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!

Top 3 Things to Know About Apple Messages for Business

How much do you know about Apple Messages for Business?

We know what you’re thinking. Not *another* messaging platform.

But hear us out. Business Messages is one of the most organic messaging experiences you can offer your customers.

There’s no denying that Apple knows how to create a great customer experience. From their Genius Bars to their MacBook packaging, there’s care and attention paid to every small detail.

And that extends to their Business Messages feature. We’re answering three basic questions to help you discover what it is and how to use it to improve your customer experience below.

What is Apple Messages for Business?

Apple Messages for Business allows users to connect with your business through Apple’s native Messaging app on their iOS- or macOS-enabled devices. With more than 1 billion iPhone users, you have a simple way to connect with your customers.

When you enable Apple Messages for Business, users get one-on-one access to your representatives directly in Maps, Safari, Search, Siri, Spotlight, and even within your iOS app. All they have to do is click the messaging icon, and they’re taken to their messaging apps.

Your customers don’t need to navigate through an automated phone tree, search for an email address on your website, or download an app—they can simply open up the Messages app and start chatting with a customer service representative right away.

What can you do with Apple Messages for Business?

Besides enabling customers to connect with you as easily as they do with their favorite people, Apple Messages for Business offers a variety of features you can leverage to improve your customer experience.

Rich messaging

So much more than a text. Rich messaging allows you to send images, links, share a location, read receipts and more.

Send a rich link that displays website information from within the message. Customers can verify it’s the information they’re looking for before tapping the link, and they’re provided an easy way to get back to the conversation after they’ve visited the site.

Retailers can use messaging to send product images, insurance companies can ask for pictures of car damage, or you can share nearby brick-and-mortar locations.

Appointment scheduling

Let customers schedule appointments right from within messaging. Customers can see if it conflicts with their schedule, automatically add the appointment to their iCal, and get reminders to ensure they don’t miss it.

Augmented reality

Help customers decide if a product fits in their home. Using their iPhone camera and augmented reality, customers can visualize a product in their homes.

List picker

Simplify customer choice by letting them pick from a pre-populated list. Use it to help them pick locations, item size, color, or service.

pay to chat apple pay

Accept payments with Apple Pay

Eliminate abandoned carts by completing sales right within Messages. You can send payment requests with Apple Pay and make it so much easier for customers to complete a transaction. No more entering in extra information, and no getting up from the couch to get your credit card… Just instant gratification.

Collect (secure) customer information

What’s one thing customers hate most about customer service? Having to repeat themselves and give out their information to multiple people. Apple Business Chat removes this obstacle by providing the customer information you need. Plus, messages are long-lived. No matter when a customer reaches out, their previous conversation will live in the messaging platform so you can pick up right where you left off. Just like messaging a friend.

What are the benefits of using Apple Messages for Business?

Apple Messages for Business provides many opportunities to delight customers while still streamlining your customer support process. Benefits of Apple Messages for Business include:

  1. The ability to encourage messaging with Message Suggest.
  2. Delivery of a seamless customer experience.
  3. Incorporation of both live agents and chatbots.

Encourage messaging with Message Suggest

Typically, customers can message you by tapping a messaging icon. But you can boost messages and reduce your call volumes with Apple Message Suggest. Customers can tap on your business phone number from anywhere within iOS or macOS, including websites, social media, business directories, etc., and they’ll be given the option to message instead of call.

Adding Message Suggest can help reduce call volume and drive traffic to messaging, which is often more efficient and cost-effective.

Deliver a seamless customer experience

Think of Apple Messages for Business as an extension of your brand experience. You control your business contact info the user sees when they search your name, including logo, contact information, and more.

You can even customize the call-to-action text for Apple Suggest. Instead of the standard, “Why call when you can message?”, consider a simple “Text us” or an encouraging “Get faster service when you send a text.”

