5 Ways Mobile Shopping Is Transforming Customer Service

These days, the vast majority of consumers have their mobile phones on-hand for every activity — particularly when it comes to online shopping. In fact, it has been projected that purchases on mobile devices will make up the majority of ecommerce sales by the end of 2021

As a result, mobile shoppers are always looking for easy, convenient, and mobile ways to interact with eCommerce brands through social media and third-party messaging services. This increased channel volume  if not managed properly often overwhelms customer support teams, leaving customers frustrated with digital experiences that fall short of expectations and brands struggling to protect their brand image. 

On the other hand, consumers’ shift to digital also presents a valuable opportunity for retailers to deliver targeted customer service solutions and enhanced buying experiences that lead to increased conversions and customer satisfaction. Some brands, like TodayTix, have seized the opportunity to provide their customers a more seamless experience.

Here are five ways that customer support has been transformed by mobile shopping and how brands are adapting to ensure that they’re providing the best possible experiences.

1. A Rise in Mobile Shopping Leads to a Rise in Messaging

When it comes to seeking customer service, mobile shoppers leverage a unique set of channels that have required brands to adopt and adapt to. One of the most popular customer support channels for mobile shoppers is contacting brands through third-party messaging services. Today, nine out of ten consumers want to use messaging to communicate with brands and retailers are quickly turning to WhatsApp, Messenger, Google Business Messages, Apple Messages for Business, and more to provide the text-based experiences that shoppers prefer.

Third-party messaging is only second to the most popular channel for mobile customer support — SMS business messaging. SMS provides mobile shoppers with a direct line of communication to a retailer’s support team to exchange information or transactional details.

SMS offers an additional layer of convenience for consumers. With SMS, consumers do not have to be connected to Wi-Fi to have a convenient online shopping experience.

2. Rich Messaging Provides Precise Feedback and Solutions

Mobile shoppers today expect a high level of personalization in both their shopping and support experiences. In order to deliver on this expectation at scale, eCommerce brands leverage rich messaging to provide personalized experiences for each individual shopper. Rich messaging further boosts engagement through dynamic content like quick reply buttons that anticipate the most popular responses, interactive maps, and more. 

For example, the Facebook Messenger mobile platform allows business representatives to add images to replies and allow consumers to see a product in question. During these interactions, team members can help consumers complete a purchase, schedule an appointment, or share a link with a preview of a product or service page. Rich media ultimately sends consumers to an ideal destination, faster, for a better shopping experience.

3. Mobile Shoppers Expect Immediate Service on Their Terms

Today’s mobile shopper seeks customer support that is available to answer their questions quickly, at any time of day. Currently, 54% of shoppers reach out to brands during non-business hours over messaging channels like Facebook Messenger and brands are expected to respond in a timely manner.

This cycle of always-on, 24-hour customer service means that support teams can no longer refer to traditional business hours to dictate when their business is open or closed. Customer support must always be “open” or else customers will go elsewhere for their next purchase.

This demand for always available customer support and service doesn’t mean you have to staff your support center 24/7. Many Quiq clients rely on technology to help meet SLA’s. For instance, some clients will only show the live chat icon on their website when there are live agents available to respond. Other brands choose to use automation and conversational AI to help customers with simple, frequently asked questions that can be easily resolved through a bot.

If a shopper needs an answer quickly, they can text an eCommerce business, rather than having to tap through webpages, compose an email, or enter a call queue. Mobile shoppers enjoy the convenience of starting a conversation faster, feel they’re receiving personalized attention, and can reply at the rate they prefer.

4. Demand for More Local Customer Service

While mobile shoppers appreciate support experiences that are both instantaneous and always-on, they also have a strong preference for customer service that can assist them at the local level. Mobile shoppers, for example, often seek information on product availability at their closest store based on their phone’s GPS location.

When mobile shoppers contact customer support, it’s important for both automated and human service agents to be equipped with local store data in order to respond to local-specific inquiries. Channels such as Apple Messages for Business and Google’s Business Messages helps consumers find and engage with your business on a local level. Consumers discover businesses through Google, Siri, or Map results daily with searches like “Tuxedo rental near me”. These channels now offer a convenient way for consumers to initiate a conversation with a location near them via messaging.

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5. Increased Mobile Interactions Lead to Further Customer Insight

Through additional interactions and touch points from mobile devices, brands are enabled to build more detailed and personalized customer profiles to reference. Through customer inputs like mobile numbers and location data, eCommerce brands can create a foundation for more tailored, future engagements. Analyzing a mobile shopper’s purchase history, for example, can inform timely offers in the future to reinforce customer loyalty. 

The Most Versatile Platform for Mobile Shopping Customer Service

With its numerous impacts on customer service, there is little doubt that the accelerated pace of mobile shopping will continue to transform the support sector. Adapting to these changes, however, provide significant opportunities for businesses to forge stronger relationships with their customers and build stronger businesses. 

Is your brand looking to modernize your customer service experience? Contact us today to learn how to provide diverse and personalized customer service for mobile shoppers. 

How To Encourage More Customers To Use your Live Chat Service

When company leaders consider implementing live chat support, many in the contact center and the broader leadership team may wonder if customers will actually use it. The short answer is yes. An impressive 30.7% of female internet users say they prefer to contact support using live chat. When the platform offers an engaging experience, helpful agents on demand, and quick responses, those that want to message support will happily do so.

Offering more communication options means more customers can contact support using the channel they prefer. So, it’s crucial to help customers see that chat is an option and encourage them to try it. Following are some of our real-time chat best practices ensures a company’s live messaging feature offers a delightful, engaging experience.

Tips for Encouraging Customers to Use Live Chat

In the United States, 78% of consumers rate their live chat support communication experience favorably. Once people experience a live messaging service, they often feel comfortable using it in the future. By promoting the new tool effectively and offering an enjoyable experience, companies can encourage more customers to use this platform regularly. Here are some tips for driving more customers to live chat.

1. Mention Live Chat During the Phone Hold Message

Customers waiting for phone support are the perfect target audience for live chat support. When customers realize they can text an agent instead of sitting on hold, it’s a huge plus. Consumers who didn’t realize chat was an option can exit the phone queue and receive help using their preferred communication channel.

This feature is excellent for contact centers, too, because they can redirect some callers into chats. Using a messaging platform like Quiq, agents can manage several conversations simultaneously, jumping back and forth between conversations as they wait for specific customers’ responses. They can support a higher volume while freeing up the phone lines for more in-depth support queries.

2. Use a Contact Form to Collect Information Wisely

Using contact forms in live chats can be a bit of a balancing act for many contact centers. For customers with complicated questions and concerns, forms can speed up the time-to-resolution by organizing all the basic information for the service agent. When a customer has a quick question, a contact form can prevent them from asking it. In general, the fewer fields a contact form has, the more likely someone is to fill it out.

One way around this potential hang-up is to use a chatbot to collect information about customers’ specific orders or requests. When a chatbot detects that a request is complex and needs human attention, they can ask for the necessary contact information and order details. This dialog turns the traditional contact form into a conversation and places it further along in the customer service journey so only those customers who need to fill it out will have to use it.

Live agents or chatbots can also answer simple questions from customers without the need for a contact form.

3. Link to Live Chat in Post-Purchase Communications and Other Email Campaigns

One of the biggest hurdles to getting customers to use live chat is that many people may not realize it’s an option. Especially after a company adds a messaging feature for the first time, customers may not notice the icon right away or think about live chat as an option when they need support.

Contact centers that add live messaging features can encourage more people to use the service by adding a link in their email footers. A post-purchase email can even dedicate an entire section to introducing the feature. Live business messaging is an excellent way for customers to track or make changes to their orders quickly. It’s prudent to add a call to action about contacting support via live chat with any concerns about the recent purchase.

When customers submit an email support request, their confirmation email can inform them that they can get help right away using real-time business messaging. Even if it doesn’t call out the live chat service directly, every email can include a link that customers can access from their computers, tablets, and phones with ease.

4. Personalize Your Chat

Marketing and contact teams can work together to craft notifications and auto-generated greetings to fit their brand’s personality. Friendly, on-brand wording within the chat interface can encourage people to take the next step and type out a message. Chat icons often feature an introductory message such as, “How can I help you?” or “Any questions for me?” to let website browsers know their questions are welcome.

Next, these departments should also develop a tone of voice for their service agents. While there may be some scripted language in customer service interactions, most customers expect human support specialists to act like humans. And, since every request or concern is a little different, agents often need to change what they say or how they say it.

Setting rules for tone of voice and word choice ensure the messaging experience is consistent no matter which agent helps a customer or what the conversation is about. People will use live chat features more when they know what to expect and the dialogue feels personable and aligned with the brand.

Many brands do well to make their messages seem warm and conversational. In industries where trust and authority are paramount, like credit unions and insurance companies, agents and bots may adopt a more formal tone. Choosing a tone of voice for the chat feature is a crucial consideration that affects how customers use the service.

5. Promote Live Chat on Social Media

When companies launch any new feature, their social media channels are an excellent way to get that service in front of their core audience. Companies can post about chat features on social media to let customers learn about this new way to access support in real time. Be sure to answer questions in the comments section. Those comments can also be a fantastic source of feedback about what customers think about the new chat feature and if they want to use it.

Meanwhile, with chat integrations through Quiq, customers can contact the support team by direct messaging a company through their Facebook or Twitter page. Contact agents will receive the messages in the same interface that they receive text messages and web chats, making support over social media messaging faster for customers and agents alike.

The contact center and the social media management teams can also collaborate to manage social media direct messages. For example, social media managers can answer general questions about products and quickly direct customers to the company’s official live chat for specific questions. Whoever manages the direct messages can link to the live chat support feature on the company’s website or provide the number for text message support to direct the customer to the correct support channel for complex issues.

6. Add an Image of the Live Chat Customer Service Agent

Besides personalizing the tone, another way to make the conversation feel more natural and inviting is to show visitors who they’re talking to. Many live business messaging interfaces incorporate customer service agents’ names and photos to make the experience more authentic. The profile picture lets customers put a face to the name when they click on the messaging icon. They know right away that they’re getting helped by a real person.

The number of personal identifiers that make sense for any particular contact center will vary. Some brands and chat interfaces may use professional headshots, while others employ more casual photos. Contact center leaders may choose to use their agents’ real names, just their first names, or aliases to protect their agents’ identities.

7. Use a Button for Easy Chat Access

While many websites feature a live chat option on their contact page, they can make it even more accessible by adding a chat button to every page. As web visitors navigate around the site, the button follows them. It may even prompt them with an occasional message like, “Can I help you with something?” to encourage them to interact and let them know messaging is an option. Brands can also insert a button on their emails and other mass communications to bring customers to a conversation with a live agent in seconds.

The key to using buttons to promote chat usage is to give it a prominent location on every page. Most people expect to see the live messaging feature in the bottom right corner or as a pop-out menu along either side of the screen. Pinning the button in the bottom corner lets it travel with the visitor as they scroll down the page, retaining its prominent location for easy access.

When inserting a chat button, most companies choose a color in the brand’s color palette that contrasts with the primary color. That way, the button stands out from the rest of the web design, and more people will notice it.

