How Messaging Delivers a Modern Customer Experience

Customer service has moved from call centers to contact centers—and they’ve gone next-gen. Technology has seen rapid growth over the last few years, and your customers’ expectations have grown with them.

Nothing has made this clearer than messaging’s rise as the ultimate customer service channel.

Keep reading to see how messaging delivers a modern customer service experience.

What customer service looks like at the end of 2022.

We’re at the end of 2022 and 2023 is coming up fast. Countless headlines threaten a looming recession (while others say it’s already here), you see inflation in every trip to the grocery store, and national conversations are filled with high emotions. The doom and gloom news cycle has everyone feeling down, and unfortunately, it’s spilling into everyday interactions with customer service.

The consumer mindset.

Expectedly, the current climate is affecting consumers across the board—and customer service teams are feeling it. According to Zendesk, 66% of companies report that customers are less patient when interacting with agents or service teams this year. What’s more, 18% of companies are more likely to report that customer satisfaction is somewhat or significantly below expectations than in 2021.

So, although we say it constantly, customer expectations truly are higher than ever. For contact centers, that generally means the need for faster response times, faster resolution times, and more one-touch resolutions.

Digital expectations remain high.

While businesses were forced to focus on digital customer service as in-person stores were closed during much of 2020, they’ve slacked off as the world returns to pre-pandemic lifestyles. Forrester’s US 2022 Customer Experience Index showed a 19% drop in CX across US consumer brands.

So while many consumers are returning to in-store shopping, they still expect the stellar service they received over the last two years. Anything less fails to meet expectations.

More conversations.

But there’s more at play than just speed. Customers are also looking for organic, conversational interactions. Zendesk reports that upwards of 70% of customers say they expect conversational experiences when interacting with brands.

What’s more conversational than messaging? Email has some formality (a holdover from its predecessor, letter writing), and phone calls require both parties to stop what they’re doing and focus on the one-to-one conversation. Messaging fits into the way people already have conversations—making it a natural next step in the evolution of modern customer service.

Messaging has revolutionized the customer experience.

There’s no doubt that messaging has changed the game when it comes to delivering a modern customer experience. It’s made customer service more accessible to younger generations who favor messaging over phone conversations, and it’s increased the speed at which contact centers can help customers.

Here are a few ways you can revolutionize your customer experience with messaging.

1. Deliver personalization with data.

One of the most frustrating things for customers is having to repeat their problems to every new person talk to in customer service. Plus, the rise of personalization has made access to customer databases a critical business need.

Opt for a conversational platform that integrates with the client databases (CRMs, ERPs, etc.) that you already use. Whether you use Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle, etc., having easy access to customer information will help contact center agents personalize conversations and improve the customer experience.

2. Enhance conversations with AI.

How many chatbots have you encountered that felt like you were talking to a robot? Probably a fair amount. If you don’t ask your question the right way or put your answer in the right format, it’s all over. Basic chatbots rarely understand the nuances of human language, and they aren’t able to read context to make sense of a conversation.

But AI-enhanced chatbots aren’t like the others. Chatbots like Quiq’s use Natural Language Processing (NPL) to identify customer intent and base the conversation in the right context. This means more natural conversations between bots and customers and less of a strain on your contact support team.

3. Uplevel conversations with rich messages.

Messaging is more than a replacement for phone conversations—it’s a way to create rich, modern customer experiences. Rich messaging is an advanced form of text messaging that lets you send more visually engaging and interactive messages.

Instead of sending a message with a link to your website—where it’s easy for customers to get lost or distracted—you can send images and videos within the conversation. You can even securely complete the transactions right within the messaging app. Schedule appointments, send GIFs, or share high-resolution photos and videos—everything you need for modern customer service.

Optimize customer interactions with Quiq.

Meet the future of customer service head-on with Quiq’s Conversational AI Platform. Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via messaging, the channel your customers already use to connect with family and friends. With Quiq, customers can engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, web chat, in-app, WhatsApp, and more for a more modern customer service experience.

If you want to learn how you can easily deliver the modern customer experience by connecting with your customers contact us for a short demo.

[Infographic] 9 Effective Call Center Strategies You Can’t Miss

Effective call center strategies are essential to running a contact center. It’s not as simple as setting up a few phones and handing your team a script (although we’re sure no one has thought that since 2005). But it’s equally as likely that you’re so bogged down with managing the everyday realities that you can’t see the forest through the trees.

