How a Premium Jeweler Drove 40X Return on Ad Spend

Challenge
The company wanted an interactive and engaging way to recommend gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, as part of its overall digital campaign.

In previous campaigns involving Facebook Messenger, the firm’s social managers and Sales Associates had been swamped by the need to manually respond to customers’ inquiries.

Especially for such a premium brand, customers needed to feel that their questions and concerns were properly considered and promptly handled. The iconic jewelry retailer learned how it could strengthen its brand through a groundbreaking, conversational marketing solution.

Solution
Quiq’s Conversational AI (CAI) platform provided the solution for both prompt handling of customer interactions and a way to recommend gift ideas.

The retailer leveraged Quiq to design and deploy a conversational shopping feature on Facebook Messenger that made personalized gift recommendations for customers. At Quiq, we know customers who engage in guided sales assistance are up to 4x more likely to convert than unassisted visitors.

Quiq’s unparalleled technology became a key component of the jeweler’s marketing campaign for Valentine’s Day. Users began the conversation by visiting the retailer’s Facebook page or searching its brand name within the Messenger application. Through either route, they were then engaged by Quiq’s intelligent chatbot.

Users were able to shop for products online at the retailer’s website or find the nearest physical store within the automated chat experience, through a window that pops up from Messenger. If they had a question, users could ask the automated agent directly with free text queries.

They were also prompted by the Quiq intelligent chatbot to take a brief quiz for discovering the perfect gift. It asked if the gift is for the user or someone else, the gender of the recipient, and the price range.

When those questions were answered, the Quiq automated agent suggested an appropriate gift. The recommendations are made from a group of products selected by the retailer for that gender and price window.

The consumer could also choose one of the recommended products for herself or himself, and send a pre-Valentine’s Day text to another Messenger user with the message:

“Hint hint … This is at the top of my wish list.”

A link and image of the chosen gift were automatically dropped into the message—a welcome change from the multi-step process of copying and sending links.

In addition to reducing staff time through this innovative gift recommendation, the Quiq smart conversation technology also helped relieve the burden placed upon customer service during this busy season by efficiently and accurately handling FAQs.

Results

By tracking performance of this and other interactive approaches, the Quiq’s Conversational AI platform allows marketers to create custom experiences based on consumer behavior, and to target social ads more effectively as a means of acquiring customers.

Once users entered the experience, they were highly engaged:

  • 50% of users who started the quiz completed it and received a gift recommendation.
  • Of those users, 33% clicked on a product link.
  • This led to a 40x return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).
  • The automated chat had an 85% satisfaction rating, according to a Quiq survey, indicating users loved getting product recommendations in this way.

You read that right: 40X Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) 

The retailer is receiving recognition for its dedication to creating innovative digital campaigns. Forbes magazine even called the jeweler a leader “among luxury jewelry and watch brands when it comes to digital competency,” noting that its “brand-driven strategies performed above the average throughout their digital channels.”

U-tron Makes Space For Messaging

Space. Not the vast, final frontier kind. We’re talking about the high demand, short supply, revenue generating variety that you find in New York, New Jersey, and California. When space is limited and parking is an absolute necessity, that can be a problem. That’s where U-tron comes in.

U-tron’s technology is a fully automated parking solution that saves space and reduces costs, while opening the doors to additional amenities. U-tron delivers a user friendly parking experience as simple and easy as valet parking, but without any human intervention. U-tron wanted the entire experience to be frictionless, right down to helping customers in need. The company turned to Quiq, so that customers who need help, get a fast, easy experience. Now 80% of the calls they use to receive now go through messaging.

Fully Automated, Highly Accurate, and Efficient 

With traditional parking structures, developers must work with often limited, complex space constraints. Imagine you’re developing an office complex in New Jersey. Local ordinances require you to provide 200 parking spots. The space available for parking will accommodate 90 cars on a flat surface. It used to be that the only options were an expensive dig to build down into the ground or building an eyesore up into the sky. 


If you order your car, it means you’re going somewhere. You might have an appointment, you might be going to work, or maybe you have a party to go to. Whatever it is, you need your car. So every second really counts when there’s an issue and your car is not coming out.

  • Michael Asmussen, Service Operations Manager, U-tron

That is until Unitronics, an industrial automation company applied 30 years of experience and knowledge to the problem and created U-tron. The company’s advanced automation solutions doubles the amount of parking spaces available.

A U-tron parking structure delivers a valet experience, without the valet. Drivers pull their car into a bay, lock their doors, and leave. The U-tron system will load the vehicle onto a pallet where it is smoothly delivered to its optimal parking spot. Pallets are transported by conveyors in an organized matrix designed to allow full flexibility and maximum capacity. Cars can be packed inches away from each other since there aren’t any humans who have to open doors to get in and out of cars. 

The absence of humans also means that there are different standards for safety and security. Garages are not lit or ventilated and there aren’t any stairwells or elevators to maintain. The lack of human access means that cars aren’t broken into and the robots that park the vehicles with precision and speed don’t ding cars. These things change the cost to build, insure, and operate a parking structure.

When drivers are ready to retrieve their vehicle they use the mobile app or kiosk to have the system retrieve their car. Cars arrive at a bay, facing forward and ready for the driver to head out. 

The entire operation is a modern, digital, fully-automated experience. Except when there was the rare instance a customer needed help at one of the garages. 

fully automated customer service is easy with Quiq Messaging and chatbots

When Every Second Counts Messaging Is The Answer

The expectation of an automated system is that it’s reliable and intuitive and when it’s not, that’s a problem. But U-tron isn’t a company of problem solvers. U-tron is a company of problem eliminators and one of the company’s key metrics is having zero customer calls to resolve. However, there are the inevitable software bugs or power outages that cause issues for customers.

Prior to implementing messaging, customers who had trouble retrieving their car would call a number. An answering service staffed by human agents would answer the call, take a message, and send an email to one of the technicians. The process required U-tron employees to vigilantly monitor their email for these infrequent requests so they could help customers as quickly as possible.

Quickly in this case was a relative term. The conversation with the answering service and transmission of the message through email could take 5 minutes or more in and of itself. If you’re the customer waiting for your car, that can feel like a lifetime.

One of the first things Michael Asmussen, Service Operations Manager at U-tron wanted to do when he joined the company was to reduce the customer’s wait time. Texting was the obvious channel. Given that 80% of calls have been deflected to SMS, it appears to have been the right choice.

U-tron Chooses Quiq Messaging For Flexibility

U-tron is a small, growing international company. There are between 15 to 20 technicians worldwide who handle approximately 5 inquiries a day in addition to monitoring and maintaining the complex equipment in the garages.

When the team looked for solutions it was important that the messaging platform was enabled across various channels like WhatsApp and SMS. Quiq was an obvious winner there. Quiq’s support of SMS, web chat, WhatsApp, Google’s Business Messages, and Apple Messages for Business meant that messaging could work in the US and elsewhere.

What really sealed the deal for the team at U-tron was the ability to pay by the conversation and not by seat. This ensures that anyone who needs to be involved in the conversation to help the customer has access to messaging.

For Michael, who was the champion for messaging from the beginning, it meant that he could stretch his budget and get all of his technicians on messaging instead of having to pick a handful of technicians for the messaging channel or worse, share licenses. With Quiq, every technician can get instant access to any of the customer messages that come in and there is clean reporting for every technician and every conversation.

From a managerial standpoint, the transparency of messaging has been a big win. Unlike the black box of phone calls where it wasn’t clear what transpired in the conversation, messaging makes it easier to review activity and transcripts. As a manager, Michael is able to review conversations and provide Technicians with the coaching they need to deliver better service.

