Turning Chatbots Into Virtual Shopping Assistants

Turning Chatbots Into Virtual Shopping Assistants

These days, brick-and-mortar retail is quickly giving way to online shopping. By 2022, eCommerce sales are projected to reach over $850 billion — and it doesn’t seem like the growth of online shopping will be slowing down beyond that. Many consumers have a preference for convenient shopping experiences — and what’s easier than shopping from the comfort of home? However, what hasn’t changed is the fact that shoppers want assistance if they have a problem or question. That’s where virtual shopping assistants shine.

Virtual shopping assistants are support bots that can directly support consumers as they browse. While being available around the clock, these assistants can answer questions, resolve problems, and provide suggestions to consumers, all from the convenience of a chat window.

In this guide, we’ll provide all the details on virtual shopping assistants, including the benefits to shoppers and retailers, how retailers are using chatbots as virtual shopping assistants, and how to get started with Quiq.

What Are Virtual Shopping Assistants?

A virtual shopping assistant is essentially a chatbot that converses directly with online consumers. These assistants work by using a combination of machine learning and language processing software to understand shopper queries and match them with appropriate solutions. As these assistants conduct more conversations, they learn more about consumers’ preferences and language patterns, making the bot more effective over time.

Digital shopping assistants are commonly installed on a store’s website. When a new visitor comes to the website, these assistants automatically greet the shopper through a chat window, offering assistance and notifying them of any current promotions. The potential consumer can then type responses into the chat window to ask questions or request recommendations, which the assistant will answer in a matter of seconds.

Why Do Consumers Like Virtual Shopping Assistants?

Sixty five percent of American shoppers prefer self-service through tools like chatbots.

Virtual shopping assistants are quickly becoming a staple in the retail industry, especially with younger generations. There are many reasons for this preference, ranging from response time to personalized answers. As a result, 65% of American shoppers prefer self-service through tools like chatbots.

Here are a few specific reasons why consumers enjoy communicating with an online shopping assistant:

  • Quick responses: Digital shopping assistants provide instant answers to all questions a consumer may have. Chatbot assistants can pull information about orders and deliveries, provide recommendations, and even assist with common problems and complaints. If a shopper has a simple question, they won’t have to wait for a response to a customer support ticket, which can possibly deter them from making a purchase altogether.
  • Round-the-clock assistance: Virtual shopping assistants don’t have to work in a certain timeframe. These bots can provide information around the clock, no matter the time of day. Bots can also handle hundreds of inquiries at once, meaning consumers don’t need to wait for the next available agent to answer their questions. With a virtual assistant, consumers can get the answers they need when they need them.
  • Personalization: Chatbots can store information based on shoppers’ accounts, allowing for enhanced personalization. These virtual assistants can use data regarding a consumer’s past purchases and behaviors to make informed recommendations.
  • Faster experiences: Virtual assistants can quickly pull information to answer consumers’ questions, allowing consumers to make faster shopping decisions. Some chatbots even allow consumers to complete purchases from the chat window, making for a speedy shopping experience.

On top of these benefits, younger generations are more open to embracing new technologies like digital shopping assistants and are more excited to use platforms that integrate AI.

Benefits of Virtual Shopping Assistants for Retailers

Benefits of Virtual Shopping Assistants for Retailers

In addition to benefitting consumers, digital shopping assistants can also give retailers an edge in the market. These platforms help retailers achieve advantages like cost savings and increased sales, so an investment in chatbots makes a real difference. Additionally, retailers that want to be on the cutting edge of eCommerce technology can expect to reach and develop relationships with consumers who enjoy those new features.

Some of the most significant benefits online shopping assistants offer retail businesses include:

  • Cost savings: Virtual assistants take the workload off live agents by automatically handling the majority of inquiries. Instead of hiring new members for an internal support team, retailers can implement a virtual shopping assistant that handles most questions and complaints. This concept reduces the number of live agents needed, allowing them to focus on the most complex problems and inquiries while the chatbot resolves questions.
  • Data collection: eCommerce chatbots can easily collect information about consumers and their preferences by saving their behaviors and purchases in a database. This information is invaluable to retailers, providing demographic and preference information that can be used to create powerful targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Improved consumer relationships: Virtual assistants provide 24/7 support and a personalized experience, which helps to create more positive experiences for shoppers. As a result, retailers have a chance to build relationships with shoppers, encouraging them to come back in the future.
  • Increased sales: Online shopping assistants can also help generate more sales through upselling and cross-selling, offering upgrades and related purchases at the check-out window. Additionally, online shopping assistants can send out reminders to consumers that have abandoned their carts, encouraging them to follow through with their purchase.
  • Competitive advantages: All of these benefits equate to an advantage over competitors, especially those that don’t use chatbots. If a shopper sees that a retailer has chatbot capabilities on their website, they’ll be more likely to stay on their website and make a purchase.

Due to the significant benefits of virtual shopping assistants for both retailers and consumers, it’s easy to see why these tools are quickly taking over the retail industry. eCommerce chatbots are expected to increase consumer retail spend to $142 billion by 2024, meaning more retailers will likely adopt chatbots over the next three years. With the continuing boom of eCommerce, retail businesses can use chatbots to meet consumer expectations going forward.

How to Use a Chatbot as a Virtual Shopping Assistant

With all the benefits of digital shopping assistants, many retailers are looking to implement their own within the next few years. While there are many advanced options available, eCommerce chatbots are still the most common type of virtual shopping assistant. These tools are popular due to their versatility and relative ease of implementation.

It’s key for retail leaders to understand how to use a chatbot as a virtual shopping assistant to ensure they maximize their effectiveness. These assistants have several capabilities. As a result, retailers may want to use them differently depending on their unique needs.

Some essential functions chatbots can fulfill to become virtual shopping assistants include:

  • Engage visitors: Chatbots are a great way to engage new visitors on a site without being intrusive. Shoppers can interact with the chatbot as much or as little as they want, but they’ll always have the option available to them. Retailers can also ensure every chatbot offers the same level and quality of information to consumers, whether that’s information about products and promotions or updates on orders.
  • Respond to questions: One of the most common ways to use chatbots as virtual shopping assistants is as an interactive FAQ page. Visitors can type in their questions, and the AI will determine the best response. This way, consumers don’t need to get frustrated while hunting down information — their virtual assistant can provide them learn more about products, shipping costs, refund policies, and store hours with a simple query.
  • Provide product recommendations: Virtual shopping assistants can also be programmed to provide product recommendations. Using data collected about a shopper’s immediate needs and past behavior and preferences, virtual shopping assistants can show one or more product options that would likely suit the consumer. This chatbot feature is a surefire way to enhance consumer experiences, as product recommendations both simplify and speed up the shopping process.
  • Order information: Every online shopper is excited after they place an order online, and are looking forward to getting confirmation and information about their order’s progress. While consumers often get this information via email, retailers can also set up online shopping assistants to provide this information when prompted. This way, consumers can easily track the progress of their order, get tracking information, and check in on updates.
  • Promotion and sale information: Virtual shopping assistants can also be used to offer deals and coupons to shoppers. Different coupons and promotions can be offered at different stages of the shopping experience, depending on the consumer in question. For example, first-time shoppers may see a welcome discount to encourage their first purchase, while repeat consumers may see seasonal offers and product-specific discounts based on their previous purchases. If a shopper abandons their cart, the assistant can even offer a discount as an incentive to complete the purchase.
  • Cart retrieval: Nearly 85% of online shoppers have abandoned a purchase. Virtual shopping assistants can help reduce the rate of cart abandonment by checking in on consumers and answering their questions. If a shopper abandons their cart, online shopping assistants can send reminders when the person revisits the site or social media page. The assistant can even be programmed to offer discounts to encourage consumers to complete their purchases. These types of messages are less likely to be ignored than emails, leading to a higher conversion rate.
  • Subscription management: Chatbots can also be programmed to help with subscription management for consumers with retail accounts. All shoppers need to do is provide their credentials, and a chatbot with this capability can look up their profile and find member benefits, coupons, and rewards. These chatbots can also be programmed to provide information about points systems, including how many points shoppers have, how many points they need for their next discount, and how many points they’ll earn from their current cart. Chatbots can also be programmed to assist with subscription management, helping shoppers increase or decrease their membership levels and subscription schedules.