That is, you can’t see just how cluttered the contact center has become.

From staffing and training to managing operations and tracking KPIs, you spend too much time keeping a contact center running instead of doing what you do best: Connecting with customers.

That’s where Quiq comes in. Our Conversational AI Platform uses breakthrough technology to make it easier to engage customers, whether, through live chat (also known as web chat), text messaging, or social media.

Let’s take a look at ways to improve your call center efficiency and how Quiq can help you reduce the clutter with 9 effective call center strategies in a handy infographic:

9 ways to improve call center efficiency

Download as a PDF instead

The 9 effective call center strategies recap

Check out these call center strategies below:

  1. Streamline your current system.
  2. Boost agent productivity and efficiency.
  3. Drive down costs.
  4. Manage seasonal spikes and fluctuating demands.
  5. Remove friction.
  6. Improve the quality of your conversations with rich messaging.
  7. Engage more qualified leads.
  8. Increase conversions.
  9. Increase customer satisfaction.

1. Streamline your current system.

How do you currently connect with your customers? Fielding phone calls, emails, and the occasional DMs can leave communications scattered and your systems fragmented.

Here’s what can happen with you don’t have a single, consolidated platform:

  • Customer conversations can slip through the cracks.
  • Your team wastes time switching between apps, programs, and windows.
  • Disparate technology becomes outdated and overpriced.
  • With no support for asynchronous communication, conversations can only happen one at a time.
  • Measuring performance requires pulling metrics from multiple sources, a time-consuming and arduous process.

Quiq lets your agents connect with customers across various channels in a singular platform. You’ll improve your contact center operational efficiency with conversations, survey results, and performance data all in one easy-to-use interface.

2. Boost agent productivity and efficiency.

How do your customer service agents go about their day? Are they handling one call at a time? Reinventing the wheel with every new conversation? Switching between apps and email and phone systems?

Outdated technology (or a complete lack of it) makes handling customer conversations inherently more difficult. Switching to a messaging-first strategy with Quiq increases the speed with which agents can tackle customer conversations.

Switching to asynchronous messaging (that is, messaging that doesn’t require both parties to be present at the same time) enables agents to handle 6–8 conversations at once. Beyond conversation management, Quiq helps optimize agent performance with AI-enhanced tools like bots, snippets, sentiment analysis, and more.

3. Drive down costs.

It’s time to stop looking at your contact center as a black hole for your profits. At the most basic level, your customer service team’s performance is measured by how many people they can serve in a period of time, which means time is money.

The longer it takes your agents to solve problems, whether they’re searching for the answer, escalating to a higher customer service level, or taking multiple conversations to find a solution, the more it impacts your bottom line.

Even simple questions, like “Where’s my order?” inquiries needlessly slow down your contact center. Managing your contact center’s operations is overwhelming, to say the least.

Need a Quiq solution? We have many. Let’s start with conversation queuing. Figuring out a customer’s problem and getting to the right person or department eats away at time that could be spent finding a solution. Quiq routes conversations to the right person, significantly reducing resolution times. Agents can also seamlessly loop in other departments or a manager to solve a problem quickly.

Beyond improving your contact center’s operational efficiency, messaging is 3x less expensive than the phone.

4. Manage seasonal spikes and fluctuating demands.

All contact centers face the eternal hiring/firing merry-go-round struggle. You probably get busy around the holidays and slow down in January. Or maybe September is your most active season, and your team shrinks through the rest of the year. While you can’t control when you’re busy and when you’re slow, you can control how you respond to those fluctuations.

Manage seasonal spikes by creating your own chatbot using Quiq’s AI engine. Work with our team to design bot conversations that use Natural Language Processing (NPL) to assist customers with simple questions. Chatbots can also improve agent resolution times by collecting customer information upfront to speed up conversations.

Daily Harvest’s chatbot, Sage, was able to contain 60% of conversations, which means their human agents saw a vast reduction in call volume. Perfect for managing the holiday rush.