Incorporate both live agents and chatbots

One of the requirements for having an Apple Messages for Business account is having live agents available to respond to customer inquiries. But that doesn’t mean you have to have someone at the ready at all times. You can still use chatbots at specific points of the interaction to ensure instant service at all times.

Use bots to:

  • Welcome customers
  • Automate the checkout process
  • Gather customer information
  • Troubleshoot simple customer issues
  • Collect feedback

Since messaging can happen at any time, you can use bots to service customer questions 24/7, such as:

  • Checking order statuses
  • Canceling an order
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Confirming account balances

You can still utilize bots to help you deliver the best experience to your customers while tapping in live agents to provide that one-on-one support.

Take a deep dive into Apple Messages for Business.

We’ve just scratched the surface on what you can do with Apple Messages for Business to surprise and delight your customers. By giving customers a way to connect with your business that they know, love, and use daily, you’re creating a comfortable and inviting experience for them. P.S. To use Apple Messages for Business, you’re required to use a messaging service provider like Quiq.

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Apple Messages for Business Feature: What is Apple Message Suggest?

Back in early 2018, Apple introduced Apple Messages for Business. Business Messages is a powerful new way for organizations to connect with customers directly from within the Messages app. In iOS 13, Apple has added Message Suggest, which makes Apple Messages for Business easier for customers to discover.

Previously, Apple Messages for Business was offered from Apple Spotlight Search, Apple Maps, and on a company’s Contact Us page. But many customers find companies in Google search results. Apple Message Suggest makes Apple Messages for Business available in search results and anywhere else in which a customer might call from their iPhone.

Apple Message Suggest is a prompt for iPhone users that helps them initiate a text conversation with a business through Apple Messages for Business. It provides an alternative to calling during business hours and waiting on hold to talk directly to a contact center agent.

Message Suggest appears as a pop-up message when an Apple iPhone user taps on a business phone number. iPhone users will see two tappable buttons, one of which is to confirm they want to initiate a call with the Phone app. Above the call prompt is a messaging icon with a customizable call-to-action that takes customers to their native Messages app when tapped. Message Suggest also displays a company icon and verified badge to confirm the registered business’s identity.

Companies already using Apple Messages for Business can take advantage of this feature for their high call volume phone numbers by contacting their Quiq representative. Apple does the rest, triggering the Message Suggest interface for users with iOS 13 and above.

Apple Message Suggest features

Message Suggest offers convenience for customers and a way for companies to capture actionable engagement data for their customer relationship management software. It allows you to:

  • Trigger the Message Suggest UI on your brand’s website with a tappable telephone link. As long as you use the proper phone URL scheme, you can also offer app users the option to chat with text messaging.
  • Collect and measure Message Suggest volume. By capturing how many users tap the Business Chat option on Message Suggest, Apple helps calculate your conversion rate and your call to messaging ratio.
  • Share rich messaging exchanges with customers. Message Suggest shifts inbound inquiries to Messages for Business, a familiar text channel that offers more control over when and how customers respond. Rich media messaging also opens more direct lines of service between customers and employee representatives.

Do your customers call you? If you are one of the handful of companies where you don’t engage with consumers over the phone, skip ahead. For the rest of the world, let’s get real. Wouldn’t it be great to reduce the number of inbound phone calls and to shift consumers to messaging? Yes. Yes, it would.

According to Statista, there are currently more than 100 million iPhone users in the United States, accounting for about 45% of all smartphone users in the United States. It’s a safe bet to assume that at least half of your customers have iPhones and they all want to use the convenience of messaging to contact you. Apple Messages for Business is built into iMessage and included with every iOS-enabled device there’s a huge market to address.

Message Suggest for iPhone became available when Apple iOS 13 was introduced, ushering in a new way for your customers to engage with your brand. When customers tap on any of your registered business phone numbers, a small window called a phone sheet appears allowing your customers to choose between voice and messaging.

