A Deep Dive into Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Messaging — and the Pros and Cons of Each

Text messaging has become more and more important with each successive generation of customers, and CX directors have responded by gradually making it an ever-higher priority.

But text messaging isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution; there are different ways to approach messaging interactions, and they each have their own use cases.

We’ve talked a lot, for example, about the distinction between rich messaging and plain text messaging, but another key divide is around “synchronous” and “asynchronous” messaging.

That will be our focus today. We’ll define synchronous and asynchronous messaging, explain how each applies to your messaging strategy, and provide the information you need to decide when to use one or the other.

Let’s get going!

What’s the Difference Between Asynchronous and Synchronous Messaging?

In this section, we’ll define synchronous messaging and asynchronous messaging in simple and clear terms before we discuss their differences.

What is Synchronous Messaging?

Synchronous messaging is part of a real-time conversation with a clearly defined beginning and end. Both parties must actively engage in the conversation at the same time, whether on their phones or on their keyboards.

You’ve no doubt heard of synchronized swimming or synchronized skating, and the principle is the same with synchronized messaging—everyone must participate at the same time.

What is Asynchronous Messaging?

Asynchronous messaging occurs when two parties have a conversation but don’t have to be present at the same time; what’s more, with asynchronous messaging, there’s generally not a clearly defined end to the conversation.

If you’re like many of us, text messaging with your friends and family occurs asynchronously. When both of you are available, the conversation might go back and forth seamlessly, but you could also have the same conversation over a longer period of time while you’re both working or running errands.

An Overview of Synchronous Messaging

Above, we took time to define synchronous messaging as any interaction that occurs in real-time when two or more participants are actively engaged. All of today’s channels support synchronous messaging, but web chat and many kinds of in-app messaging are particularly associated with this style of communication.

Pros of Synchronous Messaging.

For a number of reasons, synchronous messaging has an important place in customer service. A non-exhaustive list of its benefits includes the fact that:

  • Customers feel more connected: Since conversations are happening in real-time, customers instantly feel more engaged and connected to your contact center agents. They know there’s a real person on the other side of the screen helping them at this very moment, and that can change how they perceive the whole conversation.
  • It’s easy to track performance: Since synchronous messages have a defined beginning and end, it’s easier to track metrics like average resolution time to see whether you’re performance is trending up or down.
  • Resolutions are faster: Simple problems can be resolved faster over synchronous messaging. Customers are able to immediately get answers to their questions, so small issues don’t get dragged out.

Cons of Synchronous Messaging.

Despite this, synchronous messaging nevertheless has challenges. Here are some problems your team can face when relying solely on this type of messaging.

  • Customers spend more time waiting: During busy periods, agents cannot handle multiple conversations simultaneously, and wait times can increase.
  • Agents can only handle one conversation at a time: The key factor in a synchronous conversation is that both parties are there chatting at the same time. But doing so means your agents won’t be able to juggle multiple conversations at once, making them slower overall. The alternative, of course, is to help your agents quickly serve customers by equipping them with an AI-powered agent response tool, helping them handle more conversations in the same amount of time.
  • It’s harder to solve complex problems: Synchronous messaging may be less than ideal for situations where your agents don’t have the expertise to solve a particular problem. Customers may have to repeat themselves if they’re being passed from one agent to the next, and they’ll likely also spend more time on hold, none of which is optimal.
  • Customers can’t get answers outside of business hours: Customers are used to getting what they want when they want it. Since agents must be present for synchronous conversations, customers can only chat during business hours. The alternative, of course, is to hire more agents to work shifts throughout the day or to invest in an AI assistant that is always present.
  • It can cost more money: Since agents can’t handle as many conversations at once, you’ll likely need to hire more agents to cover the same amount of calls.

What is Asynchronous Messaging?

All of today’s messaging options allow for asynchronous messaging, which means that the parties involved don’t have to be present at the same time to hold a conversation.

Interactions that occur over basic SMS, Apple Messages for Business, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter Direct Messages, and RCS Business Messaging can be dropped and picked back up again when convenient.

Pros of Asynchronous Messaging.

When compared to synchronous messaging, asynchronous messaging comes out ahead by providing benefits to your customers and your contact center team.

Here are some of the benefits for your customers:

  • They can multitask: Since conversations happen at the customer’s convenience, customers can go about their lives while receiving help from your team. They’re not locked into a phone conversation or waiting on hold while your agents find answers, making the experience much more pleasurable.
  • Customers don’t have to repeat information: The big draw of asynchronous messaging is that it creates an ongoing conversation, meaning that your agents will have access to the conversation history. For this reason, customers won’t have to repeat themselves every time they contact customer service because their information is already there.

Here are just a few ways it improves your contact center teams’ workflows over synchronous messaging:

  • Agents can manage several conversations at once: Since conversations happen at a slower pace, agents can engage in more than one at a time–up to eight at once with a conversational AI platform like Quiq.
  • Agents show improved efficiency: Since agents can manage 3-5 simultaneous conversations, they can move between customers to improve their overall efficiency by a considerable amount.
  • Lower costs for your customer service center: Since agents are working faster and helping multiple customers at once, you need fewer agents. Instead, you can spend money on better training, higher quality tools, or expanding services.
  • It’s friendly to AI assistants: With asynchronous messaging, it’s relatively easy to integrate AI assistants powered by large language models. These assistants can welcome customers, gather information, and answer many basic queries, thus streamlining agents and freeing them up to focus on higher-priority tasks.

Cons of Asynchronous Messaging.

That said, asynchronous messaging does come with a few challenges:

  • It can turn short conversations into long ones: There can be situations in which a customer reaches out with a simple question, your agent has their own follow-up question, and the customer responds hours or even days later. One of the traps of asynchronous messaging is that people tend to be less urgent in replying, which could be reflected in longer resolution times and an increase in the number of open tickets your agents have on their dockets.
  • It can be harder to track: Asynchronous messaging often doesn’t have a clear beginning or end, making it difficult to measure. This issue is ameliorated to a considerable extent if you partner with a purpose-built conversational AI platform able to measure tricky, nebulous metrics like concurrent average handle time.
  • Agents have to be able to multitask: Having multiple conversations at the same time, and switching seamlessly between them, is a skill. If not trained properly, agents can get overwhelmed, which can show in their customer communications.

Implementing Synchronous and Asynchronous Messaging.

Despite their differences (or because of them), both synchronous and asynchronous messaging have a place in your customer service strategy.

When to use Synchronous Messaging.

We’ve already answered “what is synchronous messaging,” now let’s look at the situations in which synchronous messaging is the better approach, including:

  • When customers need quick answers: There’s no better reason to use synchronous messaging than when customers need quick, immediate answers. In such cases, it will often not be worth stretching a conversation out over an asynchronous communication.
  • When diffusing difficult situations: As much effort as we expend trying to address customer service challenges, they inevitably happen. Upset customers don’t want to wait for replies while they go about their day, they want immediate responses so they can get their needs met, and that requires synchronous messaging.
  • When troubleshooting issues with customers: It’s much easier to walk customers through troubleshooting in real-time, instead of stretching out the conversation over hours or days.

When to Use Asynchronous Messaging.

Asynchronous messaging is best used when customer issues aren’t immediate, such:

  • When resolving (certain) complex issues: When customers come to your service team with complex issues that can be solved more slowly, asynchronous messaging really shines. It enables multiple agents and experts to jump in and out of the chat without requiring customers to wait on hold or repeat their information. (Note, however, that there’s a tension between this point and the last point from the previous section, which counseled using synchronous messaging for exactly this purpose. To clarify, urgent issues should probably be handled with synchronous messaging; but if an issue is complex, it’s a good candidate for asynchronous communication, especially if it’s relatively non-urgent and only resolvable with help from experts in multiple areas. Use your judgment.)
  • When building relationships: Asynchronous messaging is a great way to build customer relationships. Since there’s no clear ending, customers can continue to go back to the same chat and have conversations throughout their customer journey.
  • When work is especially busy: When your customer service team is overwhelmed, asynchronous messaging allows them to prioritize customer issues and handle the most timely ones first. The tools provided by a conversational AI platform like Quiq can help by e.g. gauging customer sentiment to determine who needs immediate attention and who can wait for a response.

Embrace Asynchronous and Synchronous Messaging.

We covered a lot of ground in this article! We defined synchronous and asynchronous messaging, discussed the pros and cons of each, and provided invaluable guidance into when to utilize one over the other.

Another subject we’ve touched on repeatedly is the value that generative AI can bring to organizations focused on customer experience. Check out this whitepaper for more details. Our research has convinced us that generative AI is one of the next big trends shaping our industry, and you don’t want to be left behind.

What is Rich Messaging? – A Guide for CX Leaders Weighing the Benefits

If by chance you haven’t heard of this new frontier in text-based customer communication, your first question is probably, “what is rich messaging?”

Well, you’re in luck! We wrote this piece specifically to get to the bottom of this subject. Here, we offer a deep dive into rich messaging, the capabilities it unlocks, and its implications for CX. By the time they’re done, CX directors will better understand why rich messaging should be central to their customer outreach strategy, and the many ways in which it can make their job easier.

What Is Rich Messaging?

Rich messaging aims to support person-to-person or business-to-person communication with upgraded, interactive messages. Senders can attach high-resolution photos, videos, audio messages, GIFs, and an array of other media to enhance the receiver’s experience while conveying a lot more information with each message.

Before going any further, we should specify that “rich messaging” refers to an umbrella of modern messaging applications, but it’s not the same as rich messaging protocols on offer. Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS), for example, is one approach to rich messaging, but it is not the same thing as rich messaging in general.

That said, you might still be wondering what is a rich communication service message, exactly? As you can guess, a rich communication service message is just a rich message sent over some appropriate protocol with all the advantages that it offers.

For a number of reasons, rich messaging applications have supplanted SMS in both personal and professional outreach. SMS messages simply do not support many staples of modern communication, such as group chats or “read” receipts. What’s more, the reach of SMS will remain limited because it requires a cellular connection, whereas rich messages can be sent over the internet.

Though SMS will probably be around for a while, rich messaging is becoming increasingly popular as companies have been trending toward greater use of applications like WhatsApp. Armed with these and similar channels, CX directors can now:

  • More easily capture new customers with compelling outreach;
  • Resolve customer issues directly via text, chat, or social media messaging (a huge advantage given how obsessed we’ve all become with our phones);
  • Interact with customers in real-time, which is a capability more and more people are looking for when seeking help;
  • Gather and act on analytics;
  • Scale their communications while simultaneously reducing the burden on contact center agents;

Given these facts, it’s no surprise that more and more CX leaders are making texting a key component of building lasting customer relationships.

Why is Expanding Communication Channels Important?

Expanding communication channels is important for the same reason the Internet and the fax machine were important; businesses must work to stay relevant, which is why they are constantly looking for the next technology to improve and expand interactions with customers and provide an edge over the competition. Let’s drill into this a little more.

As you must know, customer expectations change over time. It is startling to think that the first text message was sent nearly 30 years ago, but in that time, texting has become the default way of carrying on many different kinds of interactions. This is why it is crucial to develop communication channels that meet your customers where they are.

Modern consumers are incredibly busy, tech-savvy, and have a massive amount of information at their fingertips. They are not interested in calling a company for help unless there is absolutely no other choice, which is why they’ve been gravitating more toward text messaging for a while.

In the ongoing battle for limited customer attention, therefore, the forward-thinking CX director would be wise to put resources into this channel – along with any platforms that make that channel more fertile.

What is Rich Messaging on Different Platforms?

Now that you have more perspective on what rich messaging is and what it offers, let’s spend some time talking about which platforms you should focus on.

There are a few major providers of rich messaging, but we’ll focus on Apple and WhatsApp. Apple has long been a communication giant, but with billions of users worldwide, Facebook’s WhatsApp has certainly earned its spot at the table.

The sections below provide more details about how rich messaging works on each.

What is Rich Messaging on Apple?

Through Apple Messages for Business, contact centers can offer their customers a direct line of communication. This allows for far greater speed and convenience, to say nothing of the personalization opportunities opened up by artificial intelligence (more on this shortly).

For more information, check out our dedicated article on rich communication with Apple messages for Business.

What is Rich Messaging on WhatsApp?

WhatsApp is a widely-used application that uses rich messaging for texts, voice messages, and video calling for over two billion users worldwide. Utilizing a simple internet connection for its services, WhatsApp allows users to bypass the traditional costs associated with global communication, making it a cost-effective choice.

Given its vast user base, many international brands are adopting WhatsApp to connect with their customers. WhatsApp Business is an extension of WhatsApp, and it offers enhanced features tailored for business use.

It supports integration with tools like the Quiq conversational AI platform, which can automatically transcribe voice messages and allows for the export of these conversations for analysis using technologies like natural language processing.

For more information, check out our dedicated article on WhatsApp Business.

The Benefits of Rich Messages for Businesses

Engaging with consumers in more meaningful ways is one of the keys to driving sales and repeat purchases. Whether on Apple, WhatsApp, or another channel, rich messaging is one of the best ways of interacting with customers; it’s convenient and powerful enough to help a CX leader rise above their competition.

Below, we will get into more specifics about the advantages to be had from using rich messaging.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

It may be called “the bottom line,” but let’s face it, your budget probably ranks pretty highly on your list of priorities. Because it works over the internet, rich messaging is a great way for CX directions to connect with customers without breaking the bank.

But it can also help your organization save money by reducing customer support costs. When consumers need to talk to someone at your business, they can speak to knowledgeable agents (or a large language model trained on those agents’ output) through your rich messaging platform. You will reduce the need to provide the hardware and staffing required to run a full contact center, and you will be able to use those savings to invest in other areas of your business.

In this same vein, rich messaging makes it far easier to engage in asynchronous communications. This means agents are able to handle multiple conversations at the same time, resulting in further savings.

Finally, rich messaging is far more scalable than almost any other approach to customer outreach, especially when you effectively leverage AI. Once you’ve figured out what you want your message to be, communicating it to ten times as many people is relatively straightforward with rich messaging.

2. Real-Time Insights

When they integrate rich messaging with a platform offering excellent support for real-time analytics, companies gain access to conversation analytics that provide the insights they need to improve contact center performance.

They can generate reports on click rates and other helpful interaction metrics, for instance, giving CX leaders a feedback loop they can use to test changes and see what improves customer satisfaction, loyalty, and lifetime value.

3. Rich Messaging is Native to the Devices Customers are Already Using

You could pay for the most compelling billboard in the history of marketing, but if it’s on the moon where no one will see it, it’s not going to do you much good. For this reason, we’ve long pointed out that it’s important to meet your customers where they are – and these days, they’re on their phones.

When combined with the statistics in the following section, we think that the case for rich messaging as a central pillar in the CX director’s communications strategy is very strong.

4. Increased Engagement

When developing a customer communication strategy, it’s important to evaluate the potential engagement level of various channels. As it turns out, text messaging consistently achieves higher open and response rates compared to other methods.

The data supporting this is quite strong: in a 2018 survey, fully three-quarters of respondents indicated that they’d prefer to interact with brands through rich messages.

This high level of engagement demonstrates the significant potential of text messaging as a communication strategy. Considering that only about 25% of emails are opened and read, it becomes clear that investing in text messaging as a primary communication channel is a wise decision for effectively reaching and engaging customers.

5. The Human Touch (but with AI!)

Customers expect more personalization these days, and rich messaging gives businesses a way to customize communication with unprecedented scale and sophistication.

