How to Rewire Omnichannel Service with Messaging

Omnichannel customer service is changing.

It used to be about being everywhere. About connecting your in-store customer experience to your website to your social channels. Omnichannel meant that your customers would get the same excellent customer experience no matter where they found you.

As customer behavior changed, more businesses moved online—and so did customer service.

Customers are harder to get, harder to please, and harder to retain. So omnichannel messaging is bringing the complete purchase experience to the customer.

While it’s critical that customers can still reach you on any of their preferred channels, now they can also complete the entire customer journey—including purchases—right from their messaging apps.

First, let’s discuss traditional omnichannel customer service and how you can level up your customer experience.

Your customers don’t want to be treated like strangers.

What’s the most important factor about omnichannel customer service? Personalization.

Delivering “in-store” customer service isn’t enough. Customers want the experience of a small-town, high-end boutique. They want personalized recommendations, purchase history, and some personal information available to agents whenever they engage with customer service.

An overwhelming 75% of respondents want a customer service agent to know who they are and their purchase history. And this isn’t a new expectation—it has remained steady for the past five years.

Yet it’s still far from customers’ reality. In Microsoft’s 2020 survey, respondents reported that only occasionally (31%) did the agent have this information.

The customer service stakes are higher than ever.

While online shopping has made it easier than ever to connect with your customers, it’s also made it easier for them to jump ship. According to Zendesk, 60% of customers are willing to walk away after just one bad experience. It’s a scary statistic that we often repeat. In the online e-commerce world, it doesn’t take much to shatter brand loyalty.

And omnichannel is an expectation—not a benefit.

The same Zendesk survey reported that 72% of customers expect agents to have access to all relevant customer information. That often includes when the customer checks in for the first time after a purchase, talks to a new agent, or switches communication channels.

These high expectations extend to omnichannel service. 73% of customers want the ability to start a conversation on one channel and pick it back up on another.

How is messaging changing the omnichannel strategy?

More and more messaging channels are popping up and gaining popularity every day, and it’s changing the omnichannel landscape. There are two significant factors influencing omnichannel strategies:

1. Customers are eager for help.

More channels mean more access to customer services—and consumers are open to it. Zendesk reports that 64% of U.S. customers want help when buying or returning an item. Before, customers might have been more likely to choose various chat options. Now, they’re more willing to reach out to customer service, even for simple transitions.

2. Customers are more likely to jump around on channels.

According to a 2021 survey from Airkit, 40% of consumers have used three or more conversation channels to engage with customer service. Customers want to be able to connect with your customer service team wherever they are, without leaving the app. Since they’re becoming more comfortable switching apps, your customer service team needs to be able to keep up.

The benefits of omnichannel customer service.

While omnichannel once meant having a seamless in-store and web experience, it’s expanded to include the multitude of communication channels available on the web and mobile devices.

The majority of customers use 3 to 5 channels to get their issues resolved, according to Zendesk. And since they’re bouncing around channels, your team must be able to serve them anywhere they are.

Take a look at the benefits of introducing and perfecting an omnichannel strategy.

Meet your customers everywhere.

When customer service issues strike, your customers never have to go far to find you. Not only will this please your customers, but it’ll also expand your reach.

The same can be said for when the inspiration to make a new purchase strikes. If your customers are able to make a purchase from anywhere, whenever they want, you have a better chance of making the sale.

Deliver a flawless customer experience.

Improve customer satisfaction and meet high expectations when you deliver a true omnichannel experience. Your ability to help customers with their specific problems on whichever channel they prefer improves overall customer satisfaction—and increases the likelihood they’ll buy from you again.

Increase selling opportunities.

Every touchpoint with a customer is an opportunity to increase sales. According to Zendesk, 51% of customers are open to product recommendations from agents. Agents can use the interaction to cross-sell additional products, recommend items based on the customer’s purchase history, or provide an opportunity to renew subscriptions.

Collect more relevant customer information.

Since omnichannel service relies so heavily on continued conversations and customer history, it gives your team an opportunity to collect information on customer behavior. Use this information to make key decisions on which products to buy, how to talk to your customers, and how to improve customer service.

How to improve your omnichannel strategy.

From omnichannel marketing to customer service, you need a well-rounded plan that can serve your customers across the web.

Dive into these omnichannel service strategies and tips to elevate your customer experience.

Be omnichannel, not just multi-channel.

To truly be omnichannel, you need to provide a united front—a seamless customer experience. Customers don’t see a company as individual departments but as an overall brand. They expect consistency in their experience, whether their issue is about the latest sales promotion or dealing with a support complaint.

In order to provide the best customer experience, you have to eliminate the silos and truly provide a singular experience across channels and issues.

How do you achieve this internally? Make sure the lines of communication are open, and departments share systems, goals, and metrics. A unified and consistent approach to service will be a significant step forward in improving the customer experience.

Don’t pick channels over service.

Despite the name, omnichannel customer service doesn’t mean you have to be on every messaging and social platform. It’s more about giving your customers a frictionless experience from one channel to the next. So start with quality first, and increase the number of channels accordingly.

A great (bad) example to look at is live chat. Live chat is a great tool when used correctly, and it can give customers an experience similar to what they’d expect from in-store shopping.

And while most companies have a live chat component on their website, many don’t give it the attention it needs to be successful. This leads to long wait times to chat with an agent or ineffective chatbots that are little more than glorified FAQ search engines.

The moral of the story? Don’t prioritize new channels over customer service.

Pick the right channels for your customers.

You likely already have an idea of which channels your customers use frequently. (If you don’t, your marketing team probably does.) A common rule of thumb is that older demographic groups prefer traditional channels like voice, Millennials prefer text, and Gen Zers opt for social channels like WhatsApp.

However, that’s changing. With technology adoption increasing, more and more people—no matter their age—are using a variety of communication channels. The best option? Ask your customers! Use those valuable insights to focus on the channels your customers are the most active.

Then, make sure you staff, resource, and empower your employees in those channels to best represent the brand.

