all of your channels.

Since Quiq’s messaging platform supports Google, Facebook, live chat and more, we’ll be able to bring all of your digital channels together into one agent desktop. Working with Quiq means working with a team experienced in implementing messaging and bots across all of our supported channels and automating workflows for your entire organization. What’s more, you’ll have the 24/7 support of the Quiq team if you ever run into any hurdles with Business Messages.

Why wait? We’ve helped companies get started with messaging and bots in as little as 24 hours.  Schedule some time to talk to one of our conversation experts today.

How Chatbots for Customer Experience Deliver Results

Chatbots deliver results across a variety of industries. From retail to travel, chatbots are there to help improve the customer experience, acting as the always-on, always-ready assistants your customers want.

Consumers are interacting with chatbots more often, even if they don’t know they are engaging with a chatbot. Read our infographic below to discover why 80% of businesses will utilize some form of chatbot automation by 2020.

Chatbots deliver results for customer experience and beyond

What Are AI-Powered Chatbots?

AI chatbots are automated systems designed to hold simple conversations with consumers and leads. They’re often used for live chat on websites, ready to help answer questions for shoppers who are browsing.

Chatbots are programmable, meaning that online retailers can rely on them to address questions on specific topics when no representatives are available. They can respond directly to certain keywords and questions, and their speed is ideal for consumers who may be in a hurry to receive an answer before they decide to buy a product. While bots are often less useful for complex or customer-specific queries, they can generate valuable resources and responses to more basic questions within seconds.

Today, chatbots are commonly used to help retailers save time and provide immediate answers to consumers. They can appear as pop-ups on websites, in SMS messages, and more. Thanks to their speed and convenience, they play a major part in enhancing the overall customer experience.

Who Uses AI Chatbots?

Artificial intelligence chat options can benefit a wide range of industries, from retailers to banks to dating websites. Retailers and financial institutions use chatbots as a way to communicate with leads and existing customers without requiring a live representative for every interaction.

One minute can make the difference between a successful transaction and a lost lead. Chatbots are useful for product and service providers who want to increase the likelihood that shoppers will buy. A bot can simulate human conversation, increasing trust between the consumer and retailer in a cost-effective way. This solution can integrate smoothly with any website management strategy, convincing customers to stay on the website longer.

Chatbots have become more mainstream in customer service as retailers start to rely more on mobile solutions and personalized messages. Phone calls and emails can be a hassle, and the wait times can drive away leads. Chatbots eliminate these wait times while making life easier for both agents and consumers.

Why Use Chatbots to Deliver Results?

Chatbots offer an easy, personal way to interact with shoppers. They’re less tedious than using real-life agents for basic questions, and they reduce the time it takes to handle customer demands. Quiq chatbots deliver a variety of results at once and provide many other benefits for retail and financial websites.

1. Chatbots Help Engage Customers

  • From the moment someone visits your site, logs onto your app, or connects with your social media page, a chatbot can be there to start the conversation.
  • 57% of consumers are interested in getting real-time answers from bots on a company website1.
  • Chatbots can guide customers where they need to go, based on feedback, browsing history, and other personalized variables. Bots continually learn from interactions and use the information to get better at helping agents and consumers.
  • Available 24/7 and across a variety of platforms, consumers can connect with your brand whenever they want, using the messaging channels they already know and use.

2. Chatbots Improve Customer Service

  • 95% of consumers believe customer service is going to be the major beneficiary of chatbots2.
  • Chatbots can open support tickets, answer questions, collect feedback, and point customers toward helpful resources quickly and efficiently.
  • Bots are only as good as their programming but good bot interactions escalate to human agents if they get stuck in conversations.
  • Chatbots can route customers to the right customer service agent, while providing the agent with useful customer information.
  • Chatbots are predicted to handle 85% of customer service interactions by 20203.
  • Setting up a chatbot platform is a cost-effective way to relieve human agents of simple, repetitive tasks, and increase efficiency.
  • Chatbot automation could save businesses an estimated $8 billion a year5.

3. Chatbots Increase Conversions

  • Chatbots can monitor conversations in real-time and analyze the available data to suggest products to human agents. 47% of customers would buy items suggested from a chatbot4.
  • Set rules for your chatbot to recognize keywords such as “buy” or “purchaase” to prioritize customers who may need help with a transaction.
  • Chatbots can present dates and times for customers to schedule appointments and reservations that customers can book with a tap of a button.