This customization is facilitated by machine learning, a technology at the cutting edge of automated content customization. A familiar example is Netflix, which uses algorithms to detect viewer preferences and recommend corresponding shows. Now, thanks to advancements in generative AI, this same technology is being integrated into text messaging.

Previously, language models lacked the necessary flexibility for personalized customer interactions, often sounding mechanical and inauthentic. However, today’s models have greatly enhanced agents’ abilities to adapt their conversations to fit specific contexts. While these models haven’t replaced the unique qualities of human interaction, they mark a significant improvement for CX directors aiming to improve the customer experience, keep customers loyal, and boost their lifetime value. What’s more, when used over time, these innovations will help a CX leader stand out in a crowded marketplace while making better decisions.

To make use of this, though, it helps to partner with a platform that offers this functionality out of the box.

6. Security

In addition to streamlining connections between your organization and its consumers, rich messaging may offer dependable security and peace of mind.

Trust and transparency have always been important, but with deep fakes and data breaches on the rise, they’re more crucial than ever. Some rich messaging applications, like WhatsApp, support end-to-end encryption, meaning your customers can interact with you knowing full well that their information is safe.

But, to reiterate, this is not the case for all rich messaging services, so be sure to do your own research first.

What is Rich Messaging? It’s the Future!

Businesses across every industry need to update their approach to messaging to remain relevant with consumers, but that’s especially true for CX leaders. Significant data shows that traditional customer communication channels, like phone, email, and web chat, have already fallen to the bottom of the preference list, and you need a plan in place that allows you to react to changes in customer desires.

Rich messaging is the technology that makes this possible, and it’s even more impactful when you partner with a platform like Quiq that enables personalization, analytics, and better engagement with your customers. Read more here to learn about the communication channels we support!

9 Top Customer Service Challenges — and How to Overcome Them

It’s a shame that customer service doesn’t always get the respect and attention it deserves because it’s among the most important ingredients in any business’s success. There’s no better marketing than an enthusiastic user base, so every organization should strive to excel at making customers happy.

Alas, this is easier said than done. When someone comes to you with a problem, they can be angry, stubborn, mercurial, and—let’s be honest—extremely frustrating. Some of this just comes with the territory, but some stems from the fact that many customer service professionals simply don’t have a detailed, high-level view of customer service challenges or how to overcome them.

That’s what we’re going to remedy in this post. Let’s jump right in!

What are The Top Customer Service Challenges?

After years of running a generative AI platform for contact centers and interacting with leaders in this space, we have discovered that the top customer service challenges are:

  1. Understanding Customer Expectations
  2. Next Step: Exceeding Customer Expectations
  3. Dealing with Unreasonable Customer Demands
  4. Improving Your Internal Operations
  5. Not Offering a Preferred Communication Channel
  6. Not Offering Real-Time Options
  7. Handling Angry Customers
  8. Dealing With a Service Outage Crisis
  9. Retaining, Hiring, and Training Service Professionals

In the sections below, we’ll break each of these down and offer strategies for addressing them.

1. Understanding Customer Expectations

No matter how specialized a business is, it will inevitably cater to a wide variety of customers. Every customer has different desires, expectations, and needs regarding a product or service, which means you need to put real effort into meeting them where they are.

One of the best ways to foster this understanding is to remain in consistent contact with your customers. Deciding which communication channels to offer customers depends a great deal on the kinds of customers you’re serving. That said, in our experience, text messaging is a universally successful method of communication because it mimics how people communicate in their personal lives. The same goes for web chat and WhatsApp.

Beyond this, setting the right expectations upfront is another good way to address common customer service challenges. For example, if you are not available 24/7, only provide support via email, or don’t have dedicated account managers , you should  make that clear right at the beginning.

Nothing will make a customer angrier than thinking they can text you only to realize that’s not an option in the middle of a crisis.

2. Next Step: Exceed Customer Expectations

Once you understand what your customers want and need, the next step is to go above and beyond to make them happy. Everyone wants to stand out in a fiercely competitive market, and going the extra mile is a great way to do that. One of the major customer service challenges is knowing how to do this proactively, but there are many ways you can succeed without a huge amount of effort.

Consider a few examples, such as:

  • Treating the customer as you would a friend in your personal life, i.e. by apologizing for any negative experiences and empathizing with how they feel;
  • Offering a credit or discount for a future purchase;
  • Sending them a card referencing their experience and thanking them for being a loyal customer;

The key is making sure they feel seen and heard. If you do this consistently, you’ll exceed your customers’ expectations, and the chances of them becoming active promoters of your company will increase dramatically.

3. Dealing with Unreasonable Demands

Of course, sometimes a customer has expectations that simply can’t be met, and this, too, counts as one of the serious customer service challenges. Customer service professionals often find themselves in situations where someone wants a discount that can’t be given, a feature that can’t be built, or a bespoke customization that can’t be done, and they wonder what they should do.

The only thing to do in this situation is to gently let the customer down, using respectful and diplomatic language. Something like, “We’re really sorry we’re not able to fulfill your request, but we’d be happy to help you choose an option that we currently have available” should do the trick.

4. Improving Your Internal Operations

Customer service teams face the constant pressure to improve efficiency, maintain high CSAT scores, drive revenue, and keep costs to service customers low. This matters a lot; slow response times and being kicked from one department to another are two of the more common complaints contact centers get from irate customers, and both are fixable with appropriate changes to your procedures.

Improving contact center performance is among the thorniest customer service challenges, but there’s no reason to give up hope!

One thing you can do is gather and utilize better data regarding your internal workflows. Data has been called “the new oil,” and with good reason—when used correctly, it’s unbelievably powerful.

What might this look like?

Well, you are probably already tracking metrics like first contact resolution (FCR) and (AHT), but this is easier when you have a unified, comprehensive dashboard that gives you quick insight into what’s happening across your organization.

You might also consider leveraging the power of generative AI, which has led to AI assistants that can boost agent performance in a variety of different tasks. You have to tread lightly here because too much bad automation will also drive customers away. But when you use technology like large language models according to best practices, you can get more done and make your customers happier while still reducing the burden on your agents.

5. Not Offering a Preferred Communication Channel

In general, contact centers often deal with customer service challenges stemming from new technologies. One way this can manifest is the need to cultivate new channels in line with changing patterns in the way we all communicate.

You can probably see where this is going – something like 96% of Americans have some kind of cell phone, and if you’ve looked up from your own phone recently, you’ve probably noticed everyone else glued to theirs.

It isn’t just that customers now want to be able to text you instead of calling or emailing; the ubiquity of cell phones has changed their basic expectations. They now take it for granted that your agents will be available round the clock, that they can chat with an agent asynchronously as they go about other tasks, etc.

We can’t tell you whether it’s worth investing in multiple communication channels for your industry. But based on our research, we can tell you that having multiple channels—and text messaging in particular—is something most people want and expect.

6. Not Offering Real-Time Options

When customers reach out asking for help, their problems likely feel unique to them. But since you have so much more context, you’re aware that a very high percentage of inquiries fall into a few common buckets, like “Where is my order?”, “How do I handle a return?”, “My item arrived damaged, how can I exchange it for a new one?”, etc.

These and similar inquiries can easily be resolved instantly using AI, leaving customers and agents happier and more productive.

7. Handling Angry Customers

A common story in the customer service world involves an interaction going south and a customer getting angry.

Gracefully handling angry customers is one of those perennial customer service challenges; the very first merchants had to deal with angry customers, and our robot descendants will be dealing with angry customers long after the sun has burned out.

Whenever you find yourself dealing with a customer who has become irate, there are two main things you have to do:

  1. Empathize with them
  2. Do not lose your cool

It can be hard to remember, but the customer isn’t frustrated with you, they’re frustrated with the company and products. If you always keep your responses calm and rooted in the facts of the situation, you’ll always be moving toward providing a solution.

8. Dealing With a Service Outage Crisis

Sometimes, our technology fails us. The wifi isn’t working on the airplane, a cell phone tower is down following a lightning storm, or that printer from Office Space jams so often it starts to drive people insane.

As a customer service professional, you might find yourself facing the wrath of your customers if your service is down. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, there’s not much you can do except honestly convey to your customers that your team is putting all their effort into getting things back on track. You should go into these conversations expecting frustrated customers, but make sure you avoid the temptation to overpromise.

Talk with your tech team and give customers a realistic timeline, don’t assure them it’ll be back in three hours if you have no way to back that up. Though Elon Musk seems to get away with it, the worst thing the rest of us can do is repeatedly promise unrealistic timelines and miss the mark.

9. Retaining, Hiring, and Training Service Professionals

You may have seen this famous Maya Angelou quote, which succinctly captures what the customer service business is all about:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Learning how to comfort a person or reassure them is high on the list of customer service challenges, and it’s something that is certainly covered in your training for new agents.

But training is also important because it eases the strain on agents and reduces turnover. For customer service professionals, the median time to stick with one company is less than a year, and every time someone leaves, that means finding a replacement, training them, and hoping they don’t head for the exits before your investment has paid off.

Keeping your agents happy will save you more money than you imagine, so invest in a proper training program. Ensure they know what’s expected of them, how to ask for help when needed, and how to handle challenging customers.

Final Thoughts on the Top Customer Service Challenges

Customer service challenges abound, but with the right approach, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to meet them head-on!

Check out our report for a more detailed treatment of three major customer service challenges and how to resolve them. Between the report and this post, you should be armed with enough information to identify your own internal challenges, fix them, and rise to new heights.

The Ultimate Guide to RCS Business Messaging

From chiseling words into stone to typing them directly on our screens, changes in technology can bring profound changes to the way we communicate. Rich Communication Services (RCS) Business Messaging is one such technological change, and it offers the forward-looking contact center a sophisticated upgrade over traditional SMS.

In this piece, we’ll discuss RCS Business Messaging, illustrating its significance, its inner workings, and how it can be leveraged as part of a broader customer service strategy. This context will equip you to understand RCS and determine whether and how to invest in it.

Let’s get going!

What is RCS Business Messaging?

Smartphones have become enormously popular for surfing the internet, shopping, connecting with friends, and conducting many other aspects of our daily lives. One consequence of this development is that it’s much more common for contact centers to interact with customers through text messaging.

Once text messaging began to replace phone calls, emails, and in-person visits as the go-to communication channel, it was clear that it required an upgrade. The old Short Messaging Service (SMS) was replaced with Rich Communication Services (RCS), which supports audio messages, video, high-quality photos, group chats, encryption, and everything else we’ve come to expect from our messaging experience.

And, on the whole, the data indicate that this is a favorable trend:

  • More than 70% of people report feeling inclined to make an online purchase when they have the ability to get timely answers to questions;
  • Almost three-quarters indicated that they were more likely to interact with a brand when they have the option of doing so through RCS;
  • Messages sent through RCS are a staggering 35 times more likely to be read than an equivalent email.

For all these reasons, your contact center needs to be thinking about how RCS fits into your overall customer service strategy–it’s simply not a channel you can afford to ignore any longer.

How is RCS Business Messaging Different from Google Business Messages?

Distinguishing between Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) and Google Business Messages can be tricky because they’re similar in many ways. That said, keeping their differences in mind is crucial.

You may not remember this if you’re young enough, but text messaging was once much more limited. Texts could not be very long, and were unable to accommodate modern staples like GIFs, videos, and emojis. However, as reliance on text messaging grew, there was a clear need to enhance the basic protocol to include these and other multimedia elements.

Since this enhancement enriched the basic functionality of text messaging, it is known as “rich” communication. Beyond adding emojis and the like, RCS is becoming essential for businesses looking to engage in more dynamic interactions with customers. It supports features such as custom logos, collecting data for analytics, adding QR codes, and links to calendars or maps, and enhancing the messaging experience all around.

Google Business Messages, on the other hand, is a mobile messaging channel that seamlessly integrates with Google Maps and Search to deliver high-quality, asynchronous communication between your customers and your contact center agents.

This service is not only a boon to your satisfaction ratings, it can also support other business objectives by reducing the volume of calls and enhancing conversion rates.

While Google Business Messages and RCS have a lot in common, there are two key differences worth highlighting: RCS is not universally available across all Android devices (whereas Business Messages is), and Business Messages does not require a user to install a messaging app (whereas RCS does).

How Does RCS Business Messaging Work?

Okay, now that we’ve convinced you that RCS Business Messaging is worth the effort to cultivate, let’s examine how it works.

Once you set up your account and complete the registration process, you’ll need to create an “agent,” which is the basic interface connecting your contact center to your customers. Agents are quite flexible and able to handle very simple workflows (such as sending a notification) as well as much more complicated sequences of tasks (such as those required to help book a reservation).

From the customer’s side, communicating with an agent is more or less indistinguishable from having a standard conversation. Each participant will speak in turn, waiting for the other to respond.

Agents can be configured to initiate a conversation under a wide variety of external circumstances. They could reach out when a user’s order has been shipped, for example, or when a new sushi restaurant has opened and is offering discounts. Since we’re focused on contact centers, our agent configurations will likely revolve around events like “the customer reached out for support,” “there’s been an update on an outstanding ticket,” or “the issue has been resolved.”

However you’ve chosen to set up your agent, when it is supposed to initiate a conversation, it will use the RCS Business Messaging API to send a message. These messages are always sent as standard HTTP requests with a corresponding JSON payload (if you’re curious about the technical underpinnings), but the most important thing to know is that the message ultimately ends up in front of the user, where they can respond.

Unless, that is, their device doesn’t support RCS. RCS has become popular and prominent enough that we’d be surprised if you ran into this situation very often. Just in case, you should have your messaging set up such that you can default to something like SMS.

Any subsequent messages between the agent and the customer are also sent as JSON. Herein lies the enormous potential for customization, because you can utilize powerful technologies like natural language understanding to have your agent dynamically generate different responses in different contexts. This not only makes it feel more lifelike, it also means that it can solve a much broader range of problems.

If you don’t want to roll up your sleeves and do this yourself, you always have the option of partnering with a good conversational AI platform. Ideally, you’d want to use one that makes integrating generative AI painless, and which has a robust set of features that make it easy to monitor the quality of agent interactions, collect data, and make decisions quickly.

Best Practices for Using RCS Business Messaging

By now, you should hopefully understand RCS Business Messaging, why it’s exciting, and the many ways in which you can use it to take your contact center to new heights. In this penultimate section, we’ll discuss some of Google’s best practices for RCS.

RCS is not a General-Purpose User Interface

Tools are incredibly powerful ways of extending basic human abilities, but only if you understand when and how to use them. Hammers are great for carpentry, but they’re worse than useless when making pancakes (trust us on this–we’ve tried, and it went poorly).

The same goes for Google’s RCS Business Messaging, which is a conversational interface. Your RCS agents are great at resolving queries, directing customers to information, executing tasks, and (failing that) escalating to a human being. But in order to do all of this, you should try to make sure they speak in a way that is natural, restricted to the question at hand, and easy for the customer to follow.

For this same reason, your agents shouldn’t be seen as a simple replacement for a phone tree, requiring the user to tediously input numbers to navigate a menu of delimited options. Part of the reason agents are a step forward in contact center management is precisely because they eliminate the need to lean on such an approach.

Check Device Compatibility Beforehand

Above, we pointed out that some devices don’t support RCS, and you should therefore have a failsafe in place if you send a message to one. This is sage advice, but it’s also possible to send a “capability request” ahead of a message telling you what kind of device the user has and what messaging it supports.

This will allow you to configure your agent in advance so that it stays within the limits of a given device.

Begin at the Beginning

As you’ve undoubtedly heard from marketing experts, first impressions matter a lot. The way your agent initiates a conversation will determine the user’s experience, and thereby figure prominently in how successful you are in making them happy.