If the button displays notifications, time them to appear after a certain period of browsing or on pages where users are likely to ask questions. This tactic lets customers know that the chat is there just as they’re becoming invested in the site. Whether they’re searching for products to add to their carts or information on the FAQ page, a notification lets them know a live agent is available to answer their questions.

8. Include Privacy and Data Usage Messages

Customers visiting a new website for the first time often need some encouragement to provide their contact information, shipping address, or credit card number. They want to trust that the company will take every precaution with their private information. Enterprises build that trust on their websites with plain-language data privacy policies and customizable cookie preferences.

Live messaging tools can add a wrinkle because they are often powered by third-party software. Customer service messaging can also require a lot of personal information, making some users hesitant to use these tools.

Companies can quell these concerns by including a short, easy-to-understand privacy message that outlines how it handles private customer data. When a message like this appears at the start of a new chat, customers can see how their data is safeguarded and feel secure while entering personal details.

9. Use Rich Messages

Rich messaging is enhanced text messaging. With an integration like Google Rich Business Messaging and Apple Messages for Business, customers can have an upgraded experience whenever they contact support. Rich communication services (RCS) give companies verified profiles that help customers feel secure when providing details from their phones.

RCS also improves the chat experience by incorporating rich media. Shoppers can use their phones to access a personal shopping service, where agents can show customers product listings directly through their mobile devices. Rich messaging can incorporate Apple Pay or Google Pay, allowing customers to check out right in the conversation thread. Other rich messaging features include the ability to book appointments through a timeslot or calendar interface or to see order confirmations with pictures of the products and tracking capabilities in the messenger.

Rich messaging offers an enhanced experience over traditional text messaging. Rather than sending plain text-based links that customers have to navigate, all messages arrive in a visual, easy-to-understand format. Customers enjoy a seamless experience that makes contacting support through their phone simpler and more enjoyable.

10. Use Live Agents

Now that they’re on almost every website, chatbots have solidified their place in customer service communications. With their sophisticated AI, they can respond to many customers’ common concerns and simple questions with surprisingly human-like answers.

Still, human agents take the top spot in consumer preferences. Even if a chatbot saved them 10 minutes, 46% of internet users would still prefer speaking to a live representative. A skilled, emotionally aware support specialist will outpace a chatbot every time. They can listen to concerns and reply with more helpful solutions faster than even the most sophisticated AI. Their social intelligence also makes them more adept at handling emotional situations and remaining personable and enjoyable to interact with.

Customers demand human conversations, and they’re more willing to reach out when they see a live person on the other end, ready to assist them. After trying the feature and having their issues solved masterfully and with a human touch, they will feel confident contacting support through chat the next time.

11. Schedule Chat Availability Around Agent Availability

Many companies have specific time windows when live agents are available. When support specialists aren’t available for business messaging, it’s helpful to give customers a sense of when they can reach out and expect a response from a live person. If employee representatives are offline, companies can still let customers know when live chat is an option by leaving the button active and communicating the next availability window.

A quick notification can let site visitors see the days and times when live agents are staffing the chat and can even encourage customers to come back another time. Company leadership should decide whether it makes sense to leave a chatbot active when agents are unavailable.

Also, consider investing in a platform that supports asynchronous communication, like Quiq. When agents are unavailable, the platform can keep track of messages received and let customers know that someone will read and respond to the message when representatives are back in the office. While many chat services will not save messages between sessions, Quiq does. That means agents can view messages sent hours or days ago, so customers don’t need to repeat themselves.

When a company schedules agents for certain days and times, it’s wise to schedule that availability around web traffic. For example, many eCommerce stores see a traffic spike on the weekends, when most traditional jobs are off the clock. It makes sense to have more live support specialists on call to answer messages during these busy times. Company leaders should analyze their traffic patterns to decide when to offer live chat with human agents.

Give Customers the Ultimate Live Chat Experience With Quiq

Live business messaging offers many benefits to companies when their customers use it readily. It can free up agents to take more live calls with faster wait times by routing simpler conversations through chat. Agents can manage multiple conversations at once, responding to one discussion while waiting for replies in others. Best of all, it offers a new communication channel, letting more customers engage with support in the way they prefer.

These benefits will offer the highest returns when customers and site visitors use this communication channel often. The best way to increase engagement with live chat is to provide a platform worth engaging with. Staffing a chat channel with live, friendly agents and using a fast, intuitive platform can make all the difference.

With Quiq, contact centers can use rich messaging to improve customer engagement. In one central platform, they can also manage messages coming in from their website, mobile devices, Google My Business profile, social media, and anywhere else they offer a chat feature. That means customers can expect a lightning-fast response however they send a message. Quiq integrations also allow seamless transitions between human agents, third-party chatbots, and native chatbots.

All these features add up to an engaging and enjoyable messaging experience that customers will want to use again. To see how Quiq will improve your live chat, sign up for a free demo today.

How Instant Messaging Is Changing the Way Companies Conduct Business

Instant messaging is a ubiquitous part of daily life for the majority of consumers. Over 41 million messages are sent out from messaging apps every minute while popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are used by nearly 3 billion users.

Naturally, the rapid proliferation of instant messaging over the past decade hasn’t just transformed communication between individuals — it has also had a significant impact on how consumers communicate with businesses. Last year, a study from Juniper Research found that mobile business messaging increased 10% from 2.5 trillion messages to 2.7 trillion while Twilio has found that 9 out of 10 of consumers want to interact with brands through messaging.

The increase in messaging between consumers and businesses has been further accelerated by the pandemic. According to a recent Forreseter report, over 50% of consumers increased their use of third-party messaging and chat to engage with businesses last year while about one in 10 consumers tried mobile chat for the first time.

But how has this shift in consumer behavior affected the relationship between businesses and their customers? Below we’ll highlight some of the most significant impacts of instant messaging’s rapid growth on the business community.

How Instant Messaging Is Changing Business Through Customer Convenience

When engaging businesses, today’s shoppers are migrating from traditional channels like phone and email to instant messaging services due to the unparalleled level of convenience they provide.

Instead of being subjected to long hold times delayed email responses, real-time instant messaging paired with intelligent automation enables brands to address consumers’ concerns and respond to their most common, frequently asked questions with instantaneous feedback. Examples of common inquiries that instant messaging can provide quick responses to include:

  • Hesitancy surrounding shipping details: Potential customers may want more information about shipping related costs and timing to help them commit to making a purchase.
  • Product availability: Customers frequently contact businesses to verify whether a product is in stock and can actually be purchased.
  • Questions about product details: Leads might contact an employee representative with additional questions regarding product features, such as dimensions or materials.
  • Uncertainty about the product’s value: If leads want more information about how the product or service will benefit them, a contact center agent can explain its value.

By providing instantaneous support to these sorts of sales-related questions, brands have seen lifts in conversion rates by as much as 4x when compared to shopping experiences that are unassisted by messaging services.

Instant Messaging’s Impact on Customer Service Team

Instant messaging is a convenient communication method for both the consumer and the contact center supporting them. Through instant message based support, contact center agents are enabled to manage multiple customer inquiries at once rather than assisting shoppers one at a time – greatly increasing agent efficiency.

Additionally, when paired with messaging automation, support teams can provide their customers with self-serve experiences that are better aligned with customer preferences and can substantially reduce the volume of inbound issues that need to be addressed by human agents. By automatically resolving a percentage of inbound issues through automated chat experiences, agents can dedicate a greater percent of time to handling more complex customer inquiries and driving sales.

In the instance that a customer service chatbot is unable to resolve a customer inquiry through self-service, instant message chatbots can still increase agent efficiency by verifying basic customer information, like name or order number, before handing off to the human agent. This seamless handoff process allows human agents to spend more time actually supporting customers instead of capturing routine information.

Additionally, instant messaging-based conversations between consumers and businesses simplifies agents’ processes for following up with shoppers and keeping accurate records of past communication data. All sales or support agents see previous conversations and have the necessary information to tailor and personalized subsequent customer interactions.

Instant messaging makes communications more straightforward for all parties involved. When that convenience influences a consumer’s perception of a brand, they’re more likely to close a deal, renew a service, or make a purchase. In fact, 73% of consumers have indicated that positive and convenient experiences are essential for influencing their brand loyalties.

How Rich Instant Messaging Enhances Customer Support

In addition to its convenience and efficiency, instant messaging between businesses and consumers is also capable of providing superior, more clear support experiences. Providing support through traditional channels like phone can become challenging for both customers and agents, especially if shoppers have trouble describing their needs with words alone.

Rich instant messaging platforms allow consumers to use their smartphone cameras and take photos for support representatives. Rich messaging also enables businesses to embed maps, order tracking information, product catalogs, and more — directly within instant message chat windows.

Explore Instant Messaging Opportunities

Instant messaging represents an evolution in communication methods between individuals and the businesses they shop with. Embracing SMS and third party messaging apps is crucial for businesses to remain competitive and provide the customer experiences that today’s shoppers prefer.

The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform provides an all-in-one solution for communicating with consumers at their convenience. It enables monitoring and managing conversations, plus keeping buyers interested with images, videos, emojis, and exclusive offers.

Contact us now to learn more about how instant messaging enhances communications. Trying a product demo is an excellent way to see firsthand how Quiq saves time and money.

Business Messages from Google: What it Means for eCommerce and How to Get Started

Google announced the expansion of Business Messages to their Search and Maps products in June of 2020. With this change consumers are provided the option to message brands directly and ask for the information they are looking for when searching for a business on Google. Quiq has learned a lot about how consumers engage with Business Messages. Read on or reach out to learn more.

The Impact of Google’s Business Messages on Customer Experience

First, this opportunity provides a new channel for consumers to connect with brands through their preferred conversational format. According to a recent Twilio study, nine out of ten consumers said they prefer to use messaging when communicating with brands. By automating Business Messages on Google, brands have the opportunity to reroute a significant volume of inbound inquiries through a channel consumers prefer — self-service messaging.

Additionally, brands that automate Business Messages through Google Search and Maps provide their customers a superior customer support experience that is capable of delivering immediate answers and feedback, 24/7. By being available for customers with immediate, around-the-clock support, retailers are able to drive customer loyalty while simultaneously rerouting support issues from call centers to a new, self-service channel.

Retail and eCommerce Use Cases for Messaging Consumers Through Google

Combining intelligent AI and Google Business Messages provides clear value to eCommerce retailers through three primary use cases:

1. Resolving Customer Support Inquiries for Local Business Locations

First, brands are now empowered to deliver automated customer support to shoppers looking for information from a specific, local business location.

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For example, when a customer based in San Antonio searches for their favorite local grocery with the keywords “GroceryBrand San Antonio” they will be provided an option to start a Business Messages conversation with that specific store. With an intelligent automation solution, brands are then empowered to provide customers with specific answers and information related to individual locations. Questions like “what time does your store close?”, “Do you have this particular product in stock?”, or “What is this location’s COVID policy?” can now be answered in a way that is instantaneous, always-on, and without support from a call center.

2. Implementing a First Line of Defense for General Support Inquiries

Brands are also now empowered to position automated support through Google’s Business Messages as their first line of defense for all customer inquiries ⁠— not just questions related to an individual business location. For example, a shopper that has an inquiry about a product that they purchased online is now able to search for the brand that they purchased it from, start a Business Messages dialogue with that brand, and get the answers they need in an entirely self-service manner.