The Future of Fully Automated Parking

Messaging provides U-tron the flexibility it needs now and for their future growth. The company has plans to double the cars in service every year for the next four or five years. Part of the rationale for choosing Quiq was that it could easily scale, and do so quickly, as their business grows.


Anything I’m doing right now has to easily scale because the business is going to grow and Quiq fit the bill there. If I want to double the team tomorrow, it’s ten minutes to just add the users and train them.

  • Michael Asmussen, Service Operations Manager, U-tron

Messaging isn’t the only way the company is preparing for growth. Around the same time messaging went live for the company in September of 2020, U-tron also introduced their mobile app. Within the mobile app, the company prominently presents a help button which opens the native texting app on their customers phone so that they can initiate a conversation right away. 

The Operations team’s success with Quiq has their Marketing department looking into how to use messaging too. Down the road, the team plans to evaluate web chat, Facebook, and Google’s Business Messages for pre-sales support.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a U-tron case study if the company didn’t have plans to expand their use of bots to automate transactions. Michael believes that their bots will evolve further to distinguish between standard customer issues and issues like billing. For now, the team is training and iterating their bots to recognize more customer intents.

Pella Resolves Pane Points with Messaging

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Pella Corporation is a leading designer and manufacturer of window and doors.  Pella has over 7,000 team members, 17 manufacturing locations, and more than 200 showrooms across the country. Pella supports every step of the customer’s journey, from design to installation, and support after the sale. Pella’s unique advantage is that they distribute where their customers want to buy, through exclusive Pella distributors and custom builders, to big box retailers like Lowe’s.

Pella is committed to exceeding customer expectations, and that includes customer support. Pella recognized that strong sales growth directly impacted the need to scale their contact center. The company turned to Quiq’s Messaging platform to achieve efficiencies such as a 98% faster resolution time with messaging vs. email.

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Pella Rolls Out Customer Support Messaging

Pella's shift to customer service messagingPella partnered with Quiq to implement messaging and went live with the platform in January of 2020 within the corporate contact center. The plan was to start with a subset of their customers and agents, build something and then learn from it.

The first Rollouts included:

  1. Messaging support for Pella’s National Account Sales Reps, who service some of Pella’s largest B2B customers like Lowe’s.
  2. The company chose four phone agents to go live with the messaging channel.
  3. The agents were provided with 2 hours of hands-on training and then allowed to spend time practicing with the system.
  4. Pella sent out a communication to their sales reps to promote the channel explaining how the new messaging channel worked and when it would be available. 
  5. Regional Managers were invited to a virtual meeting to unveil the new channel and were excited about this new support channel.

The Pella team was impressed with how smoothly the launch was executed and chose to expand the launch to include an Order Status chat bot that would handle any requests for Order status. This bot supports the sales reps and B2B customers as well.

  • Pella designed the order status bot, which includes an integration with Pella’s order system 
  • The bot is also able to seamlessly hand off any conversation that goes beyond order status or requires further research to a group of contact center agents.
  • With the help of the Quiq team, Pella was able to deploy the new bot quickly and effectively.

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Flattening the Contact Center Growth Curve

Adoption began almost immediately. Volume quickly ramped up as many of the sales reps became early and eager advocates for messaging, sharing their experience with colleagues. Both agents and reps love the ability to share screen shots, gifs, and links within their conversations to quickly exchange information. Today, the entire National Account Support team takes conversations from sales reps. Agents typically handle up to 3 simultaneous messages at a time with the average conversation lasting 5 minutes. 

Prior to the implementation of messaging, the contact center received thousands of phone calls and emails from sales reps. Since implementing SMS, at least 15% of phone calls have been deflected to the messaging channel.  

Messaging helps sales reps get the information they need faster, making in-home meetings with customers more efficient. Now resolving something over text takes an average time of 8 mins on SMS vs. emails that could sit in a reps inbox, and were averaging over 7hrs, for resolution. The 98% faster response time is paying off.

In one example, a customer wanted to know if they could have windows that matched their existing trim while meeting with a Pella sales rep in their home. The rep was able to snap a picture of the trim and text the question and photo to an agent. Within 20 seconds the agent sent a picture of three trim options that would work. Because the customer immediately received the information they needed, the sales rep was able to close the sale that day.


“Agents prefer messaging over talking on the phone. Over the phone, if there are 10 seconds of silence while you’re looking up something in the system, it feels like an eternity. When you’re texting, the communication is asynchronous, so the messaging agents feel less stressed and hurried, yet they’re faster than the phone agents.”

~ Traci Scott, Pella


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Pella’s Order Status Bot

With a successful implementation of SMS under their belt, the Pella team decided to automate some of their conversations with the help of a Quiq bot. The company rolled out an order status bot in May of 2019, integrating it with their order system.

The integration of Pella’s messaging bot with the company’s order system enables B2B customers and sales reps to simply type in the order number to receive an instant, real-time status of the order. Since launching the bot in May, customers have been able to quickly receive status updates without the need to speak to an agent. When a human agent needs to intervene, it is easy for the conversation to get transferred to one of the two agents who support order status inquiries.

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What’s Next at Pella For Customer Messaging

Although COVID-19 changed the order of Pella’s project roadmap and drastically shortened the implementation time, messaging remains a priority for several use cases throughout the customer’s experience. The results achieved from messaging and chatbots for the National Account Sales Reps has Pella anxious to get started on the next project.

Pella sees no shortage of opportunities to help their B2B and B2C customers with messaging. Pella also sees the potential for a bot to do outbound appointment reminders. 

Messaging has helped the company craft a digital customer experience that is faster and more convenient for customers and more efficient for the company. A clear win for everyone.

About Quiq

Quiq is ready to help your company gain efficiencies within your contact center. Schedule a call or contact us to discuss how Quiq’s messaging platform and bots can work throughout your organization to streamline workflows, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

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Black Hills Federal Credit Union: Serving Members Goes Mobile

Black Hills Federal Credit Union (BHFCU) is proud to be a part of the community they serve. They help members who are spread out across SouthDakota buy their first home, their first car, that second home, and even start businesses.

They know that no two members are alike, but they’re also certain that there’s some common ground for all of their 75,000 members.The need for convenient and secure ways to engage with the credit union was one thing all members wanted.

Free online bill payment, mobile check deposits, and Apple Pay are a few of the ways the credit union has made managing money from anywhere possible. Now messaging is part of that list of digital conveniences helping BHFCU live up to their mission of “We Improve Lives”.

Why Black Hills Federal Credit Union Chose Messaging

BHFCU wanted to provide a communication channel that members preferred. Text messaging was an obvious choice since mobile banking has grown steadily over the years. Statista reports that over three quarters of Americans used a mobile device the last time they checked their account balance. Since text messages also have a 98% open rate and a 209% higher response rate than traditional methods of engagement like phone and email, the messaging channel held the promise of reaching members with higher success rates since many frequently wouldn’t answer calls from the credit union or see an email as quickly.

Prior to working with Quiq, BHFCU handled questions ranging from balance inquiries, transaction info, name changes, adding joint members, disputes, and general account questions through phone, email, and social media platforms. Working with Quiq provided a way to not only add chat and text messaging, but enabled employees to gain efficiency by consolidating channels into a single platform.