In general, it’s a good idea to have the initial message be friendly, warm, and human, to contain some of the information the user is likely to want, and to list out a few of the things the agent is capable of. This way, the person who reached out to you with a problem immediately feels more at ease, knowing they’ll be able to reach a speedy resolution.

Be Mindful of Technical Constraints

There are a few low-level facts about RCS that could bear on the end user’s experience, and you should know about them as you integrate RCS into your text messaging strategy.

To take one example, messages containing media may process more slowly than text-only messages. This means that you could end up with messages getting out of order if you send several of them in a row.

For this reason, you should wait for the RBM platform to return a 200 OK response for each message before proceeding to send the next. This response indicates the platform has received the message, ensuring users receive them as intended.

Additionally, it’s important to be on the lookout for duplicate incoming messages. When receiving messages from users, always check the `messageId` to confirm that the message hasn’t been processed before. By keeping track of `messageId` strings, duplicate messages can be easily identified and disregarded, ensuring efficient and accurate communication.

Integrate with Quiq

RCS is the next step in text messaging, opening up many more ways of interacting with the people reaching out to you for help.

There are many ways to leverage RCS, one of which is turbo-charging your agents with the power of large language models. The easiest way to do this is to team up with a conversation AI platform to do the technical heavy lifting for you.

Quiq is one such platform. Reach out to schedule a demo with us today!

Request A Demo

Google Business Messages: Meet Your Customers Where They’re At

The world is a distracted and distracting place; between all the alerts, the celebrity drama on Twitter, and the fact that there are more hilarious animal videos on YouTube than you could ever hope to watch even if it were your full-time job, it takes a lot to break through the noise.

That’s one reason customer service-oriented businesses like contact centers are increasingly turning to text messaging. Not only are cell phones all but ubiquitous, but many people have begun to prefer text-message-based interactions to calls, emails, or in-person visits.

In this article, we’ll cover one of the biggest text-messaging channels: Google Business Messages. We’ll discuss what it is, what features it offers, and various ways of leveraging it to the fullest.

Let’s get going!

What is Google Business Messages?

Given that more than nine out of ten online searches go through Google, we will go out on a limb and assume you’ve heard of the Mountain View behemoth. But you may not be aware that Google has a Business Message service that is very popular among companies, like contact centers, that understand the advantages of texting their customers.

Business Messages allows you to create a “messaging surface” on Android or Apple devices. In practice, this essentially means that you can create a little “chat” button that your customers can use to reach out to you.

Behind the scenes, you will have to register for Business Messages, creating an “agent” that your customers will interact with. You have many configuration options for your Business Messages workflows; it’s possible to dynamically route a given message to contact center agents at a specific location, have an AI assistant powered by large language models generate a reply (more on this later), etc.

Regardless of how the reply is generated, it is then routed through the API to your agent, which is what actually interacts with the customer. A conversation is considered over when both the customer and your agent cease replying, but you can resume a conversation up to 30 days later.

What’s the Difference Between Google RCS and Google Business Messages?

It’s easy to confuse Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) and Google Business Messages. Although the two are similar, it’s nevertheless worth remembering their differences.

Long ago, text messages had to be short, sweet, and contain nothing but words. But as we all began to lean more on text messaging to communicate, it became necessary to upgrade the basic underlying protocol. This way, we could also use video, images, GIFs, etc., in our conversations.

“Rich” communication is this upgrade, but it’s not relegated to emojis and such. RCS is also quickly becoming a staple for businesses that want to invest in livelier exchanges with their customers. RCS allows for custom logos and consistent branding, for example; it also makes it easier to collect analytics, insert QR codes, link out to calendars or Maps, etc.

As discussed above, Business Messages is a mobile messaging channel that integrates with Google Maps, Search, and brand websites, offering rich, asynchronous communication experiences. This platform not only makes customers happy but also contributes to your business’s bottom line through reduced call volumes, improved CSAT, and better conversion rates.

Importantly, Business Messages are sometimes also prominently featured in Google search results, such as answer cards, place cards, and site links.

In short, there is a great deal of overlap between Google Business Messages and Google RCS. But two major distinctions are that RCS is not available on all Android devices (where Business Messages is), and Business Messages doesn’t require you to have a messaging app installed (where RCS does).

The Advantages of Google Business Messaging

Google Business Messaging has many distinct advantages to offer the contact center entrepreneur. In the next few sections, we’ll discuss some of the biggest.

It Supports Robust Encryption

A key feature of Business Messages is that its commitment to security and privacy is embodied through powerful, end-to-end encryption.

What exactly does end-to-end encryption entail? In short, it ensures that a message remains secure and unreadable from the moment the sender types it to whenever the recipient opens it, even if it’s intercepted in transit. This level of security is baked in, requiring no additional setup or adjustments to security settings by the user.

The significance of this feature cannot be overstated. Today, it’s not at all uncommon to read about yet another multi-million-dollar ransomware attack or a data breach of staggering proportions. This has engendered a growing awareness of (and concern for) data security, meaning that present and future customers will value those platforms that make it a central priority of their offering.

By our estimates, this will only become more important with the rise of generative AI, which has made it increasingly difficult to trust text, images, and even movies seen online—none of which was particularly trustworthy even before it became possible to mass-produce them.

If you successfully position yourself as a pillar your customers can lean on, that will go a long way toward making you stand out in a crowded market.

It Makes Connecting With Customers Easier

Another advantage of Google Business Messages is that it makes it much easier to meet customers where they are. And where we are is “on our phones.”

Now, this may seem too obvious to need pointing out. After all, if your customers are texting all day and you’re launching a text-messaging channel of communication, then of course you’ll be more accessible.

But there’s more to this story. Google Business Messaging allows you to seamlessly integrate with other Google services, like Google Maps. If a customer is trying to find the number for your contact center, therefore, they could instead get in touch simply by clicking the “CHAT” button.

This, too, may seem rather uninspiring because it’s not as though it’s difficult to grab the number and call. But even leaving aside the rising generations’ aversion to making phone calls, there’s a concept known as “trivial inconvenience” that’s worth discussing in this context.

Here’s an example: if you want to stop yourself from snacking on cookies throughout the day, you don’t have to put them on the moon (though that would help). Usually, it’s enough to put them in the next room or downstairs.

Though this only slightly increases the difficulty of accessing your cookie supply, in most cases, it introduces just enough friction to substantially reduce the number of cookies you eat (depending on the severity of your Oreo addiction, of course).

Well, the exact same dynamic works in reverse. Though grabbing your contact center’s phone number from Google and calling you requires only one or two additional steps, that added work will be sufficient to deter some fraction of customers from reaching out. If you want to make yourself easy to contact, there’s no substitute for a clean integration directly into the applications your customers are using, and that’s something Google Business Messages can do extremely well.

It’s Scalable and Supports Integrations

According to legend, the name “Google” originally came from a play on the word “Googol,” which is a “1” followed by a 100 “0”s. Google, in other words, has always been about scale, and that is reflected in the way its software operates today. For our purposes, the most important manifestation of this is the scalability of their API. Though you may currently be operating at a few hundred or a few thousand messages per day, if you plan on growing, you’ll want to invest early in communication channels that can grow along with you.

But this is hardly the end of what integrations can do for you. If you’re in the contact center business there’s a strong possibility that you’ll eventually end up using a large language model like ChatGPT in order to answer questions more quickly, offboard more routine tasks, etc. Unless you plan on dropping millions of dollars to build one in-house, you’ll want to partner with an AI-powered conversational platform. As you go about finding a good vendor, make sure to assess the features they support. The best platforms have many options for increasing the efficiency of your agents, such as reusable snippets, auto-generated suggestions that clean up language and tone, and dashboarding tools that help you track your operation in detail.

Best Practices for Using Google Business Messages

Here, in the penultimate section, we’ll cover a few optimal ways of utilizing Google Business Messages.

Reply in a Timely Fashion

First, it’s important that you get back to customers as quickly as you’re able to. As we noted in the introduction, today’s consumers are perpetually drinking from a firehose of digital information. If it takes you a while to respond to their query, there’s a good chance they’ll either forget they reached out (if you’re lucky) or perceive it as an unpardonable affront and leave you a bad review (if you’re not).

An obvious way to answer immediately is with an automated message that says something like, “Thanks for your question. We’ll respond to you soon!” But you can’t just leave things there, especially if the question requires a human agent to intervene.

Whatever automated system you implement, you need to monitor how well your filters identify and escalate the most urgent queries. Remember that an agent might need a few hours to answer a tricky question, so factor that into your procedures.

This isn’t just something Google suggests; it’s codified in its policies. If you leave a Business Messages chat unanswered for 24 hours, Google might actually deactivate your company’s ability to use chat features.

Don’t Ask for Personal Information

As hackers have gotten more sophisticated, everyday consumers have responded by raising their guard.

On the whole, this is a good thing and will lead to a safer and more secure world. But it also means that you need to be extremely careful not to ask for anything like a social security number or a confirmation code via a service like Business Messages. What’s more, many companies are opting to include a disclaimer to this effect near the beginning of any interactions with customers.

Earlier, we pointed out that Business Messages supports end-to-end encryption, and having a clear, consistent policy about not collecting sensitive information fits into this broader picture. People will trust you more if they know you take their privacy seriously.

Make Business Messages Part of Your Overall Vision

Google Business Messages is a great service, but you’ll get the most out of it if you consider how it is part of a more far-reaching strategy.

At a minimum, this should include investing in other good communication channels, like Apple Messages and WhatsApp. People have had bitter, decades-long battles with each other over which code editor or word processor is best, so we know that they have strong opinions about the technology that they use. If you have many options for customers wanting to contact you, that’ll boost their satisfaction and their overall impression of your contact center.

The prior discussion of trivial inconveniences is also relevant here. It’s not hard to open a different messaging app under most circumstances, but if you don’t force a person to do that, they’re more likely to interact with you.

Schedule a Demo with Quiq

Google has been so monumentally successful its name is now synonymous with “online search.” Even leaving aside rich messaging, encryption, and everything else we covered in this article, you can’t afford to ignore Business Messages for this reason alone.

But setting up an account is only the first step in the process, and it’s much easier when you have ready-made tools that you can integrate on day one. The Quiq conversational AI platform is one such tool, and it has a bevy of features that’ll allow you to reduce the workloads on your agents while making your customers even happier. Check us out or schedule a demo to see what we can do for you!

Request A Demo

Why Your Business Should Use Rich Messaging

A Brief Overview of Rich Messaging

Along with Eminem and Auto-Tune, text messaging was just becoming really popular back in the halcyon days of the early 2000s. It was a simpler time, and all our texts were sent via “short message service” (SMS), which was mostly confined to words. This was cutting-edge technology back then, and since we weren’t yet expressing ourselves with walls of hieroglyphic emojis or GIFs from Schitt’s Creek, it was all we needed.

Today, this is no longer the case. We’re spending much more time communicating with each other through text messaging and sending much more complicated information, to boot. In response, rich messaging was developed.

Technically known as “rich communication services” (RCS), rich messaging is the next step in the evolution of text messaging. It allows for better use of interactive media, such as high-resolution photos, messaging cards, audio messages, emojis, and GIFs. Even more important for those of us in the contact center industry, it also facilitates an enhanced customer experience, with things like sensory-rich service interactions.

Capabilities of Rich Messaging

Having covered rich messaging, let’s explore some of its vistas. While this is not a comprehensive list, it reflects what we believe to be some of RCS’s most important properties (especially from the perspective of those looking to leverage text messaging for contact centers).

Integrating with Other Services

Today, the rise of generative AI is changing how contact centers work, which also presents an opportunity for integration.

If your business is looking to integrate AI assistants to automate substantial parts of its customer service workflow, you’re almost certainly going to have to do that through rich messaging.

Secure Messaging and Transactions Processing

Big data and AI have both raised serious concerns over privacy. A decade ago, people wouldn’t have thought twice about sharing their location or putting pictures of their kids online. These days, however, more of us are privacy- and security-conscious, so the fact that rich messaging supports end-to-end encryption is important.

People are much more likely to talk to your customer service agents directly if they can rest easy knowing their data isn’t going to be exposed to malicious actors.

Better Analytics

Speaking of big data, rich messaging makes it possible to gather and conduct fairly sophisticated customer service data analysis. You can gather statistics about obvious metrics like reply rates or feed conversations into a sentiment analysis system to determine how people feel about you, your company, and your service.

This allows you to identify patterns in customer behavior, optimize your use of AI, and generally start tinkering with your procedures to better serve customer needs.

It also goes the other way, inasmuch as you can send real-time alerts confirming an issue was received, updating a customer on the status of a ticket, etc. Sure, this isn’t technically “analysis,” but it’ll help people feel more at ease when interacting with your customer service agents, so it’s worth bearing in mind.

Rich Channels of Communication

Where can you use rich messaging? In the sections that follow, we’ll answer this exact question!

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a platform overseen by Meta (formerly Facebook) that supports rich text messaging, voice messaging, and video calling. With more than two billion users, it’s incredibly popular. A key reason for this is that all this data is sent over the internet, obviating the SMS fees that used to keep us all up at night. And it has a business API that will allow you to scale up with increased demand.

Apple Rich Messaging

Apple’s rich messaging service is called Apple Messages for Business. It offers potential and existing customers a way to communicate with your agents directly via their Apple devices.

This is a market you can’t afford to ignore; with nearly two billion Apple devices, the reach of iOS is simply gigantic, and it’s a communication channel you should be cultivating.

Google Rich Messaging

More than nine out of ten searches happen on Google, meaning that it has become the powerhouse when it comes to finding information online. And if that’s not enough to convince you, consider that the phrase “Google it” is now just what people say when they’re talking about looking something up.

However, you may not be aware that Google offers a Business Messages service that should be part of your overall customer strategy.

Building Trust through Rich Communication Service Messages

Being successful in business requires many things, but one of the more important ones is trust. This has always been true, of course, but it’s only become more so with the rise of artificial intelligence.

We’ve been singing the praises of generative AI for a while, and firmly believe that it will have a huge positive impact on the contact center industry. But there’s a downside to the fact that it’s now trivial to crank industrial quantities of text, video, and images.

There’s always been plenty of nonsense online, but once upon a time, the ability to create such content was limited by the fact that someone, somewhere, had to actually sit down and make it. That’s no longer the case, which means that users are more eager than ever for signs that they’re dealing with customer service they can rely on.

Rich messaging has a part to play in that, and in the next few sections, we’ll explain why.

High-Quality Interactions Will Have Customers Coming Back

Rich messaging has many tools that make it easier to ensure that customers have a first-class experience interacting with your contact center. The rich messaging services described above have APIs, for example, that allow you to better organize conversations. This means agents can stay on top of their workloads, leading to less of the kind of frustration and distress that might negatively color their replies.

These services can also be integrated with high-quality conversational AI platforms. When agents can outsource simple, standard queries to algorithms or reuse snippets, they have more time to focus on solving trickier problems.

The net result is that agents feel less burned out, and customers get better help, faster.

Consistency in Experiences

Another way to build trust is to ensure your style is consistent across channels. Just as you wouldn’t use a different logo on Facebook and Instagram, you shouldn’t use a dramatically different tone of voice on one platform than you use on another.

When people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust you. Because rich messaging supports many different kinds of media, you can ensure that customer experiences remain consistent.

This is also a place where generative AI comes in handy. The best conversational AI platforms train models on the conversations of senior agents and make this available to everyone in the contact center. This means that each agent can format replies with the same empathy, patience, and understanding as their very best peers.

