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

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

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

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

Rachelle McDonald, Director of Customer Service

Successful adoption of messaging at Texas A&M

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

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

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

Messaging use cases at Texas A&M

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

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

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

So What’s Next?

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

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

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

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Forrester Webinar: Connecting with Customers Through Messaging and Bots

Consumers’ Expectations Around Engagement

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

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

About Quiq

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with our friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can now engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App,and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. Learn more about Quiq today!

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How Chatbots Are Revolutionizing eCommerce

In recent years, chatbots have made their way into the mainstream, becoming an integral part of the way modern businesses interact with consumers. In this post, we’ll take a look at chatbots and how they are playing an increasingly important role in eCommerce. We’ll then dive into the ways that businesses can use bots across all channels.

What are chatbots?

Chatbots are software applications that simulate human conversation.  Customers can interact with chatbots much like they would with a human via SMS/text, web chat, social media or in a company’s app. Chatbots can be written to follow simple instructions such as to greet the customer with “Hi, how can I help you?” and ask for the customer’s name. Bots can also execute more complex processes based off of rules or keywords such as gathering order information, routing the customer to a different department, and displaying the customer’s order history to the agent.

The earliest chatbots were simple systems that picked up keywords from a user’s message which triggered certain scripts. Responses may have come across as canned, but the mere fact that a user was chatting with a robot was novel in itself. In the 1960s, computer scientists at MIT developed ELIZA, which emulated a psychotherapist. Many individuals who used Eliza were convinced they were talking to a real person at the time. Though it was initially developed to show the superficiality of human communication, the developers were surprised by the large amount of feedback they received attributing human-like emotion to the machine. Chatbots have come a long way since then. Modern artificial intelligence has made it so chatbots are more helpful than ever, and natural language processing has seen major developments in recent years. Now, chatbots are instrumental to the way that many businesses connect with customers. Through Facebook, SMS, and web chat, chatbots can guide customers through every step of their path to purchase as well as provide intelligent customer support.


How contacting customer service has evolved

Calling and emailing a company for pre-sales questions or post-sales support has gone the way of the VCR. Sure, there are some people out there that still use those channels, but for the vast majority, it’s not the first way people think of when they need to reach a business. Today’s connected consumers demand engagement that’s flexible, convenient, and fast. That’s why consumers are gravitating towards mobile means of engagement, where they can have more control over when and where conversations take place. The availability of smartphones and tablets mean that browsing, buying, and requesting support can happen anywhere there’s a mobile device available and consumers haven’t hesitated to use this freedom to engage businesses whenever and however is most convenient for them. Live chat for business, for example, is frequently used for customers to connect while they are browsing a company’s site.  Further efforts to connect with customers on their own terms has led many companies to enable their landlines to send and receive SMS/text messages since many consumers prefer texting over phone calls. The mere thought of managing conversations over multiple channels would normally keep contact center managers up at night fretting about operations and agents worrying about efficiency metrics.

Quiq’s messaging platform bring conversations from SMS/text, web chat, social, and in-app into one streamlined UI so that agents and managers have one place to manage every conversation. Unlike phone calls and emails that can only be handled on a 1:1 basis, messaging platforms, like Quiq, allow company employees to handle multiple conversations at once. We see employees handle 6 to 8 concurrent conversations at one time. Even with all the efficiency modern messaging platforms provide, human-only messaging systems are limited by things such as hours of operation and the amount of staff available. Enter the chatbot. Businesses are adopting chatbots for every messaging channel, including web chat, SMS/texting, and social channels as a way to route customers to the right department, or to an agent that can help them. Today, advanced chatbots, like those powered by Quiq, are predicted to handle 85% of customer service interactions by 2020, using artificial intelligence to meet the unique needs of customers in increasingly efficient and satisfactory ways, such as greeting the customer and gathering data to better understand the nature of their inquiry.

What chatbots offer to eCommerce

eCommerce is perfectly suited for the features that chatbots offer since the entire customer journey — right up until delivery — primarily happens on mobile devices. Chatbots are available around the clock to engage customers with a welcome message, suggest products or promotional offers based on their browsing history, and help answer any questions that arise. Consider some of these interactions where a chatbot can help augment interactions with human agents:

  • Determining the type of question, whether pre-sales or post-sales, in order to route the inquiry to the correct team.
  • Collecting information on what the customer is shopping for to narrow down a selection or suggest pages that customers should check out.
  • Checking on order and shipping status.
  • Helping customers troubleshoot a technical issue by asking questions to eliminate possible causes.
  • Providing returning customers automated help with a password reset.

If the consumer makes an inquiry or gives feedback which is beyond the chatbot’s capabilities, it can seamlessly and immediately connect the consumer to an appropriate agent. The approach of having chatbots as the first point of contact, to gather data for human agents, maximizes efficiency and frees up resources while still maintaining the human element. In fact, chatbots can be used throughout the conversation, not just as the first contact. Human agents and bots can seamlessly transfer messages back and forth without disrupting the customer’s experience.