Many chatbot programs are available for retailers to explore, and they can customize them to fulfill one or more of these functions.

How to Get Started With Chatbot Implementation

How to Get Started With Chatbot Implementation

Virtual shopping assistants are invaluable to online retailers and will be a necessary platform for forward-thinking retail businesses. However, each retailer is unique, so it’s essential to understand how to effectively implement eCommerce chatbots for each retail business’s needs.

Some of the key items to consider before pursuing a chatbot as a virtual shopping assistant include:

  • Functions: First, consider what core functions the chatbot needs to fulfill. Does the retailer have subscriptions or memberships that need to be managed? Is chat-window purchasing a feature that would benefit the retailer? Knowing the most important functions to enable will help inform a retailer’s choices when they start designing an online shopping assistant program.
  • Integrations: Think about the types of integrations the digital shopping assistant will need. What systems does it need to plug into? Does it need speech-to-text or text-to-speech capabilities down the road? Look for solutions that are flexible enough to take on new integrations as the retail business evolves.
  • Updates: Consider how frequently the chatbot will need to be updated. Does the retail business’s product line rotate regularly? Are there new promotions that will need to be added to the system? Look for systems that automatically update product information and can easily undergo manual updates. This way, retailers can communicate the most updated information to their consumers.
  • Start small: Retailers shouldn’t try to implement a robust chatbot system from day one. Instead, focus on the most important functions first, such as a customer support chatbot. From there, the retailer can add more functions over time, testing thoroughly as they go. As a result, they won’t waste time and effort implementing features they don’t need.

On top of these recommendations, retailers should be sure to work with an experienced chatbot provider. An expert provider will help with programming and implementing a virtual shopping assistant, making recommendations for functions and integrations and helping update platforms as the retailer grows.

Demo Quiq Today for Your Retail Business

Virtual shopping assistants are effective tools that help improve consumer experiences and generate sales, all while improving productivity and reducing the strain on retailers’ internal teams. With current generations increasingly favoring online shopping experiences and consumers warming up to AI chatbots, now is the perfect time for retailers to try shopping assistants for their unique needs. There are numerous ways to implement digital shopping assistants in retailers, and various platforms to choose from. If your retail business is looking for a comprehensive solution that can help you get started with chatbots, Quiq is here to help.

Quiq is a conversational customer engagement platform designed for the retail industry. The goal of Quiq is to help retailers deliver exceptional shopping experiences with every interaction, and our chatbot system does just that. The Quiq platform supports messaging across a range of channel types, including text, web chat, social chat, Apple Business Chat, and Google’s Business Messages. Retailers can use as few or as many channels as they need to communicate with consumers effectively.

With multiple chatbot options, rich messaging experiences, and various integration options, Quiq is here to help you build the best virtual shopping assistant for your retail business. Try Quiq for yourself by scheduling a live demo today.

Demo Quiq Today for Your Retail Business

Using Conversational Commerce as an Alternative to In-Store Shopping

Using Conversational Commerce as an Alternative to In-Store Shopping

Conversational commerce isn’t just a catchy alliteration — it’s a trend taking the retail world by storm. Conversational commerce refers to transactions that take place between consumers and brands through digital conversations. These conversational commerce platforms can be powerful tools, especially in a market that’s increasingly moving away from in-store shopping.

In this article, we look at how to use conversational commerce to enhance online retail experiences. We’ll dive into the market trends regarding in-store and online shopping, the benefits and uses of commercial commerce for online shopping, and how conversational commerce works so retailers can enhance their consumers’ online retail experiences.

COVID-19’s Impact on Retail Businesses

Retail shopping has primarily relied on in-store experiences in the past. In brick-and-mortar locations, consumers can physically view items and get help from in-store employees. However, COVID-19 has quickly and dramatically changed the retail landscape. With stay-at-home orders and social distancing and sanitation guidelines, new shopping trends have emerged.

As the world has started to heal from the global pandemic, country-wide lockdowns have begun to ease up. However, in the aftermath of lockdown, consumer behaviors and priorities have shifted. People’s income, values, and exposure to alternative shopping methods have shifted their preferences significantly, powering numerous market trends since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Some common changes in consumer behavior and preference include the following:

  • Focus on health and safety: While consumer concerns about health and safety are slowly decreasing, many consumers are still uncomfortable visiting public places, especially stores they visit less frequently. In fact, nearly 70% of consumers in markets where the pandemic is stabilizing are still concerned for the health of others.
  • Focus on digital experiences: The lockdowns that resulted from the pandemic created a surge of eCommerce, especially from new consumers who’d previously never used online shopping options. Now that more consumers are aware of their online shopping options and how to use them, consumers will likely continue using these services and push toward improved online experiences.
  • Increased convenience: Even before COVID-19, consumers were moving toward more convenient shopping experiences as a collective. The pandemic rapidly pushed this trend forward. As a result, many retailers had to quickly implement services focused on conveniences, such as online shopping options, curbside pickup options, and delivery services. Even as the world emerges from the pandemic, consumer preferences for convenience will likely push retailers to maintain or expand these services.

The challenge for retailers is that they need to leverage these trends and adjust their practices with changing consumer preferences. Conversational commerce is one way that retailers are working toward these adjustments.

The benefits of conversational commerce for shoppers

The Benefits of Conversational Commerce For Shoppers

Conversational commerce has risen as a consumer and retailer favorite since the beginning of the pandemic. Conversational commerce works by using chatbots, brand specialists, and messaging platforms to enable conversations between consumers and a brand. These conversations often occur on messaging platforms like web chats, text messaging apps, Apple Business Chat, and even Facebook Messenger. Chatbots power many of these operations, which process messages from consumers to provide relevant responses, involving a live customer service representative if needed.

Conversational commerce platforms provide consumers with an on-demand shopping interface that enables them to engage with a live or virtual representative that can assist them with anything they need. This convenience presents shoppers with a wide range of benefits, including the following: 

  • Enhanced customer support: Conversational commerce platforms give consumers access to a live or virtual assistant at any time, anywhere. The assistant can answer their questions, help them preview products, and even complete transactions using the digital channels consumers prefer, including text, live chat, and social media messaging platforms.
  • Faster resolution: Chatbots in conversational commerce platforms also help streamline the problem resolution process. Bots can answer the majority of common questions and route consumers to a live specialist if the problem is more complex. This process results in quick resolution times — many people use chatbots for quick problem resolution when they are concerned with their shopping experience.
  • Less research: Chatbots also help streamline the shopping experience for consumers. Instead of browsing page after page to find what they want, consumers can give a description of the product to a chatbot. The chatbot’s artificial intelligence then uses the description to find a product that best suits the consumers’ needs, which reduces the time they spend browsing for products, making the experience more pleasurable.
  • Greater personalization: One of the big trends among consumers today is a desire for personalization. Today, nearly 80% of consumers want more personalization from retailers to enhance their shopping experience. Conversational commerce helps with personalization by connecting consumers with support teams that offer specific product recommendations and offers.
  • More touchpoints: Conversational commerce gives consumers multiple points of communication to reach brands. Retailers can add chatbots and text messaging communication to email and phone calling methods, maximizing the touchpoints available for consumers. This way, consumers can talk with their retailers in the way they’re most comfortable.