Verified Business Profiles

Finally, using a verified account is a basic step you can take to increase trust. If you thought getting junk mail was bad, pause for a moment and consider the absolute barrage of text messages, bogus phone calls, and DMs most of us get every single day. There is a never-ending sea of bot accounts on Twitter and other platforms trying to dupe everyone into one crypto scam or another, and this has substantially eroded people’s trust in online interactions.

The rich messaging services offered by Google, WhatsApp, and Apple all have a fairly lengthy process for verifying the authenticity of your profile. By itself, this isn’t going to ensure that customers trust you, but it helps. People want to know that they’re talking to a real business, not an imposter; the “proof of work” (speaking of crypto) required to verify a rich messaging account is a crucial part of establishing that rapport.

Rich Messaging is the Future of Text

The world today looks very different from the world of the early 2000s. Our technologies, including our text messaging, have evolved along with it, and businesses have to keep up if they want to remain relevant.

Rich messaging is a great way to build trust and loyalty, and it opens up many new opportunities. But to get the most out of rich messaging, it really helps to work with a platform that offers robust tooling, language models, analytics, and so on.

Quiq is one such platform. Reach out to us to schedule a demo, and see how we can ensure your text-messaging outreach is profitable, productive, and easy!

Request A Demo

WhatsApp Business: A Guide for Contact Center Managers

In today’s digital era, businesses continually seek innovative ways to connect with their customers, striving to enhance communication and foster deeper relationships. Enter WhatsApp Business – a game-changer in the realm of digital communication. This powerful tool is not just a messaging app; it’s a bridge between businesses and their customers, offering a plethora of features designed to streamline communication, improve customer service, and boost engagement. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a global enterprise, understanding the potential of WhatsApp Business could redefine your approach to customer communication.

What is Whatsapp Business?

WhatsApp is an application that supports text messaging, voice messaging, and video calling for over two billion global users. Because it leverages a simple internet connection to send and receive data, WhatsApp users can avoid the fees that once made communication so expensive.

Since WhatsApp already has such a large base of enthusiastic users, many international brands have begun leveraging it to communicate with their own audiences. It also has a number of built-in features that make it an attractive option for businesses wanting to establish a more personal connection with their customers, and we’ll cover those in the next section.

What Features Does WhatsApp Business Have?

In addition to its reach and the fact that it reduces the budget needed for communication, WhatsApp Business has additional functionality that makes it ideal for any business trying to interact with its customers.

When integrated with a tool like the Quiq conversational AI platform, WhatsApp Business can automatically transcribe voice-based messages. Even better, WhatsApp Business allows you to export these conversations later if you want to analyze them with a tool like natural language processing.

If your contact center agents and the customers they’re communicating with have both set a “preferred language,” WhatsApp can dynamically translate between these languages to make communication easier. So, if a user sends a voice message in Russian and the agent wants to communicate in English, they’ll have no trouble understanding one another.

What are the Differences Between WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business?

Before we move on, it’s worth pointing out that WhatsApp and WhatsApp Business are two different services. On its own, WhatsApp is the most widely used messaging application in the world. Businesses can use WhatsApp to talk to their customers, but with a WhatsApp Business account, they get a few extra perks.

Mostly, these perks revolve around building brand awareness. Unlike a basic WhatsApp account, a WhatsApp Business account allows you to include a lot of additional information about your company and its services. It also provides a labeling system so that you can organize the conversations you have with customers, and a variety of other tools so you can respond quickly and efficiently to any issues that come up.

The Advantages of WhatsApp Messaging for Businesses

Now, let’s spend some time going over the myriad advantages offered by a WhatsApp outreach strategy. Why, in other words, would you choose to use WhatsApp over its many competitors?

Global Reach and Popularity

First, we’ve already mentioned the fact that WhatsApp has achieved worldwide popularity, and in this section, we’ll drill down into more specifics.

When WhatsApp was acquired by Meta in 2014, it already boasted 450 million active users per month. Today, this figure has climbed to a remarkable 2.7 billion, but it’s believed it will reach a dizzying 3.14 billion as early as 2025.

With over 535 million users, India is the country where WhatsApp has gained the most traction by far. Brazil is second with 148 million users, and Indonesia is third with 112 million users.

The gender divide among WhatsApp users is pretty even – men account for just shy of 54% of WhatsApp users, so they have only a slight majority.

The app itself has over 5 billion downloads from the Google Play store alone, and it’s used to send 140 billion messages each day.

These data indicate that WhatsApp could be a very valuable channel to cultivate, regardless of the market you’re looking to serve or where your customers are located.

Personalized Customer Interactions

Firstly, platforms like WhatsApp enable businesses to customize communication with a level of scale and sophistication previously unavailable.

This customization is powered by machine learning, a technology that has consistently led the charge in the realm of automated content personalization. For example, Spotify’s ability to analyze your listening patterns and suggest music or podcasts that match your interests is powered by machine learning. Now, thanks to advancements in generative AI, similar technology is being applied to text messaging.

Past language models often fell short in providing personalized customer interactions. They tended to be more “rule-based” and, therefore, came off as “mechanical” and “unnatural.” However, contemporary models greatly improve agents’ capacity to adapt their messages to a particular situation.

While none of this suggests generative AI is going to entirely take the place of the distinctive human mode of expression, for a contact center manager aiming to improve customer experience, this marks a considerable step forward.

Below, we have a section talking a little bit more about integrating AI into WhatsApp Business.

End-to-End Encryption

One thing that has always been a selling point for WhatsApp is that it takes security and privacy seriously. This is manifested most obviously in the fact that it encrypts all messages end-to-end.

What does this mean? From the moment you start typing a message to another user all the way through when they read it, the message is protected. Even if another party were to somehow intercept your message, they’d still have to crack the encryption to read it. What’s more, all of this is enabled by default – you don’t have to spend any time messing around with security settings.

This might be more important than you realize. We live in a world increasingly beset by data breaches and ransomware attacks, and more people are waking up to the importance of data security and privacy. This means that a company that takes these aspects of its platform very seriously could have a leg up where building trust is concerned. Your users want to know that their information is safe with you, and using a messaging service like WhatsApp will help to set you apart.

Scalability

Finally, WhatsApp’s Business API is a sophisticated programmatic interface designed to scale your business’s outreach capabilities. By leveraging this tool, companies can connect with a broader audience, extending their reach to prospects and customers across various locations. This expansion is not just about increasing numbers; it’s about strategically enhancing your business’s presence in the digital world, ensuring that you’re accessible whenever your customers need to reach out to you.

By understanding the value WhatsApp’s Business API brings in reaching and engaging with more people effectively, you can make an informed decision about whether it represents the right technological solution for your business’s expansion and customer engagement strategies.

Enhancing Contact Center Performance with WhatsApp Messaging

Now, let’s turn our attention to some of the concrete ways in which WhatsApp can improve your company’s chances of success!

Improving Response and Resolution Metrics Times

Integrating technologies like WhatsApp Business into your agent workflow can drastically improve efficiency, simultaneously reducing response times and boosting customer satisfaction. Agents often have to manage several conversations at once, and it can be challenging to keep all those plates spinning.

However, a quality messaging platform like WhatsApp means they’re better equipped to handle these conversations, especially when utilizing tools like Quiq Compose.

Additionally, less friction in resolving routine tasks means agents can dedicate their focus to issues that necessitate their expertise. This not only leads to more effective problem-solving, it means that fewer customer inquiries are overlooked or terminated prematurely.

Integrating Artificial Intelligence

According to WhatsApp’s own documentation, there’s an ongoing effort to expand the API to allow for the integration of chatbots, AI assistants, and generative AI more broadly.

Today, these technologies possess a surprisingly sophisticated ability to conduct basic interactions, answer straightforward questions, and address a wide range of issues, all of which play a significant role in boosting customer satisfaction and making agents more productive.

We can’t say for certain when WhatsApp will roll out the red carpet for AI vendors like Quiq, but if our research over the past year is any indication, it will make it dramatically easier to keep customers happy!

Gathering Customer Feedback

Lastly, an additional advantage to WhatsApp messaging is the degree to which it facilitates collecting customer feedback. To adapt quickly and improve your services, you have to know what your customers are thinking. And more specifically, you have to know the details about what they like and dislike about your product or service.

In the Olde Days (i.e. 20 years ago year, or so), the only real way to do this was by conducting focus groups, sending out surveys – sometimes through the actual mail, if you can believe it – or doing something similarly labor-intensive.

Today, however, your customers are almost certainly walking around with a smartphone that supports text messaging. And, since it’s pretty easy for them to answer a few questions or dash off a few quick lines describing their experience with your service, odds are that you can gather a great deal of feedback from them.

Now, we hasten to add that you must exercise a certain degree of caution in interpreting this kind of feedback, as getting an accurate gauge of customer sentiment is far from trivial. To name just one example, the feedback might be exaggerated in both the positive and negative direction because the people most likely to send feedback via text messaging are the ones who really liked or really didn’t like you.

That said, so long as you’re taking care to contextualize the information coming from customers, supplementing it with additional data wherever appropriate, it’s valuable to have.

Wrapping Up

From its global reach and popularity to the personalized customer interactions it facilitates, WhatsApp Business stands out as a powerful solution for businesses aiming to enhance their digital presence and customer engagement strategies. By leveraging the advanced features of WhatsApp Business, companies can avail themselves of end-to-end encryption, enjoy scalability, and improve contact center performance, thereby positioning themselves at the forefront of the contact center game.

And speaking of being at the forefront, the Quiq conversational CX platform offers a staggering variety of different tools, from AI assistants powered by language models to advanced analytics on agent performance. Check us out or schedule a demo to see what we can do for your contact center!

Your CX Strategy Should Include Apple Messages for Business. Here’s Why.

Your CX Strategy Should Include Apple Messages for Business. Here’s Why.

A common piece of marketing advice says you should “Meet your customers where they’re at.” These days, there are something like 23 billion text messages sent daily across the world, so your customers are probably on their phones.

Twenty years ago, you could be forgiven for thinking that text messaging was a method of communication reserved for teenagers sending each other inscrutable strings of hieroglyphic emojis, but more and more business is being done this way. It’s now relatively common for contact centers to offer customer support over chat, which means text messaging has emerged as a vital customer service channel.

In this piece, we will focus specifically on one text messaging service, Apple Messages, and how it can be leveraged to create personalized and efficient customer interactions. Along the way, we’ll talk about some of the exciting work being done to leverage AI assistants through text messaging so you can stay one step ahead of the competition.

The Advantages of Apple Messages in Customer Service

Here, we’re going to discuss the myriad advantages conferred by using Apple Messages. But before we do that, it’s worth making sure we’re all on the same page by discussing what Apple Messages is in the first place.

You probably already know that Apple’s line of iPhones supports text messaging, like all mobile phones. But Apple Messages is a distinct product designed to allow businesses like yours to interact with customers.

It makes it easy to set up a variety of touchpoints, like QR codes, an app, or an email message, through which customers can make appointments, raise (and resolve) problems, or pay for your services.

There are many ways in which utilizing Apple Messages can help you, which we’ll discuss now.

Personalization at Scale

First, tools like Apple Messages allow businesses to personalize communication at a scale and sophistication never seen before.

This personalization is achieved with machine learning, which has consistently been at the forefront of automated content customization. For instance, Netflix is well-known for identifying trends in your viewing habits and using algorithms to recommend shows that align with your preferences. Now, thanks to generative AI, this technology is making its way into text messaging.

Yesterday’s language models often lacked the flexibility for personalized customer interactions, sounding “robotic” and “artificial.” Modern models significantly bolster agents’ ability to tailor their conversations to the specific context. Though they do not completely replace the unique human element, for a contact center manager focused on enhancing customer experience, this represents a significant advancement.

Speed and Convenience

Another place where text messaging shines strategically is its speed and convenience. Texting became popular in the first place because it streamlined the communication process. But, unlike with a phone call, this communication could be done privately, without disturbing others.

Customers needing to troubleshoot an issue while they’re on the bus or somewhere public will likely want to do so with a chat interface. This provides the opportunity to

High Engagement Rates

One aspect of a customer communication strategy you’ll have to consider is what the likely engagement with it will be. Text messaging, particularly through platforms like Apple Messages, boasts higher open and response rates than other channels.

The statistics backing this up are compelling – 98% of text messages sent to customers are opened and eventually read, with fully 90% of them being read just three minutes after being received. Even better, nearly half (48%) of text messages sent to customers get responses.

On its own, this indicates the enormous potential for text-messaging strategies to get your customers talking to you, but when you consider the fact that only around a quarter of emails are opened and read, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that you should be investing seriously in this channel.

Leveraging AI in Apple Messages

Artificial intelligence, especially large language models, are all the rage these days, and they’re being deployed in text messages as well. Since Apple Messages allows you to use your own bots and virtual agents, it’s worth spending a few minutes talking about how generative AI can help.

There are a few different ways in which an AI customer service agent can streamline your customer service operations.

The simplest is by directly resolving issues—or helping customers to directly resolve their own issues—with little need for intervention by human contact center agents. There are many problems that are too involved for this to work, of course, but if all a customer needs to do is reset a password it could well be sufficient.

(Note, however, that Apple Messages requires you to include an option allowing a customer to escalate to a human agent. As things stand today, that part is non-negotiable).

Even when a human agent needs to get involved, however, generative AI can help. The Quiq conversational CX platform has a tool called “Quiq Compose”, for example, which can help format replies. An agent can input a potential reply with grammatical mistakes, misspellings, and a lack of warmth, and Quiq Compose will work its magic to turn the reply into something polished and empathic.

Improving Contact Center Performance with Apple Messages

Assuming that you’ve set up Apple Messages and supercharged it with the latest and greatest AI customer service agent, what can you expect to happen? That’s the question we’ll address in these sections.

Reducing Response Times

When combined with AI assistants and related technologies, Apple Messages can significantly reduce response times and increase customer satisfaction. It’s well known that contact center agents are often juggling multiple conversations at a time, and it can be hard to keep it all straight. But when they’re backed up by chatbots, Quiq Compose, etc., they can handle this volume in less time than ever before.

Generative AI is now good enough to carry on relatively lightweight interactions, answer basic questions, and help solve myriad issues; this, by itself, will almost certainly reduce response times. But it also means that agents can pivot to focusing on the thorniest, highest-priority tasks, which will further drive response times down.

Increasing Resolution Rates

For all the reasons just mentioned, AI assistants can increase resolution rates. Part of this will stem from the fact that fewer customers will fall through the cracks or end their calls early. But it will also come from agents being less rushed and more able to work on those tickets that really require their attention.

This is easy to see with an example. Imagine two people, each with daunting lists of chores they’re not sure they can finish. One of them is all on their own, while the other can outsource the most banal 30% of their tasks to robots.

Who would you bet on to have the highest chore resolution rate?

Implementing Apple Messages in Your Contact Center

The basic steps for getting started with Apple Messages are easy to follow.

First, you have to register your account. We’ve been using the name “Apple Messages” throughout this piece, but its full name is “Apple Messages for Business,” and your account must be tied to an actual business to be eligible.

Then, you have to create an account where your branding assets will live and where you’ll select the Messaging Service Provider (MSP) that you’d like to use. Apple will then review your submission, and, after a few days, will tell you whether you’ve been approved. As you’re planning your text messaging efforts, make sure that you’re factoring in the approval process.

With that done, you’ll have to start thinking in detail about your customer’s journey by filling out a Use Case template. You need to outline what you hope to achieve with text messaging, then decide on the entry points you want to offer your customers.

Next up, you’ll work out the user experience. This involves creating the automated messages you want to use, configuring Apple Pay if relevant, and designing customer satisfaction surveys.