By tapping on the “messaging” icon customers can contact you through Messages for Business in the Messages app. Your customers have immediate access to messaging with your company which reduces phone call volume to your contact center.

The benefit of Message Suggest to businesses

Messaging offers a better agent to customer concurrency ratio compared with either voice or live chat. Brands reduce their contact center operational costs by launching Message Suggest.

By enabling Message Suggest, you can:

  • Deflect calls before they reach your IVR queue
  • Reduce voice support costs by shifting call volume to messaging
  • Improve agent concurrency with messaging, enabling agents to manage 6 or more conversations at a time
  • Increase customer satisfaction by reducing wait times and getting cut-off in mid-conversation on phone lines
  • Better customer experience with built-in features, such as Apple Pay, list pickers, time pickers, and Augmented Reality

Do more than a phone call ever could with Apple Messages for Business. Have you ever tried sending an image over the phone? Not possible. Have you ever tried to schedule an appointment over the phone? Painful. Have you ever tried to take payment over the phone? Not the most secure. With Apple Messages for Business, everything is possible, private, secure, and most importantly, easy.

Think about it from your customers’ perspective. If you were in their shoes, do you want a phone call to be the only option offered? What if you are going into a meeting, headed to pick up kids, hanging out with friends? Do you really want to call a business, navigate a phone tree, wait on hold, and then have to talk to at least one person to get a question answered? No. You don’t.

Stopping everything to make a phone call is quite possibly one of the least convenient things to do today. Our lives are too busy to sit down and focus on just one thing.

Before

After

As you can see from the screenshots, one of our clients, Brinks Home Security, has already taken advantage of Message Suggest. Now, when consumers tap on Brinks phone number from their Apple device, they are presented with the option to message or text in addition to call.

If you are interested in taking advantage of Apple Messages for Business and offering to message to your customers, there are 2 steps. The first is to identify what Apple calls a Customer Service Provider, or CSP, and the second is to create a Business Chat account.

  1. A Customer Service Platform (CSP) is required to connect your business to the Business Messages service. A CSP provides the software and services necessary to allow your agents to respond to customer messages sent from the Messages app on Apple devices. Fortunately for you, Quiq is already an approved CSP and has many clients live on Apple Messages for Business.
  2. Register with Apple and create a Business Chat account (BCA). Quiq will be your guide throughout this process.

A significant shift in the way consumers communicate with brands is happening, with Apple leading the charge. Message Suggest takes Apple Messages for Business to the next level by proactively offering consumers the option to chat/message with a company instead of calling. Your customers will be happier and your business will be more efficient!

As an authorized Apple Customer Service Provider, Quiq helps brands present their customers with consistently jaw-dropping customer experiences across SMS/text messaging, Apple Messages for Business, Google Rich Business Messaging, web chat, and social channels.

With Quiq’s Conversational Engagement Platform, companies can easily orchestrate commerce and service conversations involving both bots and humans. For more information about Quiq, contact us today.

Q: Which devices display the Message Suggest phone sheet?

Message Suggest appears on iPhones with iOS 13 or higher installed.

Q: What can be customized with Message Suggest?

Each registered phone number in Message Suggest can have its intent ID, group ID, and body parameter customized. You can also create custom call-to-action texts and display chat hours. Quiq can help you customize these configurations to fit your needs.

Q: On my website or app, can I have buttons or text-formatted phone numbers bring up the Message Suggest UI?

No. Apple requires you to use a certain telephone URL format for Safari mobile browsers and native apps. Talk to a Quiq representative for additional information.

Apple Messages for Business is a powerful way to deliver a positive, engaging experience for customers, and the right platform makes rich messaging management seamless. Quiq representatives will help you register with Apple Messages for Business and implement the service within your system. Request a demo of Quiq to get started today.

Apple Business Chat MSP (Messaging Service Provider): How to Get Started

Today’s smartphones and tablets offer new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers traveling through the buying journey. Customers researching a business on their iPhones or iPads have the option of contacting a business through the messages icon that appears in map and search results. Apple Business Chat facilitates these messaging conversations.