These benefits have already significantly impacted the online retail world, especially when considering that more consumers want shopping experiences that offer messaging services for support. In this way, conversational commerce is incredibly helpful for shoppers.

The benefits of conversational commerce for retailers

The Benefits of Conversational Commerce for Retailers

In addition to benefitting consumers, conversational commerce helps retailers improve their eCommerce operations. Some of the most significant benefits retailers experience from implementing conversational commerce include:

  • Improved responsiveness: Conversational commerce presents an effective way to generate engagement with consumers. When retailers send in-app messages to consumers, they can get five times more opens than push notifications. As a result, consumers are more likely to respond to those messages.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Chatbots are also cost- and time-efficient compared to live chat options. Chatbots can handle the majority of questions quickly, respond to hundreds of consumer questions at once, and are running around the clock. This efficiency saves time and labor for the customer service team, allowing them to direct their efforts toward the most complex tasks and problems. 
  • Enhanced consumer relationships: Because it’s available 24/7 and offers enhanced consumer experiences, conversational commerce helps create more positive user experiences. This feature generates goodwill between retailers and their consumers, making them more likely to be repeat buyers.
  • Streamlined selling: Chatbots can promote and upsell products based on consumer queries. For example, if a buyer is looking to buy a specific type of shirt, the chatbot can show the consumer potential accessories, pants, and jackets to create a complete outfit.
  • Reduced abandonment rates: Cart abandonment is a common problem for online retailers — consumers may be distracted and forget to check out, may not find an answer to a question they have about the product, or simply second-guess themselves. Commercial commerce helps reduce cart abandonment by offering responses to questions quickly, reaching out to consumers with unfinished orders, and checking in on consumers as they browse a website.
  • Abundant data: Commercial commerce platforms are also valuable sources of consumer data. Tracking behaviors, issues, and questions can help strengthen retailers’ ability to create powerful marketing campaigns and improve their online platforms.

With these numerous benefits to both consumers and retailers, it’s no wonder that conversational commerce is booming. The market size of conversational commerce platforms was estimated to be around $5.94 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow to $30.45 billion by 2027.

Eight ways retailers can use conversational commerce

8 Ways Retailers Can Use Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce is a powerful way to address the changing priorities of consumers. The question is how to use conversational commerce from a practical perspective, which will be different for every retailer.

There are multiple ways retailers can use chatbots and automated conversations in their retail stores. Below are eight conversational commerce examples retailers can use to help improve various aspects of their stores:

1. Provide Fast Customer Service

One of the common ways retailers use conversational commerce is as a customer service program. Using this approach, retailers automate responses to consumer questions, which can include everything from product questions and sales to order problems. The system can also be set up to route the shopper to a live support specialist if their issue is more complex.

If retailers can provide quick access to reliable, helpful customer support, consumers will be more likely to make a purchase, as they won’t have to wait around for an answer to their question or concern.

2. Share Product Updates

Retailers can also use conversational commerce to share product updates with previous buyers. New models, software updates, and sales can all be shared via SMS or messaging services, keeping consumers informed about their options and encouraging them to buy or upgrade. This feature allows consumers to continue buying from the same retailer rather than seek out another store when they need a new product.

3. Communicate Current Promotions

Many consumers report that discounts affect their decision to complete an online purchase. Retailers can lean into this trend by using conversational commerce to communicate promotions. Send out text messages to consumers notifying them of sales and use a website chatbot to alert visitors when they arrive on the landing page. Retailers can even set it up so consumers at the checkout screen see a notification of applicable discounts when they start the checkout process.

4. Obtain Post-Survey Responses

Every retailer wants feedback from their consumers, especially if they’re looking to make a change. To ensure they get plenty of accurate responses, retailers can set up a conversational commerce platform to reach out to consumers and visitors for surveys. Retailers can send surveys for products after consumers have received them or set up a questionnaire on their website to ask consumers how they can improve.

5. Cross-Sell and Upsell

Upselling and cross-selling strategies help retailers earn more money by selling products to consumers at the checkout page. Retailers can set up a bot to suggest items commonly purchased with the products in a consumers’ cart or notify them of an upgrade option. Shops can also utilize messaging services to notify recent purchasers of accessories they may want for their new product.

6. Automate Cart Recovery

Abandoned carts are a common issue for retailers, but commercial commerce can help. In the event that a shopper abandons their cart, a retailer can set up their system to send out an automated message to the consumer. Retailers can also program commercial bots to offer a cart recovery option, so it’s even easier for the consumer to return to their potential purchase. Discounts can also be effective in this situation, so retailers may want to push discount offers to people who abandon their carts as an incentive to finish buying.

7. Offer Accurate Order Updates

Everyone knows the feeling of anticipation when they place an order. Stores can generate goodwill with their consumers by offering order updates to let them know when their order is processed and sent out. Delivery notifications are also a practical option. Retailers can set this feature up through text, messaging services, or email, so their consumers get the information they need using their preferred communication method.

8. Increase Customer Reviews

Reviews are a powerful marketing tool for consumers — 91% of younger consumers between the age of 18 to 34 rely on online reviews. Therefore, it’s essential to collect reviews for your products. Conversational commerce is a powerful way to automate reaching out for reviews. Set up automated messages after a shopper has received their product asking for quick reviews or surveys. Be sure to ask questions consumers can easily answer from a mobile phone, such as satisfaction ratings, photos of the product, shoutouts on social media, and short written or video reviews. 

How to use conversational commerce depends highly on a retailer’s priorities and operations. Before crafting a solution, retailers should consider their store’s goals, identify opportunities for improvement, and look at their current contact options. Some conversational commerce methods will work better than others, so it’s essential for retailers to develop a solution that addresses their unique needs. Testing specific variables will ensure retailers get the most out of their conversational commerce solutions.

Now is the perfect time for retailers to enhance their online stores with conversational commerce. If you’re interested, Quiq is here to help you get started.

Explore conversational commerce for retail with Quiq

Explore Conversational Commerce for Retail With Quiq

Conversational commerce is an ideal way to address the changing needs of consumers in a post-pandemic world. But even beyond COVID-19, your retail business can benefit. This type of platform offers a personalized experience for consumers while improving productivity, supporting customer service, boosting retention, and increasing sales. There are many ways to implement conversational commerce in your retail store, and Quiq is here to help you every step of the way.

Quiq is a conversational consumer engagement platform that helps retailers deliver exceptional customer experiences. Our platform supports messaging across text messaging, web chat, social, Apple Business Chat, and Google’s Business Messages, so you can use as few or as many channels as you need to communicate with your consumer base. With easy integration, multiple bot options, and rich messaging experiences, Quiq has everything retailers need to incorporate conversational commerce into their stores.

Try Quiq for yourself today by scheduling a live demo.

How to Increase Sales While Managing the Holiday Rush

Are you tired of hearing it yet? The holiday season is just around the corner. This year poses a lot of challenges, from broken supply chains to slow shipping to stressed-out customers. But among the overwhelming support requests is a golden opportunity to send sales skyrocketing. Continue reading to learn how to increase sales while managing your customer service this holiday season.

Expect a holly, jolly holiday for sales.

Last year’s holiday shopping was hard to predict. But according to the National Retail Foundation, sales jumped 8.3% from 2019, surprising everyone. And e-commerce sales grew even more, with a 23.9% increase, despite pandemic-related difficulties.

This year, the retail landscape is even more uncertain, but the future’s still bright. Deloitte predicts a 5% year-over-year increase in holiday spending. And 40% of surveyed retail executives expect double-digit online growth.