Afterward, you need to set up metrics to figure out how your text messages are landing and whether there are things you can do to improve. If you’ve read our past articles on leveraging customer insights, you know how important data is to your ultimate success.

Last of all, Apple will spend a week or two reviewing everything you’ve accomplished in these steps and deciding whether anything else needs to be tweaked. Assuming you pass, you’re ready to go with Apple Messages!

Request A Demo

Final Thoughts on Why Your Business Should Use Apple Messages

Contact centers are increasingly coming to resemble technology companies, and the rise of Apple Messages is a great illustration of that. Apple Messages makes it easy to deploy AI assistants to interact with your customers, thereby reaping the enormous benefits of automation.

And speaking of the benefits of automation, check out the Quiq platform while you’re at it. We’ve worked hard to suss out the best ways of applying artificial intelligence to contact centers, and have built a product around our findings. We’ve helped many others, and we can help you too!

Building Better Customer Relationships with Text Messaging

Customer engagement is constantly evolving and the trend towards more customer-centric experiences hasn’t slowed. Businesses are increasingly having to provide faster, easier, and more friendly ways of initiating and responding to customer’s inquiries.

Businesses that adapt to this continually changing environment will ensure they deliver superior service along with desirable products, thus boosting engagement rates.

This is where customer engagement strategies based on text messaging enter the picture. This mode of communication has overtaken traditional methods, like phone and email, as consumers prefer the ease, convenience, and hassle-free nature of text messaging.

Texting isn’t just for friends and family anymore and consumers are choosing this channel more often as it fits their on-the-go lifestyle.

The move to text messaging is a part of this new era of building customer relationships, and both businesses and consumers can benefit.

The old customer engagement marketing strategies are fading

As recently as two decades ago, the world of business and customer service was a completely different place. Company agents and representatives used forms of customer engagement like trade shows, promotional emails, letters, and phone calls to promote their products and services.

While these methods are still used in a wide range of industries, many companies today are turning to new ways of maintaining customer loyalty.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 96% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind. Text messaging is a highly popular form of communication in people’s everyday lives. As such, it only seems natural that companies would use texting as a service, sales, and marketing tool. Their results have been astounding, and that’s what we’ll explore in the next section.

The advantages of digital customer engagement strategies

While sending text messages to customers may be a new frontier for many companies, businesses are finding the personal, casual nature of this medium is part of what makes it so effective.

Some of the benefits that come with text-based customer service include:

Hassle-free customer service access

Consumers love instant messaging because it’s easy and allows them to engage, ask questions, and get information without having to make a phone call or meet face-to-face.

One of the hallmarks of our increasingly digital world is how hard businesses work to make things easy – think of 1-click shopping on Amazon (you don’t have to click two buttons), how smartphones enable contactless payment (you don’t have to pull your card out), the way Alexa responds to voice commands (you don’t have to click anything), and the way Netflix automatically plays the next episode of a show you’re binging (you don’t even have to move).

These expectations are becoming more ingrained in the minds of consumers, especially young ones, and they are unlikely to be enthusiastic about needing to call an agent or go into the store to resolve any problems they have.

Timely responses and service

Few things turn a customer off faster than sending an email or making a phone call, then having to wait days for a response. With text message customer service, you can stay connected 24/7 and provide timely responses and solutions. Artificial intelligence is one customer engagement technology that will make this even easier in the years ahead (more on this below).

The personal touch

Customers are more likely to stick around if they believe you care about their personal needs. Texting will allow you to take a more individualized approach, communicating with customers in the same way they might communicate with friends. This stands in contrast to the stiffer, more formal sorts of interactions that tend to happen over the phone or in person.

A dynamic variety of solutions

Text messaging provides unique opportunities for marketing, sales, and customer support. For example, you might use texting to help troubleshoot a product, promote new sales, send coupons, and more.

None of these things are impossible to do with older approaches to customer service but think of how pain-free it would be for a busy single mom to ask a question, check the reply when she stops to pick up her daughter from school, ask another question, check the new reply when she gets home, etc. This is vastly easier than finding a way to carve three hours out of the day to go into the store to speak to an agent directly.

To make these ideas easier to digest, here is a table summarizing the ground we’ve just covered:

The Old Way The New Way
Method of Delivery Phone calls, pamphlets, trade shows, face-to-face conversations Text messaging
Difficulty Requires spending time on the phone, driving to a physical location, or making an appointment. Only requires a phone and the ability to text on it.
Timeliness Can take hours or days to get a reply. Replies should be almost instantaneous.
Personalization Good agents might be able to personalize the interaction, but it’s more difficult.  Personalizing messages and meeting a customer on their own terms because natural and easy.
Variety Does offer ways of solving problems or upselling customers, but only at the cost of more effort from the agent.  Sales and customer support can be embedded seamlessly in existing conversations, and those conversations fit better into a busy modern lifestyle.

​​Why this all matters

These benefits matter because 64% of Americans would rather receive a text than a phone call. It’s clear what the consumers want, and it’s the business’s job to deliver.

Because text messaging can help you engage with customers on a more personal level, it can increase customer loyalty, lead to more conversions, and in general boost engagement rates.

What’s more, text-based customer relationships will likely be transformed by the advent of generative artificial intelligence, especially large language models (LLMs). This technology will make it so easy to offer 24/7 availability that everyone will take it for granted, to say nothing of how it can personalize replies based on customer-specific data, translate between languages, answer questions in different levels of detail, etc.

Texting already provides agents with the ability to manage multiple customers at a time, but they’ll be able to accommodate far higher volumes when they’re working alongside machines, boosting efficiency and saving huge amounts of time.

Some day soon, businesses will look back on the days when human beings had to do all of this with a sense of gratitude for how technology has streamlined the process of delivering a top-shelf customer experience.

And it is exactly this customer satisfaction that’ll allow those businesses to increase profits and make room for business growth over time.

Request a demo from Quiq today

In the future, as in the past, customer service will change with the rise of new technologies and strategies. If you don’t want to be left behind, contact Quiq today for a demo.

We not only make it easy to integrate text messaging into your broader approach to building customer relationships, we also have bleeding-edge language models that will allow you to automate substantial parts of your workflow.

Request A Demo

Before You Develop a Mobile App For Your Business—Read This

Remember when every business was coming out with an app? Your favorite clothing brand, that big retail chain, your neighborhood grocery store, and even your babysitter jumped on the bandwagon and claimed real estate on their customers’ mobile devices.

It probably made you think: Do we need an app for our business?

Despite the many benefits of an app, diving headfirst into development can drain your team’s time and resources without the guarantee of a return. Done poorly, it can even hinder your customer experience. Before you do any mobile app development, you need a plan.

This article will take you through some of the lessons learned from working with brands that deliver world-class experiences within apps and beyond.

Why do companies build apps?

Apps are powerful marketing tools for all kinds of businesses—and none more than e-commerce. Here are some of the top reasons why businesses build an app.

A place for loyal customers.

Almost by default, a mobile app is an exclusive space for your loyal customers. Think about the last time you downloaded an app. It probably wasn’t for a business you buy from once a year. It’s almost always a brand you follow closely or a service you use frequently.

Providing an app is basically like creating a direct line of communication with your best customers. You can create exclusive content, provide a better shopping experience, and unlock early access to products and services. Apps are great ways to turn good customers into great ones.

Mobile device real estate.

On average, Americans check their phones 344 times per day—or once every 4 minutes. And 88% of the time we spend on our phones is spent in apps, according to Business Insider. Having your brand logo as an icon on your customers’ home screens is invaluable real estate.

Push notifications.

When customers have push notifications turned on, it’s another way to speak directly to your customers. Push notifications are great engagement tools, and you can connect with customers using timely and personalized communications and ultimately drive in-app sales.

Beating out or keeping up with competitors.

Standing out from the competition is another reason many businesses build apps. If your competitors are using apps to stand out from the crowd, then it often compels businesses to do the same.

Contact Us

What are the drawbacks of using building an app?

While mobile apps are still extremely popular, they have some major drawbacks for brands not ready to invest in them.

Phones are overcrowded.

Whereas building an app five years ago meant you stood out from the crowd, now you’re just one of many. People have an average of 80 apps on their phones, but they’re only using around nine a day.

Basically, that means mobile users are downloading apps and not using them on a regular basis. In fact, 25% of apps are used once and then never opened again, according to Statista.

Having an app doesn’t guarantee your customers’ attention or engagement—that’s still up to your marketing team.

There’s a big upfront investment.

Whether you enlist the help of your development team or outsource app creation, it’s a big lift. Getting a mobile app up and running takes significant resources, and while there may be a return on investment, it isn’t guaranteed.

When you’re already overwhelmed with your current development efforts, adding another microsite to manage could just make it worse.

You’ll double your marketing efforts.

More push notifications, more campaigns, more content. An app just means you have to do more to see an increase in revenue. While it could be a valuable asset, there are other, smaller steps you can take that will help you see the same revenue boost without the exponential effort.

Can you deliver rich customer experiences without an app?

Yes! But don’t think we’re anti-app. In fact, a lot of our clients create great apps that are sticky because they provide ongoing value to their customers. These clients are able to reach a whole set of people in their moment of need and build trust as they continue to look to the app for help.

However, many of the marketing and customer service goals that drive businesses to create an app can be achieved through rich business messaging. Here are a few examples.

Want to speak directly to your customers? Try outbound SMS.

Push notifications are extremely effective at connecting with customers, but it only takes a few taps to turn them off.

A similar communication method is outbound SMS messaging. You can personalize messages and deliver real-time communications via text messaging. Plus, with rich messaging capabilities, you can send interactive media like images, cards, emojis, and videos to enhance every conversation.

Want to engage with your customers? Use Google Business Messages.

Get customers from Google directly in communication with your customer service agents using Google Business Messages.

Customers can tap a message button right from Google search to connect with your team. (And since 92% of searches start with Google, there’s a good chance your customers will take advantage of this feature.)

Want to enhance your customer experience? Use Apple Messages for Business.

If you’re after a branded experience and want to meet user expectations, Apple Messages for Business delivers. Apple device users can simply tap the message icon from Maps, Siri, Safari, Spotlight, or your company’s website and instantly connect with your team.

You’ll deliver a rich messaging experience, plus your branding upfront and center. Your company name, logo, and colors will be featured in the messaging app, delivering a fully branded experience for your customers.

Want to be more social? Connect Quiq with social platforms.

Clients using Quiq are uniquely equipped with a conversational engagement platform that provides rich experiences to users across chat and business messaging channels.

This means that companies can provide content-rich, personalized experiences across SMS/text business messaging, web chat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Your brand can be on social platforms without working across them. Quiq gives your team access to all these messaging channels within one easy-to-use message center. So, unlike an app, adding more channels doesn’t necessarily increase the workload. It just gives your customers more ways to connect with you.

Should you consider business messaging over an app?

There’s no either/or choice here. Both can be part of a thriving marketing and customer service strategy. But if you’re looking for a way to engage your customers and haven’t tried business messaging—start there.

If you’re on the fence, consider this:

  1. You don’t have to build an app—you only have to implement business messaging.
  2. Customers don’t have to download and learn anything to connect with you. Business messaging is right there in communication channels they already know and love, like texting and social media.

Engage customers with or without an app.

The main goal of most apps is to help build long-term relationships with customers. Whether you choose to build an app or not, business messaging supports this goal by providing information, support, and help at the customer’s exact moment of need.

Quiq powers conversations between customers and companies across the most convenient and preferred engagement channels. With Quiq, you’ll have meaningful, timely, and personalized conversations with your customers that can be easily managed in a simplified UI.

Ready to see how business messaging can help you engage your customers with or without an app? Request a demo or try it for yourself today.

Agent Efficiency: How to Collect Better Metrics

Your contact center experience has a direct impact on your bottom line. A positive customer experience can nudge them toward a purchase, encourage repeat business, or turn them into loyal brand advocates.

But a bad run-in with your contact center? That can turn them off of your business for life.

No matter your industry, customer service plays a vital role in financial success. While it’s easy to look at your contact center as an operational cost, it’s truly an investment in the future of your business.

To maximize your return on investment, your contact center must continually improve. That means tracking contact center effectiveness and agent efficiency is critical.

But before you make any changes, you need to understand how your customer service center currently operates. What’s working? What needs improvement? And what needs to be cut?

Let’s examine how contact centers can measure customer service performance and boost efficiency.

What metrics should you monitor?

The world of contact center metrics is overwhelming—to say the least. There are hundreds of data points to track to assess customer satisfaction, agent effectiveness, and call center success.

But to make meaningful improvements, you need to begin with a few basic metrics. Here are three to start with.

1. Response time.

Response time refers to how long, on average, it takes for a customer to reach an agent. Reducing the amount of time it takes to respond to customers can increase customer satisfaction and prevent customer abandonment.

Response time is a top factor for customer satisfaction, with 83% expecting to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company, according to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report.

When using response time to measure agent efficiency, have different target goals set for different channels. For example, a customer calling in or using web chat will expect an immediate response, while an email may have a slightly longer turnaround. Typically, messaging channels like SMS text fall somewhere in between.

If you want to measure how often your customer service team meets your target response times, you can also track your service level. This metric is the percentage of messages and calls answered by customer service agents within your target time frame.

2. Agent occupancy.

Agent occupancy is the amount of time an agent spends actively occupied on a customer interaction. It’s a great way to quickly measure how busy your customer service team is.

An excessively low occupancy suggests you’ve hired more agents than contact volume demands. At the same time, an excessively high occupancy may lead to agent burnout and turnover, which have their own negative effects on efficiency.

3. Customer satisfaction.

The most important contact center performance metric, customer satisfaction, should be your team’s main focus. Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, typically asks customers one question: How satisfied are you with your experience?

Customers respond using a numerical scale to rate their experience from very dissatisfied (0 or 1) to very satisfied (5). However, the range can vary based on your business’s preferences.

You can calculate CSAT scores using this formula:

Number of satisfied customers ÷ total number of respondents x 100 = CSAT

CSAT’s a great first metric to measure since it’s extremely important in measuring your agents’ effectiveness, and it’s easy for customers to complete.

There are lots of options for measuring different aspects of customer satisfaction, like customer effort score and Net Promoter Score®. Whichever you choose, ensure you use it consistently for continuous customer input.

Bonus tip: Capturing customer feedback and agent performance data is easier with contact center software. Not only can the software help with customer relationship management, but it can facilitate customer surveys, track agent data, and more.

Contact Us

How to assess contact center metrics.

Once you’ve measured your current customer center operations, you can start assessing and taking action to improve performance and boost customer satisfaction. But looking at the data isn’t as easy as it seems. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start to base decisions on your numbers.

Figure out your reporting methods.

How will you gather this information? What timeframes will you measure? Who’s included in your measurements? These are just a few questions you need to answer before you can start analyzing your data.

Contact center software, or even more advanced conversational AI platforms like Quiq, can help you track metrics and even put together reports that are ready for your management team to analyze and take action on.

Analyze data over time.

When you’re just starting out, it can be hard to contextualize your data. You need benchmarks to know whether your CSAT rating or occupancy rates are good or bad. While you can start with industry benchmarks, the most effective way to analyze data is to measure it against yourself over periods of time.

It takes months or even years for trends to reveal themselves. Start with comparative measurements and then work your way up. Month-over-month data or even quarter-over-quarter can give you small windows into what’s working and what’s not working. Just leave the big department-wide changes until you’ve collected enough data for it to be meaningful.

Don’t forget about context.