5. Remove friction.

How hard is it for your customers to contact your help center? Do they have to fill out a web form, wait for an email, and set up a phone call? Is there a number in fine print in the depths of your FAQ page? Some companies make it difficult for customers to interact with their team, hoping that they’ll spend less money if there are fewer calls and emails. But engaging with customers can improve company perception, boost sales, and deepen customer loyalty.

That’s why Quiq makes it easy for your team and customers to connect. From live chat to SMS/text and Google Business Messaging to WhatsApp, customers can connect with your team on their preferred channel.

6. Improve the quality of your conversations with rich messaging.

Email and phone conversations are, in a word, boring. Whether you’re an e-commerce company selling products or a service provider helping customers troubleshoot problems with their latest device, words aren’t always enough. That’s why Quiq offers rich messaging.

What is rich messaging? It’s an advanced form of text messaging that includes multimedia, like GIFs, high-resolution photos, or video. It also includes interactive tools, like appointment scheduling, transaction processing, and more.

You can use rich messaging to give customers a better service experience. Whether sending them product recommendations or a video walkthrough, they’ll get a fully immersed experience.

7. Engage more qualified leads.

Do leads die in your contact center? Let’s face it: your contact center isn’t the place to handle high-value leads. Yet when warm leads find themselves there, you need a way to track, qualify, and engage them.

Here’s where chatbots can help with marketing. Quiq’s chatbots can help you identify qualified leads by engaging with your prospect and collecting information before it ever gets to your sales team.

A great example we’ve seen is from General Assembly. With the Quiq team by their side, they created a bot that helped administer a quiz and captured and nurtured leads interested in specific courses. This helped them strengthen the quality of their leads and achieve a 26% conversion rate, which leads us to our next factor for an effective call center strategy.

8. Increase conversions.

If you haven’t stopped viewing your call center as a cost center, this next topic should change your mind. While many contact centers focus on customer service, which can lean heavily toward complaints and post-purchase problems, there’s also tons of profit potential via effective call center strategies.

Adding messaging to your contact center opens up more opportunities to engage with your customers across the web. Live chat is a great way to talk to your customers at key points in the buyers’ journey. Using a chatbot to assist shoppers in navigating your website makes shoppers 3x more likely to convert to a sale than unassisted visitors.

Combining AI and human agents with Quiq’s conversational platform gives your customers the best experience possible without adding to your contact center’s workload—and it can lead to an 85% reduction in abandoned shopping carts. Plus, Quiq integrates with your ERP system so customer data is always at your team’s fingertips.

9. Increase customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction is likely your call center’s #1 goal. Yet outdated phone systems and substandard technology isn’t the best solution to improve call center agent performance.

Quiq empowers agents to be more efficient, which reduces your customer’s wait time and helps ensure customers get the best service possible. Quiq customers often increase their customer satisfaction ratings by about 15 points.

And the best way to increase your ratings? With regular, in-context surveys. Our conversational platform helps you and your agents get instant customer feedback. Customers can seamlessly respond to surveys right from within the channel they used to connect with your customer service.

Give contact center clutter a Quiq goodbye with effective call center strategies.

There’s no place in an efficient business for a cluttered contact center. Outdated systems, slow processes, and a lack of support can overwhelm your agents—and keep them from performing their best for your customers.

Now that you’re equipped with ways to improve call center efficiency, it’s time to see it in action. Quiq’s Conversational AI Platform empowers your team to work more efficiently and create happier customers.

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5 Ways to Reinforce Your Product Messaging

People approach product creation differently. Some people wait for the aha moment to strike them, some think of a solution to their own specific need, and others still do extensive research and development before landing on the next product to take to market. But one thing all products need is a thorough product messaging strategy.

Yet, developing your product messaging is only part of the process. What makes a good messaging strategy great is how you reinforce it among your customers and your internal team.

Before we dive into how to reinforce your product messaging, let’s take a look at what it is and how to develop your own framework

What is product messaging?

Let’s start with the basics. Product messaging is how you define your product (or service) and communicate it to your customers. But it’s not just what you say. It’s the design of the product, what others say about it, and how your customers perceive it.

Product messaging (hopefully) helps your customers intuitively understand the answers to these questions:

  • What are you?
  • What will you do for me?
  • Why you (and not someone else)?
  • Why should I trust you?
  • Why now?

By looking at your webpage, your product packaging, or talking to anyone on your team, customers should receive the same information and be able to answer those questions.