Ensure customer service agents have information at their fingertips.

This is the key to making an omnichannel customer service experience work. Information like purchase history and previous conversations is what will help your customer service team connect with customers.

Make sure customer service agents have access to a CRM and conversation history right from within their messaging platform, no matter which channels your customers are using.

Include self-service in your omnichannel strategy.

Many businesses think of self-service as a static FAQ page or web forum that’s wholly separate from your omnichannel strategy. But self-service is just another channel you can offer customers when they’re looking for answers.

In fact, many customers prefer it. Microsoft reports that 86% of respondents expect a self-service option, and two-thirds try self-service before contacting a live agent. Investing in your self-service options will not only improve customer satisfaction, but it’ll also lighten the load on your customer service team.

Lean into omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel doesn’t stop with customer service. The benefits of omnichannel marketing mirror those of omnichannel customer service. Marketing through communication channels, like SMS/text, can help your business connect with customers on their terms.

And when combined with payment integration features, customers can complete the entire customer journey without ever leaving their preferred messaging channel.

Quiq: Your omnichannel solution.

It takes a few key capabilities to have a successful omnichannel presence. Your customer service team needs access to customer information and the ability to continue conversations across channels.

With a multi-channel conversational engagement platform like Quiq, you can serve customers however they prefer from one simple solution.

Omni-Channel Customer Service

Omni-Channel Service: The Customer-Driven Path Forward

The Omni-channel experience has been hailed as the Holy Grail of customer service for a great reason. It provides the highest level of seamless, personalized customer experiences.

Studies have shown that companies with an omni-channel program enjoy 24% greater annual returns in company revenue and a 55% decrease in the number of customer complaints. As stated by Aberdeen: “Omni-channel programs are not hype or a temporary best practice.  When implemented properly, omni-channel serves as a key long-term differentiator.” All the evidence points to the fact that the omni-channel experience is a “must have”, not a “nice to have”. However, it is important to note that less than 1% of all organizations have deployed an omni-channel strategy.

Focus on What You Can Control

Tip 1: Present a Unified Front

Customers don’t see a company as individual departments, but an overall brand. They expect consistency in their experience, whether their issue is about the latest sales promotion or dealing with a support complaint.  In order to provide the best customer experience, it is imperative to eliminate silos. Make sure the lines of communication are open internally and that departments share the common systems, goals, and metrics. Providing your frontlines with the authority to do what is in the best interest of the customer and company will ensure small issues don’t blow up into social media nightmares. A unified and consistent approach to service will be a significant step forward to improving the customer experience.

Tip 2: Quality First, More Channels Second

Of course customers want you to be where they are, but it is counterproductive to be somewhere and not effectively serve your customers. A prime example of this is live chat. While a growing number of companies are offering chat, a good channel option, it must be resourced correctly.  In many cases, customers have to wait for an agent to join a chat session, or they receive the dreaded “Not Available” screen, or they start a chat conversation and walk away from their computer for a moment only to come back and find the chat closed. All this showcases that companies are not efficiently managing resources and are spreading themselves too thin. Customers can forgive you for not offering a channel at all, but they won’t forgive bad service on channels you do offer. The lesson here is that customers do not care about the breadth of your “omni-ness”, but rather about the quality of the service delivered. It’s better not to be in a channel at all if you’re not able to do it well.

Tip 3: Pick the Right Channels

More channels do not necessarily equal greater success. However, being in the right channels for your customer, does.  Make sure you know which channels your customers want to engage you on and focus on those first.  How do you know the right ones?  Do you keep phone support, cut email support, and add messaging? Study your customers. Understand not only their age demographic, but also how and when they typically try to connect with your organization. Other option is to just ask your customers! Based on that valuable insight, focus on the channels where you know your customers are most active and would benefit from direct, two-way communication with your company. Then, make sure you staff, resource, and empower your employees in those channels to best represent the brand.

Tip 4: Quality Service Over Quantity

Many companies are subscribing to the philosophy that more channels are better.  Too many channels actually strain resources.  A Harvard business study reveals that customers are actually very flexible; few customers care about the means they use to engage companies. Most choose to make contact through whatever channel they perceive best meets their needs for the specific task. In fact, the same Harvard study found that only 16% of customers are “means-focused” (committed to a certain channel of preference, regardless of rather it fits the task), while 84% of customers are “ends-focused” (focused on solving their issue, regardless of the channel used).  So, limit your customer service channels to the ones you can support well.  Once again, customers can forgive you for not being there, but they won’t forgive a bad customer service experience.

Tip 5: Try New Channels

While the phone remains the go-to communication method of choice for some difficult or urgent use cases, text messaging and Facebook Messenger channels are fast gaining acceptance, and not just with millennials. All age groups are using SMS/text messaging more than ever. In fact, the fastest growing channel is “text messaging”. A recent Forrester study highlights that “The pervasiveness and familiarity of text messaging makes it an ideal channel to win, serve, and retain customers who require assistance from a contact center agent.” Consumers agree. In one study, 66% of respondents said that one of the reasons they preferred to send a text to a company’s customer service department was because it was less time-consuming. In addition, 42% said they preferred to do so because it was more convenient than using the telephone, and nearly a third said that sending a text was less frustrating than calling the company.

Summary

While the omni-channel experience may be the holy grail of customer service, the true prize is a loyal customer.  The priority should always be to provide a helpful, positive experience that will enhance the relationship with a customer.  Therefore, continue striving for customer service excellence.  Dedicate the resources, embrace relevant new technologies, and know your customer’s channel preference.  The investment will ultimately be worth it.

How a Premium Jeweler Drove 40X Return on Ad Spend

The Challenge

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

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

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

The Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Results

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

Once users entered the experience, they were highly engaged:

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

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

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

 

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Customer Service Tips: Facebook Messenger for Business

We can all agree that the advent of social media forever changed how consumers engage with companies. Over a relatively short time, consumers gained access to public platforms on which to voice their thoughts and opinions. With this newfound megaphone, consumers’ opinions, once constrained to their close friends and family, can now reach the eyes and ears of the world. In the best of cases, consumers promote and propel a new company or service to success, and in the worst, consumers damage a brand’s reputation for years. 