You can’t measure contact center metrics in a silo. Make sure you look at what’s going on throughout your organization and in the industry as a whole before making any changes. For example, a drop in customer response time might have to do with the influx of messages caused by a faulty product.

While collecting the data is easy, analyzing it and drawing conclusions is much more difficult. Keep the whole picture in mind when making any important decisions.
How to improve call center agent efficiency.
Now that you have the numbers, you can start making changes to improve your agent efficiency. Start with these tips.

Make incremental changes.

Don’t be tempted to make wide-reaching changes across your entire contact center team when you’re not happy with the data. Select specific metrics to target and make incremental changes that move the needle in the right direction.

For example, if your agent occupancy rates are high, don’t rush to add new members to your team. Instead, see what improvements you can make to agent efficiency. Maybe there’s some call center software you can invest in that’ll improve call turnover. Or perhaps all your team needs is some additional training on how to speed up their customer interactions. No matter what you do, track your changes.

Streamline backend processes.

Agents can’t perform if they’re constantly searching for answers on slow intranets or working with outdated information. Time spent fighting with old technology is time not spent serving your contact center customers.

Now’s the perfect time to consider a conversational platform that allows your customers to reach out using the preferred channel but still keeps the backend organized and efficient for your team.

Agents can bounce back and forth between messaging channels without losing track of conversations. Customers get to chat with your brand how they want, where they want, and your team gets to preserve the experience and deliver snag-free customer service.

Improve agent efficiency with Quiq’s Conversational AI Platform

If you want to improve your contact center’s efficiency and customer satisfaction ratings, Quiq’s conversational customer engagement software is your new best friend.

Quiq’s software enables agents to manage multiple conversations simultaneously and message customers across channels, including text and web chat. By giving customers more options for engaging with customer service, Quiq reduces call volume and allows contact center agents to focus on the conversations with the highest priority.

How To Be The Leader Of Personalized CX In Your Industry

Customer expectations are evolving alongside AI technology, at an unprecedented pace. People are more informed, connected, and demanding than ever before, and they expect nothing less than exceptional customer experiences (CX) from the brands they interact with.

This is where personalized customer experience comes in.

By tailoring CX to individual customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, businesses can create more meaningful connections, build loyalty, and drive revenue growth.
In this article, we will explore the power of personalized CX in industries and how it can help businesses stay ahead of the curve.

What is Personalized CX?

Personalized CX refers to the process of tailoring customer experiences to individual customers based on their unique needs, preferences, and behaviors. This involves using customer data and insights to create targeted and relevant interactions across multiple touchpoints, such as websites, mobile apps, social media, and customer service channels.

Personalization can take many forms, from simple tactics like using a customer’s name in a greeting to more complex strategies like recognizing that they are likely to be asking a question about the order that was delivered today. The goal is to create a seamless and consistent experience that makes customers feel valued and understood.

Why is Personalized CX Important?

Personalized CX has become increasingly important in industries for several reasons:

1. Rising Customer Expectations

Today’s customers expect personalized experiences across all industries, from retail and hospitality to finance and healthcare. In fact, according to a survey by Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.

2. Increased Competition

As industries become more crowded and competitive, businesses need to find new ways to differentiate themselves. Personalized CX can help brands stand out by creating a unique and memorable experience that sets them apart from their competitors.

3. Improved Customer Loyalty and Retention

Personalized CX can help businesses build stronger relationships with their customers by creating a sense of loyalty and emotional connection. According to a survey by Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that recognizes them by name, recommends products based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.

4. Increased Revenue

By providing personalized CX, businesses can also increase revenue by creating more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling. According to a study by McKinsey, personalized recommendations can drive 10-30% of revenue for e-commerce businesses.

Industries That Can Benefit From Personalized CX

Personalized CX can benefit almost any industry, but some industries are riper for personalization than others.

Here are some industries that can benefit the most from personalized CX:

1. Retail

Retail is one of the most obvious industries that can benefit from personalized CX. By using customer data and insights, retailers can create tailored product recommendations and personalized support based on products purchased and current order status.

2. Hospitality

In the hospitality industry, personalized CX can create a more memorable and enjoyable experience for guests. From personalized greetings to customized room amenities, hospitality businesses can use personalization to create a sense of luxury and exclusivity.

3. Healthcare

Personalized CX is also becoming increasingly important in healthcare. By tailoring healthcare experiences to individual patients’ needs and preferences, healthcare providers can create a more patient-centered approach that improves outcomes and satisfaction.

4. Finance

In the finance industry, personalized CX can help businesses create more targeted and relevant offers and services. By using customer data and insights, financial institutions can offer personalized recommendations for investments, loans, and insurance products.

Best Practices for Implementing Personalized CX in Industries

Implementing personalized CX requires a strategic approach and a deep understanding of customers’ preferences and behaviors.

Here are some best practices for implementing personalized CX in industries:

1. Collect and Use Customer Data Wisely

Collecting customer data is essential for personalized CX, but it’s important to do so in a way that respects customers’ privacy and preferences. Businesses should be transparent about the data they collect and how they use it, and give customers the ability to opt out of data collection.

2. Use Technology to Scale Personalization

Personalizing CX for every individual customer can be a daunting task, especially for large businesses. Using technology, such as machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI), can help businesses scale personalization efforts and make them more efficient.

3. Be Relevant and Timely

Personalized CX is only effective if it’s relevant and timely. Businesses should use customer data to create targeted and relevant offers, messages, and interactions that resonate with customers at the right time.

4. Focus on the Entire Customer Journey

Personalization shouldn’t be limited to a single touchpoint or interaction. To create a truly personalized CX, businesses should focus on the entire customer journey, from awareness to purchase and beyond.

5. Continuously Test and Optimize

Personalized CX is a continuous process that requires constant testing and optimization. Businesses should use data and analytics to track the effectiveness of their personalization efforts and make adjustments as needed.

Challenges of Implementing Personalized CX in Industries

While the benefits of personalized CX are clear, implementing it in industries can be challenging. Here are some of the challenges businesses may face:

1. Data Privacy and Security Concerns

Collecting and using customer data for personalization raises concerns about data privacy and security. Businesses must ensure they are following best practices for data collection, storage, and usage to protect their customers’ information.

2. Integration with Legacy Systems

Personalization requires a lot of data and advanced technology, which may not be compatible with legacy systems. Businesses may need to invest in new infrastructure and systems to support personalized CX.

3. Lack of Skilled Talent

Personalized CX requires a skilled team with expertise in data analytics, machine learning, and AI. Finding and retaining this talent can be a challenge for businesses, especially smaller ones.

4. Resistance to Change

Implementing personalized CX requires significant organizational change, which can be met with resistance from employees and stakeholders. Businesses must communicate the benefits of personalization and provide training and support to help employees adapt.

Personalized CX is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have for businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s digital age. By tailoring CX to individual customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, businesses can create more meaningful connections, build loyalty, and drive revenue growth. While implementing personalized CX in industries can be challenging, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Live Chat: Is it Effective for Online Customer Service?

Implementing new technology in any department can be scary—but it’s even scarier when it’s customer-facing. We’re sure you’ve heard of live web chat, and even used it in your personal life, but you’re hesitant to launch it in your customer service team.

Will your customers want to use it? What will your customer service agents think? Is web chat (also known as live chat) even effective?

With a sluggish economy on the horizon for the foreseeable future, you can’t afford to implement new technology without doing your due diligence and putting in the research. Should you implement web chat?

Let’s dive in.

What is live web chat?

Web chat, aka live chat, is a two-way, text-based conversation that happens on your website. A chat box typically lives on the bottom right corner of your site. It pops up when the chat is active but can be minimized when not in use.

The best part? The conversation follows your customer as they navigate across different pages of your website.

While it’s often called live chat, the name is a big misnomer. A major benefit of live chat is its immediacy, but it doesn’t always have to happen in real-time. With the right conversational platform, you can have asynchronous conversations with your customers as they come and go from your site.

What’s an asynchronous conversation? It’s a conversation where both parties don’t have to be present at the same time. It’s also typically characterized by not having a specific beginning or end. So instead of a customer coming to you with a specific problem, getting their answer, and leaving the conversation, asynchronous conversations are much more fluid. Customers can ask a question as they’re perusing your site, get distracted by daily life, and come back with their questions answered.

What the statistics say.

The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the effectiveness of web chat. According to Shopify, 41% of consumers want live chat while shopping online, and Salesforce reports 42% prefer it. While those numbers are impressive by themselves, they don’t tell the full story.

When it comes to customer satisfaction, live chat beats out almost every other form of customer service communication. Phone calls (talk) are the only medium that customers report having higher satisfaction ratings.

While it seems unusual at first blush, it makes sense when you consider response time and first-resolution time—two things that customers often rank as high on their list of important customer service factors.

satisfaction by channel

Source: Zendesk

Better customer satisfaction ultimately turns into higher customer conversion rates and more positive reviews, which is often a large contributing factor to business success over time.

It is easy to understand why live chat increases customer satisfaction rates when your customers know they can get the convenience of service at their fingertips rather than waiting on hold or sending an email and waiting for a response. The immediacy of live chat is the more modern way customers get answers and complete transactions.

Contact Us

What are the benefits of using live chat?

Customer service effectiveness can be measured by changes in consumer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat is a boon to both customers and agents because it offers both sides a more frictionless way to engage. Take a look at some of the benefits.

Provide immediate, intuitive service.

Just because a conversation has the opportunity to be asynchronous doesn’t mean you should make your customers wait. According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 83% of customers expect to interact with someone immediately when contacting a business. Design your asynchronous live chat strategy around flexibility for your customers, not more time for your agents to respond.

Create customer-centric experiences.

As e-commerce replaces more traditional in-person shopping experiences, customers want more convenient and personalized service. According to Zendesk, 71% of customers demand natural, conversational experiences. Live chat is the perfect medium to deliver that.

The chat feature is naturally more conversational than email and other cumbersome communication methods. Live chat also won’t interrupt their shopping experience—something 66% of customers prefer.

Boost your bottom line.

Did you know that 78% of surveyed shoppers have abandoned their carts at least once? Web chat can help prevent cart abandonment by making it easy to ask quick questions and enabling sales and service agents to interact proactively with customers. Helping customers when they’re actively engaged on your site helps reduce the likelihood of them bouncing to another page.

Increase brand loyalty.

Businesses ready to answer their customer’s questions quickly and in a friendly way begin to create a lasting bond built on trust and respect. Live chat is an open door to consumers who want to engage with your brand. Brands that make themselves available more often to their customers will reap the rewards of customers who feel that their time and attention are valued by your brand, earning their repeat business and referrals.

How do you make live chat more effective?

Live chat is effective—and even more so when paired with Quiq’s AI conversational platform. But like any tool, your success depends on how well you use it. Here are a few strategies to improve your live chat experience.

Have conversations with context.

Context is a vital piece of the puzzle when interacting with customers online. In fact, 70% of customers expect anyone they interact with to know their shopping history.

Quiq’s conversational AI platform helps conversations follow the user no matter which channels they use. It also ensures that every customer service agent has the customer’s history through integrations with ERPs and CRMs.

Pair chatbots with live chat.

Companies that enable chatbots, as well as human agents, as part of their live web chat strategy are able to manage an even higher number of customer inquiries. Companies like Brinks Home Security have enabled multiple purpose-built chatbots that route customers to the most appropriate queue or agent, automate the referral process, and even boost conversions of promotional offers.

A dazzling example of live chat in action.

Quiq customer and diamond dealer Blue Nile knew their online shopping experience needed to be top-tier for such a luxury product. When customers interacted with their diamond experts, they converted at a rate 15x higher than when they visited the website alone. So Blue Nile knew they needed to create the best live chat experience possible.

With help from Quiq, they designed a chatbot to send customers to the appropriate person for their needs. If they had a post-purchase question, they went to customer service. But if they had a product question, they went directly to a Blue Nile Diamond Expert. This increased their sales interactions by 70%.

70% growth in sales interactions and 35% increase in successful sales transactions using Quiq web chat and chatbot.

Launch your live chat strategy with Quiq

No matter what industry you work in, live chat can have a major influence on your business’s success. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how Quiq can help enhance your customer service experience.

10 Benefits of Business Messaging for Customer Service

You send messages to your friends, family, and coworkers—so why not your customers?

Just the idea of call centers evokes the drone of bored customer service agents, long hold times, and endlessly ringing phones. But there’s a better way.

Business messaging.

Business messaging benefits your customers, your agents, and your business. Keep reading to find out how.

Why should you use business messaging? Here are 10 reasons.

Customer service is all about meeting customer needs, and business messaging hits many of those pain points. But it also comes with benefits for your agents and your bottom line. Take a look at these 10 reasons you should adopt business messaging.

For customers

Customers are your number one priority, so embracing ways to connect with them on their terms with their preferences in mind just makes sense. Why should you adopt customer service messaging? For your customers, of course.

  • It’s more convenient.

What’s the problem with phone conversations? They require both parties’ full attention. Today’s customers don’t want to stop what they’re doing to call customer service about a faulty product (or something even less dire).

According to Zendesk, 66% of customers don’t want customer service interactions to interrupt what they’re doing. Sending a message, whether it be an sms text or a message in Facebook Messenger, is much less disruptive to their day.

It’s inherent in business messages. Since they’re asynchronous (meaning both parties don’t have to be present at the same time), a customer can send a message and continue on with their day. There’s no waiting on hold or giving their full attention to a phone call.

  • There are more opportunities for personalization. 

According to a McKinsey report, 76% of customers get frustrated when customer service interactions aren’t personalized.

And it’s more than just knowing a customer’s name. Seventy percent of customers expect anyone they interact with to have full context of their shopping history and past conversations, according to Zendesk.

Customer service messaging makes personalization much more feasible. A good conversational AI platform will have the customers’ conversations follow them across channels and makes the agent-to-agent handoff seamless.

There’s also something to be said about allowing customers to choose the channel they want to use. Instead of forcing them into one method of communication, you’re letting customers pick the option that best suits their needs. 

  • Customers will be more satisfied.

When you provide this level of convenience and personalization, customers are more satisfied with your service.

Customers are also less likely to spend time on hold while waiting for your customer service agents. Since agents can handle multiple conversations (often 6–8) at once, customer wait times will go down—and satisfaction will go up.

  • Conversations will flow more easily.

Facing a few misunderstandings over the phone? Using business messaging can clear up miscommunications with more organized and concise interactions.

Plus, you can send media with messaging that you can’t do over the phone. With rich messaging features, you or your customers can share pictures, videos, and more. Use it for things like video walkthroughs, diagrams, directions, etc.

  • You’ll engage customers before they hit roadblocks.

Customer service goes well beyond solving customer problems. Many times, it’s about anticipating needs—and customer service messaging is the perfect communication method to do so.

There are far more opportunities to engage with your customers using business messaging than when you’re relying on email and voice calls. Through sms messaging for business, live chat (also known as web chat), and other forms of messaging, you can interact with customers without disrupting their day. Send well-timed messages while they browse your website, and customize them based on their browsing history.

Consider the following:

  • The welcome message triggered when they first visit your site
  • A discount code if they’ve stalled on a product page
  • An offer of help when something is added to a cart

More engagement early on also leads to a better overall customer experience. You’re going to your customers before they have a question or problem, not dealing with one after the fact.

For agents

You can’t forget your customer service agents! They’re in the trenches every day, fielding calls from irate customers and trying to hit their goals. Business messaging helps them do both.

  • It streamlines productivity.

Customer service messaging gives your agents the ability to chat with multiple customers at once. Instead of being tied to the phone with one on one conversations, they can pop in and out of multiple at once. On average, customer service agents can handle 6–8 conversations at once with business messaging.