How Chatbots Can Be Used in Your Business

If an industry leader is looking to reduce agent workload or find ways to increase sales, customer experience chatbots could make a massive difference. AI-powered bots help retailers in all sectors stay competitive by saving time and providing valuable information that consumers can count on.

Automated systems generate responses faster than a human behind a computer or phone screen, and they can serve multiple customers at a time. It’s easy to program chatbots to answer certain types of questions and provide answers on a variety of topics. You can also use them to prioritize shoppers in need and reserve more complex issues for real-life experts. Quiq platforms allow businesses to integrate both chatbots and personalized messaging for the optimal customer experience.

Quiq: Your Messaging and Bot Solution

Customers are knocking. Are you going to answer? Quiq has the leading asynchronous platform to enable customers to connect with companies across today’s most popular business messaging channels. You know them. SMS/Text Messaging, Web Chat, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messaging, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter Direct Message, to name a few.

Let Quiq help you incorporate native and third-party bots into any part of the customer conversation to streamline your workflow and deliver results. Contact Quiq for a demo today by visiting

How to Use Outbound Messaging Effectively

Sales, service and marketing teams have a number of strategies available to reach new customers and engage more effectively. Phone calls and emails have served as important methods of communication between agents and customers over the last few decades. In today’s market, one of the most effective ways to provide technical support, send shipping notifications, and create sales alerts is to use outbound messaging.

Outbound messaging is a service-side feature in which a company representative contacts potential customers directly. The aim of an outbound marketing strategy is to keep consumers informed and provide more effective, individualized service. People who sign up to receive text messages can engage in high-quality conversations and stay up-to-date on their orders, all without having to pause their normal daily activities.

Of all the types of outbound messaging — email, cold calling, sending direct messages on social media — text message marketing offers the greatest benefits. Today, customers have smartphones nearby nearly every minute of the day. Even better, because people still view SMS as a safe and enjoyable communication channel, they are also more likely to engage and respond.

A strong outbound sales plan can help B2C companies increase sales and build customer loyalty. If you want to use outbound text message marketing as part of your sales strategy, it’s important to follow SMS marketing best practices. Try the following tips to craft a successful outbound sales plan.

Remain Courteous and Gain Permission

Before companies can send outbound messages, they need to comply with local laws and get permission from the customers on the mailing list. A customer who has opted-in to receiving messages will be more likely to listen to what a company has to say than someone who receives the same message out of nowhere.

To make a good impression, respect the prospect’s time and privacy. Keep the messages short and make it easy to opt-out at any time.

Segment Your Target Markets

People respond positively to communication tailored to their needs. To make outbound messaging relevant to everyone, sales teams can tailor messages to different market segments. Market segmentation involves dividing up a broad consumer base into groups based on shared characteristics.

Although defining market segments takes time and research, it’s well worth the effort, as it gives you the opportunity to significantly increase response rates through personalized messaging. It also makes it easier to send the right messages consumers need at the right time. Types of messages that are possible through outbound messaging platforms include:

  • Special offers
  • Appointment setup
  • Shipping and delivery notifications
  • Billing reminders
  • Event reminders
  • Customer service
  • Surveys and polls

Having an effective outbound messaging strategy is essential to meeting the needs of customers. By targeting the right people with the right messages, you can build trust and give them more control over their experiences.

Use Personalized Messaging Tailored to Your Audience

Every consumer has unique needs, and it’s important for eCommerce company leaders to adjust their approach accordingly. Outbound messaging is all about individualizing the customer experience. Using personalized messaging enables retailers to address pain points specific to each customer and guide individuals down the sales funnel at the correct pace.

The best part about working with Quiq is that we offer more than just one-way messaging for promotions. We also offer two-way messaging so everyone can engage in the conversation. Our outbound messaging software gives the customer the power to respond, which provides businesses with the opportunity to ask for feedback and connect on a more personal level. Representatives can interact directly with customers or use chatbots to maximize availability.

Select Your Outbound Messaging Platform Wisely

When it comes to an outbound messaging campaign’s success, the platform you use is just as important as the messages you send. Companies that benefit the most from an outbound marketing strategy often utilize an outbound SMS platform with rich messaging capabilities as well as analytics and reporting. Quiq’s business text messaging platform delivers these benefits and more.

With Quiq, agents manage multiple conversations simultaneously and work alongside native chatbots to provide more efficient and effective customer service. To find out how Quiq will improve outbound sales for your business, contact us to request a demo today.

The Cyborg Contact Center

Augmenting Your Human Workforce with Bots

No, this article isn’t about The Governator or Tony Stark taking over your contact center. It’s about augmenting your human workforce with bots and giving them some superpowers of their own.