Apple Business Chat software allows customers to use a familiar text messaging interface and receive richer responses compared to in-person interactions. For example, employee representatives can offer to schedule appointments, share product listings, and collect feedback. The ability to complete transactions securely through RCS messaging is another advantage of Apple Business Chat.

To start using Apple Business Chat, businesses must first register with Apple and partner with an approved Messaging Service Provider (MSP).

What is an Apple Business Chat Messaging Service Provider (MSP)?

A Messaging Service Provider (MSP) manages customer message routing between Apple Business Chat and the business. Think of a MSP as an intermediary that allows a customer service team to respond efficiently from their desktops to what customers send from their iOS Messaging apps.

Apple lays out several requirements for messaging platforms if they are to become approved MSP’s. A platform needs to demonstrate it can identify customer intent from messages and queue, prioritize, and route the customer to the right members of a customer support team. The platform must also support asynchronous messaging channels other than Business Chat, and its team must offer resources to help clients become launch-ready for Apple’s rich messaging service.

There are other Apple guidelines to qualify for MSP approval, but perhaps most important is a platform’s ability to manage and monitor multiple channels while collecting customer metrics. Quiq has holistic features that classify interactions and route messages to support agents, integrate with CRM solutions, and organize a complete customer history within the UI.

Why Deploy Apple Business Chat?

Apple Business Chat makes it easy for consumers to initiate a conversation with a company when searching for a business through Maps, Safari, Search or Siri or even in the businesses’ own app. Business Chat allows consumers to ask a question about a product or service, or complete a transaction using Apple Pay. With Apple Business Chat it’s easier to reach a live person and consumers are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business.

“The things that make text messaging the most popular communication channel with family and friends also make it the preferred medium for customers to engage with companies,” said Mike Myer, CEO and Founder of Quiq. “Adding support for Apple Business Chat allows connected customers to engage with businesses in a way that is personal, frictionless, and easy, using the Messages app on iOS. Companies using Quiq will simply have access to a new messaging channel within the Quiq Messaging platform.”

Today, consumers prefer business messaging over any other form of communication to engage with businesses and a lot of companies have had to sit up and take notice. As mobile browsing and chat interactions continue to grow and overtake traditional channels business messaging, especially through rich communication services like Apple Business Chat has quickly become more than a nice-to-have for companies.

What you need to get started with Apple Business Chat

To get your company started with Apple Business Chat, Apple requires businesses to set up a Business Chat Account, but before they do so, they should follow these steps to ensure a smooth approval process with Apple.

First, your company should outline the business need to support starting a Business Chat Account. This should provide a very clear explanation for why you want to enable Business Chat for your customers as well as outlining a process for how to identify and authenticate customers within Business Chat. If this sounds a little technical, it’s because it is, which is why it is essential (and required) to have an Apple Business Chat Messaging Service Provider (MSP).

There are very specific requirements for the type of account your business will choose to enable with Apple and applications are reviewed carefully. To qualify for a Business Chat Account, you must have an asynchronous messaging platform staffed by live agents during business hours. An Apple Business Chat partner, like Quiq, can help navigate the process and requirements set by Apple to get started with setting up a Business Chat Account.

Quiq was one of the early Messaging Service Provider (MSP) to support Apple Business Chat, which is a new way for users to communicate directly with businesses using the native iOS Messages app on iPhone and iPad.

Once you have addressed the business need, outlined a plan to support inbound Apple Business Chat conversations, and selected an Apple Business Chat CSP, you’re ready to create a Business Chat Account.

As a part of getting your Business Chat Account submitted, your business will want to set up an internal testing account. This gives your business an opportunity to see and test Apple Business Chat internally prior to exposing it to your customers. At this point, you will need to have chosen an Apple Business Chat MSP, in order to proceed with testing. With your internal testing account, you’ll then be able to send and receive messages through your MSP. As an additional resource, Apple has provided a step-by-step guide to Getting Started with Business Chat.