And with more digital sales also comes more customer support requests. From “where’s my order” to “which size is right for me,” there’s no doubt your agents will be swamped with incoming communications.

Now’s the time to prepare your support team for the influx of business and set them up for success. Here are some ways you can give your team what they need to manage the higher service volume and capitalize on those conversations to increase sales.

1. Get ahead of low inventory and slow shipping.

While shoppers are returning to stores, there’s no shortage of pandemic-related problems. And customers are aware of the looming challenges. 74% of shoppers are concerned about stockouts, according to the Deloitte survey.

Since shoppers know to expect delays, that’ll likely be a deciding factor for which retailer they choose to shop with. Who has a track record of delivering on time? Who is the best at predicting inventory shortages?

And since you as the retailer can anticipate these concerns, you have an opportunity to provide top-tier customer service and attract more customers to your site.

What’ll it take to appease customers and increase sales? Full transparency. Be as upfront with your customers as possible with up-to-date inventory, proactive shipping notifications, and quick service should unexpected delays occur. 

Not only will proactive communication alleviate the strain on your customer service team, but it’ll leave customers feeling taken care of during a stressful time—making them more likely to shop with you in the future.

2. Tighten up customer service response times.

We probably don’t have to tell you response times matter. A customer call shouldn’t be put on hold for too long, an email needs a quick reply, and a text message requires almost an immediate response.

It’s just good customer service. It’s even the most critical factor customers use for determining what “good service” even means. A 2020 Zendesk survey reported that 61% of customers say quickly resolving their issue makes for a good customer experience. 

Just how fast of a response do customers expect?

Less than 5 minutes Less than 1 hour More than 1 hour
Phone 51% 34% 15%
Chat 28% 55% 17%
Text messaging 8% 44% 48%
Social media 7% 42% 51%
Email 6% 37% 57%

*Percentages are estimates

The scary part is that it only takes one bad experience for roughly half to switch to a competitor. This means tightening up your response times is vital to retail success.

3. Offer multiple ways for customers to contact you.

How many ways can your customers contact you? 

Looking back at the Zendesk report, 32% of customers said a good experience offers support through their preferred communication method. Yet, less than 30% of companies provide self-service, live chat, social messaging, in-app messaging, bots or peer-to-peer communities. 

This is a golden opportunity to stand out from the competition and offer communication channels that your customers prefer. 

While some retailers might be concerned that more communication channels will lead to a more complex contact center, a multi-channel engagement platform will help your team stay on top of conversations no matter where they occur. You can provide your customers with the multiple conversation channels they crave while simplifying management on the back end.

When you give your customers options, they’re often more likely to engage and continue shopping with you.

4. Enhance your team with chatbots.

Give your customer service team what they need most: TIME. The influx of sales goes hand in hand with an increase in customer service requests. If your team spends most of their time answering questions, they can’t provide the proactive service that makes customers want to come back for more.

Instead, bolster your team with chatbots. Use them to welcome customers and route requests to the correct department, ask for customer feedback, and more.

Switching seamlessly back and forth between chatbots and humans will manage your agents’ time while also giving your customers a complete experience.

5. Streamline omnichannel support.

Offering multiple communications channels is vital for excellent customer service, but the real magic comes when you use it in your sales process, too. 

Boost your holiday salesDeloitte predicts that 62% of shopping will be online this holiday season, while 33% will be in-store. This is actually a slight increase in in-store shopping over last year as shoppers begin to feel more comfortable in public spaces.

With customers spending more time in stores, they’ll be looking to embrace an omnichannel experience once again. 70% expect companies to collaborate on their behalf, according to the same Zendesk survey, which is often made more difficult with additional communications channels. 

Streamlining omnichannel support does two things:

  1. It saves your customer service team time since they have access to previous conversations, purchases, etc.
  2. And it can help customers make a purchasing decision and increase sales.

6. Accept payments right from messaging platforms.

Turn your busy customer contact center into a source of income. While agents answer questions and provide top-tier support, let them capitalize on a great customer experience by completing the sale right in a single messaging platform.

Integrating message-based payments into your messaging platforms is a great way to turn your already-busy contact center into a solid sales strategy. Help customers decide between sizes or answer product questions and then convert the sale right then and there. 

Not only will it show customers your team goes above and beyond for their convenience, but it will also help reduce abandoned shopping carts and increase sales.

Pair these tips with Quiq to increase your holiday sales.

Surviving the holidays in the retail world is always a balancing act. You need to provide excellent customer service amid the influx of last-minute shoppers and stressed-out customers. But you still need to focus on increasing sales and capitalize on the season.

Quiq is a conversational platform that helps you:

  • Connect with your customers on whichever platform they prefer, all from one streamlined interface.
  • Integrate communications with your CRM of choice, including Oracle, Zendesk, Salesforce, and more. 
  • Use context-aware AI to increase conversion rates, shorten wait times, and increase your average order value.

To learn how you can unlock the power of conversations and help increase sales during the holiday season, schedule a Quiq demo today.

Formal vs. Casual: Which Style Is Best for Customer Service?

How to Win Over B2B Customers and Build Trust

Interactions with business-to-business (B2B) customers are usually best suited for formal language. The goals are to increase trust and solve problems for current or potential clients while maintaining high standards.

A formal tone supports those aims and allows customer service experts to nimbly navigate corporate structures. Agents may engage with several decision-makers to guide their choices. Formal language shows a consistency that impresses people from highly structured industries.

Questions about using a formal vs. informal communication style also arise when helping customers with medical or legal issues. Those people frequently reach out when dealing with serious matters. A formal style is typically best for handling them, even when addressing consumers.

An informal style could make people conclude customer service agents don’t recognize the severity of their circumstances. They could also decide getting in touch was a mistake and go elsewhere for help — creating missed opportunities for agents and their employers.

How to Facilitate Better B2C Interactions and Stay On-Brand

Business-to-consumer (B2C) conversations succeed when shoppers connect with entities that address their unmet needs and make things easier or more enjoyable. Adopting a casual style for most B2C interactions works well because it allows agents to come across as highly relatable and well positioned to understand individual situations.

Conversations about lifestyle products or consumer goods often resonate more with shoppers when customer service agents use informal wording. This approach lets service specialists avoid overly stuffy language.

Adopting informal language can also aid customer service specialists who want to excite or inspire. Keeping the interactions casual supports a team’s efforts to convey how products tackle potential buyers’ challenges.

Many B2C companies gain ground in competitive marketplaces by using a humorous tone. An informal style supports such lighthearted approaches when they make sense for the audience or the products being sold.

Formal vs. Casual: Which Style Is Best for Customer Service?

No universal rules define formal vs. informal business communication, although the above examples provide useful starting points. If service teams feel unsure, following customers’ leads by mimicking the styles they use is an excellent practice. The use of emoticons can also help clue someone into the fact the person on the other end prefers informal language.

Employees who interact with customers may have internal documents or their supervisors’ orders to follow as well. Those elements take precedence over broader advice about how best to handle communications.

Learn How to Boost Survey Responses

Decisions about when to use formal vs. informal communication illustrate the evolution of how people engage with brands. The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform supports today’s business messaging needs by personalizing communications through consumers’ preferred channels. Contact us today or request a demo to learn about the benefits of instant messaging and text messaging in formal and informal settings.

Quiq’s Newest Partner – Snaps Brings End-to-End Sales and Support on Instagram and More

Quiq and Snaps Integration

Quiq is thrilled to announce its integration with Snaps, the leading platform for connecting consumers and businesses in messaging. As partners, Quiq and Snaps now offer retailers and eCommerce brands highly intelligent, end-to-end conversations on today’s most popular messaging channels including webchat, SMS, Apple Business Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and more.

Most recently, Quiq and Snaps have updated their integration to deliver hybrid automated and human support for digital retailers on Instagram.