Yet, product messaging doesn’t have one format. Since it encompasses the words and visuals surrounding your product, a lot more goes into it than the copy on your product page. Here are some product messaging examples:

  • Sales page
  • Product description
  • Social media posts
  • Chat bots
  • Product design
  • Push notifications
  • Social media ads
  • Product videos

All of these things (and more) go into how customers perceive your product—and it all matters.

Why is product messaging important?

Okay, we know what you’re thinking. It’s been said by countless people across hundreds of industries: Why do we need to create a product messaging framework? Can’t our teams just look at the product page?

While product pages are very helpful for creating new assets and having sales conversations, it’s not enough. Here are some reasons why you should create a product messaging map:

Disseminate the information to the rest of your team.

Your product team knows all the details. They know why you created the product, what makes customers want to buy it, and all the special features. So how are you getting that information to your marketing team? To your sales team? What about PR?

Creating a product messaging map is a great way to get the information your product team just knows to the rest of your organization.

Ensures messaging consistency.

Do you walk by a sales team member and cringe at what they’re saying? Does your CEO describe the product differently every time they talk about it? While this frustrates you, it’s probably really confusing for your customer.

The message only sinks in when everyone on your team is writing and saying the same thing about your product.

It makes it easier for your other team.

This writer may be a bit biased, but having a product messaging guide makes creating new assets infinitely easier. Your marketing, PR, and sales teams are constantly creating things to bring attention to your product. Without a guide to help them, it feels like they’re reinventing the wheel.

Pre-made messaging can speed things up tremendously. Not only is it pre-approved (and therefore will go through approval channels much faster), but it’s already researched and proven effective.

Your product is more recognizable.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could tell someone something once and it would stick? It takes a lot of repetition (and in different forms) for customers to digest information—especially when messaging is coming at them all day, every day.

And when you don’t have a clear differentiation from your competitors, consumers may confuse your products—which leads us to the next reason.

It prevents price shopping.

This is what makes the difference between generic products and premium ones. There are no singular products that don’t have competitors—but what makes them different is their messaging.

The most obvious example of this? The iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy. Both are phones. Both have top-of-the-line features like advanced cameras, processing power, and speed. Yet the iPhone outsells the Galaxy (although Samsung currently outsells Apple overall). Even though there’s a clear difference in price, the iPhone has more recognizable messaging and more powerful marketing.

How to build your product messaging strategy.

So, where do you start? Building a product messaging strategy preferably begins at the product development stage. What’s easier: Creating a product and then looking for customer benefits and competitor differentiators or creating a product with those built-in? The research stage should be part of the product development lifecycle—but don’t let that hold you back. Whether you’re starting at the beginning, reinventing your current product messaging, or wanting to build a framework on your already existing product, it all starts in the same place.

Research.

Whether you do this during product development or at a later stage, there are a few critical questions you need to answer about your product before moving forward.

Who is your target market? Well, anyone can use it isn’t the best answer. There’s an old Seth Godin quote that has driven the marketing landscape for years: “When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” Deciding who your ideal customer is for your product will make it a million times easier to reach them.

Consider everything from demographics, like age, education, and income, to psychographics, like their values, interests, and habits.

What pain points is your product solving? For example, sponges are either not strong enough or so strong that they scratch your dishes. Enter Scrub Daddy, the popular Shark Tank product that has sold over 25 million units (by 2019).

Identify what problems your target market faces and how your product solves them. This becomes the beginning of your core messaging.

How does your product benefit your target market? Talk about benefits to the customer, not your features. For example, a raincoat feature is that it’s made with waterproof material. The benefit is that you can stay dry while still looking good.

Product features are not benefits, but you can certainly start with your features and explain the benefits of each. For example, a feature of Billie razors is that they have 5 blades. The benefit is a closer shave.

How is your product different (re: better) than the competition? What makes your product special and unique? There are tons of meal delivery services out there, but only Daily Harvest is made with vegan, organic, and sustainably sourced produce.

As we mentioned earlier, showing how your product is different helps customers identify you in the market. When all the products in a market are too similar, consumers see this as a commodity. Instead of focusing on what’s better, they focus on what’s cheaper.

Road-test your product.