Going Live With Messaging

The team at Black Hills decided to take things slowly to get a feel of the new channel and implemented Quiq for inbound texts only. Getting started with Quiq was straightforward and happened quickly. In the words of SVP/CIO John Buxton, “Implementation was super smooth.” The credit union has since added web chat, outbound messaging, and integrated messaging with their IVR system.

Contact center agents were provided hands-on training and practiced texting with each other before going live. Black Hills used their member newsletter, Facebook, email, and website notifications to promote messaging to their members.

There are currently 35 total employees using Quiq. The credit union has approximately 18 contact center agents, with one agent solely dedicated to handling chats and texts, in addition to employees in the mortgage lending and card services departments. The team plans to continue adding users and are focusing on collections and consumer lending next.

Improving The Member And Employee Experience

Members have eagerly adopted messaging. Not only has it made banking with Black Hills Credit Union more convenient, it also saves them time and money. The credit union doesn’t have to charge members any fees to get help on the messaging channel. Many members text to receive their balances or to initiate transfers for free with just a few taps on their phone.

The Black Hills team has been surprised how many members have become regulars to the messaging channel and the overall response rate they’ve seen. When reaching out to update addresses, agents offered text as an option with higher than average responses. “I feel like many of those people wouldn’t have called back or responded to a letter. The text was easy for them, and it worked well.  I thought that was awesome!” says John.

What’s Next For Messaging At Black Hills Federal Credit Union

The popularity of the channel among agents has Black Hills FCU taking a look at how to more evenly distribute the messages among agents. Currently, the team is using a round robin system, but feels they could improve that process so that more agents have the chance to handle text inquiries.

BHFCU sees a plethora of opportunities to use Quiq in the future. BHFCU developers recently utilized the APIs to create a secure authentication snippet to identify members with a pre-existing password that is stored on the core banking system. Future releases will add more options integrated with other systems, such as online banking credentials.  

This summer, the credit union will also build extensibility with an enterprise preference management system to retrieve and maintain opt-ins required by TCPA.  By end of year, the team is planning to create bot-based workflows to manage common inquiries from members.  Having authentication capabilities in place will allow the credit union to potentially realize additional cost savings.

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Metro Transit is on the Road to Easier Customer Engagement with Messaging

Public transportation in the metropolitan St. Louis area is on the move, and we’re not just talking about the buses and light rail system that transport over 36 million people every year. Metro Transit, the agency that manages more than 70 bus routes in Missouri and Illinois, as well as 38 stations for their 46-mile light rail system, continues to move transportation forward with their adoption of messaging. 

Metro Transit recognized their need for a new method of reaching their riders, effectively and conveniently. Customers were specifically asking for the ability to engage with the agency via text messaging for both customer service and public safety issues. Customer service requests like “Can you send me my trip plans” and “Can you text me bus schedules” were increasing in frequency. The agency set out to find a solution that would work for both customer service and public safety and found the perfect match with Quiq.

Setting a New Destination for Messaging 

Leadership first learned about Quiq and its capabilities in January of 2018. The RFP process made it really easy for the transit agency to see what Quiq had to offer, and Metro Transit made the decision to move forward with new text messaging and live chat options. 

Metro Transit went live with Quiq’s messaging platform in July 2018. While most Quiq implementations happen in days (if not less), this timeline was considered lightning speed for the agency. Most of the implementation was focused on internal decisions, such as, how many of their existing numbers should be used. The agency ultimately decided to reduce to 2 of their existing landline numbers for messaging.

The platform’s smooth launch was followed by their customers’ quick adoption. Not only was there pent up demand for messaging, but the agency also did a great job of promoting the platform. In addition to adding information about messaging to the agency’s website, the new capabilities were also promoted in an email to the agency’s 30,000 newsletter subscribers, on posters found in bus shelters, on trains and buses, and at every station. The agency also handed out tens of thousands of printed flyers to inform customers that text messaging was now available.

Messaging is now officially part of the agency’s Transit Information and Customer Service teams that handle more than 30K transit and customer care calls a month. Questions about transit are usually handled by the 14 agents who help customers with trip planning and finding schedules, while 3 customer service agents field about 2,500 calls and 600 to 700 emails a month on topics that range from operational concerns such as a bus failing to make a designated stop to service issues like schedules and timeliness. The agency hasn’t seen a decrease in call volume, but is thrilled that they are now reaching new customers who would not have contacted them otherwise.


“We’re reaching customers who would not have called or emailed otherwise. Text is their preferred communication channel and now we’re able to engage with them.“

Paul Stefanski, Manger IT Operations Systems


Without a doubt, the messaging channel has proven to be an effective vehicle for customer service, where 90% of the conversations are related to trip planning and the balance made up of customer service issues. The ability to reach new customers who would not have engaged otherwise becomes more obvious when it comes to public safety. 

Moving Forward with Messaging

Because it was clear that text messaging was the next stop on Metro Transit’s customer experience journey, leadership set out with a clear purpose: find out what was possible with text messaging. The agency had already been working with the Public Safety department for several years, searching for a solution that would provide customers the privacy, security, and immediacy that they desired. 

Prior to messaging, customers had the option to either use an intercom available on the platform or located on either side of the train to report concerns. Only one problem: everyone could hear the conversation the caller was having with the dispatcher on the other end, including the person or party who may be the object of concern. This caused many riders to avoid reporting anything because they didn’t want to make themselves out to be a target.

Today, Metro Transit customers can directly connect with transit security by text messaging, allowing them to discretely communicate their concerns with security personnel, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because text messaging makes it easy to report issues and not stand out, the agency has seen public safety reports increase. Agents have seen reports go from 0 when no used the intercom to about 10, out of the 110 to 120 public safety messages they receive per day.

This has improved the transit experience for riders who feel that their concerns are being addressed in the moment, and a big win for Metro Transit who has seen a significant decline in public safety complaints. Public Safety Dispatchers, on average, respond in under 2 minutes, with typical response times being within 30 seconds. Dispatchers immediately alert nearby personnel who can quickly respond to any concerns.

What’s Next for Messaging in Public Transportation

Since implementing messaging there has been a steady stream of praise from customers. Not only do customers love the ability to engage via text messaging, but also enjoy the experience they have with their agent. Agents are loving the interaction too. So much so that Metro Transit needed to rotate the responsibility to ensure that each agent had the chance to be the dedicated messaging agent for at least a week.

The agency hopes to build on this momentum by exploring other departments where messaging can be used. The agency also seeks to create a link within their app to make texting to customer service more accessible.

Though messaging is rapidly growing in popularity for many industries like retail, financial services, and consumer services, Metro Transit has taken the road less traveled by transit agencies. In doing so, they are leading the way in innovation and setting the precedence for public service.

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Northwest Community Credit Union Blazes New Trail With Messaging

Lines wrapped around branch locations that were three lanes deep and 45 minute wait times on the phone. That’s what 108,000 members at Oregon-based Northwest Community Credit Union experienced after branches closed due to COVID-19. Messaging instantly became a valuable channel that enabled members to get a response in 1.5 minutes or less.

Even before the pandemic, the team at NWCU knew that messaging was their next frontier.  Members had started to request the ability to communicate with their loan officers via text. The team set their focus on making engagement more convenient for members on their preferred channel.

Messaging Was The Silver Lining

Northwest Community partnered with Quiq in Feb of 2020 with plans to start with outbound messaging for the member solutions and lending teams in early 2020. That was before COVID-19 required the 14-branch credit union to evacuate buildings and close branches. The challenges imposed by the pandemic drastically changed the roadmap, shortening implementation to days instead of months, and reshuffling priorities. 