3. Driving Leads and Sales Through Conversational Commerce

In addition to driving efficiencies in customer service, automated conversations through Google’s Business Messages also empower brands to support sales and drive incremental revenue through consultative shopping assistance.

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For example, when shopping for a new vacuum cleaner online, customers can search for their favorite brand name on Google, open a messaging dialogue through Business Messages, and ask a question like “What vacuum should I buy for my hardwood floor?” By combining Google’s Business Messages with automation, brands can then provide a series of consultative questions and answers to understand the shoppers’ preferences and direct them to their ideal product for purchase.

What to Look for When Evaluating Partners to Help Get Started With Google’s Business Messages

While retailers may be eager to deploy a new messaging channel through Google, it is important for them to be prepared with the right tools and tactics to automate the sudden influx of customer inquiries that it will yield.

But what are the important things to look for while evaluating automation solutions? When our enterprise partners describe what has enabled them to be successful, we often hear that messaging partners must be able to:

  • Deploy highly-personalized AI-powered conversations

    Modern consumers demand personalization in their online shopping experiences and interactions with AI-powered digital assistants are no different. A recent Gartner report found that brands that deploy personalized messaging can expect a 16% greater impact on commercial outcomes than retailers who deploy basic automation that is incapable of personalizing their experiences.

  • Deliver actionable insights that empower every team

    When engaging in thousands of automated conversations with customers, eCommerce retailers generate a significant amount of customer data that has limitless potential and value for their various teams. Without the assistance of an experienced automation partner, however, this valuable data and insight simply goes to waste. By partnering with an enterprise-tier partner, like Quiq, retailers can ensure that they are properly gathering consumer insights through conversational automation and are able to synthesize that information into practical insights for different teams across the entire organization.

  • Provide hands-on support through a team of award-winning automation experts

    Conversational automation is a complex undertaking for any enterprise business and hands-on support is vital for ensuring its success. An effective automation solution is the result of a collaboration between internal teams and a proven, experienced team of conversational experts that can consult on strategy, integration, conversational design, and ongoing optimization.

Ultimately, while Google’s Business Messages provides online retailers a significant opportunity to connect with their customers more, it has to be deployed in the right way to leverage its full capability and avoid common pitfalls and complications. If you are interested in learning more about getting started with deploying automated messaging through Google, please schedule a free consultation with one of our conversational experts today.

Proactive Web Actions – Engaging Customers with Contextual & Personalized Chat

Wouldn’t it be great if your brand could offer personalized web chat assistance to customers at exactly the right point of their customer journey? Contextual engagements like this could assist customers on specific pages when they have a coupon problem, can’t find the right product, or have a question about their order.

We’ve got some great news for you. Proactive Web Actions are now part of Quiq. Let’s take a deeper dive into this powerful feature.

What are Proactive Web Actions?

Proactive Web Actions are personalized chat engagements that help customers based on where they are in their shopping journey and what they are trying to achieve. Web Actions work by leveraging information about where customers are currently on your site, as well as any additional data you may have on past customer engagements (such as their current order status, whether or not they’re part of a loyalty or rewards program, if they’ve recently abandoned a shopping cart, and more).

These data points can then be combined to create highly contextual web experiences. Customers on checkout pages almost certainly don’t have the same questions as those viewing a product category page and your web experience should react accordingly.

Why Proactive Web Actions?

Proactive Web Actions help:

  • Support each online consumer based on their unique position in the customer journey
  • Increase website’s conversion rates
  • Improve the overall customer experience

Forrester has previously cited that 53% Of US online adults are likely to abandon online purchases if they can’t find a quick answer to their question. With Web Actions, brands can detect when shoppers are struggling to navigate product listings or finalize their checkout and proactively engage them with the support that directly applies to what they’re trying to do.

Additionally, while 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer experiences that are personalized to them, the majority of chatbots today leverage the same generic messaging to initiate conversations with website visitors. Web Actions, however, account for consumers’ demand for personalization and only engage customers with messages that are crafted to help them as unique consumers.

Use Cases and Examples

While Web Actions can be applied to any number of scenarios, we’ve found that this feature can be most impactful when applied to the following use cases:

Addressing checkout issues

In the instance that a customer is struggling with a checkout flow, brands can leverage Web Actions to quickly engage the customer and proactively address any trouble they are experiencing.

There are numerous ways that brands can identify customers that are struggling to checkout like an unusually large amount of time a customer is spending on a checkout page or even based on a particular action the customer takes.

For example, eCommerce brands can use the Quiq platform to identify shoppers who are struggling to use their promo codes onsite.

With Web Actions, brands can engage those customers and offer immediate assistance.

Helping customers self-serve, faster

For shoppers seeking customer support, their first instinct might be to visit your website’s support page in search of a call center phone number or an email address they can reach out to.

Unfortunately for both your customers and agents, these channels are typically not the most effective way to quickly resolve questions and inquiries. Customers may have to wait days for an email response or wait on hold for 90+ minutes because agents can only handle one call at a time.

With Web Actions, brands reroute customers looking for email or phone support to a self-serve automated assistant.

When a customer clicks the “email us” button, Web Actions can proactively engage the customer and offer support through web chat instead, both of which often offer faster responses and resolution than a customer would receive over email.

Provide pre-purchase assistance

Web Actions are particularly impactful when it comes to increasing conversion rates and guiding website visitors to purchase. Quiq data has shown that visitors who chat with an automated assistant are about 3x more likely to purchase than those who don’t.

For example, when shoppers indicate that they’re struggling to find the right product by lingering on category pages, Web Actions can be triggered to offer support and help them find what they’re looking for.

All data on past customer interactions (like preferred price point) can be used to make highly personalized and contextualized product suggestions.

Transforming Web Chat with Enhanced Personalization

As consumers continue their transition to online shopping while leaning on messaging channels to replicate the personal touch of brick and mortar shopping, it’s crucial for eCommerce brands to offer personalized experiences. By deploying Web Actions, brands not only help customers get the answers they need faster, but also free up sales and service teams to focus on the most valuable customer interactions.

Want to learn more about how proactive Web Actions are transforming personalized online shopping? Contact one of Quiq’s conversation experts to discuss how to get started with proactive web actions.

5 Effective Strategies to Improve eCommerce Customer Service

More than ever before, eCommerce businesses’ overall revenue is directly tied with the quality of their customer service. Today’s customers value shopping experiences more than price or product selection and can easily transition to one of many competitors. 86% of consumers say they would spend more for a better experience, and 76% of consumers said it’s far easier now to take their business elsewhere than ever before.

According to the 2020 ROI of Customer Experience Report, 94% of consumers outstanding experience with a brand say they would recommend it to family and friends. In contrast, only 13% of consumers who had an abysmal customer experience with a brand would recommend it. 

From these statistics, it’s possible to conclude that marketing and sales alone aren’t enough for eCommerce businesses to remain competitive, maintain a substantial market share, and grow their brand reputation. They need to go above and beyond to implement outstanding customer service strategies, before and after closing the sale.

Here are 5 successful customer service strategies that eCommerce brands can quickly implement to improve their overall customer experience.

1. Build a Strong Customer Service Team

Start by hiring an excellent customer service team and creating an environment that promotes staff retention.

Conversational Engagement Platforms, like Quiq, are meant to augment human agents, not replace them. When offering top-notch customer support, software can’t replace the need for well-trained and skilled customer representatives.

Here are six strategies to attract talented, customer service-minded professionals.

  • Hire the right people: Hire for attitude. Look for employee representatives with empathy, patience, and excellent communications skills.
  • Train employee representatives: eCommerce hiring managers must train their employee representatives to understand their products and services and connect with their customers on an emotional level.
  • Equip customer service agents: Brand leaders should provide a platform to offer the best consumer experience without stress, overwork, or burnout. For example, Quiq’s Conversational Customer Engagement Platform enables companies to engage with customers across different channels in one centralized place, providing easy, simultaneous responses.
  • Track agent’s performance: Using surveys, management teams should collect feedback from customers on their experiences with employees and use the insights from these ratings to evaluate each representative’s performance.
  • Reward excellent performance: Incentivize top-performing employee representatives to motivate others to do more.
  • Listen to employee representatives: Ask for and listen to worker feedback to understand their needs.

When hit by a significant financial setback, customer service might be one of the first places C-suite leaders look to cut costs. However, this strategy is counterproductive. According to customer experience research, 50% of consumers would switch to a competitor after a bad experience, and 80% would switch after more than one bad experience. To keep consumers from switching to competitors, managers must prioritize customer service.

When it comes to the finesse and care it takes to navigate complicated customer inquiries or assist distressed customers, nothing beats a knowledgeable, well-trained, and accessible human agent. That’s why many channels, like Apple Messages for Business and Google Business Messages require brands to have live agents to escalate conversations to.

2. Personalize Every Conversation With Consumers

customer service improvement strategies

Personalizing customer conversations means tailoring support and service to their exact needs and expectations.

Customizing services to meet consumer demand gives eCommerce businesses a competitive advantage in their industries, helps deliver faster support from team members, makes customers feel more connected, and reinforces a consistent sense of satisfaction.

Here are a few ways to offer personalized service:

  • Engage with consumers where they already are
  • Transfer consumers smoothly across employee representatives
  • Mention people by their name in every conversation
  • Make recommendations when the requested product or services is unavailable
  • Offer free demonstrations and training to educate customers

Shoppers look toward eCommerce providers to know their needs and provide what they want. Research shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences while 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging.To win and keep business, eCommerce employees must treat consumers as people — not numbers in a sales report — with unique needs and expectations. 

A conversational engagement platform can help employees provide highly personalized experiences. For example, Quiq clients, like Stio can send outbound messages to segmented customers and offer them targeted promotions. They can use Quiq’s intelligent routing feature to provide VIPs, who may spend at a certain level or who are part of their Pro Purchase Program with priority support. 

3. Collect and Use Customer Feedback

Continually gathering feedback from shoppers on their experience can help eCommerce business leaders:

  • Understand their consumers’ needs, challenges, and pain points
  • Identify the positive and negative experiences shoppers have with their brand
  • Locate the cracks in customer service  
  • Provide a more personalized experience for shoppers 
  • Build trust and make shoppers feel valued

To obtain comprehensive and useful customer feedback, company decision-makers need to implement intuitive ways for consumers to communicate with them and ensure the information provides actionable insight for improving customer service.

Here are seven ways to collect customer feedback:

  • Send customer satisfaction surveys online
  • Organize feedback focus groups 
  • Read reviews from third-party review sites
  • Build an online community for customers

Gathering feedback is only the first step. Next, it’s important for managers to create an action plan on the cumulative insights and train employees to leverage this information when responding to customer complaints. 

Continually requesting consumer feedback will help identify any cracks in customer service and reduce the chances of a shopper feeling unsatisfied with their transaction. 

4. Use KPIs to Gauge Customer Service Performance

It is not enough for eCommerce managers to train and equip their customer service teams. Measuring and tracking customer experience with the right KPIs can help the entire team understand how their consumer experience ties to overall business success, and how shoppers’ interactions with them change over time.

KPIs help eCommerce leaders appreciate their shoppers’ satisfaction level and readiness to continue doing business with them.