Perfecting messaging for business

In fact, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, and Google Rich Business Messaging are all popular avenues for connecting with customers. The more your eCommerce enterprise branches out into these engagement channels, the tighter your connection will be in the daily lives of consumers. Modern customer service is all about providing solutions to customers on their own terms. That means that consumers should be able to reach you whenever they want to, via the channels that they prefer. Quiq enables companies to engage with customers over multiple channels while using live agents, chatbots, or a combination of both. As chatbots become increasingly capable of complex tasks, the expectations that customers have when interacting with chatbots will only grow. Your customer service interface reflects the quality of your eCommerce brand as a whole, which is why it’s critical to use a platform that continues to advance along with the times. Quiq helps your brand stay ahead of the curve with advanced features such as agent performance optimization and real-time reports.

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Chatbots will continue to transform the way customers interact with businesses. By connecting with your customers via their preferred modes of text communication, you can ensure that you’re speaking their language and getting your message across. This means increased connections, higher sales, and improved customer satisfaction. If your brand is ready to explore the potential of a perfected chatbot platform, request a demo with Quiq today.

Customer Spotlight: TodayTix

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

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

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

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

– James Potter, Senior Guest Services Manager

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

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

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

What’s Next

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

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

Brinks Home Security™ Monitors and Responds to Changing Market Demands

Q: What motivated Brinks to look at messaging as a way to connect with customers?

A:  More than 90% of all of our transactions were phone-based. Taking time to make a phone call was a rigid, inflexible pain point for our customers. We wanted to provide a channel that put the format back in the customer’s control.

Unlike phone calls, customers and agents are able to exchange and share attachments, links, gifs, and emojis making the interaction context-rich. These rich messaging interactions help agents understand the question faster and thus ensure customers quickly receive the help they need to resolve their inquiry and get on with their day.

ROI From the Start

Messaging has dramatically and positively impacted the contact center. The first thing to note was the fairly immediate shift of 10% of phone calls to messaging. There is also a significant difference in agent productivity. With phone calls, agents can only handle 1 at a time, but with text messaging, the agents handle from 4-6 unique conversations at a time. Even with an increase in the number of conversations each agent has, there has still been a 14 ppt.(avg.) uptick in CSAT. In fact, Brinks is watching the satisfaction rate with text messaging continue to climb, all while seeing staffing savings.

“In a short 5 months with Quiq, we converted 10% of phone calls to messaging, and we are on track to move 20% of our inbound calls to messaging.”

Mike Parish, Sr. Manager Customer Experience & Service Design, Brinks Home Security

Giving Control Back to Customers

Converting 10% of their inbound phone-based customer contact to a digital messaging experience in 5 short months, the company saw a noticeable difference in how customers and agents interact. Messaging allows customers to have conversations at their desired pace, while enjoying an experience that is as familiar as texting with family and friends.

Brinks proactively promotes and encourages their customers to engage with them via text messaging. Visitors to brinkshome.comare able to initiate a conversation with an agent through a “Text Us” link displayed prominently above the fold under “Contact Us”. Website visitors may also choose to engage by clicking the “Chat with us” icon on the lower right-hand side of the screen displayed on every page.

Phone with texts

As with any new software implementation, Brinks had a number of assumptions going into their exploration of the messaging channel:

  • Our customer base is older and will not utilize text
  • Customers want to call or email us, not text
  • Customers will want to text for this, but not for that

What Brinks discovered as a result of implementing Quiq Messaging was a reality that was a very pleasing contradiction to those beliefs.

Across their customer segments, text has continued to ramp, regardless of age-related demographics. In fact, the slowest month-over-month growth for the messaging channel has been a 135% increase, with the highest monthly increase at 329%. Not only has the messaging channel proven to be a preferred method of engagement, but agents handling the exact same contact types on the messaging channel as they did with phone with a higher average CSAT score.

Messaging Rollout Recommendations

Q: Based on your experience with messaging, what are some key takeaways you would share with CX leaders who are considering opening the messaging channel?

A: One of the biggest lessons learned from the messaging channel has been promoting the channel. It is important to leverage every engagement or touch point to help build awareness and grow a new channel.

That may mean promoting it via social media, outbound emails, newsletters, on the primary website, mobile website, and even in your IVR messaging. Just letting customers, who are calling in, know that they can hang up and text your brand directly will immediately shift calls to text messaging.

When promoting the messaging channel, Brinks also recommends that companies alter their campaign approach monthly, starting with awareness, next adoption, and finally growth. However, the most important thing to do is to avoid letting assumptions prevent success and to lean on your Voice Of Customer (VOC) data to drive you.

Focus on Continuous Improvements

In an effort to measure and continually improve on the digital experience, Brinks built out a short survey and implemented it by automatically sending a link at the close of each text message conversation. The survey questions emulate the main questions used to calculate customer satisfaction rates (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS). Issuing a satisfaction survey via text instantly yielded a 10% completion rate, which is a 60% increase over surveys delivered over traditional channels.

“Our messaging solution started out as an alternative to offload high call volumes and repetitive tasks, but now we have now expanded the implementation and smart routing throughout the entire enterprise.”

Mike Parish, Brinks Home Security

A smooth implementation of Quiq’s Messaging platform set the stage for the high adoption rate of messaging among agents and customers. Brinks has been pleased with how quickly their customers has embraced the messaging channel.

The company plans to continue promoting the channel so that at least 20% of their interactions are over messaging or web chat, as well as completing Quiq’s integration into Brinks’ IVR system and introducing automated SMS notifications for service updates. The company had originally planned to hit that 20% target in 12-18 months, but with the rapid acceptance and use of messaging by their customers, Brinks expects to hit that goal much sooner than expected.