You’re probably already testing your product with users (or if your product is already on the market, you’re doing this in real-time). This is the perfect time to listen in and see how your customers talk about your product. Taking their words and using them in your product marketing is a great way to speak your customer’s language.

Beyond listening in, you can even ask probing questions to mine them for information. Start with these:

  • What prompted you to seek out this product? What’s happening in your life/work that made you need this solution? Here, you’re looking for their pain points. While you probably already have a good idea of what they are, hearing it directly from your customers—using their language—will make it resonate more.
  • How would you describe this product to a friend? Customers can typically describe your product much simpler than you and your product team will.
    Who in your life do you think needs/would benefit from this product? More than a referral tool, this will help you see who the target audience is from your customer’s perspective.
  • How did you benefit from this product? What were you able to do because of it? Or what did it prevent you from doing? Here, you’re asking for the customers to share benefits in their own words. You may even get learn about benefits your team hadn’t thought of.

Craft a core value.

What is your product’s core value? At this point, you should have enough information to make this decision. It’s essentially your one-liner or elevator pitch.

Take the information you’ve gathered and put together a simple, succinct sentence that explains the problem and how you solve it.

Start writing.

Now that you have a core value proposition, pull the benefits and features together to create your product messaging map. Add key phrases, and include examples of how you talk about the product in different settings and to different audiences.

For example, messaging on Instagram may look different than in a case study. Explain the differences and include as much context as possible.

Demonstrate your product value.

Now that you have an internal idea of your messaging, gather external data that helps support it. Start by pulling testimonials from your product research and customer reviews. Add the quotes that lead you to your current messaging so other team members can see how your customers feel about the product in their own words.

Also, depending on how far along in product development you are, consider creating some case studies or even product demos and adding them to the messaging map.

Pull all this information into a single, easy-to-use document. You can create a messaging map, battle cards, or even pull together a Google doc. Just ensure everyone has access to the information, and you point them to it frequently.

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5 ways to reinforce product messaging.

We’d love to say your job is done when you’ve packaged the messaging and sent your product out into the world. Unfortunately, you can never tell someone something important just once.

Now, you need to find ways to reinforce your messaging (with your customers and your team).

Once your product is out there in the world, and you’ve nailed the messaging to the best of your ability, you need to find key ways to reinforce it.

Check out these 5 ways to reinforce your product messaging.

1. Distribute your messaging. Yes, again.

Hopefully, your team already has access to your product messaging framework (and knows where to find it). But that doesn’t mean they remember—or heard you the first few times you said it.

When marketing is creating assets or your PR team needs information, don’t just send them to your product page on the website. A product page is a great starting point, but they’re missing often missing insights your product team has, and the customer has likely already seen it, so it’s not as helpful as you think. Make sure you point your teams to your product messaging again and again so no one feels like they’re starting from scratch.

2. Equip customer service agents with product messaging, too.

Hopefully, your customer service agents are intimately familiar with your product. However, just giving them the product specs without sharing your messaging doc can confuse customers. Everyone on your team, from the CEO to the CSAs to salespeople should all talk about your product in the same way. Consistency is the name of the game.

You don’t have to write out entire scripts, but arming CSAs with product messaging examples can go a long way in ensuring consistency.

3. Program chatbots with the right product messaging.

Chatbots often fall under the purview of customer service, which is great for overall brand identity and messaging. But when it comes to product messaging, they’re often lacking.

Be sure to infuse chatbots with product messaging language so that any time a customer reaches out to your company, they hear about the products in the same way, with the same vocabulary.

4. Incorporate messaging into marketing channels.

It’s likely your product messaging strategy was developed with marketing in mind. Yet, oftentimes messaging gets lost once it’s filtered down to writers and designers creating smaller marketing pieces.

Channels like SMS marketing, email marketing, push notifications, and social media marketing should all talk about your product in the same way. Ensure everyone on your team is referencing the guide to reinforce your product messaging.

5. Spin pain points into content.

Here’s a more creative way to tap into the research you did. Take your customer pain points and turn them into pieces of content. From blog posts to podcasts to webinars, you can create content that appeals to your customer and lead them directly to your product.

Embrace your product messaging.

Product messaging isn’t a quick exercise at the end of your product development cycle. It’s an ongoing process that takes buy-in from your entire organization and should involve everyone who touches your product. Only then will your product truly stand out.