Here are four customer experience KPIs to track:

  • Net promoter score
  • Customer effort score
  • Rate of returning visitors
  • Revenue per customer

See the breakdown of each KPI below.

Net Promoter Score

Net promoter score (NPS) is a reflection of an eCommerce business’s customer experience. An eCommerce business’s net promoter score shows the likelihood of shoppers referring their family and friends to do business with that brand.

To calculate NPS, send a survey including the question, “How likely are you to recommend our product?” Customers provide their answers on a scale of 1 to 10. 

After collecting this information, calculate NPS by subtracting the total number of entries below 5 from the total number of entries above 5.

An NPS below zero indicates a low customer satisfaction level. An NPS between zero and 30 shows more satisfied customers than unsatisfied customers. Above 30 implies that there are far more satisfied customers than unsatisfied customers. Above 70 means that customers are loyal and will be the source of a lot of word-of-mouth referrals.

Customer Effort Score

Customer Effort Score (CES) reveals how much work consumers must put into researching products and services or completing a particular task. For example, how long does it take the average shopper to get a refund, sign up, or get a request ticket answered?

Customer effort score reflects how accessible a business is to its consumers. 

As with NPS, calculate CES using a survey with the question, “How much effort did you have to put in to complete this task?” Ask customers to respond on a scale of 1 to 7 or 1 to 5. 

Here’s the breakdown for each scale.

On a scale of 1 to 5:

  • 1 = Very high effort
  • 2 = High effort
  • 3 = Neutral
  • 4 = Low effort
  • 5 = Very low effort

On a scale of 1 to 7:

  • 1 = Extremely difficult
  • 2 = Very difficult
  • 3 = Fairly difficult
  • 4 = Neither
  • 5 = Fairly easy
  • 6 = Very easy
  • 7 = Extremely easy

To calculate the cumulative CES, divide the sum of all consumer effort entries by the total number of entries. 

The best time to measure CES is immediately after a purchase or a concluded service interaction, or when an overall customer experience report is valuable.

On a 1-to-7 scale, aim for a CES of 5 or higher. A CES lower than 5 shows shoppers are struggling with a product or service and getting minimal satisfaction from it. Above 5 means consumers find it easy to use a product or service.

Rate of Returning Visitors

The rate of returning visitors (RVR) reflects the effectiveness of customer success strategies and user experience for an online service. If shoppers enjoy their experience on the site, they’ll be more likely to return. 

For an online service, calculate RVR by dividing the number of returning visitors by the number of unique visitors. The higher the value, the better the customer experience on the site. 

While RVR can vary for different industries, a good RVR is 30% or more.

Revenue Per Customer 

Revenue per customer (RPC) ties the overall consumer experience to a company’s bottom line. 

To calculate RPC, divide the total revenue by the total customer count. 

A high RPC means consumers have a consistently positive experience with a business. They are loyal, repeat shoppers who recommend the brand to friends and family.

Combined, these four KPIs provide insight into the quality of customer service, the satisfaction consumers derive from a product or service, and areas for improvement. 

For example, a CES below 5 for contacting support could mean one or more of the following:

  • Customers don’t receive a timely response
  • Consumers must try multiple channels to access the customer service team
  • Customers must repeat themselves to every new call center agent they interact with
  • It takes a long time for representatives to resolve their issues

Company executives should dig deep to uncover the factors producing the low KPIs and benchmark their KPI with their competitors’ to know where they stand.

5. Provide a Consistent Cross Channel Experience

A  cross channel customer service strategy allows eCommerce employees to provide seamless and consistent customer support across different channels. Shoppers can switch between, SMS, webchat, and social media without any service interruptions or inconsistencies in quality.

Cross channel customer service helps shoppers get quick responses to their needs, improves the brand’s reputation and trust, and boosts consumers’ positive experience.

Here are seven strategies to implement an cross channel experience:

  • Ensure customers can reach employee representatives offline and online on the platform of their choice
  • Implement seamless transition when moving customers from one call center agent to another
  • Maintain comprehensive documentation on each customer to help call center agents continue conversations based on the last engagement
  • Build mobile-friendly customer support pages to provide mobile consumers a smooth experience
  • Respond on time to customer queries on all channels and present practical solutions to their needs 
  • Create a comprehensive self-service solution to help customers solve their problems by themselves
  • Present a unified front and ensure every team and department collaborate and share information

Today, 95% of customers use three or more channels to connect with a company in a single service interaction and that 65% of customers expressed frustration over inconsistent experiences across channels. Establishing a presence on all available platforms might spread a company’s resources too thin and lead to inconsistent, negative experiences. Instead, focusing on meeting consumers where they are and establishing unified, consistent experiences on their most used channels will create a better overall customer experience. 

With Quiq’s cross channel digital messaging platform, employees can provide a consistent experience for consumers across different digital platforms.

Also, to implement the best customer service strategy, nothing beats working with the right conversational customer engagement platform. Ideally, interacting with consumers will be easy and fun for employees and provide  frictionless support for shoppers, while increasing the brand’s competitive advantage, market share, and overall revenue.

Invest in a Quality Customer Engagement Platform

More than ever, consumers want to do business with brands that make it easy to browse, shop, complete transactions, and get support on the consumers’ terms. eCommerce business can gain a significant competitive advantage by providing these experiences through seamless engagement via digital channels.

Improving customer success and satisfaction is a long-term plan that requires buy-in and commitment from management, investment in training employee representatives, collecting feedback consistently, measuring the right things, and investing in a platform to manage everything.

Quiq is a conversational customer engagement platform that enables enterprise to unify SMS, email, chat, and social media interactions with their consumers all in one place. Request a demo to see how Quiq can help employee representatives provide a seamless customer service experience.

Instagram’s New Messenger API – What It Is And How Your Business Can Use It

During their annual F8 Refresh conference, Facebook announced the Messenger API for Instagram has exited beta and is now available to all businesses looking to forge deeper relationships with their customers through scalable, 1:1 conversations.

The new API enables consumer brands to scale automated conversations within Instagram Direct Messages and presents a strategic opportunity to deliver premium customer experiences on one of today’s most popular social networks.

Common Uses

  • Send and receive text, media, stories, etc.
  • Retrieve conversation history from the IG business inbox.
  • Respond to public comments with private messages.

The API is open to all businesses. Prior to this release, brands handled customer conversations in one of two ways: either by  interacting with consumers on Instagram directly or using Facebook’s unified business inbox. Not surprisingly, these options were limited by how they can be used and what a business can do with them. 

The Messenger API can be integrated into any third-party application used to manage customer communications including social media management platforms like Hootsuite or Sprinklr, CRM applications like Salesforce or Oracle, and messaging platforms like Quiq.

According to Techcrunch the Messenger API will be available in a phased approach. Phase 1 will allow business accounts with 10,000 to 100,000 followers to connect to the API first. In July (Phase 2) Facebook will connect accounts with 100,000 – 1 million followers. Future updates will include all other accounts by the end of the year.

Before getting started with the new Messenger API, a brand must have access to the following:

  • An Instagram Business Account or Instagram Creator Account
  • A Facebook page connected to that account
  • A Facebook developer account that can perform tasks on that page
  • A registered Facebook app with basic settings configured

Generally, brands that work with Quiq have an Instagram account and Facebook page set up. Our team of knowledgeable conversation experts will handle the developer page and Facebook app setup for you.

How Businesses Use Instagram’s New Messenger API

Facebook reports that 500 million accounts visit Instagram’s stories daily and 130 million Instagram accounts tap on a shopping post to learn more about products every month. Given the widespread adoption of Instagram and more specifically, the engagement with shopping and product-specific posts, brands must develop a messaging strategy that includes Instagram in order to compete.

Here are four ways to get started with the new Messenger API: 

1. Engagement: How To Start Conversations on Instagram

Perhaps one of the most important new features of Messenger’s API support for Instagram is the ability for  customers and brands to initiate automated conversations through various entry points on the platform.

Customers can start conversations with businesses through the brand’s Instagram profile page.

Instagram Stories have also been enhanced to provide an additional opportunity for brands to initiate automated 1:1 conversations with customers.

Customers browsing Instagram Shops can also start conversations with brands when they have product or shopping-related inquiries.

Consumer brands can now initiate 1:1 conversations with shoppers who leave questions and comments on brands’ posts.

By integrating Messenger’s API Support for Instagram with highly-intelligent conversational automation, businesses can initiate conversations at each of these entry points and deliver highly-personalized messaging experiences — entirely at scale.

2. Consideration: Addressing Product Questions and Concerns

After driving shoppers to 1:1 conversations on Instagram, brands can leverage conversational automation to provide answers and responses to customers’ frequently asked questions. 

By addressing customer inquiries directly within Instagram, brands can further ensure a comprehensive online shopping experience without ever leaving the platform

3. Purchase: Helping Shoppers Find the Right Products 

Consumer businesses can also use automated conversations within Instagram to help drive shoppers to purchase. 

By leveraging Messenger’s API support for Instagram, brands can provide shoppers with guided shopping experiences that deliver highly-personalized product suggestions based on their conversational inputs.

4. Care: Seamless Order Management and Support

Lastly, after making a purchase, customers can leverage conversations within Instagram to get post-purchase order updates and more. 

Through this experience, shoppers can receive immediate responses to their current order status and more.

Try Instagram’s New Messaging API Yourself

Before you dive into deploying Instagram Messaging, you may want to experience it for yourself. Original Coast Clothing (OC) is a fictional clothing brand created for the purposes of showcasing Instagram’s features.

Try it now by searching for Original Coast Clothing on Instagram. You can initiate a conversation by tapping the “message” button. This demo should serve as inspiration for brands looking to deliver a great customer experience using both automation and live agents.

Getting Started with the New Messenger API for Instagram

As the new API exits beta and becomes widely available to consumer brands, many businesses are eager to get started using it to provide highly-personalized and scalable customer experiences on Instagram.

To get started, download our latest guide for Getting Started with The New API for Instagram DMs and learn how to deliver scalable customer experiences on one of today’s most popular channels.

Introducing Quiq Translate

We’re excited to announce the launch of Quiq Translate, a new feature that translates multi-language exchanges between customers and agents. With Quiq’s language translation services Quiq Messaging is enhanced to support the automatic translation of incoming and outgoing messages in a conversation. 

Quiq’s digital conversation platform drives operational excellence in digital customer support and service with features that teams can use to manage and measure cross-channel messaging in a single intuitive workspace. With Quiq Translate, companies can translate over 100 languages making messaging even more accessible and convenient.

Why Translation Matters To Your Business

For many companies, providing service and support In their customers’ preferred language can seem daunting. How do you communicate in multiple languages and provide excellent customer service without hiring a native customer support agent for every language out there? Let’s start with another question – why should you? 

There are a lot of great reasons our clients use Quiq Translate, not the least of which is making support more accessible to the people they serve. Let’s discuss a few of the more common driving factors that make multilingual customer support key for businesses to provide positive customer experiences. The kind of experiences that build trust and loyalty.

  • Your company’s growth

Customers become more linguistically diverse as businesses gain international buyers, or expand to new markets. As your company expands, you’ll need to remain sensitive to your customers’ needs. A global company with operations or offices in many different countries, has to communicate in multiple languages to provide excellent customer service. But the need to offer support in a customers’ native language isn’t just for big multinational companies. Even if you’re doing business in the US, the changing market requires multilingual customer service and support.