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Customer Spotlight: Warners’ Stellian

Warners’ Stellian has been providing families in the St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota areas quality appliances with exceptional service and value since 1954. As a family-owned business, they take pride in their knowledgeable staff and expert technicians because they know those factors contribute to excellent customer service like no other.

Warners’ Stellian wanted to extend that exceptional service by providing more ways for their customers to engage with them. The appliance retailer partnered with Quiq to add SMS/text messaging and web chat to their mobile and desktop sites.

          Q: What prompted Warners’ Stellian to deploy a messaging solution?

          A: We have such high call volume, so enabling customers to have more touch points was the goal.

Warners’ Stellian contact center, which normally receives a high volume of calls, uses messaging to deflect some of the inbound calls for customer support. This capability proved itself to be valuable after a particularly busy summer where they experienced an increase in calls and wait times. The contact center was able to redirect some of the pent-up call demand to text and chat, allowing them to address customer issues much faster.

Messaging agent and form

Getting Started With Messaging

Prior to offering customers SMS/text messaging and web chat for customer support, the company’s call center agents supported phone, online forms, and email. By partnering with Quiq to open the messaging channel, the company has increased efficiency by converting inbound calls to text messages for both sales and service.

Warners’ Stellian promotes messaging on the website’s “contact us” page and during the message the customer hears while on hold. The company has been surprised at how much customers, who initiate conversations via messaging, want and like these new options.

The customer service team has found that customers waiting on hold to talk to a customer service agent would often just hang up to text. When customers were given the option to chat for assistance versus waiting on hold, the company saw a spike in the number of chats created.

Quiq allows the company’s 45 users, which includes 20 call center agents, 20 sales associates in 2 store locations, and select administrative and sales associates to handle all the active messages Warners’ Stellian receives at any given time. When things get really busy, agents will easily handle 4-5 conversations at a time.

contact information on site
Warner's Stellian company van

Messaging Adoption

The majority of the inbound conversations are related to repairs. “When a customer reaches out, they’re really looking for help on a very specific problem, it could be functional or cosmetic,” states Kurt Duhn, Customer Service Manager for Warners’ Stellian. Either way, the customer support team is able to respond in a faster, easier way.

Internally, the customer support team is learning how to most effectively communicate using this new channel. The support team has learned that there needs to be a focus on written communication skills, such as succinctly responding and engaging without the use of slang or abbreviations, as well as determining when to transition from text or chat to speaking directly with the customer.

The ability to easily share photos and videos, which customers can use to explain their situation, has improved conversations. The customers can take a photo and quickly send it within the conversation to reduce some of the back and forth.

“It’s much more convenient to get photos and we get photos immediately. Now, we can make images more conversational”

Kurt Duhn, Customer Service Manager, Warners’ Stellian

What’s Next

Since many of the conversations are about repair issues, contact center agents spend a lot of time reviewing warranty information. The company wants to explore whether a simple bot can be used to help pre-qualify or at least collect the information needed to determine if the customer is still within their warranty.

Warners’ Stellian would also like to use Quiq Messaging to push more “how-to” links and more routing options. If a customer initiates a conversation referencing “Whirlpool” and “microwave”, the customer can be directed to a website resource, like a knowledge article, to look up that information before continuing on to engage an agent.


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Increase Conversion Rates With These 7 Business Messaging Tips

While conversion rates are more traditionally tied to eCommerce sites, it’s a metric that every company cares about. A conversion can mean different things for different companies. Websites can measure conversions by the number of visits, form fills, subscriptions or, more commonly the number of sales made. The goal you’re measuring can be a macro goal, like requesting a demo or it could be a micro-conversion such as watching a video. No matter what the conversion is, there’s always one universal thread that binds them all together. Everyone wants more of them.

Your conversion rate is a direct reflection of the number of visitors that find value when they visit your website. For the purpose of this article, we’ll think about a conversion as any action that leads to revenue generation such as a cart checkout or an appointment confirmed. In this article, we’ll share a few customer messaging tips to help you increase your online conversion rate.

Text Messaging Increases Conversions

Driving traffic to your site is only part of the conversion equation. Once you get traffic there, that user will either bounce from your site or engage in some way. Messaging may not be an obvious way to get more conversions, but it’s proven to be an effective one. Again, we’re seeking to move a site visitor to complete a transaction. There may be some barriers you have to remove for that visitor before they complete the transaction, such as finding the right solution on your site or answering questions about security. Messaging is the vehicle to help you do that.

The average conversion rate across for online retailer is just about 2%. While that may seem shockingly low to some, achieving that number takes some serious effort. Optimizing your site with compelling copy, clear call to actions and easy, logical navigation are critical to hit even the average number of conversions. It’s not unrealistic to achieve conversion rates higher than 2%, but you need to employ ways to get your site visitors engaged with your brand.

Quiq clients have realized an increase in conversions when they’ve implemented messaging. Retail clients, like The Laundress for example, use messaging to provide customers with personalized help to find and purchase the right products. Messaging has allowed their agents to provide the same kind of white-glove service to online customers that visitors to the retailer’s trendy SoHo location have come to expect.