The discussion about whether or not to offer customer support over social media has been debated inside the walls of every organization. Social media as a customer support channel has become fairly standard. Major brands aren’t just adopting social customer service; they’re making it a priority. Did you know that 67% of companies believe social customer service is the most pressing short-term priority for the contact center (Forrester)? This is largely due to the fact that over two-thirds of customers who contact a company on social media, do so for customer service (J.D. Power).

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The Benefits of Using Facebook Messenger

Facebook marketers can take advantage of a wide range of opportunities when they use Messenger to facilitate communication with consumers. Social media marketing with Messenger offers several benefits.

  • Improve Customer Accessibility: Statistics indicate that about 2.7 billion people use Facebook regularly. This creates a fantastic opportunity to use messenger chatbots and agents for brand-building and customer support. As long as someone has a Facebook account, they can easily reach service representatives at any time.
  • Build Trust With Customers: Consumers like having the option to contact businesses through messaging platforms. If a support representative is willing to engage in honest conversations and listen to customer needs, those customers will be more likely to trust the brand in the future. 
  • Answer Questions Quickly: While phone and email communication can be slow and tedious, instant messaging can help consumers receive the answers they need much faster. Messenger bots can provide answers to simple inquiries within seconds, which helps save both time and money over the long term.
  • Increase Purchase Intent: In some cases, the only thing stopping a consumer from making a purchase is a lack of information. If they can find that information easily, they’re often more likely to buy. Facebook IQ marketing solutions help businesses connect with shoppers on a more personal level. While it’s easy to get a consumer’s attention, keeping their attention takes a little more time and effort from customer support.

Tips for Using Facebook Messenger for Business

With Facebook’s continued investment in Messenger, which allows customers to engage with companies via private messages, the question is no longer about whether customer service should be offered on social platforms like Facebook, but how to offer this type of social support most successfully. While some companies are cautious when it comes to using Facebook Messenger for business, consumers are actively seeking help on this channel.

Consumers want to message companies how and whenever they want, and companies must figure out how to best handle this latest consumer expectation. How should a company prepare to launch Facebook Messenger as a customer support channel? Here are eight tips to consider:

1. Be Responsive

The first thing to prepare for is the customer’s expectation for a quick response.

To give you an idea of what to shoot for, let’s dive into a business Facebook Page. Have you ever seen the Very responsive to messages badge? This badge shows which Pages respond quickly and consistently to private messages. To get the badge, a page must have both a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes or less, consistently over seven days. Even if this badge isn’t a goal for your business, it does provide insight into what “responsive” means in 2017.

Also, know that customers want 24/7 support—issues don’t stop happening on nights and weekends. A study from Convince & Convert found that among those respondents who have attempted to contact a brand, product, or company through social media for customer support, 57% expect the same response time at night and on weekends as during normal business hours.

That’s a tall order! But adding messaging actually makes your customer support team more efficient.  Not only that, you will see a shift from inbound phone calls to messaging, a significantly less expensive channel. Be sure to respond quickly to your customers over messaging, just as you do with your other channels.

2. Understand Customers Control the Cadence

There are many reasons a customer may engage a business via Messenger:

  • tracking a shipping date,
  • having trouble logging in,
  • checking the status of a return,
  • pre-purchase questions, or
  • trying to resolve an issue.

Helping customers on their preferred channel, in their preferred time frame, can give customer support CSAT scores a boost. But to communicate on Messenger effectively, businesses need to understand the difference in cadence with this channel.

With all other channels (phone, email, web chat) the company is able to control some or most of the interaction speed. Using Messenger for business, and messaging in general, is different. Customers control the pace of the conversation, not the company. Because customers will message a business just like they do a friend, they will expect companies to respond similarly. If the customer is active and highly engaged, messaging quickly, they will expect your agents to follow suit.  However, if they constantly shift gears and thus the pace of the interaction because life gets in the way, they will expect you to adjust as well.

Customers should have no question about how to contact Facebook Messenger support for your business—sending the first message should be all it takes to get the ball rolling. Make sure to enlist a solution that helps agents easily and efficiently manage the flow and cadence of conversations. Look for a multi-conversational interface that proactively prompts agents on how to effectively handle multiple messaging conversations simultaneously, all at the pace of each customer

3. Offer More Than Facebook Messenger Support

In addition to being a great customer service solution, Messenger can also be a powerful pre-sales resource. A potential customer perusing your Facebook page, may not want to ask a question on your wall because it is such a public forum. Messenger is an avenue for potential customers to ask questions privately while they’re considering making a purchase. Giving customers a high-touch and responsive experience can provide them just what they need to pull the trigger on a purchase.

Make sure agents are ready to answer questions, provide suggestions, and guide customers through their purchase experience without being too pushy. Customers will be turned off if they feel they’re being pressured, but appreciate thoughtful suggestions to help them along their purchase decision path. Providing an effective Facebook Messenger support system is a great way to provide users with the support they’re looking for via their preferred communication channels. 

4. Choose the Right Agents

Just as Facebook Messenger is frictionless for the customer to use, because your agents are also customers, they too are already comfortable with the channel.

It takes someone thoughtful in their communications to handle the art of responding on behalf of your organization over social media. Most companies have a healthy fear of social media channels such as Facebook, and although more private, this is still something to consider when using Messenger as a support channel. Make sure agents are well-versed in social support and receive coaching before setting them loose.

That said, a messaging solution can also be a fantastic training solution, if the technology allows behind the scenes coaching and collaboration. Managers can watch a conversation unfold or be available to help an agent in the background, without the customer knowing. And, with the correct system in place, an agent can transfer the conversation to their coach, or a manager can easily jump in take over a conversation if needed.