Through Snaps’ integration with Quiq, eCommerce brands can now provide shoppers with 24/7 instantaneous answers to frequently asked questions and personal complex order inquiries with automation or seamlessly connect to a live agent for additional sales or service support.

Quiq example chat

Agents using Quiq can follow the conversation, take over if desired, and then hand control back to the automated assistant.

Once shoppers request agent support, a transcript of their automated conversation, as well as key user properties like name and email, are passed along to the agent using Quiq’s customer service platform.

Quiq chatbot screen

Conversational interactions with the live agent will then continue directly within shoppers’ existing chat windows on Instagram.

For online retailers experiencing a surge of customer service inquiries amidst COVID-19 and peak shopping periods, Snaps’ integration with Quiq enables brands to provide faster and more efficient support to shoppers while freeing up agents to focus on more complex support and sales inquiries.

Interested in learning more about Snaps’ partnership with Quiq? Contact us to get more details about our integration and a personalized demonstration of how it works.

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How This Holiday Season Will Be Different for Retailers

This holiday season, retailers are interacting with consumers a little bit differently. The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on industries in 2020, forcing retail business leaders to rethink their marketing and sales strategies. 

Consumers are spreading out their holiday shopping and doing their business online. Stores are limiting their customer capacity, which means it’s shaping up to be a nontraditional holiday season for both the retailer and the consumer.

Understand How Consumer Behavior Has Changed

As the holidays draw closer, holiday season retailers are finding ways to adapt to changes in consumer behavior. It’s crucial to understand how these behaviors have changed the industry so you can develop a plan of action. Some of the ways shoppers are responding to social distancing measures include:

  • Buying online: eCommerce is growing rapidly thanks to COVID-19, and more consumers are turning to online shopping than ever before. Quiq messaging software makes it easier for shoppers to get the remote support they need.
  • Using contactless ways to purchase and return: The current situation has prompted consumers to look for safer methods of purchase and return, such as curbside pickup and delivery.
  • Increased value-driven buying: Thanks to the uncertainty of consumer finances, many shoppers feel more value-driven this holiday season. They want to make sure they receive the best value for their dollar.

How This Holiday Season Will Be Different

Retailers and consumers are finding ways to adapt as social distancing becomes the new norm. This holiday season will be different from what we’ve seen in the past due to the number of people buying online and managing reduced income. Some of the points to keep in mind include:

  • Less consumer spending: This year’s consumers are looking for the exact product they need at the right price, and it’s the retailer’s job to provide that value. Quiq’s software helps retailers enhance customer service with live chat, instant messaging, and chatbots. Better communication technology allows agents to serve buyers more efficiently.

Customer_Messaging_Service_2_Way_Efficiency

  • Less in-store traffic: Many buyers are now choosing delivery, mailing, and curbside pickup, which serve as convenient and contactless options. Retailers are using Quiq solutions to optimize the online shopping experience so more people can enjoy the benefits of low-risk buying. If a shopper has a question, text and chat can take the place of phone calls and emails. Messaging is a convenient and cost-effective substitute for both retailers and consumers in an era where more people carry around mobile phones than ever before.
  • Less impulse buying: Because fewer people are buying in stores, they’re unable to see products in person before they make a purchase. Quiq offers Rich Messaging, which allows consumers to make purchases easily over the phone and engage with representatives as needed. Augmented reality also allows shoppers to see products in great detail before they make a purchase. This capability offers a fluid and exciting way to engage with potential buyers on a platform they can feel comfortable with.

Adapt to This Year’s Challenges With Quiq Software

Holiday season retailers can use Quiq software solutions to accommodate value-driven online buyers this year. While these may be atypical times, you can navigate the current situation by taking advantage of the latest website and messaging technology. Contact us today for a demo to learn more about Quiq options.

Sending Customer Updates is Easiest With Text Messages

People use their mobile phones to work, play, text, and scroll every day. That’s why businesses use customer service text messages to stay in touch with customers. It’s a great way to increase loyalty and reach a wider audience. For industry leaders who are looking to enhance their customer service strategies, integrating SMS solutions is essential.

How Businesses Can Use Text Messaging for Customer Updates

The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to implementing customer service text messages. Customer service agents can use SMS to interact with consumers in easier, more engaging ways with higher levels of satisfaction.

Asking for Feedback

The key to success is the willingness to grow and adapt. With this in mind, you can implement SMS messages for customer service by using them to gather feedback. Consumers like to feel heard, and they like to know that businesses respect their opinions. 

Asking for constructive feedback during and after service is a great way to connect with consumers and show an interest in their needs. This can help increase customer engagement and lead to company growth over time. Automated messaging solutions can expedite this process by helping companies reach customers and collect meaningful data more quickly.

Sending Business Updates

Text messaging is an excellent opportunity to send quick, convenient business updates, such as:

  • Shipping notifications: Text notifications can provide customers with shipping details and updates.
  • Billing reminders: Billing reminders help ensure consumers make payments on time and know when their funds have been withdrawn.
  • Promotions: Advertising discounts and new product updates are easier than ever with outbound messaging platforms.
  • Troubleshooting: Asynchronous troubleshooting allows customers to address issues and fix them quickly and at their convenience without having to talk on the phone.
  • Replacement product options: Representatives can give customers more options by sending product replacement opportunities via text.
  • Delivery updates: It’s easy to design brief automated texts that provide location, arrival time, and delay updates.
  • General business information: The business can send out information regarding products, business hours, company updates, and more.

The Benefits of Text Message Updates

Offering customer service updates through text message is a major part of staying competitive in retail and online markets. The benefits of SMS message updates include:

  • Improved customer experience: Selling products and services is about more than making the sale. It’s about engaging with customers and providing the high-quality experience they deserve. Text message is a more intimate and accessible form of communication that improves the experience for both consumers and customer support.
  • Increased customer loyalty: Happy consumers become loyal consumers. While one negative experience can sour a person’s experience, effective communication helps prevent misunderstandings and inspires the customer to keep coming back. Customer loyalty is great for business, and it can improve a retailer’s reputation in the long run.
  • Asynchronous: With customer service text messages, retailers, and eCommerce providers have the freedom to engage with consumers at a faster pace. Asynchronous communication is perfect for mobile users, as it allows them to message back and forth with representatives on their own time. This method also ensures that all conversation messages are saved so the two parties can pick up where they left off.

Contact Us to Learn More About Business Text Messaging

Using SMS messages for customer service is a smart way to improve consumer relationships and foster more efficient communication. Text messages are useful for all types of communication, from promotions and reminders to convenient technical support. If you’re interested in learning more about how asynchronous messaging enhances the retail industry, contact Quiq online today.

How Contact Centers Can Better Report Agent Efficiency

The customer service a company provides has a direct impact on that company’s sales numbers. A positive experience with a contact center agent can serve as the nudge customers need to make a purchase, while a frustrating conversation can deter existing customers and put off new customers entirely.

Across industries, customer service plays a vital role in financial success. As a result, it’s important to track customer service strategies and performance continuously and make adjustments to maximize your return on investment.

Customers want agents to answer their messages and calls quickly and provide accurate, helpful information. To improve contact center efficiency, companies need to improve the performance of individual agents and the customer service team as a whole.

Before you can make strategic changes to streamline processes and increase your return on investment, you need to understand how the current customer service center operates. Below, take a closer look at how contact centers can measure customer service performance and boost their efficiency.

What Metrics Should You Be Monitoring?