Why Work With Quiq To Implement Apple Business Chat?

Apple recommends that businesses decide which approved MSP will connect their customers to their live agents while waiting for Business Chat Account approval. It’s a good time to get acquainted with Quiq’s capabilities with Apple Business Chat.

Quiq is built around asynchronous messaging, aligning with Apple’s platform requirements, and is an Apple-approved Customer Service Platform. With Quiq, you can seamlessly integrate with your internal system or choice of customer engagement software and offer rich media experiences through text messaging.

Quiq has helped many clients start utilizing the advantages that Apple Business Chat has to offer. Quiq representatives get to know each client’s goals, and a Quiq implementation specialist guides each client through the Business Chat registration process.

Quiq also provides the support clients need to branch out into other SMS, web, and social messaging channels. Our Conversational Customer Engagement Platform supports many customers’ preferred messaging channels. With Quiq, you can begin providing an enhanced customer experience with Apple Business Chat or another business messaging channel and manage cross-platform conversations easily.

Ready to get started?

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with friends and family. In return, companies get a digital engagement platform to communicate with customers. Try it out yourself today with a free demo!

Top 6 Digital Customer Service Messaging Channels in 2020

The number of unique business communication channels has grown significantly and continues to expand (what seems like every day). We’ve listed the 6 most common ways customers prefer to message with businesses. 

It may seem overwhelming to decide which customer interaction channels to use but it should be known that getting started is easy. Whether your business is interested in opening up several messaging channels, or just one, communicating with customers over messaging can be a breeze. Here are our top picks for digital customer service communication channels in 2020.

1. SMS/Text Messaging

The number one channel today, by far, is SMS/text messaging. The difference between how consumers view and respond to email vs text is night and day. Consumers are conditioned to ignore an email with an irrelevant, salesy headline, but they are accustomed to reading every text message that is sent to their mobile phone. This makes conducting customer service and sales over text a reliable method for businesses. Business text messaging benefits from high open rates and fast average response times, which is a significant advantage over traditional emails.

2. Web Chat

Web chat allows users to connect with agents or custom chatbots directly from your website. It is critical for many businesses to deliver round-the-clock support and address specific questions users are having with online purchases, before they go somewhere else. Web chat should be a critical component to ensuring your business is available to accommodate whichever customer communication channels are preferred when conducting research or making a purchase.

3. Apple Business Chat

Apple devices allow customers to contact businesses through the Messages app native to Apple iPhones, iPads, or Macbooks. These conversations offer richer messaging experiences customers have come to expect. Consumers can initiate the conversation in all the places they are familiar with on their devices from listings in Safari, on Maps, or by asking Siri. An added benefit to richer customer conversations is customers are able to use integrated functions like Apple Pay, where businesses can provide secure purchasing options directly from within the messaging window.

4. Google’s Business Messages

Google’s Business Messages allows businesses to send visually compelling messages, making conversations come alive with a more interactive and dynamic messaging experience. Business Messages can help consumers schedule appointment times, complete transactions, receive real-time updates and notifications, and complete product reviews. Plus, it’s compatible across all Android-enabled devices so your business doesn’t have to worry about creating different integrated experiences.

5. Facebook Messenger

According to Facebook, over 20 billion messages are exchanged over Messenger between consumers and businesses each month, signaling high engagement. Facebook Messenger provides a private channel for customers to contact businesses directly (as opposed to public comments). Displaying the coveted “Very Responsive Badge” on your business page will reassure customers they can get the support they need at a moments notice. Messenger is a rich media platform that supports image and video exchange, chatbot implementation, and lead generation templates, offering plenty of flexibility and personalization to service customers.