Bots have become commonplace in recent years thanks to platforms like DialogFlow. They’ve been deployed across numerous messaging channels as well as voice. They have become increasingly conversational – using natural language to collect data and trigger workflows. With all of these advances, it might seem as though we’re living in the golden age of chatbots. So what’s missing?

The biggest omission is that many bot services result in bots that are only aware of the messages they’re exchanging with customers. They neglect the presence of human agents, and possibly other bots, participating within the same environment.

It makes sense that we ended up here. So much of the recent progress has been focused on increasing the intelligence and capabilities of bots such that they can single-handedly address more types of interactions without human involvement. Indeed, many businesses wish to put a bot in place on their website with no possibility of escalating to a live agent. By this point, many of us have interacted with such a bot with a need that surpassed the bot’s capabilities.

The Right Way To Combine Bots and Human Agents

The best approach is to combine bots and human agents. The bots can handle the common and repetitive customer intents, which will keep wait times down. Meanwhile, the human agents can help with infrequent or difficult conversations and keep the customer base happy. It’s a win-win for the business and its customers. But what is necessary to create such an environment? We count the top 5 foundational principles of an automated contact center:

1. Shared Customer Session

The right way to combine bots and human agents involves shared customer sessionsThe first foundational requirement is a shared customer session. This means that all of the messages exchanged between the customer and a combination of human agents and bots are stored on the same conversation record. The same must be true of any structured data that is gathered or extracted from the exchanged messages. We’ve all been through the painful process of providing our personal info over a telephony system, getting transferred, and then being forced to provide the same information again.

This same problem is prevalent in chatbots and is no less annoying. Many bot services make it possible to receive the session data such that you can inject it into another platform, but this requires custom coding and can result in a disjointed customer experience. Ideally the session data will be tracked and transferred seamlessly and automatically by the system.

2. Escalation & Transfer as First Order Concepts

In order for bots and humans to cooperate, they must be able to pass conversations between them. This can be accomplished by direct transfer (e.g. a human agent transferring directly to a specific bot) or through escalation (e.g. a bot routes the conversation to a human agent queue based on the intent).

The concepts of escalation and transfer shouldn’t be arcane things that require custom coding. They should be first-order concepts that are visible in a workflow designer and thus configurable by administrators. Put another way, the ability to move conversations around between segments of your workforce (including bots) should be fully commoditized.

3. Open-Ended Workflows

The most obvious bot-enabled workflow is to have all conversations start with a bot, which will dutifully deflect as many inquiries as possible from live agents and escalate as necessary based on intent. However, there are many other useful workflows.

A human agent should be able to transfer to a bot mid-conversation (e.g. to help with a repetitive task) and know that the bot will send the conversation right back to them once the task is complete. Bots should also be able to conclude conversations by doing things like administering in-channel surveys. The bottom line is that, by virtue of commoditized escalation and transfer, you should be able to inject bots whenever the time is right.

4. Bot Awareness of the Contact Center & Workforce

In the spirit of bots being a cooperative part of a contact center, they should be able to see and make decisions based on information about the contact center and workforce. What sort of data might they inspect?

  • Business hours & holiday schedule
  • Human agent staffing (how many available agents)
  • Estimated wait times and depth of various queues

By making decisions on such data, the bot can do the following:

  • Take away the ability to escalate to live agents if queues are too deep
  • Limit the supported conversational intents based on the staffing of skill-based live agent queues
  • Provide the appropriate guidance and options after-hours or during holidays

The preceding capabilities should be readily accessible in the bot design experience because these types of requirements can change frequently.

5. Bot-to-Bot Cooperation

The last foundational element has been hinted at several times already. When you think about augmenting your contact center, you should consider not just one, but potentially multiple, bots with specific purposes. While “one bot to rule them all” may sound tempting, by utilizing multiple bots you can keep your bots simpler, more manageable, and independently updateable.

This is very useful if your business consists of multiple departments that need to administer their bot flows independently. Of course, the bots should be able to transfer to one another easily and all data should be shared in order to provide the best customer experience.

Robots spelling out the word TEAM

By now it’s hopefully clear that the ideal bot deployment will consist of bots that are an integral part of your contact center, not something bolted onto your existing operations. At Quiq, we designed our bot framework with this goal in mind from the outset.

The aforementioned foundational principles are all commoditized and available to visual designers. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us. We believe Quiq can truly give your contact center superhuman powers.

kyle facebook messages customer support using Quiq Author: Kyle McIntyre