Contact centers today have the ability to gather endless data about customers and conversations. To make meaningful improvements to operations, companies need to pick out the most powerful metrics for contact center reporting. These include:

  • Service level: This metric is defined as the percentage of messages and calls that are answered by a live agent within the organization’s target time frame. A high service level serves as an indication that contact center agents are performing efficiently.
  • Response time: Related to service level, answer speed refers to how long, on average, it takes for a caller to reach an agent. Reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to increase customer satisfaction and prevent customer abandonment.
  • Occupancy: Occupancy is the amount of time an individual agent spends actively occupied on a customer interaction. An excessively low occupancy suggests the contact center has hired more agents than contact volume demands. At the same time, an excessively high occupancy may lead to agent burnout and turnover, which have their own negative effects on efficiency.
  • Customer satisfaction: What may be considered the most important contact center performance metric, customer satisfaction indicates the quality of a contact center’s service and directly relates to conversions and customer retention. You can gather data about customer satisfaction through surveys or through independent analysis of conversations and interactions.

How to Improve Contact Center Metrics

Once supervisors have collected the data they need, they can take action to improve performance metrics and boost customer satisfaction. Try these tips to improve contact center efficiency:

Use Historical Data

Trends reveal themselves in data over months and years. To maximize efficiency and improvement, utilize historical data and revisit past conversations as you track your customer service center’s progress.

Use Insights to Guide Improvements

Once you have analyzed the data, make changes designed to target specific metrics. For example, if the data shows your agents are being overwhelmed with too many customer conversations, consider equipping them with the software necessary to manage their conversations more effectively. By identifying areas of weakness and offering actionable insights, reports give managers the tools they need to boost team performance.

Quiq’s Conversational Customer Engagement Software

If you want to improve your contact center’s efficiency and customer satisfaction ratings, Quiq’s conversational customer engagement software offers the features you need. Quiq’s software enables agents to manage multiple conversations simultaneously and message customers across multiple channels, including text and web chat.

By giving customers more options for engaging with customer service, Quiq reduces call volume and allows agents to focus on the conversations with the highest priority.

To discover how Quiq will improve your contact center’s metrics, request a quote today.

How to Improve Your Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Customer satisfaction has a direct impact on a company’s ability to retain existing customers and attract new ones. The level of satisfaction customers feel is largely defined by the experiences they have with customer service representatives. As a result, companies that succeed must monitor and improve call center and customer service performance continuously.

A customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is an essential metric companies use to determine how customer service teams are performing and how they could do better. This score is generated by asking customers to rate their experiences and provide feedback after interactions. A low overall CSAT score indicates a problem with the current approach to customer service. Even if a team has a high CSAT score, there is usually still room for improvement.

4 Steps to Improve Your CSAT Score

  1. Create a Customer-Focused Work Environment
  2. Conduct Customer Surveys
  3. Make Changes in Response to Customer Feedback
  4. Create Personalized Conversations With Customer Messaging

If you’re wondering how to increase customer service ratings, you are already on the right path. The following tips can help improve CSAT scores at your call center.

1. Create a Customer-Focused Work Environment

One of the best ways to increase customer satisfaction is to ensure agents put the customer first in all interactions. All aspects of workflow and policy should be designed to produce the most positive result for the customer. This includes giving agents the tools they need to serve customers efficiently in the manner they prefer.

To improve CSAT scores, companies should analyze the customer journey and consider how certain strategies may make customers feel. When the whole team places customer needs and expectations at the heart of operations, customer satisfaction goes up, along with sales.

2. Conduct Customer Surveys

Call centers struggle to make meaningful changes to the customer experience when they lack the data to back up their decisions. Unless you ask your customers how you are doing, you’ll never know exactly how they feel.

To make more informed adjustments to policy and show an active interest in your customers’ opinions, consider conducting customer surveys after every conversation. Just remember to keep it short and respect each individual’s decision whether or not to participate, as overly time-consuming surveys can backfire.

3. Make Changes in Response to Customer Feedback

Gathering customer feedback is only the first step toward improving customer satisfaction. Customers want to feel heard, so it’s important to listen to negative feedback and implement solutions designed to address the root cause.

To repair damaged customer relationships and further increase CSAT, consider following-up with customers. When you acknowledge the problem and explain how you are working to fix it, customers will be more willing to trust your customer support team in the future.

4. Create Personalized Conversations With Customer Messaging

While some customers may find phone conversations convenient, others would rather send a message using social media or SMS. People view text messaging as a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable form of communication. As a result, companies have the opportunity to significantly improve the customer experience and increase CSAT scores when they implement a business messaging platform like Quiq.

Our platform allows customer service agents to engage multiple customers in their preferred form of communication. Text conversations allow for more personalization, and rich messaging features enable agents to provide easy, direct, and actionable solutions. Agents can send and receive helpful pictures and videos to streamline the conversation, and they can even process secure transactions.

Get Started by Requesting a Quote

By reducing call volume, messaging systems allow call center employees to work more efficiently and ensure customers receive answers quickly. To find out how Quiq can help improve your company’s CSAT rating, request a demo today.

How Chatbots Are Improving Troubleshooting With Customers

In the past, customer support professionals needed to answer all tech support questions from customers, either online or over the telephone. As digital technology has become more advanced, chatbots have transformed the way companies across industries handle customer support. These bots answer basic troubleshooting questions, reduce the workload for human agents, and decrease the amount of time customers must wait to receive help.

Today’s chatbot IT support platforms have the ability to recognize and answer multiple versions of simple questions by drawing on a company’s FAQ page and other resources. While chatbots cannot replace human agents, they can work alongside them to provide benefits for both customers and tech support staff.

24/7 Access to Solutions

When customers have technical issues with a product, they want to resolve the issue quickly, whether they are reaching out to customer support during business hours or in the middle of the night. When companies answer tech support inquiries in a timely manner, they strengthen customer loyalty and increase the likelihood of future sales. Chatbots allow companies to provide basic 24/7 tech support without requiring agents to work late or early shifts.

Automatic Answers to Basic Questions

IT support agents spend lots of valuable time answering the same basic questions. With customer support chatbots resolving simple inquiries, agents have more time to focus on fixing complicated and high-priority issues. In addition to freeing up agents’ time, tech support bots increase customer satisfaction by providing automatic solutions to basic problems that might otherwise prove frustrating.

Improved Agent Efficiency

Conversational engagement platforms like Quiq enable tech support bots to participate in conversations alongside human agents, making chatbot support the ideal tool to improve help desk support efficiency.

Depending on the situation and the company’s needs, bots may gather information from customers before routing the conversation to a live agent, or an agent may transfer a conversation to a troubleshooting bot during certain parts of the conversation. While bots engage the customer, agents have the time they need to look up solutions to the problem or message other customers in the queue.

Integration Across Platforms

Customers want to communicate with tech support through the channels they prefer. While some customers prefer to message a brand through a website chat feature, others would rather resolve an issue through text messaging or social media. With Quiq, chatbots automatically carry conversations across multiple platforms while retaining the same consistent functionality.

Contact Quiq to Request a Demo

Quiq’s conversational engagement platform provides the features you need to implement chatbots across multiple tech support channels, including SMS, web chat, Apple Business Chat, Google RBM, Facebook and Twitter. With bots working in tandem with agents, customer support teams utilize human resources more effectively and boost customer satisfaction.

To learn more about Quiq’s chatbot solution, request a demo today.

Chatbots vs Sales Reps: Which is More Effective?

Automation and artificial intelligence are on the rise and many companies are finding ways to implement these new technologies to use to their advantage. Service isn’t the only department benefiting from the use of chatbots, marketing and sales have also been using them to gain an edge. With the use of artificial intelligence and chatbots, companies can more effectively lead customers through the sales funnel.

What is the impact for sales reps? As we’ll discuss in-depth in this article, chatbots and sales reps each excel in different situations and prove the benefits and effectiveness of working as a team.

What Can a Chatbot Do?