6. Twitter Direct Messages

Twitter’s popularity makes it another valuable customer interaction channel for wide-ranging demographics. In addition to a private conversation channel, Twitter can link from tweets to Direct Messages, establish custom welcome messages, and collect feedback on the customer experience.

Connect With Your Customers Effectively

In this list of channels for customer care and conversations, it may seem there is no shortage of ways for customers to be able to message you.  As we stated from the beginning, while enabling every available messaging channel shouldn’t be the goal, it is easy for businesses to explore new customer communication channels with the help of a business messaging platform. These platforms allow customer service agents to manage customer conversations all in one place. By enabling agents and customers to connect across multiple messaging channels, your business is encouraging convenience, engagement, and efficiency – for both the customer and your customer service team.

To manage this process smoothly, Quiq provides a multi-channel approach to unify your messaging channels and monitor success. Our platform integrates seamlessly with today’s digital customer service channels, and its many features provide valuable, personalized connections with your customers. Schedule a live demo to see the platform in action today.

Rich Messaging: Make Online Shopping A Conversation

The term doesn’t refer to communication reserved solely for the elite, but rich messaging does rank highly among the most effective ways to engage customers today. Rich messaging (or Rich Communication Services or RCS) adds personalization, branding, and interactivity to 2-way messaging conversations , which even in its current SMS form, has very high open rates. Let’s cover the uses and benefits of rich messaging and how this service can enhance the customer experience as a whole.

What Is RCS Messaging?

Rich Communication Services messaging is a new way to exchange a text with added functionality. Consider RCS an upgrade to the simple plain-text format that SMS consisted of during the early years of mobile messaging when 160 characters was the limit.

With RCS, it’s possible to:

  • Attach large files and interactive media such as images, videos, digital promotions, and sign-ups
  • Shop and place orders
  • Schedule appointments
  • Complete secure transactions
  • Include option menus, response suggestions, or next steps
  • Leverage device components like a mobile camera to capture augmented reality, or GPS to display store location on a map

It’s expected that RCS will likely surpass SMS in time as the main protocol for messaging services. Right now, the use of rich messaging has risen dramatically in the digital marketplace, particularly in retail, consumer goods, and consumer services.

The two primary providers of these rich communication services are Apple and Google with Apple Business Chat and Google Messages. Businesses getting started will need to work with a Customer Service Platform like Quiq to enable using these communication services with their customers.

How Rich Messaging Drives Conversions

The biggest benefit of RCS for businesses is the ability to send more sophisticated texts for better branding and customer service. The numerous features of RCS give the digital customer experience a personal touch. The organization or the platform itself provides the methods to fine-tune the message for each recipient, and even account for customer data like the customers location or

Additional benefits of rich messaging services include:

  • Convenient product displays: Send carousel galleries or expandable pages for customers to scroll through
  • Direct assistance: Convert questions or complaints into actionable solutions in one conversation
  • Fast, personalized answers: Whether through a chatbot or live agent, customer requests are fulfilled without navigating out of the messaging window
  • Skip directly to the bottom of the buyer funnel: Provide sufficient information to make a sale without customers dialing a number or visiting a store

Improved Satisfaction With Faster Service and Richer Communication

Today, customer satisfaction hinges on timely, accurate, and useful information. RCS is beneficial for times when the full picture matters in the final purchasing decision — like the appearance of home decor — or when busy customer schedules make speedy applications or appointments a necessity.

Altogether, implementing rich messaging makes it more convenient for both businesses and consumers to exchange information. With the ability for businesses to respond in these more modern ways, they are then able to be faster and more tailored in their communications, and these richer experiences make it easy for customers to complete transactions and want to come back for more.

Deploy Rich Messaging in Your B2C Engagement With Quiq

Quiq makes enabling rich messaging as easy as sending a text message as it recognizes and sends the richest form of message possible, whether RCS or SMS, based upon device capabilities. To see the potential for yourself, schedule a live demo today.

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