At Quiq, we believe any customer should be able to reach any business via messaging. Why? Because interacting via messaging is the fastest and most convenient way to do business. We’ve also found that messaging encourages customers to re-engage with your brand.

Whether you already have messaging available on your site or are considering opening this up as a channel for your customers, there are a few critical things to keep in mind to make the experience truly beneficial for you and your website visitor. Follow these 7 customer messaging tips to increase conversion rates.

7 Customer Messaging Tips to Increase Conversions

1. Make live chat available right on the homepage

On a sales floor, you don’t let customers suffer in silence. At a trade show, you wouldn’t let prospects just wander aimlessly around the booth. It shouldn’t be hard for customers to reach you on your website. Put out the welcome mat and let customers know that you’re available to answer questions right away.

There are a few asynchronous ways your customers can contact you that sit under the Messaging umbrella. Live chat, SMS, MMS, rich messaging, and social platforms like Twitter and Facebook all present opportunities for you to connect, engage, and convert. All of these channels can be easily managed with the Quiq platform.

2. Make text messaging just as easy

If you’ve ever tried live chat on a mobile phone you know that the experience is less than ideal. Considering the number of purchase decisions that begin with and end with search on a mobile phone, it would be wise to make sure your mobile experience rival that of your desktop experience.

While chat may be the answer for desktop customer messaging, it can be clumsy and cumbersome on a mobile device. Instead, enable a “Text Us” option on your mobile optimized site so that your customer can communicate via their native messaging app. Most traditional chat experiences require both agent and customer to maintain a constant presence on chat, otherwise the chat “times out” and closes itself automatically. Because Quiq’s chat and messaging channels are all asynchronous, the conversation is never closed and it never ends. This allows your customer to send and respond to messages when it’s convenient for them.

3. Use inviting imagery

Since we’re visual creatures by nature, the use of well lit, clear images will keep customers engaged in the conversation and provide more context around the conversation. For retailers, this could be just the right enticement for customers to explore more product lines.

Modern messaging apps allow sharing of hi-res images, videos, links, PDFs, and gifs. Include attractive images of products, videos of client testimonies, or even fun emojis depending on the conversation to add that personal touch.

4. Add an element of interactivity

No one likes a one-sided conversation where one side is talking and the other side may, or may not, be listening. People and your customers want to be heard. It is critical to ensure there are open, two-way channels to support this requirement. Some communication channels, like email may feel like you were “talking at” your customers, modern messaging apps, like Apple Business Chat and Google RCS helps you “talk with” your customers.

These messaging platforms, allow consumers to easily interact with rich cards. Now consumers can choose from a list of available times to schedule an appointment or select the color of an item from a list products – all within a messaging conversation with just a few taps.

5. Give an approximate time for a reply

Every channel has certain expectations that come with it. The same goes with messaging. Customers expect ease, convenience and timeliness. If a successful promo or other event spikes your wait times on the messaging channel, let your customers know how long they can expect to wait.

Couple their approximate wait time with a message such as “Our wait times are longer than expected due to our successful winter sale”. This seemingly small tweak not only notifies your customers how long they may wait, but also provides some social proof that affirms your brand. As we’ve come to understand, social proof, like referrals or online reviews can help online conversions.

6. Provide multiple options for communication

Contact center leadership may cringe at the thought of having to manage multiple contact points simultaneously. Omni-channel communications can sound daunting but Quiq Messaging makes it manageable.

You never know where a prospective buyer may see you. An intriguing Tweet, an irresistible photo on Facebook, or a search on Siri could prompt a prospect to reach out to you. With Quiq, you can easily manage every conversation that comes in via text, live chat, app, social profiles, or searches on Google and Apple.

7. Have a real person available to assist with questions

Consumers are turning to messaging because they’ve exhausted their patience on FAQ pages and with email, and they simply don’t want to call for help just to wade through a confusing IVR system to talk to a live agent. They want answers, and they want them now.

Quiq clients have found success in using technology such as chatbots to gather information prior to handing the conversation over to a live agent. The main objective is supporting the agent with enough information to help your customer faster. Use automation to enhance the human touch, not replace it.

Increasing conversion rates, no matter what that may mean for your site is about getting visitors engaged. While messaging have proven over and over again to be the friction-free way for customers to get post-sales service, we’re seeing more evidence everyday that proves it is also providing the pre-sales support that increases conversions. Ready to join the growing list of Quiq clients who are realizing a boost in their conversion rates? Request to see a short demo today.

Creditunions.com: 7 Strategies to Support Self-Service

Loan processing velocity, abandonment reduction and expired application rescues; collection prompts including repayment and delinquency; and contact center enhancement are areas text messaging helps credit unions spur member activity and interaction.

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Driving Credit Union Messaging Adoption: What Works?

Loan processing velocity, abandonment reduction and expired application rescues; collection prompts including repayment and delinquency; and contact center enhancement are areas text messaging helps credit unions spur member activity and interaction.

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Digiday: Overstock’s customer service texts have a 98 percent open rate

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Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App, and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. In return, companies get a digital engagement platform to communicate with customers. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.


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Reduce Collection Time With Messaging

The Accounts Receivables Department is all about action. Staying on top of accounts and getting customers to pay you on time takes consistent outreach and persistence. Credit Unions are looking towards technology to make collections more effective.