  • Changing demographics 

Every year, the U.S. Census asks survey recipients if they speak a language other than English at home. If the respondent answers “yes”, they are then asked “How well does this person speak English?”. Any answer other than “Very well” defines the respondent as Limited English Proficient (LEP).

Of the total US population, LEP individuals now account for about 9%. The consumer buying power of Limited-English proficient populations will continue to show considerable growth. Hispanic and Asian-American populations alone represent 70% of LEP consumers in the United States, and providing excellent language services means not missing out on the opportunity to connect with and serve new markets. 

  • Security

Interacting with customers means highly sensitive data can be shared during the support interaction. When engaging with Limited-English speaking customers, companies may give agents the freedom to use free online translation tools, this can leave the door open to data leaks and not give the organization full view of the engagement.

<>If you think you need to hire agents with language specific skills, customer service interpreters, or professional translators, think again. It’s possible to enable fast, cost effective translation services with Quiq Translate to deliver superb customer service.

Translating Your Digital Conversations With Quiq 

Agents specify which languages they can handle. The language of the conversation is detected based upon the customer’s message. If the agent doesn’t speak the customer’s language, incoming messages are automatically translated. The agent can still see the translated message and the original untranslated message.

Outgoing messages from the agent are automatically translated, so customers receive responses in their preferred language. Both the original and translated messages are stored as part of the saved message transcript.

Better Agent and Customer Experiences

Working as a customer service representative can be challenging, especially when managing multiple customer queries and claims. One of the most compelling reasons our clients choose to shift to digital channels is that asynchron

ous engagement makes it easy for agents to handle multiple conversations at one time.   

A boost in productivity is just one advantage that messaging has over other methods like phone calls and emails. Add to that the absence of noisy environments that make it difficult to carry on a phone conversation, the ability for the customer to pick back up on a conversation when it’s convenient for them, and automation features like chatbots that make routing, queuing, and self service faster and more accurate and you see why messaging makes for good communication.

But language barriers can get in the way of good communication. Providing your teams with the right tools will enable them to better handle customer requests and keep them motivated. The benefits for support teams are both quantitative

, with less calls and substantial time saved, as they are qualitative: the dialogue with customers is also improved.

More Languages, One Workflow

Quiq Translate is a native feature of Quiq Messaging and available on all messaging channels. Messages are automatically translated in over 100 languages across the most popular digital messaging channels, including SMS/text, Apple Messages for Business, Google Business Messages, webchat, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

Quiq Messaging Administrators have the ability to enable or disable the Quiq Translate feature with a quick toggle in the Admin UI. Once enabled, agents can set their preferred language, which is the language messages will be translated to. Quiq automatically detects the customers’ language or agents can manually select the customer’s preferred language, or the customer can select and set their preferred language from a list.

Once preferred languages are selected, Quiq Translate does the rest. For example, an agent has their preferred languages set to English. If they accept a conversation and the messages are in Spanish, Quiq Translate will automatically translate Spanish messages to English for the agent and any English responses will be translated to Spanish when the customer receives it.

The agent can view all messages as they were originally sent. The ability to toggle between the original message as it was written by the customer and the translated messages ensures that nothing, quite literally gets lost in translation.The conversation history can be viewed by agents, and managers within the systems they already use. Our platform integrates with the CS tools you already use such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle Service Cloud, and Shopify, so you can get started quickly. Or simply use our APIs to build custom integrations for what you need.

The City Of Knoxville, Quiq Translate In Action

The City of Knoxville, which has been piloting the technology, said that Spanish speakers are one of the fastest growing groups in the Knoxville area. The City is eager that its services reach this population, many of whom prefer mobile devices and text and messaging as their preferred method of communication. 

“We’re trying to reach people where they are and speak to them in the language they’re most comfortable with,” Russ Jensen, director of the 311 Center for Service Innovation, said. “We want them to feel safe asking for help.”

The City has been working closely with Quiq for nearly a year. In April 2020, they launched a Covid-19 chatbot to help residents get important information related to Covid-19, such as a symptom checker, or to access services such as food banks. 

Knoxville’s 211 service now has a chatbot available in English and Spanish with more languages on the way. Carter Hall, with the City of Knoxville, says that Rundia, an East African language is next.

Ready For Multilingual Customer Service and Support?

The world is getting smaller and more connected, and businesses are growing on a global scale. Language can no longer be a barrier to this. You can easily deliver exceptional customer service regardless of your customers’ preferred language with the help of Quiq’s Messaging Platform and Quiq Translation.

Schedule some time to speak with one of our conversation experts to learn how you can serve more consumers in their preferred language using Quiq Translate.

U-tron Makes Space For Messaging

Space. Not the vast, final frontier kind. We’re talking about the high demand, short supply, revenue generating variety that you find in New York, New Jersey, and California. When space is limited and parking is an absolute necessity, that can be a problem. That’s where U-tron comes in.

U-tron’s technology is a fully automated parking solution that saves space and reduces costs, while opening the doors to additional amenities. U-tron delivers a user friendly parking experience as simple and easy as valet parking, but without any human intervention. U-tron wanted the entire experience to be frictionless, right down to helping customers in need. The company turned to Quiq, so that customers who need help, get a fast, easy experience. Now 80% of the calls they use to receive now go through messaging.

Fully Automated, Highly Accurate, and Efficient 

With traditional parking structures, developers must work with often limited, complex space constraints. Imagine you’re developing an office complex in New Jersey. Local ordinances require you to provide 200 parking spots. The space available for parking will accommodate 90 cars on a flat surface. It used to be that the only options were an expensive dig to build down into the ground or building an eyesore up into the sky. 


If you order your car, it means you’re going somewhere. You might have an appointment, you might be going to work, or maybe you have a party to go to. Whatever it is, you need your car. So every second really counts when there’s an issue and your car is not coming out.

  • Michael Asmussen, Service Operations Manager, U-tron

That is until Unitronics, an industrial automation company applied 30 years of experience and knowledge to the problem and created U-tron. The company’s advanced automation solutions doubles the amount of parking spaces available.

A U-tron parking structure delivers a valet experience, without the valet. Drivers pull their car into a bay, lock their doors, and leave. The U-tron system will load the vehicle onto a pallet where it is smoothly delivered to its optimal parking spot. Pallets are transported by conveyors in an organized matrix designed to allow full flexibility and maximum capacity. Cars can be packed inches away from each other since there aren’t any humans who have to open doors to get in and out of cars. 

The absence of humans also means that there are different standards for safety and security. Garages are not lit or ventilated and there aren’t any stairwells or elevators to maintain. The lack of human access means that cars aren’t broken into and the robots that park the vehicles with precision and speed don’t ding cars. These things change the cost to build, insure, and operate a parking structure.

When drivers are ready to retrieve their vehicle they use the mobile app or kiosk to have the system retrieve their car. Cars arrive at a bay, facing forward and ready for the driver to head out. 

The entire operation is a modern, digital, fully-automated experience. Except when there was the rare instance a customer needed help at one of the garages. 

fully automated customer service is easy with Quiq Messaging and chatbots

When Every Second Counts Messaging Is The Answer

The expectation of an automated system is that it’s reliable and intuitive and when it’s not, that’s a problem. But U-tron isn’t a company of problem solvers. U-tron is a company of problem eliminators and one of the company’s key metrics is having zero customer calls to resolve. However, there are the inevitable software bugs or power outages that cause issues for customers.

Prior to implementing messaging, customers who had trouble retrieving their car would call a number. An answering service staffed by human agents would answer the call, take a message, and send an email to one of the technicians. The process required U-tron employees to vigilantly monitor their email for these infrequent requests so they could help customers as quickly as possible.

Quickly in this case was a relative term. The conversation with the answering service and transmission of the message through email could take 5 minutes or more in and of itself. If you’re the customer waiting for your car, that can feel like a lifetime.

One of the first things Michael Asmussen, Service Operations Manager at U-tron wanted to do when he joined the company was to reduce the customer’s wait time. Texting was the obvious channel. Given that 80% of calls have been deflected to SMS, it appears to have been the right choice.

U-tron Chooses Quiq Messaging For Flexibility

U-tron is a small, growing international company. There are between 15 to 20 technicians worldwide who handle approximately 5 inquiries a day in addition to monitoring and maintaining the complex equipment in the garages.

When the team looked for solutions it was important that the messaging platform was enabled across various channels like WhatsApp and SMS. Quiq was an obvious winner there. Quiq’s support of SMS, web chat, WhatsApp, Google’s Business Messages, and Apple Messages for Business meant that messaging could work in the US and elsewhere.

What really sealed the deal for the team at U-tron was the ability to pay by the conversation and not by seat. This ensures that anyone who needs to be involved in the conversation to help the customer has access to messaging.

For Michael, who was the champion for messaging from the beginning, it meant that he could stretch his budget and get all of his technicians on messaging instead of having to pick a handful of technicians for the messaging channel or worse, share licenses. With Quiq, every technician can get instant access to any of the customer messages that come in and there is clean reporting for every technician and every conversation.

From a managerial standpoint, the transparency of messaging has been a big win. Unlike the black box of phone calls where it wasn’t clear what transpired in the conversation, messaging makes it easier to review activity and transcripts. As a manager, Michael is able to review conversations and provide Technicians with the coaching they need to deliver better service.

The Future of Fully Automated Parking

Messaging provides U-tron the flexibility it needs now and for their future growth. The company has plans to double the cars in service every year for the next four or five years. Part of the rationale for choosing Quiq was that it could easily scale, and do so quickly, as their business grows.


Anything I’m doing right now has to easily scale because the business is going to grow and Quiq fit the bill there. If I want to double the team tomorrow, it’s ten minutes to just add the users and train them.

  • Michael Asmussen, Service Operations Manager, U-tron

Messaging isn’t the only way the company is preparing for growth. Around the same time messaging went live for the company in September of 2020, U-tron also introduced their mobile app. Within the mobile app, the company prominently presents a help button which opens the native texting app on their customers phone so that they can initiate a conversation right away. 

The Operations team’s success with Quiq has their Marketing department looking into how to use messaging too. Down the road, the team plans to evaluate web chat, Facebook, and Google’s Business Messages for pre-sales support.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a U-tron case study if the company didn’t have plans to expand their use of bots to automate transactions. Michael believes that their bots will evolve further to distinguish between standard customer issues and issues like billing. For now, the team is training and iterating their bots to recognize more customer intents.

What Your Customers Think About Using Customer Service Chatbots

Chatbots have become very popular because they save time and resources by automating customer support services. Bots are often used to address common customer inquiries, allowing human agents to focus on solving more complex problems.

We’ve seen our share of bots go to work within organizations. There’s a long list of companies that have been able to lift productivity, boost customer retention, increase customer referrals, and facilitate a better overall experience for their customer. 

With all these benefits, there’s still an important question that might be nagging you. What do your customer’s think about using bots in their interactions with you? Read on and find out.

What do consumers think about chatbots?

Before we dive in, let’s consider the knowns. 