A conversational AI platform will help agents keep all the conversations straight so no customers fall through the cracks.

  • It promotes more efficient conversations.

When agents are overwhelmed, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to serve customers quickly. Business messaging makes that possible.

Using a conversational AI platform to facilitate business messaging supports your agents with intelligent tools. Here are few features that can speed up conversations and increase agent efficiency:

  • Sentiment analysis
  • Queue routing
  • Predictive text
  • Chatbot support

All of these features are built to help agents help customers faster.

For the bottom line

Customer service is often seen as a cost center instead of a profit center, but a good support center absolutely impacts your bottom line. According to Zendesk, 70% of customers spend more with companies that offer a fluid, personalized, and seamless customer experience. Supporting your business with customer service messaging is the way to do it.

  • It’s more cost-effective.

Since customer service agents can handle multiple conversations at once, you need fewer resources to manage the same number of customer interactions. 

  • You can collect real-time feedback.

Messaging makes it easier for customers to share product and service feedback in real-time. You can even send out automated surveys at the end of every interaction to get a peek into customer satisfaction rates.

  • You’ll gain a competitive advantage.

With all the benefits to your customers, messaging can quickly become your business’s competitive advantage. Customers will want to work with organizations that provide excellent and convenient service, which you’ll be more equipped to provide with messaging.

Which business messaging channels are best?

You can’t be everywhere all at once—or can you? Messaging with a conversational AI platform makes it easy for agents to connect with customers across channels.

According to Zendesk benchmark data, just 42%of businesses offer two or more support channels, so offering multiple ways to connect will help you stand out. You don’t need to dive into every channel right away, but it’s easier than you might think. (Check out this article for best practices by channel.)

Here are the top messaging channels for customer service.

SMS text messaging

If you need a fast and convenient way to connect with customers, sms customer service is the way to do it. SMS text messaging uses a communication method nearly everyone is familiar with. There’s no app downloading, phone calling, or tricky emails to remember.

Google Business Messaging

Google Business Messages is a conversational customer service chat feature that lets you connect with customers in a variety of different channels—starting with Google. Current and potential customers can ask your company questions in real-time directly from Google Search, Google Maps, your Google Business Profile, and even your company’s website. It’s a great way to connect organically with customers directly from Google.

Apple Messages for Business

Apple Messages for Business connects iOS and macOS users to your business in brand-new ways. It takes no additional downloads from your customers and provides a holistic experience. Customers can find your business and start conversations from Safari, Maps, Search, Siri, or your website.

Web chat

Web chat or live chat is when you embed a chat box directly on your website. Web chat is a great tool to support customers throughout the buyer’s journey since they need to be on your website to use it.

Facebook Messenger

Since 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger globally, it’s safe to say you can find your customers there, too.

With Messenger, you can send text, pictures, video, and link messenger. Customers message you directly (and vice versa) using your company page from the Messenger mobile app or the chat window via desktop.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp may not be a traditional method of communication, but it boasts 2 billion active users worldwide, so you shouldn’t sleep on this communication giant.

Put customer service messaging to work for your business.

The benefits of business messaging are clear: convenience for your customers, efficiency for your agents, and a boost to your bottom line for your business.

Contact Us

How to Create an Effective Business Text Messaging Strategy – The Ultimate Guide

U up? Text messaging replaced other communication methods for consumers all over the world. So why wouldn’t that extend to businesses?

Business text messaging is a great way to communicate with customers on their terms in their own messaging app. But it can be a challenge when you don’t have a plan.

Customer service is complex on its own, so taking it to a new medium only makes it harder. Knowing how to create an effective customer service text message strategy is the key to succeeding in today’s competitive market.

Why bother with business text messaging?

If you still think text messaging is a new-fangled fad, we’re here to open your eyes to the possibilities. (If you’re already rocking a text messaging strategy and just want to know how to improve it, feel free to skip to the next section—we won’t be offended.)

Your competitors are using it.

While you’re sleeping on text messaging (maybe you still think texting is for sending memes to friends, not business conversations), your competitors have jumped on business messaging and are seeing great returns.

In 2020, business messaging traffic hit 3.5 trillion. That’s up from 3.2 trillion in 2019, a 9.4% year-over-year increase, reports Juniper Research.

You can use business text messaging for all kinds of applications. Here are a few ideas to get your thought train started:

  • Customer support conversations
  • Outbound marketing messages
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Call-to-text in your interactive voice response (IVR) system
  • Complete one-off transactions
  • Use it as an engagement tool

Many businesses have found ways to use text messaging to interact with their customers, and now customers want and expect it.

People respond faster to text messages.

Text messaging has the benefit of being both a quick form of communication and a forgiving one.

Here’s what we mean. According to Forbes, it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. So customers generally expect quick responses during a text conversation.

However, since the other person’s availability isn’t expected (like it might be with live chat), there’s typically some wiggle room.

So conversations are more likely to follow the customers’ preferred pace. It works when they’re ready for a quick chat, but they can step away whenever they need to.

Your customers want to message you.

Forbes also reported that 74% of customers say their impressions improve when businesses use text messaging. And it makes sense. Customers know how to use text messaging. They don’t have to download a new app or find your website.

When you use text messaging, you fit into your customers’ lives. You’re not asking them to do anything out of the ordinary—and they appreciate that.

If you’re still not convinced, here are nine more reasons why you should consider business text messaging.

Start by dissecting your current text messaging strategy.

Since text messaging is a unique medium with so many aspects to consider, you need a thorough strategy for success. Start by identifying the essentials.

What’s your purpose?

How are you using text messaging? Is it a revenue-driving channel? Are you using it for IVR system overflow? Customer service?

Pick a starting path. Trying to do all the things at once leads to a muddled strategy. Identify why you’re adding text messaging to your business. By starting small and focused, you’ll have the bandwidth to see what’s not working and fix it.

Who’s your audience?

Identify who you’re texting. While nearly every generation uses text messaging on a regular basis, they all use it in different ways. To start, identify who you’re targeting with text messaging. Consider:

  • Demographics like age, location, and income
  • Psychographics like lifestyle, preferences, and needs

Figure out how different audiences want to interact with you using messaging. For example, twenty-something single men will have different preferences than 40-something mothers.

Contact Us

Use what you know to create a voice guide.

This is where phone-based customer service and text messaging customer service start to diverge. Since words have more weight when written (said the writer), it’s important to give your customer service team some direction.

Put everything you learned in the last section and put it together to decide on the tone of voice for your audience. If you’ve gone through this exercise with your marketing team, you can certainly use what they have and adapt it to fit your customer service and text messaging applications.

Pick your tone.

Text messaging is inherently a more casual medium than email or even voice. But that doesn’t mean you should send text slang. Tailor to your audience and your industry.

For example, if you’re selling luxury air travel to middle-aged business travelers, a professional tone is warranted. Avoid text acronyms, and skip the emojis and memes.

For an audience full of elder millennials with an affinity for plants, include emojis and memes. Stay friendly, upbeat, and as positive as possible.

However, if your audience is filled with college students, keep your tone friendly and to the point, but skip the emojis. Apparently, they’re cheugy 🤷‍♀️.

Create parameters.

Deciding on your tone of voice is only as helpful as the guidelines that go with it. Think about telling your customer service team that emojis are okay, only to see this: 😺🐵🐵🐀❣️❣️❣️😝

That might be overkill, but you get the point. Put guidelines in place, like maybe they can use three to five emojis per conversation but never more than one per text message.

Do the same for the tone of voice. Provide examples of what “professional” means and how it compares to “friendly.” If you’re already using text messaging in your customer support center, pull some examples directly from past conversations.

How to solve problems in a bite-sized format.

SMS texting has 160 characters—that’s not a lot of space to solve customer problems. There’s a lot to consider to keep the conversation flowing toward a quick resolution. Start with these steps.

Step 1: Introduce yourself.

There’s a lot of spam in the texting world. Whether the customer reached out to you or you’re sending a message (after they’ve opted-in, of course), make sure to introduce yourself just as you would on any other channel.

Step 2: Ask the customer to describe the problem.

Before you can solve the problem, you have to know what it is. Ask probing questions to determine the issue. If it’s an issue that can be seen visually, you can even ask for pictures or videos so you can identify the problem easier and exceed user expectations.

Step 3: Keep answers as simple as possible.

With so little space, you want to ensure messages are easy to understand. While SMS is limited to 160 characters, don’t be afraid to send two messages if that’ll help your customer understand the solution better. Just don’t forget to include an indicator that you’re sending multiple messages (e.g., 1 of 2).

Step 4: Include relevant links, videos, or diagrams.

If you’re using rich messaging, send whatever medium will help your customer solve their problems.

The dos and don’ts of business text messaging.

As you plan and launch your messaging strategy, keep these dos and don’ts in mind.

Do develop a prioritization system.

Prioritization plays a major role in organizing the process and improving customer service efficiency. As questions arise, it can help prioritize them based on urgency and order of importance. This helps ensure that troubleshooting questions and general issues are addressed as quickly as possible. Less urgent questions may be able to wait a little longer if necessary.

Here are a couple of examples of ways you can segment customer service questions in order to prioritize them:

  • The order the questions come in: Do you have a first-in-first-out method?
  • Customer sentiment: Are they frustrated or neutral?
  • Urgent question vs. non-urgent question: What can wait?
  • The service or product they’re asking about: Are some more important? Are there certain team members who can handle certain questions?
  • Members vs. nonmembers: Do members get special priority if you have a special program?
  • Self-prioritization: Ask customers directly how urgent their request is.

The best method is to combine these factors to create a foolproof prioritization system. For example, how would you prioritize a frustrated member with a nonurgent question over a neutral, nonmember’s urgent question? Make sure your AI conversational platform and/or customer service agents prioritize according to your guidance.

Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions.

Text messaging is a short medium—but it also lends itself to quick back-and-forth communication. When one small miscommunication can derail a conversation and drive away your customer, it’s imperative that you ask clarifying questions.

Without understanding the problem, you can’t find a solution. If someone has a complex or confusing question, break the question down into parts or ask for clarification. You can send messages like these:

  • “What do you mean when you say [X]?”
  • “Do you mean [Y] when you said [X]?
  • “Can you give me some background on the issue?”
  • “Can you give me an example of when [Z] happened?

Since text messaging can be a limited medium, it’s important to follow up so you understand the problem as best as you can. If you’re still having trouble, don’t be afraid to move to a voice call.

Do make answers clear and understandable.

Communicating with consumers is all about being clear and concise. People come from all types of situations and educational backgrounds, so every customer support agent needs to know how to type a message that’s easy to understand and digest.

A customer who is engaged in the conversation will be more likely to seek help again. Instead of texting long, detailed messages, it’s best to simplify replies into one or two sentences that contain the necessary information. This helps drive more productive conversations and leaves more consumers satisfied at the end of the day.

Don’t forget to follow up with customers.

When a customer has an issue or question, they want to know they’re not just a number. One effective way to show this is by following up after addressing the issue.

Is the consumer satisfied? Do they have any more questions? Do they have any constructive feedback to offer? By asking what they can do to make the customer experience better, customer support agents show that they’re willing to listen and adapt as needed. This can go a long way toward building strong professional relationships.

Do use artificial intelligence to enhance customer service.

There are many ways to use artificial intelligence (AI) to make your business text messaging better. AI can make your agents faster, help serve customers when no one’s around, and even reduce your customer service ticket volume.

  • Predict customer sentiment: A conversational AI platform, like Quiq, can pick up on queues from customers to predict how their feeling so you can prioritize customers whose anger is escalating.
  • Help agents compose messages: Some platforms use natural language processing (NPL) to observe your agents’ responses and suggest sentences as they type. This will help agents stay on tone and write messages more quickly.
  • Respond to customers: Unless your message center is staffed 24/7, messages won’t get answered when no one’s available. That’s where chatbots come in. They can contain conversations by answering simple questions, automating surveys, and even collecting information to route questions to the right agent.

Build business messaging into your business.

Business messaging, whether for customer service, marketing, or even sales, is a great asset to your business—and a great way to engage your customers. But remember: don’t go in blind. Create a thoughtful strategy and see just how quickly your customers respond.

How Do You Balance Privacy with Personalization?

Consumers’ default expectations include personalized service when interacting with brands online. But they’re also increasingly concerned about data privacy. 

When it seems like every company is collecting data on them, consumers start to get worried.

So how do you deliver personalized customer service in the age of data privacy? It’s a delicate balance that depends on honesty, transparency, and thoughtfulness.

How important is personalization?

In a word: very. Personalization is table stakes these days, and customers make decisions based on how customized the shopping experience is to their preferences.

According to Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report, 73% of surveyed consumers expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. And even though privacy concerns have grown, customers’ preferences for personalization continue to grow. That number increased by 11% in the last two years. It makes sense—customer expectations have jumped since the pandemic. 

Plus, more than half of consumers (54%) expect offers to always be personalized.

That’s not all. According to a McKinsey report, 76% of customers get frustrated when personalization doesn’t happen. 

How to use personalization to influence buying behavior.

Personalization also influences purchasing decisions. Over three-quarters of consumers (76%) said that receiving personalized communications was a key factor in prompting their consideration of a brand, and 78% said such content made them more likely to repurchase.

McKinsey asked customers how important different types of personalization were to their first-time purchasing decisions. Here’s what they said.

How to Marry Data Privacy and Customer Personalization
Source: Next in Personalization 2021 Report, McKinsey

 

As seen in the above chart, the top five most important ways to personalize an interaction are

  • Navigating in-store and online: Customers want to get to what they like quickly, and they don’t want to scroll through too many options to find it.
  • Product and service recommendations: Much like a salesperson can suggest items based on the customer in front of them, your site should use the information you have to pull out items or services they might like.
  • Tailoring messaging: “Hi [First Name]!” is a great start, but how else can you talk to your customers like you know them? Can you segment based on life stage? Preferences? If you have the information, use it.
  • Sending targeted promotions: Is your customer overdue for a service? Send them a coupon to encourage another visit. 
  • Celebrating customer milestones: Celebrate milestones in your customer’s life, like birthdays, graduations, or their first home purchase—but don’t stop there. Celebrate their 100th purchase with you, their year anniversary, or the first time they buy from you. Make it personal so they don’t feel like a number.

“Players who are leaders in personalization achieve outcomes by tailoring offerings and outreach to the right individual at the right moment with the right experiences,” according to a McKinsey report.

The problem is when you compare these expectations with an increasing focus on information privacy. When it comes down to it, consumers know you have vast amounts of data on them already, so they want you to demonstrate that you know them on a personal level. They expect you to recreate in-person, intimate experiences at scale.

Contact Us

Finding the balance between personalization and privacy.

Increased privacy concerns have made personalization a much more difficult task in 2023. Not only are there more laws and regulations around data collection, but customers are much warier about information-gathering tactics than they used to be.

Here are some best practices for gathering customer information in a privacy-centric way.

  • Always get permission from customers before gathering information. Data privacy laws have become more stringent, and third-party cookie bans have made collecting information more difficult. That means you have to get permission from customers, and eventually, it will be harder to track them at all. 
  • Start asking questions. As data tracking becomes more difficult, you’ll have to start getting that information directly from your customers. This means asking more questions in customer service and paying more attention to behaviors instead of demographics. 
  • Collect only what you need: Salesforce reports that 74% of consumers say companies collect more personal information than they need. It should go without saying, but don’t ask for things like their pet names when you’re booking a restaurant reservation. Customers might think you’re stealing their information for nefarious purposes (but we know you’re just being thorough). 
  • Explain why you’re asking for that information: According to Salesforce, 79% of customers say they’d more likely trust a company with their information if the company clearly explained its use. Be transparent about how you’re using the data, and customers are much more likely to give it to you.