A mobile device is always within reach and consumers are increasingly more comfortable with online banking, so it’s no surprise that credit unions are seeking ways to tap into mobile technology, namely, text messaging, as a way to engage with members. In this article, we explore how text messaging has helped credit unions reduce collection time.

Richer Experiences Everywhere

Consumers, trained by the rich mobile experiences they have outside of banking, have come to expect more from their credit union. You don’t have to look far to find the data that supports why this channel has come to the forefront:

  • Text messages have a 98% open rate
  • Text messaging has a 45% response rate (MarTech)
  • Texts are typically read within 3 minutes of being received
  • Over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day. (Forrester)

This, coupled with generations of consumers, namely Millennials and Gen Z, who have not only accepted messaging as a primary communication channel, but have come to expect it, has driven more industries to add messaging into their customer engagement strategy. In fact, credit unions have identified messaging as one of the leading ways to attract and retain younger members.

Reduce Collection Time with Messaging

A recent article from The Credit Union Journal entitled,  “Credit Unions’ call center chatter turns to texting,” highlights the incredible results realized from adopting messaging. The article states the many advantages messaging affords credit unions, all of which stem from this channel’s ability to cut through the noise and inconvenience of other channels and engage members where they spend the most time.

One of the most surprising efficiencies has been the reduction of collection time. Before messaging, a significant amount of staff resources were dedicated to contacting members about past due payments. Calling and leaving unanswered messages or sending unopened emails had become the norm. With messaging, credit unions like Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, have seen collection response rates increase from 5% when calling members, to 75% through texting.

Collection calls are placed during credit union business hours when members are usually working as well. Unlike phone calls, messaging allows members to respond to collection notifications more discreetly and when they are available. Members find it difficult to impossible to answer the phone to talk to a credit union staff member, but glancing at a text notification and responding when that member has a few seconds is entirely doable.

Credit Unions Trust Quiq

The ease and convenience of text messaging have touched everything from informing members of branch hours to notifying members of promotional rates or offers. It only makes sense that members positively respond to the ability to engage in a quick two-way conversation about their payment status.

Quiq has been fortunate to partner with innovative Credit Unions and other lending institutions to help them effectively reach their members and customers. There is a growing number of credit unions adopting messaging for a variety of reasons. We invite you to be next.

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App, and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. In return, companies get a digital engagement platform to communicate with customers. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.

Consumer Packaged Goods Face New Dawn of Retail

In the constantly evolving, sometimes frantic, world of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), there’s always constant pressure on product development to deliver innovation and products that create differentiation in the marketplace. In the past, winning shelf space, well merchandised end caps, and timely promotions were all it took to get in front of consumers.

Rapidly changing customer expectations, an ever-widening competitive landscape, and technology have changed that. There is a retail renaissance underway where consumers are using their mobile devices to explore a vast landscape of choices and expect 24/7 support. In this article, we’ll discuss how consumer brands can meet the expectations of the modern consumer with messaging.

Purchasing Power to the People

Consumer brands have long been in the driver’s seat, picking the location, times, and variety of products available to consumers, but there has been a shift in power from brands to consumers. Parking, long lines, and lack of variety have driven consumers to explore ways to weed out the disjointed, bulky, and disappointing aspects of shopping.

Consumers are buying more than ever. However, the way that they are buying has changed drastically over the last few years, and their mobile phones are at the center of their experience. Mobile stats show steady growth in the number of smartphone users who make purchases from their device or use their mobile phone while shopping at brick and mortar locations to look up a product review or compare prices.

A growing digital fluency has led to a higher expectation of immediacy and personalization in all aspects of shopping online and off. The product is still the bedrock of the CPG/customer relationship, but the foundation must also rest on the speed and convenience of information and engagement consumers have come to expect from every brand and every interaction in their lives.

Consumer Brands: Overly Focused on Product?

Recent Deloitte research revealed that the majority of brand leaders (60%) believe product quality or product uniqueness (15%) are the company’s unique value proposition. These numbers tell a story of brands that are stuck on product differentiation as the thing that will set them apart from their competitors and drive customer engagement and loyalty.

This belief is why you’ll likely see significant investments in R&D and marketing. Meanwhile, the customer experience is suffering. Research shows that most consumers aren’t struggling with shopping or paying for products. Consumers can quickly find a variety of choices at the scroll, tap, and swipe of their finger.

The most significant opportunity for customer experience improvement is at the top of the funnel with engagement and discovery (32%) and awareness and acquisition (24%).  These are the areas that Quiq clients are aligning technology in creative and efficient ways to optimize customer engagement and influence the consumers’ path to purchase through messaging.

Increase Share of Cart

Losing customers at the top of the funnel can be a really difficult to address. Consumers have more choices than ever before and if they have pre-sale questions about the product or your brand, you want to be able to address those questions in a fast and convenient way. Now, customers can text your existing landlines like they text their friends and family to get the answers that help brands increase conversion and share of cart.

Consumers are already shopping with their mobile phones in hand – comparing prices and looking at alternative products. Adding “Text Us” to your packaging can help those consumers who may need extra guidance on a purchase engage with your brand in an easy, convenient way when they need help the most. Messaging enables brands to have personal conversations with consumers and address their specific questions.