Chatbots are a mix of automation and artificial intelligence. They answer user queries through chat interfaces like text messaging, Facebook Messenger, and web chat on a business’ website. Chatbots are able to provide fast answers to common questions, and they’re proactive so customers can get help before they hit a snag. As bots continue to learn, they’re ability to preempt customer inquiries and offer more and more helpful solutions will only grow.  

Chatbots are sometimes confused with live chats, but there’s a difference. In a live chat, there’s usually an actual person on the other end, while talking with a chatbot is essentially chatting with a robot.

Advantages of Using Chatbots

Using chatbots will offer your company many unique benefits that can help improve your business. For example, chatbots automatically capture and qualify leads on your website. If a consumer is looking for more product details or wants to inquire about pricing, a bot can capture their information and route to the appropriate agent queue. People are more apt to engage with chatbots when they know they can find what they are looking for more easily. Consumers are looking for fast answers and chatbots help them get on their way. 

Chatbots are also designed to reduce administrative tasks so agents can spend more time answering the tough questions or giving extra special care to customers or prospects.

Disadvantages of Using Chatbots

One major disadvantage of using chatbots is that at first, they typically can only provide limited responses. Conversation rules determine what messages are sent in response and those can only be built over time. Although, it doesn’t take long before they are able to have much greater depth in contextual conversation.  

While chatbots are gaining in artificial intelligence, today, they still have to be maintained and improved upon. It is important to not let your chatbot go stale to keep up with changes in the business and continue to improve customer engagements and enhance the experience.

Benefits of Using Sales Reps

Sales reps are essential to the process of bringing users further into the sales funnel and providing them with answers to higher-level questions about your company and its products and services. Context and emotional intelligence are crucial to meaningful conversations that will turn into sales, and the ability to emote and understand emotions is unique to your sales reps.

Each sales rep also brings their own unique personality to the exchange, which helps them form a personal connection with users that today is more difficult to achieve from a chatbot.

Disadvantages of Using Sales Reps

A significant disadvantage of using only sales reps is there are lots of engagements with customers that can be easily automated to help them more quickly. Administrative tasks take away time that could be spent having one-on-one interactions with customers to generate more sales.

How Can Both Be Used Collaboratively?

When it comes to a chatbot vs. a conversational agent, each has unique strengths that address the other’s weaknesses. When they’re used together, chatbots and sales reps can create an exceptional user experience that maximizes performance and increases sales.

Using Quiq’s chatbot feature will allow your call center to improve efficiency and reach optimal service rep effectiveness. For more information about our chatbot, contact us today to see a demo.

How Call Centers are Becoming “Text Centers:” Text Messaging for Customer Service

Internet and mobile technology have fundamentally changed how business is done. With more people working from home and consumers spending increasing amounts of time on their mobile devices, businesses are having to adjust to meet technological advancements and new consumer preferences.  There was a time when call centers only handled phone calls from customers. As customers have become increasingly digital, companies must find more efficient and effective ways to communicate with their customers.

Today, more than ever before, customer service has become one of the most important functions of the overall customer experience, and businesses are focusing on implementing personalized solutions rather than simply selling products. As a result, call centers have undergone a digital transformation — one that embraces the power of text messaging.

The Industry Follows Customer Preferences

Statistics show that in the United States alone, the average person sends and receives about 32 texts per day. What does this mean? In short, it means people like to text because it is easy and convenient. This provides the ideal opportunity to implement a digital customer service solution that supports messaging.

Today’s customer service is all about making the consumer experience as pleasant, personalized, and hassle-free as possible. Text messaging allows consumers to send questions and receive answers almost instantly. Better still is consumers get to drive the pace of the conversation, whether they are on-the-go or sitting on the couch, they can respond when it’s convenient for them, making text messaging the preferred method of communication over the phone for a vast majority of consumers.

Improved Satisfaction With Personalized Service and Dynamic Solutions

The issue with phone calls is they are a hassle for customers. that they tend to create an extra hassle for customers. Phone calls are a hassle because too often, they require the customer to sit on hold, repeat themselves, and interrupt their busy, on-the-go lives to have a voice conversation that can sometimes be hard to hear or understand. On the other hand, texting is fast and easy, with conversations capable of being on-the-go, and are aptly suited for our busy, digital lifestyles. 

That’s why many companies are now converting their call centers into innovative digital centers. With messaging, businesses are providing customers solutions for resolving issues more quickly and in more engaging ways, like with the use of photos and videos, or even by expressing emotion with emojis ? . Messaging is suited for every kind of inquiry, and can even respond to seemingly complicated questions that include:

  • Replacement product options
  • Troubleshooting guide links
  • Important documents or disclosures

Chatbots Help Improve Messaging Efficiency

While human-to-human correspondence is necessary at times, many of the most frequently asked issues can be easily managed by chatbots. Chatbots can help save time and resources, freeing agents up for more complex or higher priority concerns.

Digital transformation and customer experience are culminating with the advancement of chatbot technology being sophisticated enough that AI bots are having high-quality, human-like conversations with customers. With chatbots, consumers can get the information they are looking for much more quickly, reducing the need for phone calls and face-to-face interactions.

Call Centers Digital Transformation

While phone calls can be helpful in certain situations, they limit you and your customer to a single platform of communication. Messaging can be used across apps, social media, mobile devices, and more. This allows businesses to stay in contact with customers 24/7.

When customers have a quick question, they want fast answers, without any hassle. Texting with customer service is so easy, even grandpa knows how to do it. Text messaging for customer service is solving problems faster and with greater convenience for customers and agents.

Contact Us Today About Our Solutions

The importance of technology in customer service has become more important than ever as call centers steer away from single-channel communication. To learn more about how text messaging will enhance your customer service, request a demo today.

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Is Live Web Chat Effective?

In this consumer-driven, fast-paced market, customers want answers, and they want them now. Why make your consumers wait for information when you can connect with them immediately?

Live web chat is a popular form of communication for service and sales because both brands and consumers are comfortable using it. Live web chat enables communication that is easy and convenient, unlike phone calls and emails.  The benefits of online customer service for both businesses and consumers are plenty and its effectiveness can be seen in falling costs and rising customer satisfaction.

An Industry-Wide Transition

Live web chat has been around for at least 20 years, but many businesses are just starting to enable this channel. It continues to gain traction as companies search for ways to enhance their customer service. It’s used throughout a wide range of industries, such as retail, consumer goods, consumer electronics, online services, travel and hospitality, financial services, and more.

People are apt to engage when they are on your website and they have an immediate need. Web chat enables customer service agents to answer questions, provide support, and help guide customers to complete purchases online quickly. 

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

When it comes to your website, this becomes a critical way to make yourself available to more customers and for consumers to be able to get the help they need at the time when they are actively engaging with your brand.

During times of crisis, it’s imperative to reframe your metrics and to look far beyond the number of customers an agent helps within a certain time frame. Agents need to be empathetic and that may lengthen interaction times. Consider focusing more on customer satisfaction.

The article is just one example of how companies can use effective digital strategies to weather the coronavirus storm and prepare for whatever the future may hold.  Download the full report on the Quiq website. 

What the Statistics Say

How do you measure the success of live chat? To start, statistics have indicated that about 73% of customers who use live chat feel satisfied after their conversation. This is a massive number, especially when you compare it to 61% of customers over email and just 44% over the telephone.

Better customer satisfaction ultimately turns into higher customer conversion rates and more positive reviews, and becomes a larger contributing factor to business success over time. It is easy to understand why live chat increases customer satisfaction rates when your customers know they can get the convenience of service at their fingertips rather than waiting on hold or sending an email and waiting for a response.  The immediacy of live chat is the more modern way customers get answers and complete transactions.