When the right agents, with good social media judgment, are in place, you can give them the power to get it all right with technology.

Those that contact Facebook Messenger support for your business should have a seamless experience, from initial contact to conclusion. When the right agents—and good social media judgment—are in place, Messenger can be an effective way to improve customer outreach and support.

5. Take Advantage of Multimedia

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so goes customer support! Facebook Messenger is a rich, multimedia-capable channel that includes emojis, images, videos, and stickers. Customers send their friends and family photos to help explain things more easily, so give them the opportunity to interact with customer support in the same way.

Agents should feel prepared and comfortable to send and receive images and videos to help them get to the bottom of an issue.  The ability to use images and emojis, coupled with text shortcuts or snippets, can shorten the interaction time, solving the issue faster and at a higher satisfaction level. Set agents up with a stockpile of relevant media, or give them the ability to snap photos and video on the fly to handle common issues.

Also, don’t overlook the personalized touch of using emojis! Tactfully using emojis or stickers in messages is an easy way to infuse personality and emotion into support interactions.

6. Manage Expectations

Diving headfirst into a new Facebook Messenger marketing strategy can be a major risk, especially when a retailer implements new technology. Setting realistic goals is an essential part of the process to ensure customer service agents can stay up to date and collect valuable feedback. Without proper expectation management, retailers are likely to overextend their budgets and resources, which can lead to losses.

Messenger communication requires marketers to develop a plan, a proper ad campaign, and a unique voice. There are many factors to consider, such as automated solutions and Facebook Messenger’s range of features, which can all have an effect on overall performance and success. 

Facebook Messenger marketers may set up automated messages for common questions that shoppers ask. They may want to create a detailed management plan for their messages and customer interactions. These can be achieved over time with the proper tactics and resources in place.

It’s important for retailers to establish realistic expectations for Facebook marketing strategies and set accommodating goals. By creating small goals and reaching for them one at a time, industry leaders can transition to new strategies without running into as many delays.

7. Establish a Protocol for Messages

The debate of which department should own social media has occurred since Facebook’s inception. By now your company likely has a process for addressing inbound support inquiries, product comments, customer posts, and outbound social engagement on your Facebook page, and whether it’s the role of customer service or marketing to jump in depending on the situation.

Many, if not most, inbound messages you receive in Messenger will be support or pre-sale inquiries. Make sure to work closely with marketing to establish a protocol that ensures timely, knowledgeable responses by the right people. Or opt to have customer support own the Messenger platform all together!

8. Launch This New Channel

After Messenger is enabled, make sure customers can find you. Of course, your customers will be able to send you a message by clicking the “Send Message” button that’s now on your page. But it’s important to also make sure your business page username (indicated with the @ symbol before it), is also set. This will help customers find your business on both Facebook and the stand-alone Messenger app.


Another option is to use Messenger Links, which use a Page’s username with the URL (m.me/username) that, when clicked, opens a direct conversation with your business in Messenger. Simply add your username to the end of the m.me/ to create your Link.

Ever wondered what those crazy blue circles were that you keep seeing in Messenger? These are Messenger Codes, which work similarly to Messenger Links, but users scan the code using a phone camera to open a new message.

Take Advantage of Facebook Messaging

In a world of Facebook posts, instant messages, and chatbots, embracing the latest technology is the best way to build retail or eCommerce success. Millions of people send messages and scroll through Facebook every day using their mobile phones. This opens up the opportunity to reach consumers at any time from almost any location.

Quiq offers messaging software and automated solutions that retailers use to enhance customer service and social media strategies. For more information about Messenger chatbots or live messaging options, contact Quiq and request a demo today.

Best Practices for Implementing Messaging for Customer Service

It has been established that messaging is the highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction compared to all other communication channels. (eWeek).  However, like other service channels, messaging comes with a unique set of considerations when implementing it into your customer service centers.  This is why it is important to do a little prep work to help ensure successful adoption.  Three things to consider for a smooth implementation:

  1. Business Metrics and Goals
  2. Staffing and Training  
  3. Customer Adoption

Business Messaging Best Practices

Since most consumers communicate via phone and text, industry leaders are finding new ways to adapt by using high-quality messaging apps and software. Business messaging is a quick and convenient way to interact with customers in today’s competitive market. These four messaging best practices can help businesses transition smoothly to text communication.

1. Business Metrics and Goals

Aligning your goals for the messaging channel with your business objectives is the first step.  Make sure that there is alignment with all stakeholders.  Everyone should know why the company is offering messaging and the intended outcomes.  The best way to do this is to establish goals and baseline metrics from the beginning.  Some key goals and metrics would include:

Business Metric:  Cost Reduction

  • Goal 1: Offload phone calls to messaging channel
  • Goal 2: Increase agent productivity
  • Metrics: Monthly calls received, monthly calls presented to the agent, cost per contact per channel, # of inquiries per channel

Once the messaging channel is opened up to your customers, there will be a progressive transition from phone calls to messaging, typically in the 10-20% range to start, growing over time. Not only that, agents that work the messaging channel will be able to handle multiple conversations at once versus phone calls that must be 1-1. We have found, depending on the complexity of the inquiries, agents can handle approximately 10 simultaneous conversations. With the ability to include images and videos over messaging, agents can understand and solve problems faster. This increased agent productivity and efficiency, coupled with the shift from phone to messaging, results in significant cost savings for your organization.

Business Metric: Employee Productivity

  • Goal 3: Improve time to resolution
  • Metrics: Number incidents handled by day by agent, first contact resolution rate, time to first response

The pure nature of messaging can allow for faster interactions. They may not always be shorter per se, due to the pace the consumer engages, however the time it takes for the agent will likely be shorter than a phone call. Conversations are direct and to the point.  Because agents can easily manage multiple, simultaneous conversations, they are more productive than if they have to handle phone calls or emails. With the addition of images/video agents can understand and solve problems faster. Likewise, agents can send multi-media back to the customer allowing them to see the solution

Business Metric: Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

  • Goal 4: Increase CSAT by 5 points
  • Metrics: Customer satisfaction survey results, employee satisfaction results, resolution rate

The consumer is one of the most important factors for business representatives to consider when they implement new marketing or communication strategies. Research suggests that about 96% of Americans own a mobile phone, which means mobile can be a reliable way to stay in touch with customers. What matters most is that those consumers are satisfied after each purchase. A business can determine customer satisfaction by using the results of a CSAT score. 