  1. Consumers hate to wait

In a survey of “more than 2,500 consumers, nearly 60% of respondents believe that one minute is too long to be on hold,” PRWeb reports. “In addition, 32.3% of consumers believe that customer service departments should be answering immediately—with no hold time.”

  1. Customer experience is more important than ever

Not only do 80% of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, according to Salesforce research. more than two-thirds (67%) say their standard of what defines a good experience has been raised. With 76% of consumers and business buyers saying that it’s easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, the pressure is on for organizations to get the customer experience right.

Chatbots aren’t the silver bullet to correcting any and all service issues, but they can complement the support experience. Chatbots often act as the front line, giving customers a quick friendly greeting and providing answers to common questions — fast. And because we know that #1 holds, whether we’re talking about waiting in line for coffee, or waiting in a queue for support, it’s important that companies respond to customers quickly.

  1. Most consumers have already interacted with a bot

Voice of customer (VoC) platform Usabilla released a report showing that humans love AI and chatbots.The company surveyed 1,000 US consumers in August 2018 who used customer service options such as FAQs, chatbots, or automated options that allowed them to completely avoid human interaction for a customer service issue.

Nearly three out of four (70%) respondents said that they have used chatbots already, and of those who have not, 60 percent said that they would feel comfortable doing so.

All of these findings back what everyone already instinctively knows. Consumers want real-time interactions, and chatbots deliver. According to research, the majority (86%) of consumers would choose getting an answer from a chatbot over filling out a form on your website.

Why Consumers Like Using Chatbots

According to ZDNet, 54% of consumers would always choose a chatbot over a human customer service rep if it saved them 10 minutes. There are three simple reasons why consumers like using chatbots:

  • Always On

Chatbots don’t need coffee breaks, holidays off, or long weekends. Chatbots are the always-on extension of your contact center. Customers like that they can get some support no matter when they need it, even if it’s outside of your normal business hours.

  • Fast Responses

Unlike human agents, chatbots can access information with greater speed and consistency. Consider how quickly a bot can look up an order and provide a customer with a tracking number. Even transferring the customer’s conversation, either to another bot or to a human agent, happens with a lot less frustration and friction from the customer’s end than, say, being placed on hold during a phone call.

  • Convenient Access

With so much time spent on their phones, consumers appreciate how easy it is to engage with and respond to a chatbot on mobile messaging. Customers get the help they need, when they want, and wherever they prefer. Rich messaging experiences, such as those provided by Apple Messages for Business and Google’s Business Messages are examples of how bots can present options to schedule appointments, add products to a shopping cart, or look up order information. These experiences are beautifully-designed, media-rich, and offer simple touch targets for customers to engage on-the-go.

How Consumers Use Chatbots

Chatbots are on the company front lines in a wide-range of industries. Research shows that there are even some transactions that the majority of consumers expect to do without any human interaction. 

Things such as scheduling appointments, receiving order status, updating personal information, and getting updates on recent transactions are common customer inquiries easily handled by bots. But, chatbots aren’t just for common, redundant tasks. 

In the Forrester Webinar “How to Successfully Deploy Messaging and Bots In Your Business,” we heard from two very different companies using messaging and bots. Devlin O’Neill discussed how Lululemon is using bots to help retail customers find the right product, while Thomas Crawford from the Mortgage Center spoke about helping homeowners refinance.

As stated above, consumers are becoming more comfortable with chatbots. The reason is clear – whether it’s getting a product recommendation, promotion, or a reminder that their credit union can refinance their home, consumers want to get the information they need fast. If they feel like a solution gets them information more quickly and allows them to achieve a goal (like getting a better mortgage rate), they’re more likely to engage with it and feel satisfied with that interaction.

Redefine Support With A Chatbot In Your Organization

When the experience is done right, consumers love engaging with bots. Your customers will expect to find your bots to be quick, easy, informative, friendly, and dare we say, sometimes a little fun.

Quiq’s digital engagement platform enables you to design and deploy bots across your entire organization on all of the channels your customers want to use. Any combination of native Quiq customer service chatbots, bots developed in third-party bot platforms and human agents can participate in a conversation. Schedule some time with a conversation expert to see how bots can go to work for you and your customers.

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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Texting Your Customers: How to Increase Survey Response Rates

Consumers’ responses to surveys give brands valuable insights that help them overcome challenges, increase competitiveness, and boost satisfaction rates. However, getting that data is often difficult. Shoppers forget to respond or get confused about how to submit their responses. Dynamic text messages let retailers avoid these undesirable outcomes.

How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Text Messaging

Text messaging enables better communication between consumers and eCommerce businesses. It connects with shoppers in ways they already know and love.

Texting is a preferred communication option in today’s fast-paced world. Its popularity means brands must engage with shoppers and encourage them to answer surveys. eCommerce companies should make interactions personal by including:

  • The shopper’s name.
  • What they bought.
  • When the purchase happened.

Adding a time expectation — such as asking a shopper to complete the survey within the next week — increases the recipient’s chances of taking action immediately instead of waiting. Consumers appreciate getting accurate estimates of how long they’ll spend taking surveys, too.

Adding a direct link to the content within a text message is one smart way to get shoppers on board with giving their feedback. Another approach is to create surveys to take as little time as possible. Formatting a couple of questions so that people can respond by choosing “Yes” or “No” increases interest.

Texting Your Customers: How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Reminders

Consumers have busy lives. Even those who intend to answer survey submission requests may forget. That’s why eCommerce brands should send reminder texts that prompt shoppers to address unopened or unanswered surveys. Giving a reminder with gentle encouragement reaches the consumer without overwhelming them.

A reminder text also offers a chance for retailers to highlight incentives. An eCommerce brand might offer:

  • Coupons.
  • Gifts.
  • Product samples.

Those perks get consumers interested. Many wonder, “What’s in it for me?” Incentives answer that all-important question and get people excited about giving their feedback through surveys.

How to Increase Survey Response Rates With Extra Support

Confusion may make recipients avoid answering surveys. Perhaps they don’t understand particular questions or don’t think they relate to what they purchased — even if those survey parts require answers. Increasing survey response rates with texting happens when consumers feel supported and can get prompt help.

Offering assistance through live text message conversations gets to the heart of why people don’t respond and removes those barriers. This approach creates a personal connection between a shopper and a retailer and increases the recipient’s willingness to give their views. A live conversation also lets shoppers clarify things such as how eCommerce stores use their data and their practices for keeping it safe.

Learn How to Boost Survey Responses

The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform lets eCommerce companies contact consumers in familiar ways and encourage them to act. Adding text messages and live conversations to content assists shoppers while emphasizing that their voices matter.

Contact Quiq today to learn more. Retailers can also try a demo to see how the platform aligns with survey response goals.

How Business Messaging For Retail Delivers More Personal Service

Contactless payments, buy online pick up in store (BOPIS), and curbside pickup have become a big part of the acceleration of ecommerce brought about by COVID. Just because in-person interactions are becoming less of a thing doesn’t mean that personal service has to be. In fact, some might argue that consumers’ shift to online shopping should be more personal.

Take, for example, how consumers now behave and engage with brands on social media. Companies can not only sell directly on the social channels where consumers feel right at home, but consumers can share reviews and recommendations, consume multimedia content, and receive more personal recommendations based on previous purchase history.

Text messaging has come a long way from the character-limited days of SMS and retailers can use this channel to deliver jaw-dropping customer experiences. In this post, we’ll explore how retailers can use messaging to deliver a more personal experience.

Why Business Messaging for Retailers is Relevant

There’s been a sharp reduction in the number in-store interactions that consumers have with brands. Even before the pandemic, consumers were migrating online to save-time and expand their options.

According to McKinsey, high-income earners and millennials are leading the way in online spending across both essential and nonessential items. Gen X has experienced a similar online shift, although not at the same scale as millennials. Meanwhile, Gen Z has concentrated its shift online in particular categories: apparel and footwear, at-home entertainment, and food takeout/delivery. But the shift has been across every generational cohort.

According to the National Retail Federation Pre-COVID boomers “typically made less than half of their purchases online.”  Since this population has been more at risk during the pandemic they have accelerated adoption of technology like BOPIS and curbside pickup. Two thirds of this population say these services help improve their buying experience.

With more people working from home, online shopping has soared and consumers expect the store to come to them. “The crisis has prompted a surge of new activities, with an astonishing 75 percent of US consumers trying a new shopping behavior in response to economic pressures, store closings, and changing priorities” according to research.

The surge of online shopping means that companies have had to quickly adjust to digital engagement channels to help consumers through new buying behaviors. Now brands must invest quickly and aggressively to create enjoyable, memorable, and personalized experiences on these channels.


Now that mobile and online shopping is permanently ingrained into consumer’s shopping habits, retailers must consider digital experiences to be just as important as in-store experiences. Consumers’ ability to message a brand for pre-sales service or post-sales support is the equivalent of having friendly, knowledgeable associates on the floor and ready to serve the customer.

Messaging has helped brands like Overstock and lululemon keep up with the spike in online sales. Here are a few key ways retailers can use text messaging to deliver more personal service:

  • Ensure delivery of order status updates

Proactivity sending your customers updates on their order status is expected but sending these types of notifications through email misses the mark. With Quiq messaging you can push these time sensitive messages directly to your customers mobile devices. Messages can be sent individually or sent out to thousands of customers in no time from short or long codes. If customers have follow-up questions or want to place an order, they can simply reply and be connected to a bot or one of your employees.

  • Send trusted messages

Sending spammy messages from unknown phone numbers is something something brands should stop doing immediately. Quiq can provision your existing landline to send and receive messages. No random numbers here. Just the same 10 digit number that your customers use to call you.

Verified SMS, Apple Messages for Business, and Google’s Business Messages all provide the kind of next level branding that plain SMS doesn’t. Companies can send messages, loaded with logos, colors, and verification badges that signal to the consumer that the message is legit. If you want to make the experience more personal for your customer, make sure every touchpoint is trusted and secure, with your familiar branding.

  • Offering mobile personal styling services

Mobile engagement gives retailers room to really flex their creative muscles especially when it comes to providing personal styling and shopping services. To some, this concept might seem intimidating. How could you possibly offer customers the same attention and selection that they’d receive in store? The answer is – it’s not the same, but it can be better.

Imagine how much easier a digital personal shopping experience is when the consumer can quickly exchange product pictures back and forth. Overstock did exactly that and enabled their Customer Service Associates to help customers 24//7. Instead of a customer describing a style verbally, they could just send a screenshot of the space they are trying to fill. The two-way, conversational nature of texting allows designers to easily go back and forth with a customer, ask clarifying questions, add a personal touch and ultimately make a sale.

  • Share timely, targeted offers

Sharing information in a timely manner is what text messaging was made for. Text messaging allows you to quickly and easily send out alerts and promos to all opted-in shoppers.

Outbound notifications can be more than the transactional “your order has shipped” messages we’ve all come to know and love. Sending trusted, timely and relevant information to customers creates a stronger connection to your brand and a more personal experience for the customer.

Use messaging to target certain segments with info and promos that are specific to them. Want to send a special offer on cat litter to your feline loving customers – done. Need to notify everyone that ordered the new velvet throw that the matching accent pillows are back in stock – done. Unlike email, which has at best a 20%-ish open rate, text messaging has a 98% open rate, so you know your customers will get the message.