What Are the Benefits of Live Chat?

Customer service effectiveness can be measured by changes in consumer satisfaction and conversion rates. Live chat is a boon to both customers and agents because it offers both sides a more frictionless way to engage. Some of the benefits of live web chat are that it:

  • Saves abandonment and money: Did you know that 53% of online shoppers are more likely to go somewhere else if they can’t quickly find answers to their questions? Live chat will give you the versatility to respond to leads at the moment when they are actively engaged on your website.  Helping customers when they are most engaged with your site reduces the chance they will go somewhere else. 
  • Improves brand image: By using live chat, you can increase the number of people who buy your products or services, while establishing a stronger reputation. Live chat is an open door to consumers who want to engage with your brand. Brands that make themselves available more often to their customers will reap the rewards of customers who feel that their time and attention are valued by your brand, earning their repeat business and referrals.
  • Builds long-lasting customer relationships: Businesses ready to answer their customer’s questions quickly and in a friendly way begin to create a lasting bond built on trust and respect. According to 2015 statistics, 73% of consumers agree that the most critical part of good customer service is the company’s willingness to engage and show that they care. A little TLC can go a long way!

Reach out Now to Reap the Benefits of Online Customer Service

No matter what industry you work in, live web chat can have a major influence on your business’s success. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how Quiq can help enhance your customer service. You can also reach out to request a demo and see for yourself!

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5 Tips to Transform Your Customer Service in 2020

As consumers continue to spend more time at home, maintaining an effective online customer service presence is becoming more necessary than ever for businesses. Today’s customers have a lot of questions and expect a fast, first-class experience and personalized answers. Agents who aren’t using modern digital channels like SMS/text, web chat, and social direct messaging or leveraging the power of chatbots will struggle to keep up with multiple requests.

It’s not by chance that smart communication technology exists that can improve your customer service and provide greater convenience for your company and your customers. This list highlights the top customer experience trends for 2020 and how businesses are modernizing and improving customer service.

1. Offload Expensive Phone Calls to Messaging

It takes significant time and resources for a human agent to answer calls. As talented as humans are at multitasking, it’s impossible to juggle multiple, simultaneous phone calls. By offering options for text and live chat on your website, your business gives a caller the option to switch to a digital channel and engage with an agent immediately instead of waiting on hold.

Both messaging channels allow customers to respond to the message at their convenience. The end result is a more seamless experience for the customer when their needs aren’t put on hold.

2. Utilize Chatbots

Chatbots are automated programs that deliver information in a conversational way, like a human agent. Unlike a human agent, chatbots can handle countless requests simultaneously with almost instantaneous response times.

Chatbots can step in for agents experiencing over-crowded queues and quickly resolve basic requests — like scheduling appointments, collecting feedback, troubleshooting an issue, or answering the age-old question: “What is my order status?” But don’t think chatbots are simply used in place of human agents. Think of it as chatbots alongside human agents.  

It’s true, chatbots, in many cases, can resolve customer inquiries without the intervention of a human agent but chatbots can be introduced at any point in the conversation to augment the work done by humans. For example, a chatbot could greet customers and collect important information prior to handing the conversation over to a human agent. 

In another scenario, the human agent could transfer a conversation to a bot to collect information in the middle or end of a conversation. Once the bot has completed collecting information, the conversation is transferred back to the human agent. Bots can quickly handle the routine and repetitive tasks, like collecting order information, freeing up human sales, and service resources to focus on the more high-value tasks.

3. Transform Messages to the Richest Format

The easiest way to modernize your customer service to keep up with customer expectations is to send messages that match the sophisticated digital experiences they’re familiar with (think emojis, videos, photos, and memes). With rich communication services, businesses are able to send rich messages (cards, carousels, suggested replies) that exemplify the brand across all of the supported channels in the more modern ways customers are already using today, with their family and friends.

4. Adopt Mobile Messaging & On-Demand Service

The majority of Americans own a smartphone and carry around the capabilities to research, shop, and purchase products wherever they go. Optimize your website for mobile viewing so the answers customers want are just a tap away. With mobile messaging and on-demand, real-time service, contact with a representative from your company is immediate through text rather than dialing a number.

5. Implement Live Web Chat

Live chat is already a popular alternative to traditional calls, evidenced by expanding presence in business plans and rising satisfaction rates among customers who use it. In the same way your website is live 24/7, your customers expect agents to always be available. On-demand agents solve the challenge of your business’s schedule having to align with your customer’s. For organizations that do not have agents around the world in different time zones, a reliable chatbot offers around-the-clock messaging.

Use Quiq to Improve Customer Experience

Creating informative and adaptive communication is simple with Quiq messaging services. To learn more, contact us or schedule a live demo today.

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The Evolution of Texts and Instant Messaging in Business

Instant messaging has changed the landscape of business-to-consumer interaction. The average American now receives a variety of texts from corporations and acquaintances. Digital-based customer service also opens more avenues to conduct business worldwide. How has digital transformation changed this multichannel approach and disrupted eCommerce and the sales cycle as we know it?

Brief History of Technology in Customer Service

Instant messaging has come a long way since the days of Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and web messaging platforms used throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Now there are multiple messaging apps on a consumer’s smartphone at a time, such as WhatsApp, Kik, and Snapchat, supplementing the already versatile channel of text.

Call tracking has also grown in sophistication to be more than logging what phone number will reach the customer. This technology includes more insights and integration to create personal profiles and track the entire customer journey, not just record a conversation.

The Impact of New Technology on Customer Experience

A deeper customer experience arrived with 21st-century technology. The wave of instant messaging began as more Americans purchased smart phones and computers. They’ve become acquainted with the ease and quickness of communication, and the text message now dominates exchanges between friends and family.

As customers spend more time connecting through mobile and online, businesses are next to adapt these new technologies into their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. For representatives, the use of the traditional call center declines in favor of the direct, instantaneous nature of text and web chats. As customers know, when they can reach out to companies faster and avoid waiting on the phone, they’re increasingly willing to initiate these conversations.

How Customer Behavior Drives Business Messaging

Today’s market is full of tech-savvy digital natives who often rely on their smart phones to gather information and shop online. Customers prefer the convenience and familiarity of text, especially because they can start and stop the conversation as they please.

In today’s stores, the phones might ring less often but an organization’s social media and web chat bustle with activity and potential new customers to connect with. Instant messaging ultimately drives a more personalized experience when learning about your products or services.

Also, businesses are able to continue to build trust and loyalty by sending relevant outbound messages to customers with up-to-date information about products and promotions that will keep them coming back for more.  It is extremely important that businesses consider this is not just an opportunity to reach customers, but that if the customer has a question, they should be able to easily respond to the message ensuring it is a two-way conversation.

The Future of Instant Messaging for Business

Mobile messaging volume is rising by the year and signaling no intentions of slowing down. Another noteworthy trend is the way in which third-party platforms continue to develop their messaging apps, injecting rich media into the presentation along with more features and service integrations.

You can expect to see more businesses harnessing instant messaging on their platforms. Chatbots are already in-demand for supplying even faster solutions. What’s more, sales and service reps need training for this channel to act authentically with customers — professional, conversational, and engaging — as if two friends were texting.

Does digital transformation within the customer experience mean the phone call is obsolete? Perhaps these technologies shouldn’t be competing but complementing each other to give the customer more say, whether it’s using their voice or their fingertips.

Embrace the Future of Instant Messaging With Quiq

The Quiq Digital Customer Engagement Platform utilizes SMS/Text and instant messaging as part of an multi-channel approach to business and customer communications. The streamlined integration with your existing CRM solution and in-depth performance analysis allows you to use messaging as your most versatile communication channel and make improvements to customer service operations. To learn more, request a live demo today.

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