Retailers can use messaging apps and unified communications solutions to evaluate customer value perception. This may include taking surveys and performing check-ins with consumers post-purchase. It’s possible to build up a CSAT score and find areas of improvement by collecting feedback from customers about push notifications and instant messages. With access to this essential data, business leaders can work toward solutions that allow them to provide the best possible customer experience. A retailer leader can also measure CSAT scores by surveying the satisfaction of service agents.

2. Staffing and Training

Staffing for a new channel like messaging is not as daunting as it seems. A great start is to gauge your current call volume. You can generally expect 10-20% of customers will select messaging over making a phone call once you make it known that it is available.  One popular option is to assign a set of agents to a single “live” channel, such as messaging, and then supplement their time with email. Some other best practices include:

  • Messaging Etiquette:  If you are using phone agents to now be messaging agents, be sure to test their writing skills. Depending on the demographics of your customer base, agents may need to adjust their voice to be more or less formal.  Additionally, their style of writing may require proper language use, which includes spelling and grammar, or they may need to freshen up on their texting shortcuts. Not only that, it may be wise to also consider a policy for emoji usage. The decision should be driven by the desired voice and persona of your brand.
  • Staff Training: There is not much training required at all for agents to step in and handle the incoming messages, particularly if you select a messaging solution that seamless integrates into your existing CRM solution. We all text multiple times a day and this is no different. Something to focus on instead are any pre-built messages that can be sent and having a small library of those available to leverage. For example, a standard greeting, response to an order status inquiry can be written ahead of time as pre-built snippets. Agents can then use shortcuts to quickly respond to common questions.
  • Access to other applications – Generally you will have the choice to integrate messaging into the primary application agents use or add messaging as a separate channel. Either way, be sure to take advantage of the messaging solution’s user interface. Quickly integrating one or more applications will save agents invaluable steps and time. For example, if agents need to access an order system or billing system or a knowledge base for nearly every interaction, make sure those are integrated into the messaging interface to eliminate clicks and save time.

3. Ensure Customer Adoption With Unified Communications

Finally, and most importantly, you need to let your customers know that messaging is now available. Some great ways to start are:

Inbound Communications

  • Phone
    • Inform customers as they are actively engaging with your organization
    • It is easy to let customers know they can now text or message your customer service team while they are on hold or as an intro message before routing them to the appropriate queue.
    • Even better, you can give customers the option, while they are in the IVR, to initiate a text instead to resolve their inquiry.
  • Website/In-Apps
    • Place the offer to message first and foremost on your mobile site, not just on the contact page.
    • Add the text button to both the Contact Us and Customer Service areas of your website.
    • On the main website, update any references to your phone number to include “Call or Text”.
  • Social Channels
    • You are likely ahead of your competition when it comes to adopting messaging, so promote this new offering on your social channels
    • Turn on Facebook Messenger and let customers know they can reach you with questions

Outbound Communications

  • SMS: The obvious first step is to determine if you would like to proactively communicate via SMS with your customers in addition to offering messaging as a support channel. If so, this is a fantastic opportunity to shift from marketing blasts to conversations with your customers.
  • Email: Many of our clients share the adoption of messaging as a way to engage with customers through their outbound email communications by including it in a newsletter or other promotion
  • Press Release: Many brands pride themselves on being innovative and leading their competition, so promoting this publically to demonstrate their commitment to the customer experience sets them apart
  • Direct Mail: Depending on your demographic, a messaging announcement can be included on a planned flyer
  • Registration: When customers sign up, register, or provide their personal information to you, ask them for their mobile phone number and tell them they can now be identified in the case they have any issues or questions and want to message your company. If you plan to use it for outbound communications, be clear to state that and of course, follow the CSAM and other opt-in/out requirements.

4. Monitor Results and Improve Accordingly

Developing a communication system is all about increasing customer value. The best way to enhance a business strategy is to monitor and use results properly. Constant improvement is the key to success in a market that relies on personalized customer experiences. Effective monitoring and analysis help customer service agents gain experience, and they can offer the tools necessary to improve cost management.
Providing consumers with post-purchase updates, alerts, technical support, and special offerings is easier than ever with the help of instant message platforms. Business improvement starts with gathering data and then using the results of these new strategies to make productive updates and changes. With this method, retailers can determine which aspects of their plans work and which ones have more room for development.

Consider these three tips as you explore instant message platforms.

  • Track Your Metrics: Industry leaders may use several metrics to measure the success of their messaging strategies. For example, the work time metric helps evaluate the amount of time that agents are spending with consumers and how long it takes for those consumers to receive answers to their questions. Other metrics to track include Net Promoter Score (NPS), upselling and cross-selling rates, and Revenue Per Customer (RPC). Keeping a record of these metrics from each month throughout the year will help customer service teams gather comprehensive, reliable data.
  • Share Results With Your Team: Analyzing information and making improvements is a massive team effort. Sharing results with the team and collaborating on solutions can be a valuable and insightful way to make decisions based on a set of information. It allows agents to consider new ideas and discuss key takeaways of the relevant trends. In addition, it can help customer service representatives understand their own strengths and weaknesses. This gives them the power to think more critically about how they can improve their services via message and phone.
  • Make Changes Based On Trends: The next step in the process is to create a plan with tangible goals. After they collect and analyze the information, it’s the responsibility of industry leaders to use this information productively. Creating a plan based on data from a communication platform allows industry leaders to improve efficiency, the timing of messages, agent performance, and presentation of information.