When the team went live with Quiq in the first week of April, 2020, the world was well into the pandemic. The contact center was overwhelmed with flooded phone lines and crowded inboxes. Instead of introducing another channel to the contact center, NWCU pulled together a team composed of branch employees to manage messaging. 

The intuitive nature of texting and Quiq’s interface made employee training easy, providing the flexibility the organization needed during the staffing turmoil of the pandemic. “The beauty is that it’s so easy we’ve been able to have employees from all over the organization, including many employees who have never talked to members, using the channel, supporting them, and it’s just been seamless, so that’s been really great. It’s been the silver lining in rolling out something in the midst of COVID.” says April Cooper, Director of Digital Experience at Northwest Community Credit Union.

When a live chat is initiated, members are greeted by a chatbot, which presents a menu of topics members are most interested. Options, such as branch availability, scheduling appointments with a branch, processing a skip payment, checking the status of stimulus checks or Payment Protection Program loans, provide members the information they need without having to call in or speak to a human.

Increased Productivity and Beyond With Business Messaging 

Northwest Community acknowledges that they’re still pretty new with the channel but considers it a success. Not only were they able to roll out the channel quickly and include a bot, members love it, and the credit union has seen immediate efficiencies. In fact, 1 agent is handling the same number of messaging conversations as 3 FTEs would handle over the phone.

Normally human agents handle as many as 1500 to 1800 calls a month or 60 to 80 calls a day. With messaging, 1 agent is handling conversation volumes comparable to 3 phone agents.

“Implementing messaging was a real moral boost for us” says April. “ It gave all of us a chance to say, ‘Yes we’re in this. We’re closing our branches, but look at what we have to support you.’” April says that managing the messaging channel has now become a coveted position in the contact center as employees prefer the channel over the phone.

Match Your Members Changing Needs With Bots

As branches start to open, the information that members need will change. When they do, NWCU employees will be able to quickly and easily update the bot to reflect those needs within Quiq’s bot designer. The credit union has already had some experience with this.

Shortly after opening the messaging channel, the credit union began to receive hundreds of inquiries about the status of stimulus checks through the messaging channel. Due to some Goggle tagging, the credit union had become the top search result for a lot of non-members across the country who had questions on their stimulus check, not realizing they were contacting a credit union in Oregon.

Thankfully, the credit union was able to quickly insert logic into the bot to filter out those conversations. If the visitor chooses “Stimulus Check” from the menu of options, they are now asked if they are a member or not. If not, they are redirected to the IRS website. The credit union happily saw a 50% drop in these inadvertent messages after implementing this change. April says, “We’re able to learn on the fly and update our bot. Right now, our bot is still pretty simple, but this just shows how you can iterate and add additional layers of logic.

What’s next

Northwest Community still has a lot of plans for the messaging channel in the near future. Their first priority is to move management of the channel from the team of branch employees to the contact center and to entrust that team to monitor and measure the channel.

Soon, the collection team will use text messaging for payment reminders and enable the credit union to move away from the calls the contact center team would make to notify members when their payment was 10 days late. The team also plans to embed a secure link  in the text so that members can get the information they need and take action to securely a payment.

In the future, expect to see the Northwest Community Credit Union leverage messaging to make banking more convenient for members with features like integration with their IVR so members can dynamically shift to a text message instead of waiting on hold. Plans are in place to roll the channel out to the lending team who will use messaging to schedule loan signing appointments or document collection notices.

The credit union is proud to say that “‘Uncommon’ is a way of life for Northwest Community Credit Union”. Lucky for the employees and members that they’ve taken an uncommon way to serve their members and community with messaging that helps everyone thrive.

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How Stio Geared Up For Growth

Since opening its doors in 2012, Stio has embraced a direct-to-consumer model selling high-quality, active apparel for outdoor enthusiasts online and in-store. Clearly, the market has embraced them right back, experiencing rapid growth, especially in eCommerce which makes up 75% of the company’s revenue.

The mountain lifestyle brand, headquartered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming realized that it had to scale its digital customer experience to keep up with that growth. The company looked for technology that was just as adaptable and functional as their gear, turning to Quiq’s messaging, web chat, and bot platform for support.

The Good Problem of Growth

Stio's use of web chat messaging bots for retailers has helped the company deflect phone callsWhen Kim Essensa, Stio’s Customer Experience Manager, joined the company in June of 2018, Stio had been experiencing annual growth rates of 52 percent. In the second quarter of 2018, Stio’s growth accelerated to an impressive 70% year over year.

That kind of growth comes with a few growing pains, especially in a contact center of 7. Based on previous experience in both her personal and professional life, Kim felt that live chat could help alleviate some of the load. The company already had a simple version of live chat available on their website but hadn’t turned it on. Her instincts were right. Turning on web chat helped the contact center feel an immediate relief.

Kim knew that text messaging was the next natural progression for engagement with consumers. While she had experience with other vendors like Live Chat, Olark, and Boldchat, she knew that having SMS and text messaging were key to take the company to the next level. Kim had used Quiq at her previous employer and evaluated it for Stio, knowing that it was going to have to make an impact on their efficiency, while working with their current systems.

“A few other programs were vetted. The relationship I had with Quiq before and knowing how responsive everyone is there, especially with tech issues, is what made Quiq stand out for me. When something is not working, you just need it fixed.”

~Kim Essensa, Stio

Quiq fit with the vision of where Stio wanted their contact center to be and the company went live with Quiq’s web chat on October 1. Implementation was short and successful, and employees only had to receive a small amount of training to get started,

“The platform is so intuitive and easy to use that the amount of training it takes to give it to my staff was super minimal,” says Kim. Having Quiq in place with a trained and ready staff was crucial since Q4 was looming on the horizon and like other retailers, the holiday season would make up a good portion of the company’s annual revenue.

Improving Efficiency 

Before the holidays, Stio onboarded an after hours contact center to handle chat when the in-house team was offline. The after-hours answering service has been able to take some of the pressure off of Stio’s team during business hours as well, easily managing chat on Quiq’s messaging platform with very little training or day to day management from Kim and her team.

The increase in productivity helped employees and customers over the holiday season. Kim puts it this way, “Last year we were leaving the office with 300 emails in the inbox. This year we’re leaving with like 30.” After the holidays, Stio turned on text messaging and saw call volumes drop by 9%. 

“Agents love Quiq. It’s just intuitive and super easy to use.”

~Kim Essensa, Stio

Now, Stio’s agents handle inbound messages from SMS, web chat, and Facebook Messenger all within Quiq’s intelligent workspace. Questions are typically focused on orders, with inquiries around shipping status or price adjustments. Now, if a customer just placed an order and the final cost didn’t reflect the promo code entered, they don’t have to call in and wait on hold for help. Now, they can send a text and get a faster response, since Stio’s agents can handle multiple conversations simultaneously.

Bots

In 2019, Stio took another step toward more efficient operations. Stio was one of the first companies to embrace Quiq’s bots across their messaging channels. Kim worked with the Quiq team to scope out what the Stio bot experience should be. It was important for Kim to keep the bot language short, simple, and casual, so it would feel like consumers are engaging with a human. It was also important to give customers easy access to a human agent whenever they wanted . Within a few days, the bot was up and running on the site.

Stio saw immediate results from implementing bots. The company, which drops 1.2 million catalogs for the holidays, used to take requests from customers who wished to be removed from the physical mailer. Today, a bot does it all on behalf of the agents- from beginning to end. During the first two weeks after implementing this single bot, Kim saved 83 precious agent hours on the catalog process alone. Agents can now concentrate on helping customers find the gear they want instead of managing catalog removals.