How To Use Business Messaging for Retail

There are so many different ways people can use smartphones today, including apps, email, music and social media. When it’s all said and done, text messaging is ubiquitous with 97% of smartphone owners using text messaging regularly, according to Pew Research’s most recent analysis of smartphone use. This remarkably high figure illustrates that basic communication remains a key driver of behavior even as the number and complexity of potential distractions increase.

This basic ability to connect with others is a driver as to why businesses of every size should look to leverage text messaging to communicate with their customers. For retailers, messaging has proven to be a highly reliable and personalized medium.

What’s more, messaging is ubiquitous across all platforms and mobile devices, allowing businesses to reach their customers. Even if your customer doesn’t have the latest device or if they’re using a basic prepaid handset they can still receive simple, timely SMS messages. These days, most customers are capable of receiving rich messages like Apple Messages for Business, and Google’s Business Messages—which deliver the kind of modern messaging experience that consumers have come to expect. Combine this with the fact that everyone carries their mobile device with them at all times (even to the point of sleeping with them), and you’ve got a recipe for success.

The market is ready for new brands to introduce messaging into their channel mix, but are you? If you need help with getting started Quiq is here to help. Contact us so that we can learn more about your business and how text messaging can help you provide more personal service.

Pella Resolves Pane Points with Messaging

Pella Corporation is a leading designer and manufacturer of window and doors.  Pella has over 7,000 team members, 17 manufacturing locations, and more than 200 showrooms across the country. Pella supports every step of the customer’s journey, from design to installation, and support after the sale. Pella’s unique advantage is that they distribute where their customers want to buy, through exclusive Pella distributors and custom builders, to big box retailers like Lowe’s.

Pella is committed to exceeding customer expectations, and that includes customer support. Pella recognized that strong sales growth directly impacted the need to scale their contact center. The company turned to Quiq’s Messaging platform to achieve efficiencies such as a 98% faster resolution time with messaging vs. email.

Pella Rolls Out Customer Support Messaging

Pella's shift to customer service messagingPella partnered with Quiq to implement messaging and went live with the platform in January of 2020 within the corporate contact center. The plan was to start with a subset of their customers and agents, build something and then learn from it.

The first Rollouts included:

  1. Messaging support for Pella’s National Account Sales Reps, who service some of Pella’s largest B2B customers like Lowe’s.
  2. The company chose four phone agents to go live with the messaging channel.
  3. The agents were provided with 2 hours of hands-on training and then allowed to spend time practicing with the system.
  4. Pella sent out a communication to their sales reps to promote the channel explaining how the new messaging channel worked and when it would be available. 
  5. Regional Managers were invited to a virtual meeting to unveil the new channel and were excited about this new support channel.

The Pella team was impressed with how smoothly the launch was executed and chose to expand the launch to include an Order Status chat bot that would handle any requests for Order status. This bot supports the sales reps and B2B customers as well.

  • Pella designed the order status bot, which includes an integration with Pella’s order system 
  • The bot is also able to seamlessly hand off any conversation that goes beyond order status or requires further research to a group of contact center agents.
  • With the help of the Quiq team, Pella was able to deploy the new bot quickly and effectively.

Flattening the Contact Center Growth Curve

Adoption began almost immediately. Volume quickly ramped up as many of the sales reps became early and eager advocates for messaging, sharing their experience with colleagues. Both agents and reps love the ability to share screen shots, gifs, and links within their conversations to quickly exchange information. Today, the entire National Account Support team takes conversations from sales reps. Agents typically handle up to 3 simultaneous messages at a time with the average conversation lasting 5 minutes. 

Prior to the implementation of messaging, the contact center received thousands of phone calls and emails from sales reps. Since implementing SMS, at least 15% of phone calls have been deflected to the messaging channel.  

Messaging helps sales reps get the information they need faster, making in-home meetings with customers more efficient. Now resolving something over text takes an average time of 8 mins on SMS vs. emails that could sit in a reps inbox, and were averaging over 7hrs, for resolution. The 98% faster response time is paying off.

In one example, a customer wanted to know if they could have windows that matched their existing trim while meeting with a Pella sales rep in their home. The rep was able to snap a picture of the trim and text the question and photo to an agent. Within 20 seconds the agent sent a picture of three trim options that would work. Because the customer immediately received the information they needed, the sales rep was able to close the sale that day.

“Agents prefer messaging over talking on the phone. Over the phone, if there are 10 seconds of silence while you’re looking up something in the system, it feels like an eternity. When you’re texting, the communication is asynchronous, so the messaging agents feel less stressed and hurried, yet they’re faster than the phone agents.”

~ Traci Scott, Pella

Pella’s Order Status Bot

With a successful implementation of SMS under their belt, the Pella team decided to automate some of their conversations with the help of a Quiq bot. The company rolled out an order status bot in May of 2019, integrating it with their order system.

The integration of Pella’s messaging bot with the company’s order system enables B2B customers and sales reps to simply type in the order number to receive an instant, real-time status of the order. Since launching the bot in May, customers have been able to quickly receive status updates without the need to speak to an agent. When a human agent needs to intervene, it is easy for the conversation to get transferred to one of the two agents who support order status inquiries.

What’s Next at Pella For Customer Messaging

Although COVID-19 changed the order of Pella’s project roadmap and drastically shortened the implementation time, messaging remains a priority for several use cases throughout the customer’s experience. The results achieved from messaging and chatbots for the National Account Sales Reps has Pella anxious to get started on the next project.

Pella sees no shortage of opportunities to help their B2B and B2C customers with messaging. Pella also sees the potential for a bot to do outbound appointment reminders. 

Messaging has helped the company craft a digital customer experience that is faster and more convenient for customers and more efficient for the company. A clear win for everyone.

About Quiq

Quiq is ready to help your company gain efficiencies within your contact center. Schedule a call or contact us to discuss how Quiq’s messaging platform and bots can work throughout your organization to streamline workflows, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

The Nature of Business Messaging

What makes messaging a unique channel and how should we optimize for it?

Messaging. It’s not chat. It’s not email. And it’s certainly not voice. Messaging is often dubbed an “asynchronous” channel, meaning that the two parties – in this case a customer and a business representative – don’t need to be simultaneously dedicated to their ongoing discourse. 

In this post, we’ll dive into the messaging channel and how to use this popular channel to boost productivity and customer satisfaction. But first, let’s set the foundation and revisit the difference between asynchronous and synchronous communication.

The Difference Between Asynchronous And Synchronous Channels 

Email is an asynchronous channel. It’s not necessary for the two parties to simultaneously read one anothers’ messages and craft responses – in fact that would be bad. When an email arrives at your business, it’s fine if it goes into a pile and doesn’t require real-time routing

Voice is the ultimate synchronous channel. The conversation must be routed directly to a live agent in real-time. The two parties are then wholly engrossed in the dialogue or tasks related to it. Web chat is mostly a synchronous channel, but it’s possible for agents to handle more than one conversation at a time. Here’s a diagram that shows how the traditional customer service channels fall on a spectrum of synchronicity: 

Synchronous and Asynchronous spectrum for different communication channels

Where should messaging fall on this diagram? Somewhere in the middle? Somewhere a bit to the left of email? Those are reasonable answers. However, the best answer is that each individual conversation can appear at different places on the spectrum. 

Even a single conversation will exhibit periods of increased synchronicity and increased asynchronicity. Sometimes it will behave more like web chat and sometimes it will behave more like email, based on the customer’s responsiveness. 


Don’t panic! This is a good thing. This is the convenience your customers crave and leads to higher customer satisfaction scores (CSAT). This is what allows your agents to support multiple customers concurrently. This is the magic of messaging. You just need to ensure you have the right solutions in place.

In the end, calling messaging “asynchronous” doesn’t seem to tell the whole story. Perhaps it should be called an adaptive channel. Other descriptors might include natural, organic, persistent, and self-paced. 

So what does it look like to properly handle this unique channel where customer interactions should sometimes consume a synchronous “session” with a business representative, but sometimes not, based on how synchronous the conversation is itself? 

Embrace Concurrency

The ability for agents to serve multiple customers at once is a big selling point for messaging. But it’s also a basic requirement of managing the channel. Imagine a system wherein agents receive one conversation at a time, similar to some web chat systems. 

If the customer texts in “Hi” and the agent responds with “Hi, how may I help you?,” but the customer does not immediately respond, the agent is now in a dilemma where she/he must decide how long is too long to wait for the customer’s response. It could be that the customer was interrupted and had to walk away for a bit, so they didn’t get a chance to respond. Or perhaps they’ll respond immediately. The longer the agent waits for an unresponsive customer, the longer other customers have to wait and the agent is not fully utilized.

The way to address this problem is to first allow agents to have a configurable number of concurrent sessions, such that the law of averages keeps conversations moving. The system should endeavor to route as many conversations as it can, spreading them across the available workforce. In this way, agents can help other customers while awaiting responses. 

All of this requires a real-time UI that automatically reacts to updates on any and all of the conversations assigned to an agent and it also necessitates some additional tools to enable the agent to manage their workload.

Monitor Customer Responsiveness

The next step is to use the customer’s responsiveness to determine if a conversation should be actively assigned to an agent and if so, how it should be prioritized amongst its peers. 

Let’s consider priority first. Obviously, any conversation awaiting a response from the agent should be prioritized above conversations that are awaiting a response from the customer. But among all of the conversations awaiting a response from the agent, how should we sort?  Prioritizing the conversation that’s been waiting the longest is an obvious solution, but can we do better? Imagine two customers interacting with your business:

  • Marcus – Sitting alone at a coffee shop checking with his bank on new car loans and fully engrossed on his mobile device
  • Sophie – Texting during breaks in her workday about new car loans

It doesn’t make sense to prioritize Sophie ahead of Marcus, even if she’s been waiting longer. Each customer has a different expectation of responsiveness from your business, based on their own urgency and needs. So conversations should be sorted with the customer’s recent responsiveness in mind. This is the thinking behind Quiq’s Adaptive Response Timer feature which automatically prioritizes highly engaged customers higher than customers who aren’t as responsive. 

In addition to prioritizing an agent’s active workload, a customer’s lack of responsiveness should result in their session being forfeited, temporarily, for the benefit of other customers who are more active. 

Suppose a conversation was progressing rapidly and is clearly not concluded. The customer has gone dark for the last 30 minutes, perhaps because they stepped into a meeting. What should we do with this conversation? We can’t throw it away because we know it’s not done yet, but it’s wasteful if it continues to occupy an agent session and keep the agent from helping others.  

A messaging system needs to be able to pause such conversations, making room for other customers, while being ready to handle it immediately when the conversation comes back alive. Quiq’s product calls these “inactive” conversations. 

When an inactive conversation is reactivated by the customer, it should be routed to the same agent if possible. The possibility for inactive conversations to come back alive requires the system’s routing capabilities to understand the difference between an agent’s preferred degree of concurrency and their maximum load.

Mind the Messages

Embracing concurrency and monitoring customer responsiveness sets you up for success when tackling the fluctuating synchronicity of messaging. Further improvements come from the messages themselves. Messages, whether inbound from the customer or outbound from an agent, should be able to inform workflow. A simple example is automatically closing a conversation when a customer responds “No” when asked if they need further assistance. Another example is not making a conversation active when a customer responds with an ineffectual message such as “thanks”. Leveraging rich messaging and NLP to automate workflow are deep topics that merit their own articles—check out one I wrote here.