Maybe you don’t test on animals or use vegetable based inks and recycled paper on your blister cards. Perhaps you give a percentage of profits to a charity that connects with your audience. Packaging and in-store signage can only go so far to educate the consumer. Text messaging allows your brand to further tell your story, product benefits, and community involvement.

Quiq clients, like Direct Digital, decided to offer consumers the opportunity to reach them using messaging – text/SMS, Facebook Messenger, web chat, and IVR to text. This nutritional supplement brand found that when customers have questions about a product purchase, they can choose how they want to engage – at the moment of need – making it super easy to get answers quickly, thus converting them to purchase.

The Cure for Engagement Ails

Messaging is everywhere, instant, interactive, viral, and informative. What started off as a way to connect with family and friends has now crept its way into every aspect of our lives. People all over the world use messaging every day in their personal lives, and now, consumers are looking for the brands they trust to send and receive the messages that matter to them.

Messaging has helped clients like Direct Digital readily engage with consumers on the go, using the one thing they can’t seem to be without – their mobile device. Innovative brands like Direct Digital are using their accessibility at the top of the funnel as a competitive advantage to increase sales, engagement and brand loyalty.

From new product introductions to product recalls, consumer brands have good reason to want to use messaging as a way to quickly and conveniently engage with consumers. With a 98% open rate and a 30% response rate, messaging is more effective than email or phone calls.

Quiq Messaging enables two-way communications with customers via text messaging and can be used to promote new products and build brand awareness so brands can continue to strengthen the relationship as the consumer moves down through the purchase funnel. If your brand is ready to lead the new dawn of retail, contact us for a short demo.

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with our friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can now engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App,and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.

Credit Union Journal (Press Release): Quiq Adds Eight Major Credit Unions, Accelerating Financial Sector Momentum

Quiq Adds Eight Major Credit Unions, Accelerating Financial Sector Momentum

Offering Messaging Attracts Millennial Customers,
Improves Customer Satisfaction, and Decreases Costs

BOZEMAN, Mont., March 06, 2018 — Quiq, a leading provider of messaging for customer service software, today announced that the company has added eight credit unions to its customer base, which signals strong momentum in the financial sector for the fast-growing firm. Combined, the eight credit union clients now give more than 720,000 members a messaging option to handle customer service issues, which improves member satisfaction, increases response rates, and lowers costs.

Quiq’s credit union clients include Alabama One Credit Union in Tuscaloosa, AL; the Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU) in Fort Worth, TX; Ent Credit Union in Colorado Springs, CO; GenFed Financial Credit Union in Akron, OH; Red Rocks Credit Union in Highlands Ranch, CO; Land of Lincoln Credit Union in Decatur, IL; Pima Federal Credit Union in Tucson, AZ, and Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union in Lakewood, NY. Shaa Moore, System Administrator at Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union, credits the addition of Quiq’s customer service messaging solution with an uptick in membership:

“We’re attracting the younger generation with a modern communication channel,” Moore observed. “Members think it’s ‘cool’ and tell their friends about it. Our member response time has gone from 10 minutes or more by phone to 1 minute via inbound text messaging. Now, our members are more likely to contact us because we’ve made it easy. We’ve also used outbound messaging to remind members of past-due payments. On one day alone, we received 32 payments. Past-due collections calls typically generate a 1 to 5 percent response. Thanks to outbound text messaging with Quiq, our collections recoveries have increased over 75 percent. This was unexpected and amazing.”

“We decided to add a messaging option because that’s how our members communicate with their friends and families, and we felt that many would want to use the same channel to talk to their credit union,” said Jason Halperin, Chief Lending Officer at Alabama One Credit Union, who is currently implementing Quiq. “Our goal is to increase digital engagement with our members across the board, while appealing to millennials, who clearly prefer to use messaging. Use of SMS is associated with higher response rates, which we hope will reduce delinquencies and aid in collections, and we’re also hoping to see an increase in loan pull-through rates and velocity.”

Quiq’s messaging solution presents messaging conversations to agents and if an agent is handling multiple conversations simultaneously, Quiq automatically prioritizes the conversations based on the pace and responsiveness of the member, so the agent can ensure timely responses and high member satisfaction.  Quiq’s Messaging also offers more sophisticated features including inbound and outbound messaging, routing, queuing, transferring, and collaboration on a single, omni-channel platform that can handle SMS/text messaging, web chat, and Facebook Messenger. This eliminates the need to log into multiple platforms to manage member conversations, which enhances agent productivity. Finally, Quiq delivers comprehensive reporting and analytics from all the messaging channels to support continuous improvement of the member experience.

“Members increasingly expect to be able to message financial institutions like they do companies in other industries,” said Mike Myer, CEO and founder of Quiq. “We’re excited to work with our credit union clients to help them improve response rates through digital engagement. With Quiq, credit unions work more efficiently on a single platform that encompasses multiple digital communication channels, while giving customers the messaging options they expect.”

To learn more, please visit quiq.com or contact the company via text at (646) 887-8398.

About Quiq

Our mission is to improve the way customers communicate with companies. Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can now engage customer service via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, and Kik, for help with their pre-sales questions and post-sales support. Find out more at https://quiq.com/.