Get Started With Business Messaging

As you can see, once you establish your goals, the rest can fall into place rather seamlessly. Your team and your customers will truly appreciate the ability to communicate via this new channel.

In this series, we have talked about how important messaging is, how to select the best messaging vendor for you, and what to do when you are ready to implement – and we have enjoyed every minute of it!  SMS, text, Facebook Messenger, and chat…we love it and live it.  We have made our careers in helping drive improvements to customer service and the customer experience. Let us help you successfully add Messaging to your organization.  

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.

How to Choose the Best Live Chat Software for Your Business

A software investment of any kind takes due diligence, and purchasing live chat software should be no different. The live chat experience that you provide reflects the quality of your brand as a whole, which makes it critical to only use the best website chat software possible. When potential customers visit your website and want to get in touch with you, business messaging channels, such as live chat, are the fastest and easiest methods available.

Every live chat solution, in its simplest form, should make it possible for your company to connect with your customers while they are on your website. But that doesn’t mean every live chat solution is right for your business. In this post, we’ll take a look at how you can determine which website chat software is best for your business.

Determine Which Features are Important to You

There are some universal features you should expect when investing in any software such as:

  • Implementation guidance that can help you on a successful start and use of a product,
  • A history of reliability to avoid being plagued by downtime, and
  • A commitment to security, such as being SOC II compliant.

These features are just as important when purchasing live chat software. You’ll also want to consider answering questions about why you need a business messaging solution like live chat and what type of experience you want to deliver. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Where do people get hung up on my website? Do they need the most help searching for products, understanding pricing, booking an appointment, or placing an order?

Some companies choose to have chat available on specific pages, while others offer chat on every page. The live chat solution you choose should be able to provide both options.

  • Do I want to offer a reactive chat experience and let customers reach out whenever they need help or do I want a proactive chat experience that invites customers to chat with us?

No one will know your business better than you do. There is no one-style-fits-all for live chat. Ensure that you have the option to provide proactive or reactive chat to your customers.

  • Do I want to customize the look of my chat?

Your live chat should be a reflection of your site and your brand, so make sure you work with a platform that allows you to customize colors, greetings and other details within the chat experience to fit the look and feel of your company.

Answering these questions are a good and basic foundation for choosing the best live chat software for your business. Let’s take a look at some of the more advanced features of live chat that you’ll want to consider.

Critical Aspects of Successful Business Messaging Software

When customers visit your site and fire up your chat feature, they’re looking for a quick response time and quality service. No one wants to send off a message to a business and wait until you get a chance to get back to them. If that was the case, they would have sent an email.

Some wait time before chatting with a human might be acceptable, but why make it the rule when it could be the exception? A modern chatbot messaging solution allows instantaneous and high-quality responses that can seamlessly greet customers, gather information, and point customers in the right direction or even hand the conversation off to a human.

The ability to start a conversation, determine the intent, and route the conversation to the appropriate person, all before a human agent accepts it, make intelligent chatbots a non-negotiable attribute for any web chat software. Chatbots can offer suggestions based on customer feedback or route your visitors to the appropriate human agent if need be.

But chatbots are only one aspect of a multitude of advanced features to consider. Chat technology has evolved and now offers features that deliver a better experience for the customer and the agent. For example, Quiq’s messaging software can tell your agents which page your visitors are on when they click to chat with you, present their entire chat history with your company, and even monitor how the conversation is going based on sentiment analysis.

Look for Rich Messaging Solutions

Nowadays, communicating online goes far beyond text-based chat alone. Short videos have become a language in and of themselves, and entire conversations can be carried out through emojis. Chat software that includes rich messaging capabilities allows you to raise the bar when it comes to business chat, and offer more fun, immersive, and interactive experiences.

With rich messaging, you can complete transactions, schedule appointments, and even send rich media to engage your customers in a deeper way. Look for a web chat software that supports rich messaging so your business messaging can stand out.

Choose Capable Analytics

Business messaging can give important insights into what’s working and what’s not when it comes to products and promotional strategies. The data you gather from your company chats can be critical to developing new strategies and adjusting business processes.

The ideal web chat software should allow you to report on conversations, queues, or agent performance – human or bot. Look for a platform that lets you export your data or even integrate it into an existing business intelligence platform.

Only Settle for Asynchronous

Customers can’t always afford to stick around until the conclusion of a chat conversation. Asynchronous messaging platforms allow conversations to pick up where they left off, so they don’t have to endure the inconvenience of a chat conversation timing out and then restarting a new conversation. Your live chat solution should deliver a frictionless experience for your customers and allow them to set the pace of the chat. Quiq Messaging provides asynchronous communication across all supported channels, so even if your customer has to step away or gets distracted from the chat conversation, they can pick up right where they left off.

And the Winner Is…

When we take into consideration all of the factors listed above, there emerges one clear winner in the chat game. Quiq offers an all-encompassing messaging solution for businesses looking to drive conversions and provide more capable customer support. We’ve only scratched the surface on what Quiq can offer here — robust analytics, asynchronous conversations that provide a frictionless experience, and solid security all fall within the scope of this powerful platform.

When you’re ready to discover the true potential of business chat for your enterprise, schedule a demo today.

Quiq Customer Messaging Platform Video

Quiq is a leading-edge customer messaging platform that makes it easy for customers to engage with brands on SMS/text, web chat, social, and more. But it’s not just about having more conversations. It’s about more engagement, that’s more efficient than an email, faster than a phone call, and accessible across mobile devices.

We help you do more with the resources you already have through asynchronous conversations. You can reduce customer service costs by enabling your agents to handle multiple, simultaneous conversations, and power your sales team to address customer questions with lightning speed to expedite purchases.

Customer Messaging Across Multiple Digital Channels

Wherever your customers prefer to engage with you, every message is managed in a simple, robust workspace. Help your employees be more productive with intelligent features like conversation rules, routing, and smart replies that move conversations toward a faster resolution.