Mastering The Messaging Channel

At Quiq, we’ve been focused on mastering the messaging channel since 2015. Our system was purpose-built for the next generation of async customer communications. We believe that by using Quiq, messaging won’t be just another channel. It will be the channel preferred by both you and your customers. The nature of asynchronous messaging also allows you to serve more customers with the same number of agents, meeting the customer in the channel of their choosing and being respectful of their time and priorities.

Quiq makes it easy for your customers to contact your business via the messaging channel. Ready to put messaging to work for your contact center? Schedule some time to speak with one of our conversation experts today.

Author, Kyle McIntyre

kyle facebook messages customer support using Quiq

How Messaging Creates Seamless Credit Union Member Engagement

Prior to the pandemic, online and mobile banking already represented the primary banking channels for two third of Americans. As the pandemic forced branches to close, credit unions and consumers readily embraced more online banking options including chatbots to provide members with 24/7 automated service. 

Whether it is to help manage account transactions or process loan applications, everything has had to move online. In this post, we’ll show you how credit unions have quickly deployed technology to manage unexpected changes and better connect with members.

Follow The Technology Your Members Are Using

Every company out there has had to take a closer look at how they connect with their customers. Credit Unions have not been an exception. 

Buddy Bennett, COO at Cyprus Credit Union spoke about it during Quiq’s webinar entitled,  “Digital Member Connections That Are Seamless and Compliant”. Buddy recalls how his organization, which manages 1.3 billion in assets, examined how to better connect with their members as part of their strategic planning sessions for a number of years.

The 30 person contact center at Cyprus used to service its 119,000 members primarily through emails and phone calls. The organization wanted to make it easier for members to connect and get the help they need. 

The vision motivated Cyprus to look at text messaging and chat so they can meet members in the channels of communication in which they live. Consumer’s growing reliance on their cell phones and texting made messaging the more appealing option. As Buddy puts it “Really, we felt like to get to members and to be able to communicate with them, text was going to be the way to go.”

“Really, we felt like to get to members and to be able to communicate with them, text was going to be the way to go.”

The accounting group at Cyprus was one of the first groups to use messaging within the credit union. The department uses messaging to notify business members when checks over a certain amount have cleared. From there, the lending department started successfully using Quiq to reach out to members to follow up on loan applications and soon the collections department will use Quiq to notify members when payments are past due.

The credit union has since rolled out messaging to their contact center to manage inbound inquiries from members. Members and employees have welcomed the new channel with enthusiasm and Buddy says they’ve been surprised at the volume they’re seeing in the messaging channels.

Delivering a seamless and convenient customer experience was vital to the future success of credit unions before the onset of the pandemic. Now, there’s more of a spotlight on the vital importance of enabling members to conduct business at a time and place that is most convenient to the member. Messaging is the channel your members prefer that allows self-service to happen on their terms.

Seamless Member Engagements Starts with Simplifying The Experience For Agents

Black Hills Federal Credit Union manages 15 locations throughout South Dakota along with 1.5 billion in assets and 70,000 members. Even before the pandemic, the organization started to see challenges in their contact center which motivated the team to look at messaging.

John Buxton, SVP and CIO at Black Hills recalls how his organization started to see high abandonment rates and long wait times. As he recalls, “it just didn’t feel like we were maybe providing the service that we wanted to.”

Black Hills also wanted something that simplified the messaging channels for agents instead of a bunch of different systems that agents would have to navigate. When Black Hills went live with Quiq, agents were up and running after only 1 hour of training.

As far as agent adoption, John says, “It was very easy to get them involved because they have requests all the time from members – that’s how members want to communicate. And so they were excited to be able to use something that members want. It was literally just go through a power training and then start doing some testing between each other, texting back and forth….it was very quick for our agents to become familiar with it.” 

It didn’t take long for members to notice the change either. John recalls how surprised the team was when the credit union went live with messaging in their mortgage department. “As soon as we text enabled those phone numbers, and we hadn’t even trained our staff internally or announced it, we were receiving messages. Members were just instinctively thinking that they can text the credit union. They were texting the mortgage phone numbers that were on the website before we even trained our staff internally.” 

Black Hills started with messaging in the contact center, mortgage department, card services and are now moving it into their branches. The credit union has also integrated messaging into their IVR. If a member has been on hold for a certain amount of time, they are presented the option to have the conversation via text. 

The conversation is handed off to the messaging channel where it’s easy for the agent to respond. All conversations are handled in one intuitive workspace where agents can use features such as canned responses (also known as snippets), routing, transferring, and response timers to manage conversations. 

Gain Operational Efficiency Throughout Your Credit Union

If making it easier for your customers to do business with you and simplifying workflows so agents can deliver better members experiences isn’t enough, consider this. Messaging enables your credit union to gain operational efficiency and boost productivity, which is a win for everyone. 

For example, IH Mississippi Credit Union uses text messaging in multiple departments including the financial solutions department, the contact center, and within their retail team. The organization rolled out messaging in the financial solutions department first, using Quiq to send out messages to members who were delinquent or on the path to payment delinquency. 

Credit Union member texting representativeNormally, IH Mississippi would use email and phone calls to contact these members. This process was time-consuming and usually didn’t yield a high response rate. The team now uses messaging which has reduced processing time and boosted response rates.

The financial solution team pulls a report of members who are delinquent on payments or nearing delinquency. A CSV file is uploaded and text messages are sent to those members automatically. What used to be a time-consuming process now takes 5 minutes to execute.

The credit union has realized a higher response rate to these messages compared to those delivered through email or phone. Now, members can discreetly respond and let the credit union know when they will make their payment or simply say “Hey, I forgot, can you transfer the funds now?”

Messaging Will Continue To  Be Your Members Preferred Channel

Prior to the pandemic, there was already a high adoption rate of messaging among credit union members. Covid-19 pushed branches and members to adopt digital technology overnight. Your members will continue to seek safe, secure, and convenient ways to bank with you and messaging will continue to be a channel they expect to be available to them.

Quiq’s digital engagement platform is used by top brands and a list of credit unions that grows by the day. Our business messaging, web chat and bot technology helps credit unions deliver an amazing member experience. Before you develop the next phase of your self service strategy, schedule some time to meet with one of our conversation experts to discuss how messaging can go to work for your organization.

How Chatbots for Customer Experience Deliver Results

Chatbots deliver results across a variety of industries. From retail to travel, chatbots are there to help improve the customer experience, acting as the always-on, always-ready assistants your customers want.

Consumers are interacting with chatbots more often, even if they don’t know they are engaging with a chatbot. Read our infographic below to discover why 80% of businesses will utilize some form of chatbot automation by 2020.

Chatbots deliver results for customer experience and beyond

What Are AI-Powered Chatbots?

AI chatbots are automated systems designed to hold simple conversations with consumers and leads. They’re often used for live chat on websites, ready to help answer questions for shoppers who are browsing.

Chatbots are programmable, meaning that online retailers can rely on them to address questions on specific topics when no representatives are available. They can respond directly to certain keywords and questions, and their speed is ideal for consumers who may be in a hurry to receive an answer before they decide to buy a product. While bots are often less useful for complex or customer-specific queries, they can generate valuable resources and responses to more basic questions within seconds.

Today, chatbots are commonly used to help retailers save time and provide immediate answers to consumers. They can appear as pop-ups on websites, in SMS messages, and more. Thanks to their speed and convenience, they play a major part in enhancing the overall customer experience.

Who Uses AI Chatbots?

Artificial intelligence chat options can benefit a wide range of industries, from retailers to banks to dating websites. Retailers and financial institutions use chatbots as a way to communicate with leads and existing customers without requiring a live representative for every interaction.

One minute can make the difference between a successful transaction and a lost lead. Chatbots are useful for product and service providers who want to increase the likelihood that shoppers will buy. A bot can simulate human conversation, increasing trust between the consumer and retailer in a cost-effective way. This solution can integrate smoothly with any website management strategy, convincing customers to stay on the website longer.

Chatbots have become more mainstream in customer service as retailers start to rely more on mobile solutions and personalized messages. Phone calls and emails can be a hassle, and the wait times can drive away leads. Chatbots eliminate these wait times while making life easier for both agents and consumers.

Why Use Chatbots to Deliver Results?

Chatbots offer an easy, personal way to interact with shoppers. They’re less tedious than using real-life agents for basic questions, and they reduce the time it takes to handle customer demands. Quiq chatbots deliver a variety of results at once and provide many other benefits for retail and financial websites.

1. Chatbots Help Engage Customers

  • From the moment someone visits your site, logs onto your app, or connects with your social media page, a chatbot can be there to start the conversation.
  • 57% of consumers are interested in getting real-time answers from bots on a company website1.
  • Chatbots can guide customers where they need to go, based on feedback, browsing history, and other personalized variables. Bots continually learn from interactions and use the information to get better at helping agents and consumers.
  • Available 24/7 and across a variety of platforms, consumers can connect with your brand whenever they want, using the messaging channels they already know and use.  

2. Chatbots Improve Customer Service

  • 95% of consumers believe customer service is going to be the major beneficiary of chatbots2.
  • Chatbots can open support tickets, answer questions, collect feedback, and point customers toward helpful resources quickly and efficiently.
  • Bots are only as good as their programming but good bot interactions escalate to human agents if they get stuck in conversations.  
  • Chatbots can route customers to the right customer service agent, while providing the agent with useful customer information.
  • Chatbots are predicted to handle 85% of customer service interactions by 20203.
  • Setting up a chatbot platform is a cost-effective way to relieve human agents of simple, repetitive tasks, and increase efficiency.
  • Chatbot automation could save businesses an estimated $8 billion a year5.

3. Chatbots Increase Conversions

  • Chatbots can monitor conversations in real-time and analyze the available data to suggest products to human agents. 47% of customers would buy items suggested from a chatbot4.
  • Set rules for your chatbot to recognize keywords such as “buy” or “purchaase” to prioritize customers who may need help with a transaction.
  • Chatbots can present dates and times for customers to schedule appointments and reservations that customers can book with a tap of a button.  

How Chatbots Can Be Used in Your Business

If an industry leader is looking to reduce agent workload or find ways to increase sales, customer experience chatbots could make a massive difference. AI-powered bots help retailers in all sectors stay competitive by saving time and providing valuable information that consumers can count on.

Automated systems generate responses faster than a human behind a computer or phone screen, and they can serve multiple customers at a time. It’s easy to program chatbots to answer certain types of questions and provide answers on a variety of topics. You can also use them to prioritize shoppers in need and reserve more complex issues for real-life experts. Quiq platforms allow businesses to integrate both chatbots and personalized messaging for the optimal customer experience.

Quiq: Your Messaging and Bot Solution

Customers are knocking. Are you going to answer? Quiq has the leading asynchronous platform to enable customers to connect with companies across today’s most popular business messaging channels. You know them. SMS/Text Messaging, Web Chat, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messaging, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter Direct Message, to name a few.

Let Quiq help you incorporate native and third-party bots into any part of the customer conversation to streamline your workflow and deliver results. Contact Quiq for a demo today by visiting www.quiq.com.