Quiq’s Shopify Integration

Stio recently integrated Quiq Messaging with their Shopify account. This integration gives agents incredible visibility into what the consumer is doing. They can see which web page the customer is looking at and what’s in their cart in real-time. According to Essensa, this has drastically reduced the time it takes agents to collect that information from customers and makes the experience smoother and faster for customers.

Stio is focused on keeping their agents available for customers who need human attention. That’s why they’ve introduced bots. When a customer uses messaging, a bot will collect core information from customers and take action on that information, sending the conversation to the best-suited human agent.

Kim believes the integration of Quiq and Shopify will increase overall cart value and conversions because agents will be better equipped with the information they need to close the transaction with the customer.

What’s in Store For Messaging

Stio is approaching conversational commerce from a very personal level and they are using technology to help “For us, it’s that natural conversation between the customer and the agent. We really want the customer to feel at home with Stio, like they’re talking to their best friend who just recommended the best ski kit in the world. We really try to make it a personal experience.” states Kim.

Stio continues to look for ways to make their customers experience more fluid and personal. “From the epic to every day”, that’s the mantra that inspires the team at Stio to create gear known for technical performance, quality, and versatility. Leave it to them to bring that same ingenuity to their customer experience with Quiq’s messaging platform.

Let’s put technology to work for you in your company to streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and deliver a seamless customer experience. Schedule a demo to discuss messaging and how Quiq can work with your company’s unique processes and systems.

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Aspira Stakes out a New Way to Communicate With Customers

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menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” padding_top=”0px” padding_right=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” padding_left=”0px” admin_label=”Intro” admin_toggled=”no”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”3_4″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”0px” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]Besides technology, Aspira knows a thing or two about adventure and connection. For over 30 years, Aspira’s technology has allowed people to book outdoor recreation experiences at parks and conservation sites all over the US. Aspira’s customers contract directly with them to use their software, marketing services, and sometimes their centralized contact center to manage reservations for many of the most popular state and provincial parks as well as conservation agencies throughout the US.

Camping in Florida? Fishing in Ohio? Aspira is the technology behind many of those adventures
that connect individuals and families to the experiences they love.

When it was time to embark on an adventure of their own to discover new ways to connect with their customers, Aspira investigated business messaging with Quiq. The company wanted to look for ways that might help save money through reduced call volumes but also wanted to find a way to engage with their traveling, “on-the-go” customers. Aspira knows that customers who are on their way to a campground, setting up a site at the park, or preparing for a day of fishing don’t want to call in and sit on hold to get a question answered.


“You constantly have to think about the customer experience. Messaging lets us engage
with customers who are active and mobile. This is the direction that people are going. If
you’re not looking at innovating, then you probably aren’t going to get very far.”

~Jessica Himmel, Senior Manager


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The Path to Messaging

Aspira securely facilitates nearly 50 million transactions between people and outdoor experiences each year. The process involves fielding over 1 million phone calls to their contact center annually. There could be a many as 250 agents handling calls during the peak season between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the fall and winter, the number of agents can dip to about 100.

With that call volume, Aspira knew that messaging was a move in the right direction, but wanted to see what would happen in this uncharted territory. The company started with a soft launch that included 3 park locations that Aspira manages in New York, Delaware, and Ohio. Implementation of Quiq Messaging as a standalone platform went smoothly and launched on May 31, 2018. 

The new text messaging channel was promoted through Aspira’s private label websites including: MontanaStateParks.ReserverAmerica.com and FloridaStateParks.ReserveAmerica.com. A “Contact Us” button was added to the private label websites showing visitors on desktop computers the phone number to text for questions, and if visitors are on their mobile website, they can text directly from their phone.

Visitors to FloridaStateParks.ReserveAmerica.com are greeted with an invitation to text if they seek help through the “Contact Us” button.

Aspira has been surprised at the volume of calls they’ve been able to deflect to the text messaging channel. The company has now added messaging to 14 of their reservation sites and receives about 300 to 400 messages a day. Aspira conducted a survey at the end of every text message conversation and discovered that nearly 70% of the customers who texted would have called in if the “Text Us” option was not available.

Cultivating Connection Through Messaging

Since Aspira manages reservations for many of the most popular state and provincial parks, as well as conservation agencies throughout the US, about half of the inquiries that the company receives in the call center is about campsite availability. Although adventure seekers can go online to ReserveAmerica.com to check availability and reserve a campsite at over 35 camping, fishing, or hunting locations, they would often call to ask if what they saw online was accurate. 

With Quiq, instead of calling, customers can connect using their preferred channel: texting. Jessica Himmel, Senior Manager at Aspira, says the company finds it “extremely valuable that we are able to deflect a lot of these calls to the messaging channel. We prefer to text the customers who are just confirming availability because it’s such a quick and easy thing to respond to.” 

It’s not just booking availability inquiries that are handled quickly through the messaging channel. A lot of people want to cancel reservations, change dates or site location, while others want to know about facilities and amenities at specific locations. In general, Aspira finds that messaging conversations are a lot shorter and faster than phone calls. Agents have observed that it usually takes just 10 messages back and forth on average to get to a resolution. 

The company’s investment to make it easier for customers to engage with their agents is definitely getting a return. Aspira has seen a 4% decrease on the number of calls from their private label sites, as well as a 4% increase in reservations made online. With the volume of calls they receive hovering around a million per year, that’s no small feat.

Customers aren’t the only ones reaping the rewards of messaging. Agents really like being on the messaging channel and there are agents who ask to work that channel. This is great news for Aspira who hopes to increase staff for the messaging channel by 67%. Anytime there are extra hours that need coverage for the SMS/text channel, agents volunteer, due in part to how easy it is to use Quiq’s messaging platform. Agents not only handle multiple, simultaneous conversations at once but can use productivity-enhancing features like snippets to quickly share links to campsites and park policies. 

What’s Next

Results like these have Aspira looking for more ways to leverage messaging. To start, Aspira is exploring ways in which they can take payments over messaging, integrate Quiq into their workforce management system to help predict staffing, and expand the messaging channel to more of their contracts. One of the first things the company wants to do is to simply expand the hours messaging is available and supported. The company suspects that a lot of the messages they see come in during off-hours could be handled if messaging was available for just a couple more hours at night. 

Looking ahead to tornado, hurricane, and wildfire season, Aspira thinks that an increase in volume due to weather events may be on the horizon. The company anticipates a higher volume of questions such as “Is the park closed?” and “My site is flooded, what do I do?” In fact, Aspira is considering using outbound messaging as a proactive way to notify customers going to a park or location where the weather could adversely affect their reservation. If 

Aspira leadership believes it’s an exciting time for messaging and Quiq couldn’t agree more. The number of companies adopting business messaging continues to grow as more consumers demand the convenience, ease, and speed of the messaging channel. From the shopper that needs help with a purchase, to the camper that needs to make sure their dog is allowed at their campsite, messaging has become the preferred channel for our busy lives.

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AFPA Provides First Class Member Service with Messaging

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The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) is the largest independent flight attendant union in the US. The organization, based in Texas, serves over 27,000 members who work for American Airlines and reside all over the world.

The nature of their profession requires members to spend a good portion of their time in transit. Members may be sitting at the back of delayed planes, waiting for flights at the airport, or riding in vans being shuttled from one place to another when they may need information. APFA, run by flight attendants themselves, fully understands the mobile nature of their membership, which is why they sought and found a better, more mobile way to engage with their members through Quiq.