3 Ways Messaging Can Improve Pull-through Rates

Time is money. Truer words have never been spoken, especially when it comes to loan closings and improving pull-through rates, a key metric for success of any lending institution. Unfortunately, when most people think of loan applications, words like “long,” “drawn-out” and “inefficient “ are words that may readily spring to mind.

A lot of lenders are looking at technology as a way to change this perception of the process and taking a closer look at messaging. With so many people using messaging as a daily communication tool, it’s easy to see why 66% of consumers prefer texting as a way to engage with companies. Messaging is helping lenders deliver faster, more convenient service to borrowers through messaging while reaping the benefits of this preferred, more cost-effective,  method of communication.  Let’s take a look at why messaging has become so crucial within the lending industry.

Improve Pull-through Rates with Messaging

It has been a seller’s market since the housing recovery began.  A shortage of inventory has left a lot of buyers competing aggressively for homes. This inventory strapped, competitive market has lengthened the home-buying timeline to account for buyers losing bids to other, highly motivated, buyers. Still, lenders have seen around 40% of the loan applications they receive go to closing.

40% may seem like a respectable number, but examining the hard costs involved in each transaction may make you reconsider. It costs on average about $8,000 of hard costs to move people from loan application to closing and pre-approval processing can account for up to $2,000 of those hard costs. When you think of the 6 out of 10 people who never close, the amount of money that walks out the door with them quickly adds up. It’s easy to see why improving pull-through rates can substantially impact the bottom line.

Let’s look at three ways messaging can help improve pull-through rates.

1. Gain buyer loyalty

Industry research indicates that homebuyers may expect to wait two weeks for a loan pre-approval, at least 30 – 60 days just to find a home and an average of 40-50 days to close a loan after their offer is accepted. One often overlooked risk that some lenders have found of this lengthy sales cycle is that it opens the door for other lenders to lure borrowers away, putting the 40% closing rate further at risk.

Staying engaged with borrowers throughout this long, complicated process can help alleviate the need to shop around for other lending options. Assisting lenders in becoming the trusted advisors that home buyers need and want throughout the buying process can solidify the borrower’s trust in the lender and cement the relationship.

First time home buyers and millennials may need extra care, and attention and messaging is key to reaching these buyers. Millennials tend not to be as brand loyal as other generations so if they feel they’re not getting the information they want as quickly as they want it, they won’t hesitate to find another lender who’s willing to provide it.

2. Expedite the transmission of information

A lot of first time home buyers are surprised at how long the process can take and what is involved. According to the National Association of Realtors Millennials and Gen-Y (Buyers 36 and younger) make up the most significant share of home buyers, and 66% of these buyers are also first-time home buyers so their communication preferences can’t go ignored.

Delays in Income verifications, credit pulls, and other documentation can substantially delay a closing. Messaging greases the communication wheel with buyers to help move the process along. Unlike phone calls that go unanswered or emails that can get caught in spam filters or fall too far in an inbox to get urgent attention, borrowers receive messages directly to their phones and read them within three minutes of receipt.

The new generation of borrowers prefer text messages over calls and emails and will be more likely to open a text message vs. answering a phone number that’s not familiar to them. Messaging has a 98% open rate and 30% response rate which means borrowers can easily see and address important notifications and requests. Sending requests for documentation, or asking questions via messaging ensures a more frictionless closing process.

3. Gain More Referrals and Repeat Business

The average homeowner will move or refinance every 5 – 7 years. Delivering an outstanding loan experience can generate more advocacy and retention for future business. Messaging helps lenders deliver that first excellent experience by improving communication, managing expectations and enabling a faster means for two-way communication between lender and borrower.

Messaging can also help lenders stay top of mind with these buyers. Quiq clients frequently use outbound messaging as a way to keep in touch with clients and lenders have plenty of opportunities to provide customers with quick reminders and messages to keep the relationship going:

  • a message on their birthday or anniversary
  • market updates as they near the time they may be considering downsizing
  • or a quick reminder that their home equity can assist in paying for their kid’s college education.

Communication is crucial to setting and managing expectations, especially among new home buyers and Millennials who may seek more guidance during the process. Communication that is fast and convenient is critically important to these buyers, which is why text messaging has become such a highly preferred method of communication with lenders.

An investment in technology is no longer a process improvement but a competitive necessity for lending institutions. Quiq Messaging is helping lenders connect with borrowers in a convenient, preferred way through mobile, web, and social messaging. If your institution is ready to improve your pull-through rates, request a demo.

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with our friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can now engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App,and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.

3 Ways Software Companies Accelerate Time-to-Value With SMS Messaging

Helping your customer realize the value of your software, app, or game as quickly as possible is the cornerstone of successful adoption and retention. As a SaaS company, we understand how critical it is to maintain momentum with a customer while they are excited about your solution and accelerate Time-to-Value (TtV).

We are starting to see a lot of software companies accelerate TtV for their users using social media and other digital technologies, including sending outbound messages via Quiq Messaging.

Here are a few best practices we’ve learned along the way about TtV and outbound messaging, as well as how consumer software companies put messaging to use:

1. Set your new users up with ease

More and more, companies are starting to leverage Quiq’s outbound messaging to deliver successful experiences with their software, app, or game. It is a fact that outbound text messaging has a higher open and response rate than any other channel. With an average open rate of 96%, far higher than email, text messaging ensures your customers see and open the important messages that will improve their early experience with your technology. You can help your customers get setup and started with outbound notifications that remind them to complete a profile, link an account, create a password, or whatever needs to be done to begin realizing value immediately.