How does AI factor into the privacy conversation?

Customer trust is hard won these days, so it’s worth paying attention to how you present the use of AI in customer service.

So how do you use AI in customer service without losing customer trust? 

Once again, transparency is the answer. 60% of customers would better trust AI if they had more control over how it’s used. 

Here’s what that looks like when you’re using AI-enhanced chatbots in customer service:

  • Have chatbots introduce themselves in the conversation. Customers should always know when they’re talking to a bot and when they’re talking to a human. No one benefits when you try to “surprise” customers—no matter how amazing the bot.

 

  • Provide chatbot guidance upfront: Have your chatbot explain what it can do and provide some quick directions. For example, explain that the chatbot can help answer simple questions or gather information, but more complex issues will require a human.

 

  • Give customers the option to connect directly with a human. Show customers, you respect them by giving them the option to chat with a human right away. Or if there’s no one available, let them know when a customer service agent can get back to them.

Win customer trust with honesty and great customer service.

If you take away one thing from this piece, it should be that customers will trust good service. Don’t collect endless data to sell, use for predatory practices, or just let it sit in a database waiting to be hacked. When you show customers you know who they are—and use it to their advantage—they’ll become customers for life.

How to Create Mobile-First Customer Service

Chatting with companies over the phone, even your favorite ones, isn’t a fun experience. It’s a necessity. It’s like going to the dentist—something you don’t look forward to but have to do nonetheless.

In today’s hectic, multi-tasking world, people don’t have time for phone calls. Their desire to make phone calls is inversely proportional to their age—the younger you are, the closer you get to zero. Voice menus, long hold times, bad music, incessant “Your call is important to us” recordings… It’s no one’s idea of a good time.

Meanwhile, email feels like a black hole.

Waiting and satisfaction are mutually exclusive. Having to wait for an emailed response can kill customer satisfaction. And if the issue isn’t something that can’t be answered in a simple response, the delay just gets worse as emails fly back and forth.

Despite all the effort spent by companies to provide good customer experiences, the communication channels they’ve made available require the customer to interact in ways that are convenient to only the company.

How much are we really on our phones?

A lot. On average, Americans check their phones 344 times per day—once every four minutes, according to Reviews.org.

With how much people are on their phones, you wouldn’t think a phone call would be that disruptive. (You’re already on your phone, right?) But phone calls require you to stop what you’re doing—even if what you’re doing is scrolling TikTok—and give your full attention to the person on the other end of the line.

Your customers don’t want to sacrifice their time like that—especially to do something they’ve already decided is a hassle. Instead, they want an easy way to communicate that doesn’t disrupt their day.

So it only makes sense that contact centers reimagine their customer interactions with a mobile-first focus in mind.

What does that look like? Keep reading to find out.

Optimize your website for mobile.

By now, there’s no excuse for websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Google will penalize you, and customers won’t give you the time of day.

Besides, mobile phones are the top platform used for online shopping at 49%, followed by PCs at 43%, and tablets at 8%, according to BrizFeel. Even non-retail sites need to account for the public’s increasing reliance on mobile.

Many brands are designing mobile-first instead of mobile-ready websites, which means they expect their primary customer traffic to come directly from phones. Whichever you decide, remember that many of your customers will be searching for and attempting to connect with your customer service channels using their smartphones. That means giving them multiple ways to connect that aren’t just email and voice.

Where should you start? With the low-hanging fruit.

1. Start with text messaging.

People around the world connect through text messaging—whether talking with loved ones, business acquaintances, or friends. (Sixty-four percent of people even send texts from the toilet.) It only makes sense that they extend those communications with your brand.

What makes messaging so popular for communication with friends also makes it the preferred medium for engaging with brands:

  • Frictionless:  Messaging is asynchronous, which means customers can multi-tasking and don’t have to stop what they’re doing.
  • Immediate: Customers get assistance in their time of need.
  • Personal: One-to-one dialogue creates a strong customer relationship.
  • Easy: Consumers are already comfortable using messaging apps.
  • Multimedia: Everyone already knows how to send a picture via messaging (a picture is worth 1000 words in a support interaction!).

There are several ways you can use messaging for customer service:

Reach everyone with SMS text messaging.

SMS text messaging has a nearly 100% read rate—much higher than email (in any industry). SMS texting is texting in its simplest form. Your customers can connect with you from anywhere with a cellphone connection, and they don’t have to worry about service interruptions and unreliable Wi-Fi.

Using text messaging for customer service benefits both your customers and your support team. Customers are able to stop and start the conversation at their own convenience (instead of being tied to a phone call), and your team can manage multiple conversations at once.

2. Enhance customer service interactions with rich messaging.

Rich messaging takes your texts to the next level. With Quiq, your messages aren’t limited to plain-text capabilities. Rich messaging enables you to:

  • Process secure transactions
  • Schedule appointments with a tap of a button
  • Send reminders, confirmations, and notices
  • Increase engagement with compelling content

That means you don’t have to direct customers to the website and potentially lose them along the way. You can take care of transactions using conversational commerce, schedule appointments, and even share video walkthroughs. Everything is in one place for easy, contextual communication.

3. Keep customers engaged with outbound messaging.

Customer service isn’t just about reacting to needs—it’s about anticipating them. Outbound text messaging is one of the most effective ways to provide technical support, send shipping notifications, and create sales alerts.

Outbound messaging also emphasizes two-way communication with your customers. Instead of talking to them through advertisements and mass emails, you have engaging one-on-one conversations. This gives you a chance to tailor the customer service experience to individual customers.

Direct your web chat feature to mobile-friendly messaging.

Give customers a seamless customer service interaction by giving them the option to text your brand with a simple click of a button.

premiere retail chatbot
To create an even better brand experience, customers with Apple phones can chat with your agents right from their native messaging app. Using Apple Messages for Business, customers will see your logo and brand colors and get all the benefits of rich messaging. That includes:

  • Apple pay
  • Schedule appointments
  • Present choices with images
  • Verify identity
  • Link directly to an app

Quiq’s conversational platform makes integration with your CRM seamless, so you can add Apple Messages for Business without increasing the operational burden on your team.

Your customers can even text you directly from Google search. When they click on your phone number, there’s an option to send a text. It helps your brand follow your customers wherever they interact with you.

Embrace other mobile-friendly messaging channels.

While text messaging is a valuable communication method for customer service, there are many other mobile channels that offer similar benefits.

Social media messaging

Meet your customers where they are, including social media channels. You can leverage Quiq’s platform to connect with customers using Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Twitter Direct Messages all from within one interface.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp has over 2 billion users worldwide, so it’s hard for businesses to ignore. It’s a great way to connect with international customers, and using Quiq to do it means you don’t have to worry about learning an entirely new platform.

Google Business Messaging

Google Business Messaging is ideal for connecting with customers who are using their smartphones. Customers can hit “Message” directly in Google Search or Maps to connect with your customer service instantly—all from within a branded experience.

In-app messaging

If you have a mobile app, complete the experience by offering in-app messaging. Users can access your customer service team without having to leave the app, creating a seamless and friction-free experience.

chatbots used in apps

Mobile customer service benefits businesses too.

While we spent most of our time focusing on customer benefits, there are many benefits to your bottom line, too. In addition to better customer engagement, messaging also offers your company a number of additional advantages:

1. Lower staff costs.

Customers know that messaging responses don’t always come immediately. By allowing agents more time to respond to customers that have a lower level of engagement, Quiq’s Conversational AI Platform enables the company to serve more customers with fewer agents and helps smooth out the staffing requirements during peak periods.

As compared to email, messaging can also be more efficient since a conversation provides start-to-finish problem resolution. With email, if additional information is needed, it could take multiple back-and-forth emails. Then you’re looking at involving multiple agents who each need to come up to speed on the problem. It all adds up to a lot more time.

2. Better and faster understanding.

A significant part of many customer service interactions is understanding the problem at hand. Since customers are already very familiar with sending images and videos, customer interaction on messaging is inherently multimedia.

Customers can send pictures of what they are seeing (e.g. the broken strap on the handbag or a video showing how the part doesn’t fit), and agents can respond with images and video as well. This leads to faster time to resolution, which improves customer satisfaction and lowers staffing costs.

How to supercharge your mobile messaging with Quiq’s Conversational AI Platform.

The power of Quiq lies in supporting your current systems and operations and making them better. This includes integrating with your CRM systems, like Oracle, Salesforce, and Zendesk—but also helping your customer service agents shine.

There’s no room for slow, cumbersome, and unintuitive software. Quiq is designed to make your agents’ lives easier. For example:

  • A simple and intuitive UI makes it easy to handle a large number of asynchronous conversations simultaneously.
  • Text Snippets with simple keyboard shortcuts reduce the time and effort needed to craft great customer responses.
  • Natural language processing (NLP) helps predict customer intent, so agents can prioritize conversations accordingly.
  • Response Time helps agents know which conversation needs attention and guides agents to respond within the customer’s expectations. Because of the asynchronous nature of messaging, different customers have different levels of engagement. Response Time helps agents prioritize customers who are highly engaged while allowing longer times for other customers that are less engaged.
  • Collaboration is built right in. Agents can invite others to silently join a conversation in the background, and when necessary, the agent can easily hand off the conversation to a collaborator.
  • Emojis allow agents to express emotion, sympathize with the customer’s frustrations, and celebrate successes.

chatbot screenshots

All of these features help your customer service agents engage with customers the way customers prefer—using their mobile devices.

 

Contact Us

11 Ways to Navigate High Call Volumes

There are some high call volume spikes you can prepare for—like the holidays or a new product launch—and some you can’t.

When you get a sudden spike in calls, it can feel like the sky is falling. Your support team is overwhelmed with calls and struggling not to let it show in customer interactions.

While there are some things you can do when you’re in the thick of it, planning now for those intermittent spikes is the best way to set your team up for success.

And it all comes down to doing more with less, so you can make the most of finite agent resources while improving customer service.

Let’s look at what you can do now and in the future to prepare for unexpectedly high call volumes.

1. Dive into the data.

Unexpected call volume spikes always seem out of the blue—but are they really? Besides the obvious and expected busy periods (the holidays, the January return season, and new product launches), other reasons could trigger your support center surge.

Look at your call center data to see if there’s a rhyme or reason to your surges. Do they follow the busy season? Do they happen after new influencer launches? Do they align with college semesters?

Even if you can’t find any hard-and-fast patterns, maybe the data can help you with scheduling.

2. Optimize customer service agents’ schedules.

There’s something to be said for strategic scheduling. Poor scheduling can make a normal call day feel like a torrent. Take a look at what time of day your call volume peaks, and pull agents from other shifts to cover it.

More than that, you can get more granular by scheduling agents based on their strengths and abilities.

Move agents with faster resolution times to the busiest part of your day, and put agents with a slower, more methodical approach during your off time.

You can also schedule agents based on their specialties. For instance, if you’re dealing with a high volume of returns, make sure your team members with the most experience doing returns are working.

3. Cross-train other staff.

A great short-term solution to call volume spikes is to have additional staff you can call on to help. Cross-training a few team members on customer service means they’ll be ready to go when you need them most.

Call volumes aside, things happen. A bug can work its way through your customer service team, hiring can take longer than expected, the works. Having staff you can call on to help goes a long way.

Additionally, cross-training staff from other teams can also help reduce customer service agents’ burnout. When employees constantly handle high volumes of calls, it can take a toll on their mental and physical well-being.

By rotating staff from other teams, you can ensure that customer service agents are not overworked and are able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

4. Embrace asynchronous messaging.

Asynchronous messaging (sometimes called async messaging or asynchronous chat) allows customers to converse with brands as it is convenient for them. Think about text messaging. While you can have a live back-and-forth conversation, you can also send a message and receive a reply an hour or two later.

Asynchronous messaging lets customers respond at their leisure and gives your customer service agents some breathing room to answer questions. Since customer responses stagger, your customer service agents can manage conversations with multiple people—as many as 8 at one time. That’s something you can’t do with live support.

File this under the category of “not something you can implement when you’re in a pinch.”

While embracing asynchronous messaging enables your customer service agents to handle multiple conversations at once, you need a runway to implement and train your team on using it to the fullest. Managing asynchronous messaging also works best with a powerful conversational platform behind it, like Quiq.

5. Take advantage of predictive text.

Another advantage of adding messaging to your help center tech stack is the use of predictive text. If you can’t deflect calls enough to lighten your team’s load, then the best thing to do is make them more efficient.

A conversational platform with AI-enhancing capabilities can actually make your team faster. AI-powered snippets in Quiq’s platform, for example, can help predict responses and provide answers for agents to tweak, personalize, and send off. That way, instead of searching for the answers, customer service agents always have them at their fingertips.

6. Add call-to-text to your IVR.

There’s no doubt that phone conversations take more of your agents’ time than messaging. Although you can’t keep customers from making phone calls to your help center, you can encourage them to message.

Most customers hang up after being on hold for 90 seconds, so when your call center is slammed, your customer satisfaction rates can plummet. Instead, give them the option to take the conversation to messaging.

Call-to-text can work through SMS text messaging or WhatsApp. Customers who don’t want to wait to get live support can get their answers via messaging as they go about their day. It’ll give your call center some much-needed relief.

Contact Us

7. Outsource some of your calls.

When under pressure, you can always look for an outside team to pick up the slack temporarily.

Make sure you set them up for success by putting together your best practices, important product knowledge, and policies and procedures. While you may not have time to thoroughly train them in the short term, they can help in a pinch.

8. Implement a queue system.

Whether you stick with calls or add messaging to your customer service feature, implementing an automated (and intelligent) queue management system can manage high volumes.

Ideally, the system can let customers know how long they should expect to remain on hold and give them other options to contact customer service if they don’t want to wait. This can include call-to-text as we mentioned earlier, but it should also include options like receiving a callback or sending an email.

9. Make ai chatbots a part of your team.

Chatbots aren’t going to replace your team, but they can support it. If you’ve made the leap to messaging, leaning on AI-enhanced chatbots can lighten the load on your team. There are several ways chatbots can help you do more with less:

  • Charge your chatbot with answering basic questions: When call volume is high, use your team to answer the more complex questions and have a chatbot answer the easy ones.
  • Collect information upfront: Chatbots can help gather information and route calls to the right agent to cut down on service time.
  • Walk customers through troubleshooting: If the reason for your call volume spike is a product issue, use chatbots to walk customers through the first few phases of troubleshooting. If the problem persists, then a customer service agent can pick up where the bot left off.

10. Proactively get ahead of problems.

Take care of issues before they reach your call center. While you can’t anticipate every problem and prevent people from calling altogether (nor should you), you can get ahead of issues.

Sometimes it’s as simple as putting your return policy in a more easily accessible place on your website. Or when a product issue arises, send emails and outbound text messages to address it before it blows up your call center.

Being upfront and transparent with customers will prevent a lot of anger and frustration before it gets to your call center.

11. Scale up when you need to.

As efficient as you are, there are times when you’ll need to scale up your help center quickly. If a volume spike turns into a sustained deluge, then it might be time to look at the budget and see if hiring additional support is feasible.

Manage high-volume calls with Quiq.

Predict high-volume call spikes when you can, and turn to Quiq when you can’t. Quiq’s Conversational AI platform can help you improve efficiency across the board—and especially during busy periods. Let agent overwhelm become a thing of the past and start improving your customer service strategy now.

Index