“As we were evolving, so was our membership. We wanted to stay ahead of the tech curve and meet them where they are by using their favorite way to communicate.”

~Erik Harris, National Contract Chair

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The Shift to Messaging

Prior to implementing Quiq, flight attendants were reaching out to AFPA primarily through phone and email. In 2018, the entire union handled over 33,000 calls spread out across 31 representatives. Calls regarding sick leave, vacation, rescheduling, and transfers are still the most common for the reps who each handle an average of 30-50 calls per day.

The organization also implemented live chat as another channel of engagement but was dissatisfied with having to switch between the live chat platform, a Facebook window, Twitter, and their own internal systems to help members

APFA chose to switch to Quiq because it allows them to serve their members on multiple platforms in one unified desktop

APFA chose to switch to Quiq because it allows them to serve their members on multiple platforms in one unified desktop. APFA leadership especially likes that reps can easily handle every incoming message because no matter how, over which channel, the flight attendant connects with APFA, it all comes into the same place and is handled the same way by the rep.

The ability to add text messaging was one of the biggest selling points to selecting Quiq. The organization’s leadership recognized there was a shift to mobile communications that was perfectly suited to their member’s on-the-go lifestyle.

The organization integrated Quiq into their existing website and customized the look with some additional coding. Afterward, they found a night to train their reps who live across multiple time zones. Reps have found the platform easy to use and intuitive, which is critical for a team that rotates out on a monthly basis. When reps return to the headquarters after weeks or months, they waste zero time relearning Quiq’s messaging platform.

To let their members know about their availability on these new channels, APFA promoted messaging multiple ways. The organization sent an email to the union’s 25,000 email subscribers, posted a message on their Facebook page, added copy to their website, and asked leadership to share the news with their respective bases. Immediately, the contact center received feedback from members who “love the convenience of being able to text in” and shared delighted messages like “OMG I’m so glad I can finally text you.”

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Pier 1 Imports Customer Spotlight: How To Use Messaging and Get ROI

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Watch this short video and share in Laurie’s excitement as to how their business has expanded their contact center portfolio and found messaging ROI.  Laurie Simpter is the Sr. Manager of Customer Relations at Pier 1 Imports and explains in this brief testimonial why they chose Quiq to support their business messaging initiatives.

We love our customers and there’s no better feeling for us than when we see our customers find greater success by implementing Quiq’s leading customer engagement platform. If you’re ready to transform your contact center, see a demo and get started today!

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” status=”published” publish_date=”” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_image_id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”25px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_button link=”https://quiq.com/demo/” text_transform=”” title=”” target=”_self” link_attributes=”” alignment=”center” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”custom” button_gradient_top_color=”rgba(64,69,82,0)” button_gradient_bottom_color=”rgba(64,69,82,0)” button_gradient_top_color_hover=”#404552″ button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”#404552″ accent_color=”#404552″ accent_hover_color=”#ffffff” type=”flat” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”medium” stretch=”default” shape=”round” icon=”” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]See a Demo Today[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Brinks Home Security Customer Success Video

Brinks has been using messaging for almost 2 years now. In that time, the company has improved agent efficiency by automating routine interactions, realized double-digit increases in customer satisfaction, and experienced more engaged customers.

Watch this short video to peek under the hood at Brinks Home Security. Learn the many ways the company is using Quiq messaging and how this channel is making an impact throughout the organization.

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Brinks Home Security Makes Headlines with Messaging

ZDnet’s recent coverage of Brinks Home Security “Home security firm moves one in 10 customer service calls to Quiq mobile chat channel” highlights the company’s customer-centric motivation that drove the adoption of messaging for home security. The article states that Brinks “wanted to use a communications channel that would be chosen by its million customers to connect with the brand.” And connect they did. The article reports that Brinks has seen at least 1 in 10 of their customers switch from making phones calls to using messaging.

Brinks realized that their customers needed more convenient options to engage with their brand. It wasn’t hard to see messaging as the channel that could provide that and more.

Texting offers immediacy and convenience, highly desirable traits when it comes to engaging with the provider of your security and home automation system. But the requests that Brinks receives over messaging aren’t just the urgent kind. The company also receives messages from customers who need help troubleshooting a major issue or to just replacing batteries in their hardware.

When asked what motivated the company to look to messaging as an engagement channel, the company’s response clearly captured their commitment to delivering a superior customer experience with leadership stating “…We wanted to provide a channel that put the format back in the customer’s control.”

The switch is paying off in a number of ways. The article quotes Chief Customer Office at Brinks, Jay Autrey as saying “By adding the messaging channel, we have seen a double-digit improvement in customer satisfaction, improved agent effectiveness, improvements to the bottom line, and a more engaged customer experience.”

Brinks and ZDnet aren’t the only ones who predict more consumers and companies will prefer to engage with brands via messaging. Other industries such as education and financial services are rapidly adopting messaging to connect with their customers as well.

Read the full article on ZDnet.

How Smith Thompson Handles Multiple Customers at a Time

In business since 1978, Smith Thompson provides home security, wireless monitoring, and pest control. The company is proud to say that it is entirely US-based, requires no contracts, and they do everything in-house. From sales and installations to monitoring and service, this Plano, Texas-based company takes care of its customers from beginning to end.

Company employees are always looking for ways to make it easier for customers to protect their homes, families, and businesses. Even when they are on vacation.

During a vacation ski trip in Jackson Hole ski resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, VP of Sales, Ryan Thompson. noticed that the resort was using a text feature on their mobile app. The resort also uses Quiq to provide immediate help to ski resort guests and answers all types of questions about ski rentals, weather conditions, and even which lifts are open – all through the messaging channel.

Discovering Messaging

When Ryan saw how Jackson Hole Resort used messaging to effortlessly communicate with their guests, he was impressed with the ease and convenience this service offered and knew right away it was something he needed to look into for Smith Thompson.  As VP of Sales, Ryan recognized that no one wants to call a company and sit in a hold queue.

Ryan wanted a more welcoming way to engage with customers who otherwise might be hesitant to reach out because they think they are going to sit in a hold queue only to talk to a salesperson in a high-pressure situation. Smith Thompson doesn’t work that way and views messaging as the channel that would allow consumers to quickly and easily get the information they need to make a no-pressure buying decision.

“Consumers want the ability to take the conversation with them wherever they go.”
– Ryan Thompson, VP of Sales, Smith Thompson

The shift from handling thousands of calls daily

handle more customers with messaging

Before implementing messaging, Smith Thompson handled one to two thousand calls a day. Phone calls may fluctuate based on the season, but there is a pretty steady influx of daily email and phone calls handled by just the company’s service agents. After a quick implementation of Quiq, phone calls rapidly started to move to the messaging channel.

Similar to the phone calls received, half of the conversations are service related with the balance being sales inquiries. The company expects to see messaging conversations increase as more customers look to get their new system installed during the spring and summer before heading out on their own vacations.

In addition to phone and email, there was also the occasional Facebook message. Before Quiq, the direct messages received on Facebook didn’t fit into the normal workflow. Agents had to log into the company’s Facebook platform to handle these inquiries. Now, when agents log into Quiq, they can handle and resolve messages received from multiple channels – SMS/text, web chat, and Facebook – all in one place.

When the busy season rolls around, Smith Thompson will be well prepared to handle a spike in conversation volume. With messaging, agents can handle multiple conversations at a time because of the asynchronous nature of this channel. Quiq’s Adaptive Response Timer, which automatically prioritizes conversations based on how quickly or slowly the customer is responding to the agent, is one of many features that helps customer experience representatives increase productivity and handle multiple conversations at a time.