Quiq’s customer messaging platform video gives you a closer look at the solution that companies like Overstock, Brinks Home Security, and Cyprus Credit Union trust to expand their digital customer service. These clients and many others have used Quiq’s easy integrations with Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle Service Cloud, and others to upgrade their CRM.

Quiq’s Customer Messaging Platform and Chatbots

customer messaging platform video mobile and botsView the video to learn how chatbots are easily integrated into your customer messaging conversations. Quiq compliments your human agents, allowing them to focus on high-value interactions. Quiq is super flexible and works with native, custom, and third-party bots across all of your digital channels, collecting customer data, answering customer questions, and acting as an “always-on” agent.

Ready to see more? Request a short demo to see how to put messaging to work for you.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort: Expanding Its Customer Service Channels

Priding itself on a superior customer experience, Jackson Hole wanted to expand customer service channels to make sure its customers could reach them however they liked. Already providing customers the option to contact the resort via phone and email, it needed a more cost-effective live chat platform to complement these channels with text messaging. Allowing customers to choose whichever channel they prefer would align perfectly with the resort’s desire to deliver a premium experience.

Turning to Quiq, Jackson Hole rolled out a new text messaging and chat platform for its customers. Now when a customer is on the online store or brand site they are presented with the appropriate communication channel automatically. Customers can easily reach the resort by sending a text message from a mobile device or engaging in a live chat conversation if they are using a desktop computer.

“I am really pleased with how customers are using messaging to reach our staff for quick questions. This helps free up the reservationists to respond to customer questions that need to be answered via phone such as placing an order.”

Kim Essensa, Guest Services Manager

Answer Customers’ Questions Quickly

When customers have questions about tram hours or recent snow amounts, they simply just send a text message or start a live chat to get their questions answered quickly. Or customers can send a message to Jackson Hole’s guest services to put their minds at ease about when the lifts are up and running. It’s easy and fast, and exactly what customers have grown to expect in this world of instant information.

Because the Quiq messaging platform is so intuitive, reservationists can easily bounce between all channels. Training is a breeze with the staff picking it up within minutes. And by using the pre-built responses, managers can ensure customers receive a consistent and accurate response no matter which reservationist responds. Jackson Hole is seeing that the majority of its inbound inquiries are now in the form of text messages. And even more, phone calls have decreased and overnight email volume has dropped by 75%.

About

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a skier and snowboarder paradise with 4,136 continuous vertical feet, 2500 acres of the best beginner, intermediate, and expert skiing and snowboarding, and a genuine “Last of the Old West” feel.

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.

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Quiq Customer Spotlight: Learn How evo Uses Quiq Messaging

Customer Spotlight: evo & Quiq Messaging

evo, a leading online retailer of outdoor gear and fashion apparel is known for exploring the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music, streetwear, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking and wakeboarding. Their aim is to bring all things relevant to the urban, action sports lifestyle into one creative space.

Why Messaging?

Focused on going beyond the typical sales experience, evo knew it had to provide a cutting-edge support experience.  Based in Seattle, Washington, evo is a retailer that offers top-notch gear and clothing for outdoor sports enthusiasts.

When consumers had questions, they used to only be able to call or email the company to get an answer. Now, using Quiq Messaging, evo’s customers get swift responses via Facebook Messenger, live chat and text messaging-channels that are often preferred or more convenient for their active, on-the-go consumers.Six people in the snow sitting down

Easy For Customers to Engage

Some customers contact evo for help during the purchasing process with very specific product comparison questions. Others have questions about shipping and a possible return. While still others need technical help with a product they just purchased. Regardless of the question, evo’s customer care center is ready to answer. And customers are happy with the choices of channels over which to contact evo.

When a customer is on evo’s website, if an agent is available, the live chat image will automatically appear on the bottom-right of the desktop, making it easy for a customer to start a chat conversation. And, text messaging is offered on its mobile website. Customers are excited to be able to engage with evo via text messaging. It’s fast and it’s convenient.

“Certain people like to communicate via specific channels and with Quiq Messaging we are able to serve more people in the manner in which they want to engage. That’s a big win for us and our customers.”

Justin Courtney, Customer Care Manager, evo

Efficient For Agents

Top agents can easily handle live chat and text messaging conversations, on top of the phone calls and emails they are already answering.  Since Quiq supports live chat, text messaging, and Facebook Messenger, evo agents only have to log into one application. Quiq is so easy-to-use that all agents are able to support all channels.  During peak winter months, evo has the ability to dedicate agents to manage real-time interactions based on increased volumes to ensure response times are kept in-check.Inside the business

After introducing live chat, it immediately accounted for 11% of support inquires. Phone volumes dropped by 8% and emails inquires decreased by 3%. That trend has continued to follow the same track with Quiq’s live chat and text messaging solution, which now represents 22% of the overall support volume.

What the Future Holds

Looking ahead, evo plans to integrate Quiq Messaging with their NetSuite implementation to consolidate all customer contact data, which will both improve the customer experience and yield additional opportunities through improved reporting. They are also planning to build out the visibility and promotion of its new messaging capabilities on their mobile website.

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, Live Chat, and Kik for help with their pre-sales and post-sales questions. Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com.

Contact Us

Quiq Video: Messaging For Customer Service

Quiq Video: Messaging Platform for Customer Service

At Quiq, our focus is on improving the way customers communicate with companies. We believe mobile message-driven communications will replace a significant portion of traditional phone and email interactions. With this shift from higher cost phone calls to low cost messaging, companies will see significant cost savings. Our solution makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with their friends and family.  Because messaging is so convenient and easy for consumers, the customer satisfaction scores are higher than for any other channel. Lower costs, higher customer satisfaction – who can say no to that?

Expand Your Service Capabilities with Quiq

With Quiq Messaging, customers can engage customer service for help with their pre-sales questions and post-sales support. We support SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Web Chat, and Kik. Quiq Messaging can be purchased as a stand-alone customer channel or companies can take advantage of one of our pre-built CRM integrations, including Oracle, Zendesk, and Salesforce.