Quiq’s clients find that sending timely hints and tips via outbound text messages help end users get more out of their product in much less time. What’s more, if a user is having trouble during setup or implementation, they can simply reply to the original text message from the company to initiate a 1-to-1 text messaging conversation with your customer service team. Customer service agents can easily handle multiple, simultaneous text messages just like they would any other channel. This kind of proactive, 2-way messaging is helping Quiq’s clients become even “stickier” with their end users.

2. Accelerate adoption and usage with proactive notifications

Onboarding is one of those moments of truths that can make or break the long-term adoption of your software. Once you get past the initial set-up, your new customers may need a little extra help along the way. We all know that people get busy and distracted. Making sure everything is running smoothly , especially for consumer-facing SaaS companies, can easily be affected by overly busy users who don’t have time to figure out how to use your solution to its fullest capabilities.

Beyond initial adoption, software companies can stay top of mind by engaging in two-way conversations with customers via messaging. Allow end users to initiate conversations with your company to get help with any questions. Add “text us” to your mobile website and list of “contact us” sources on your desktop website. Take advantage of outbound SMS messaging to keep users engaged and active after onboarding. When a user tries to jump in and “figure it out” as they go, it can lead to frustration and premature abandonment. Proactive, outbound messages with bite-sized tips and tricks and best practices keep users engaged and helps them take full advantage of all the functionality you built for them. This type of bilateral communication helps the user continue to recognize value from your product and keeps their momentum going.

3. Get ahead of any dreaded “churn”

When you turn on your faucet, you expect water to flow. When you flip a switch, you expect light. When a consumer downloads an app, they expect it to work. The internet, smartphones, and apps have become utilities like other modern conveniences that consumers expect just to work. When they don’t, cries of outrage can be heard far and wide.

When something isn’t working as expected, whether the source of the issue is on the customer’s end or yours, you’ll want the ability to help as quickly and painlessly as possible. There is a strong possibility that the customer may never find the time or want to deal with the hassle of giving you a call, sending an email, or filling out a “contact us” form on your website. With text messaging you can provide support 24/7, giving them a way to quickly send in their question or issue when it’s convenient for them.

Recognizing the issue is the first step in helping your user get back on track to value as soon as possible. Engaging others in the company that may be better equipped to resolve an issue is the next critical step. With Quiq, messages can be routed and transferred so that you get the best resources for a quick resolution and eliminate the risk of users getting frustrated and looking at competitive solutions.

Keep the momentum going

Emails are often ignored, and updates on your website can be easily missed. Even if you have an app, users can turn notifications off. So how do you best keep your customers informed? From tips and tricks, to new feature announcements, to planned downtime, your customers can stay in the know about essential updates with proactive 2-way outbound SMS notifications.

Text messaging is pervasive and continues to prove to be the channel of choice for end users to send and receive messages. Companies that establish text messaging as a two-way communication channel can realize higher adoption rates, while reducing TtV, all by delivering messages on a pervasive, preferred, and convenient channel.

Quiq Messaging is how consumer-facing software companies are cutting through the noise to deliver critical messages to their customer’s mobile device. We help companies engage with their users where they already live – on their phone, on the web, and on social media.

About Quiq

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with our friends and family.  With Quiq, customers can now engage with companies via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, In-App,and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.

Engaging Students Via Messaging: 3 Reasons to Start Now

It is no secret that is messaging is the preferred method of communication for nearly everyone.  97% of smartphone owners regularly use text messaging, making it the most widely-used feature according to Pew Research. Multiple studies have proven that when organizations offer their customers messaging, higher engagement and loyalty prevail.

Does this also hold true for students and educational institutions? Can messaging work for higher education as well as it does for companies? The answer is yes.

Why Use Messaging to Engage With Students?

Here are three reasons why you should use messaging to communicate with your prospective and current students:

1. Students Want to Communicate With Text

The #1 reason you should use messaging to have a conversation with your prospective and current students is they want you to. Your students want to interact with you via messaging because they simply don’t ever like to talk on the phone and email is for “old people”.  They spend more time on their mobile devices than any other demographic and messaging is their preferred communication method. To that point, an independent study (Royall & Company) found that nearly three-quarters of prospective students want to text with admissions counselors.

2. Track and Analyze Engagement

The second reason is to track and monitor prospect students’ interest. Students that engage with educational institutions via messaging tend to show higher interest and a stronger likelihood of enrolling. Identifying these candidates early allows your college or university to nurture these prospects through the enrollment process, building a more sustained, long-term relationship.

3. Create A More Personal Connection

Finally, the key to student retention lies with making a connection. Messaging is a perfect communication medium for students and engaging with them via messaging is personal and easy, paving the way for a successful relationship. Prospective and current students have a direct connection your school right at their fingertips, allowing them to communicate whenever and wherever they want.

The bottom line is that adopting messaging to allow students and institutions to communicate is a critical component to engaging and attracting prospective students, as well as for retaining current students. Colleges and universities using messaging are already seeing great results. They understand that messaging can help prospective students navigate their path to and through college.