Driving Sales with Messaging

In providing a convenient new channel for their customers and prospects to easily engage with them, Smith Thompson made their sales process better as well. Prior to messaging, customers who wanted to switch monitoring services would have to have a technician come out to see if the security hardware they already had installed was compatible with Smith Thompson’s monitoring services.

Now, when prospects call in and request to switch to Smith Thompson, they can simply snap a picture of their current hardware and send it to the agent during the messaging conversation.

The company reports that the messaging channel converts about 30%-40% of their conversations to sales.

What’s next

Smartphones have become a central part of consumer lives and the ability to control smart devices around your home, such as doorbell cameras and thermostats, have become an often standard part of home security. Smith Thompson recently introduced home automation to its line of products and services, waiting for more the more stable second generation home automation capabilities. The company has just started to promote the new line of services which include full smartphone control of its available locks, lights, thermostats, and cameras with plans to promote this new service more heavily.

In addition to promoting its home automation products, the company would like to use messaging as a way to further differentiate itself in the marketplace. Smith Thompson promotes the messaging channel across its website, as well as on their mobile “Contact Us” page. Smith Thompson sees this feature as a way to set itself apart from competitors. The company has set itself apart from others in the market by making it easy to work with them and sees the ability to text for pre-sales consultation and post-sales support an extension of their ability to serve families. Smith Thompson plans to broadcast the new feature in upcoming ads.

Business Text Messaging for Credit Unions Covered in CUTimes

The Credit Union Times recently featured Quiq in their article “Ensuring Members Get the (Text) Message” crystallizing the need for text messaging adoption among credit unions. Across a variety of departments and use cases, credit unions are successfully engaging members for lending, collections/delinquencies, and marketing purposes.

Providing members with an easier, more convenient way to comply with requests from their credit unions has led to higher response rates. For example, Community First Credit Union has realized text messaging adoption rates among members as high as 94% while increasing the response rate of applicants by as much as 130%.

How Text Messaging Benefits Credit Unions & Applicants

Adoption of text messaging among credit unions is a testament to the cooperative spirit and shows an institution’s commitment to its member’s interests and overall experience. It’s also not bad for business.

Many credit unions adopt messaging to expedite some of the typical tasks within the loan process that tend to slow an application down, especially when communicating through channels like email, phone, and voicemails, including:

  • Requesting a picture of a pay stub for income verification
  • Signing disclosures and ancillary docs that loan officers can send to members for digital signatures
  • Sending applicants reminders with outstanding tasks
  • Discussing the next steps

While business text messaging for some industries, like retail, have already reached a point where it’s required, business text messaging for credit unions is still gaining momentum. The article presents some of the institutions that have found success with business text messaging like Community First Credit Union in Jacksonville, FL and Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wy. These credit unions have joined the growing list of financial institutions that use Quiq to provide their members with fast, convenient, two-way business messaging services.

Read the full article on CUTimes to learn more about business text messaging for credit unions. If your credit union is looking for a way to streamline the application process, while improving your member’s digital experience, contact Quiq to request a demo or try it yourself.

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Texas A&M Graduates from Emails and Auto-Dialers to the Messaging Channel

Texas A&M, a public university located in College Station, Texas, has been providing students with quality education since opening its doors in 1876 as the state’s first public institution for higher education. Today, the school is home to over 68,000 students that benefit from its ability to drive innovation on campus.

But innovation isn’t just happening in classrooms and labs, it’s also evident in the way the school communicates with students. Emails had been the official way Texas A&M shared information with students. Realizing that students weren’t reading their emails, the school looked for alternative ways to reach their students beyond the email, phone calls, and auto-dialer they typically employed. A pilot with Quiq to test text messaging students was launched in June and the school isn’t looking back.

“Students are so glad they didn’t have to wait in a phone queue!”

Rachelle McDonald, Director of Customer Service

Successful adoption of messaging at Texas A&M

When asked about Quiq’s implementation and its integration into the schools existing CRM system, Oracle Service Cloud, Texas A&M’s Customer Service Team “didn’t remember even one problem or issue.” Now the school’s call center, which is staffed by 8 student workers, can handle both inbound and outbound texts from new and existing students.

“The student workers love using text messaging,” states Peggy Carey, Director of Student Business Services. The ability to add emojis makes conversations more personal and staff has found this channel to be much faster than phone calls.

The new channel has also been well received by students who appreciate not having to wait in a phone queue with questions. Students are pleasantly surprised that when they text in, staff can see their profile and past interaction history for more information.

Messaging use cases at Texas A&M

So far, university staff has seen an increase in response rates to some of the most common, but critical communications with students, such as reminding students to choose between locked and variable tuition rates or alerting students when they are at risk of being dropped from classes due to non-payment. Messaging conversations, which are usually resolved in 5 messages back and forth, has proven to be a fast and effective way to engage students, especially during busy times of the year.

Other successful examples of messaging at Texas A&M include:

  • When students are missing a photo for their required ID, the school sends an outbound message with a link where students can submit their photo. With messaging, the school has seen a 14% increase in the number of students who click on the message and comply.
  • Students are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit to receive refunds. This is also communicated through a link sent via text, which opens directly to the appropriate website. Every student that responds to this request saves the university the workload and expense of having to cut a check for disbursements, which costs about $3 per check.
  • When a student leaves the university with an unpaid balance, collections can send a message that complies with the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act instead of calling, seeing a much higher response rate.
  • New students are offered the option of locked or variable tuition when they enroll, allowing them to align their choice to their education plans.

So What’s Next?

The university has seen a lot of students respond to messaging, but they believe there’s more room to grow. Texas A&M admits to taking things slowly with messaging at first, having initially promoted messaging through outbound texts only. Within two months the school added a “Text SBS” button to their website, so students could text directly from there. Now, the university is ready to push the channel further by promoting the “text us” feature on other mediums and expand on the success they’ve seen. For example, Student Business Services plans to promote the option to text on the emailed billing statements. They also plan to present students with the option to send a text message instead of waiting on hold in their IVR.

Along with added promotional efforts, Texas A&M plans to increase communications over the messaging channel, to both broad and targeted audiences. This summer, when online photo submission becomes a requirement for students, the school will push the message via text to all students. Targeted efforts include informing graduating students when their diploma will be held due to non-payment and notifying students to sign up for direct deposit to receive Title IV student aid funds that have been returned.

Texas A&M continues to push innovation past the walls of the classroom to deliver excellence beyond the athletic fields by offering messaging as a way to better engage with students. The school has realized great success in communicating time-sensitive information to new and existing students and doesn’t plan on looking back.

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Forrester Webinar: Connecting with Customers Through Messaging and Bots

Today’s consumers’ expectations around engagement have driven companies to “up-level” their accessibility and responsiveness. In this on-demand webinar, Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research joins Mike Parish, of Brinks Home Security, to discuss how to connect with customers through messaging and bots.

As the leading expert on customer relationship management (CRM) and customer service strategies, Kate shares deep insights into the consumer behaviors that are shaping how many of the leading brands leverage messaging and bots to better engage with their customers. Mike Parish, Director of Experience and Service design at Brinks Home Security reveals the results and surprises from implementing messaging and bots.

Customer Spotlight: TodayTix

TodayTix is no stranger to bringing more accessibility to experiences. The company started with the goal to provide effortless access to shows. Since launching in 2013, the company has brought theater to a new audience of theatre goers with “thoughtful service at each moment along the way”. There’s no waiting in lines or rushing for last minute ticket sales here. TodayTix provides the convenience of buying theatre tickets online with just a few taps of a button.