Customer Service Messaging Infographic

This customer service messaging infographic was developed from the results of a Quiq partnered 2017 U.S. research study with Market Strategies International to understand consumer’s interest, preference, and demand for using Messaging to engage with Customer Service organizations. 

See the full report…

Part 1: Four Reasons to Add Messaging to The Contact Center

The Messaging Mandate

This is Part 1 in a 3 Part Series focused on The Messaging Mandate. This article highlights why your company should consider adding Messaging to your customer service organization. Part 2 will discuss the criteria against which to rank consumer to business messaging providers.  Finally, Part 3 will outline what to consider to successfully implement messaging.  We hope you enjoy the series.

Messaging is not new…in fact, it has been around for quite some time.  We have been using messaging to send messages, photos, and emojis to our friends and family for over 20 years–to the tune of over 6 billion text messages daily in the U.S. alone (Forrester).  According to Pew Research, 97% of Americans use text messaging on a daily basis, making text the most widely and frequently used app on smartphones.  So if text messaging is not new, what is new? The answer: Consumers messaging customer service.

The vast majority of messaging occurs between individuals, friends, and family members. Messaging a company is just taking off. Business text messaging is simply the ability for consumers to contact businesses and exchange information over mobile devices. Messages can be sent as text (Short Message Service/SMS), pictures, video, or audio (Multimedia Messaging Service/MMS) over a variety of messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Kik, etc.

Done correctly, messaging is a powerful tool to help consumers connect with businesses – especially when it come to customer service.

1. Customers Expect It

Consumers are demanding the ability to communicate via messaging with brands and businesses.  Consumers don’t want to just receive messages from businesses, they want the ability to message them back.  No longer is messaging simply a one-way channel for companies to market to consumers. Customers now expect to be able to initiate a two-way, one-to-one conversations with the companies and brands they use.

In fact, the majority of U.S. consumers would prefer texting over the current methods of reaching customer support (eWeek).  As Forbes writer, Micah Solomon, stated: “ If your customers won’t even call Mom on the phone anymore (they’re texting her instead), why are you forcing them to call your business on the phone any time they need customer service or support?”  Consumers prefer messaging as a channel of communication and when given a choice, they use it.

2. It’s a Competitive Advantage

“The customer experience is the next competitive battleground.”
– Jerry Gregoire, Chief Information Officer at Dell.

According to Gartner, 89% of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience and the main driver of the customer experience lands smack dab in the middle of the customer service and support organization. In fact, Harris found that 88% of customers prefer doing business with a company that offers quality customer service over a company that has the latest and most innovative products.  A good product is expected of every company. Innovative and quality customer service is the competitive advantage.  

With the continued focus on delivering great experiences via customer service, it is critical that companies constantly innovate and adapt their service approach to exceed customer expectations. The interest, preference, usage, and demand for consumer-to-business messaging is already evident and companies that don’t already offer messaging are quickly falling behind.

Messaging is not only what consumers want, but it is also what businesses should want.  Adding messaging as a customer service channel delivers significant cost savings due to offloading phone calls, while improving customer satisfaction (CSAT).

3. Significant Cost Savings

Activating messaging for customer service not only provides a better experience for the customer, it is also much more efficient for agents compared to phone calls and emails. Messaging is cost-efficient and time-efficient for customer support teams for many reasons:

  1. Agent supported phone calls cost several dollars per conversation, while agent supported texts cost pennies per conversation. (Forrester & ContactBabel)
  2. Implementing a messaging channel allows companies the ability to deflect calls to a lower cost channel. It is common to see a 20% or higher offload of phone calls to messaging.
  3. Messaging allows each agent to handle multiple conversations simultaneously, improving productivity over one-to-one voice calls.  Additionally, agents can typically handle 6-8 messaging conversations at once due to the asynchronous nature of messaging, dramatically improving agent productivity.
  4. Agent familiarity and comfort- Messaging allows agents to use an interface they are already familiar with because they message their friends and families too. This makes it easy for agents to quickly come up to speed to support a new channel.

Customers want it. Agents understand it. It makes agents even more productive and saves you money. If your business isn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to activate Messaging to interact with customers, what could possibly be holding you back?

4. Higher Customer Satisfaction

We are now living in a world where businesses need to move past being customer-centric or customer-focused into being customer-obsessed (Forrester). Customer-obsessed companies focus on customer satisfaction and retention, understanding that these measurements are key metrics for any company trying to compete.

It is notable then that texting is the highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction compared to all other communication channels (Text – 90%; Phone – 77%; Facebook – 66%). (eWeek).

Why is text so highly rated? Because it blends the real-time answers of a phone call with the portability of a mobile device. The customer benefits from the convenience and control they get from messaging.  Their interaction with a company can happen at their pace, on their terms, instead of on the company’s terms. With messaging, consumers are able to get customer support at the speed of life.  

With mobile devices, customers can interact with an agent from wherever they are, even in places where there may not be an internet connection.  Unlike web chat, customers no longer need to be tied to their computer.  Wherever they go, the conversation can continue.   

While voice offers the advantage of “real time” interaction, it usually occurs after the customer has navigated an IVR system or been placed on hold.  Studies show that customers are increasingly frustrated by being placed on hold. Texting is as “real-time” as a voice call, but without the hold times.  The immediacy of communication brings about a feeling of connection and importance, allowing brands to be more human and relatable.

Conclusion

Consumer’s preference for messaging in both their personal and business lives continues to grow, with no end in sight.  They appreciate that texting is a fast and efficient customer support option, and expect businesses to respond accordingly.  Customers want real-time responses to their support issues. By adding messaging to your Contact Center, managers and agents have the tools necessary to provide a better customer experience, while saving money.

About Us

Quiq connects customers and companies via Messaging (Facebook Messenger, SMS, and Kik), resulting in more efficient customer service and happier customers.  Learn more about Quiq today at quiq.com, or email sales@goquiq.com for a free product demo.