As TodayTix continues to see growth in subscribers and sales, it has also seen an increase in inbound calls. TodayTix looked at chat as a way to reduce calls while providing customers the ease and convenience of another channel. Today, the New York-based company uses Quiq’s Chat and SMS/text messaging channels to provide their customers with the kind of 21st century communication they were seeking.

Prior to implementing chat, TodayTix provided support through phone (80%) and email (20%). Since opening the messaging channel, the company has seen a drop in approximately 1,000 calls per month and a decrease in emails. James Potter, Senior Guest Services Manager at TodayTix, says that customers appreciate the quick response they get via messaging versus email.

“We were surprised to see a lot of our repeat customers move over to chat. Many of them have an .aol account, so it was interesting to see that shift.”

– James Potter, Senior Guest Services Manager

After just one day of training and some adjustments to the integration of the their existing Salesforce instance, the company was up and running with messaging. TodayTix still looks to their FAQs to help customers, but placed chat on their support page in the event that any of the 2,500 weekly visitors may need additional help.

The guest services team, which usually consists of 3 to 5 people, love that they are able to see a preview of what the customers are typing, in order to get a head start on helping them. They also love that they can handle multiple cases at one time, with the ability to handle up to 5 conversations simultaneously.

While the majority of questions TodayTix agents handle via messaging involve canceling or modifying an order, the company has also been able to improve their concierge service. For a small fee, customers can have tickets hand-delivered to them 30 minutes prior to the start of the show. Since the company sells internationally, and many times to tourists who don’t have access to their email, messaging helps coordinate delivery if meeting times or locations have to change on the fly.

What’s Next

The company has been pleased to see an increase in their NPS scores rising from the low 60’s to the high 70’s in large part due to messaging. It appears that customers aren’t the only ones noticing how the company uses technology. In 2018, TodayTix was named as one of Deloitte’s 2018 Technology Fast 500. The honor recognizes the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America.

TodayTix would like to take messaging further and implement the chat feature in their app too, as many of their customers are on mobile devices and engaging via the app. The company is also interested in enhancing their IVR by adding an option that would allow customers to initiate a text-based conversation instead of waiting on hold. These improvements will continue TodayTix’s ability to offer thoughtful service for every customer engagement.

Quiq Helps Tailored Brands Dress For Success

Tailored Brands prides itself as a brand that provides a personal, convenient, one-of-a-kind shopping experience. When the company wanted to complement its compelling products, it added the text messaging channel to augment its already world-class service.

Q: What caused you to consider deploying a messaging solution for your brands?

A:  As we look at how people communicate in general, the dominant channel is far and away text messaging. We all text before we call or email each other. So, we wanted to see if that would translate to consumers texting us, a business. We did not decide to add text messaging for call deflection, as we are focused on allowing our customers to communicate with us any way they want.

As Tailored Brands started to look at how people communicate, they noticed a desire within their target market to use text messaging versus the more traditional methods of phone and email. Tailored Brands brought on Quiq Messaging to support its two largest brands: Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks. Now these retailers are able to quickly respond to customer inquiries about online orders, products, promotions, and tuxedo rentals – all via messaging, the customer’s preferred way to communicate.

“Retail is a highly competitive space, so we strive to set ourselves apart based on the service we provide our customers, whether online or in-store. Adding text messaging from Quiq has allowed us to differentiate even more.”

– Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations, Tailored Brands

The most common way messaging is used at Tailored Brands is for inbound customer inquiries. Customers have quickly shifted their way of communicating from phone and email to text messaging for getting help choosing the right suit, placing an order, tracking a shipment, promotion questions, or setting in-store appointments.

Another way Tailored Brands has implemented messaging is to send outbound appointment notifications and reminders. This comes in handy when scheduling bridal parties or prom tuxedo rentals. Because Quiq Messaging allows customers to reply to an outbound text message, if there happens to be a conflict, the appointment can easily be adjusted in real-time.

Finally, Tailored Brands has integrated the option to text message them into their Cisco phone system. Presenting consumers with the option to text instead of wait on hold has been a popular option and is particularly helpful to the brands when call volumes are high.

Q: What channels did you support before adding messaging?

A: We supported phone calls and email. When we purchased Quiq, we were able to add support for SMS/text messaging, live chat, and Facebook Messenger.

The company has now extended support for Men’s Warehouse to 24/7 coverage, adding more convenience. When customers reach the after-hours message on the company’s IVR, they are given the option to text. Knowing the brands cater to a younger demographic, it’s not a surprise the company has seen more customers go straight to text first versus going to the IVR to initiate a text conversation.

Customers and Agents Love Messaging

The company has seen call deflection as a bonus, but one of the real benefits has been the way employees can now communicate with customers. Prior to messaging, responses through email were formal and felt too structured. Now, employees are able to engage with customers on a more genuine, personal level with text messaging.

“Since most of our employees are Millennials, it freed them up to have the kind of conversations with customers that we’ve been wanting them to have.”

– Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations, Tailored Brands

Messaging Helps Manage Growth

Quiq’s Messaging platform was a timely addition as the Tailored Brands has recently seen a notable increase in business, both instore and online. During busy times when phone volume increases, the company is happy to see customers shift from their most expensive channel, the phone, to text messaging.

STATS:

  • Phone calls 3x more expensive than texting
  • Agents average 5 text conversations at a time and upwards of 8 when busy
  • Over 175% increase in text messages received for each brand

Their customer service agents love the messaging channel. They are able to respond to customers quickly, typically in less than two minutes via messaging. Many conversations are pretty straightforward, like order and shipping information, and can be resolved in three to four exchanges. The company also sees a fair amount of more complex inquiries coming in over messaging, such as brides texting in to change the vest color for her wedding party.

Easy Implementation & Seamless Integration

Originally supporting phone and emails within Salesforce.com, Tailored Brands chose to integrate Quiq into Salesforce Service Cloud right from the start. This ensures agents use only one desktop interface to resolve inquiries, regardless of channel. With the Quiq Messaging platform, agents can view a complete history of all messaging conversations with each customer to more efficiently answer new questions.

“The Quiq implementation into the Salesforce.com desktop was the easiest I’ve ever done. The Quiq interface is super intuitive and provided the features that we couldn’t get from Salesforce LiveMessage.”

– Melissa Porter, VP Customer Relations, Tailored Brands

Quiq Messaging offers the sophisticated capabilities required to deliver a great experience to Tailored Brands’ customers. With the ability to automatically prioritize incoming and existing text and chat conversations for each agent, Quiq ensures agents respond to customers based on the cadence they are engaging with the brands. Not only that, but having the ability to queue and route, transfer and collaborate, and present real-time, dynamic management reporting made Quiq the best choice.

Tailored Brands has plans to expand text messaging for new use cases and new markets. The company plans to continue to expand its use of messaging to help brides and grooms set in-store appointments for custom and rental tuxedos. In addition, store employees have started texting into the contact center, so employee messaging is now under consideration. FInally, there is interest in expanding to support the French-Canadian market with messaging.With the holiday season always on the retail horizon, the ability to quickly train phone and email agents to support text messaging remains top of mind. The company plans to cross-train more contact center employees to give their workforce more flexibility during peak times.Whatever the next new initiative is for Tailored Brands, you can rest assured they will evaluate it through the lens of their ever-evolving customers. Continuing to set themselves apart and be recognized for their world-class service, Tailored Brands is raising the bar in their industry.