Quiq recently raised $12.5M to bring bots and messaging to customer service. This is a very important and fast-growing space as society moves to texting in their daily lives as their primary communications channel. Businesses are behind on this trend but are catching up.
Quiq offers a platform that makes it easy for businesses to integrate multiple messaging tools into their websites and apps, including SMS, Apple Messages (via Apple Business Chat), Twitter, Facebook Messenger, web chat, Kik, and Google’s RCS-based RBM. Quiq also enables companies to integrate messaging into their own native mobile apps, and it offers a one-way “broadcast” service for disseminating important messages to customers.
To learn more we had an exclusive interview with Mike Myer, CEO.
How are you differentiating yourself in the customer interaction space?
Customer interactions take place across a multitude of channels. Quiq built the first asynchronous, enterprise-grade digital engagement platform. Traditional channels like email and phone calls are synchronous, meaning there is one agent working with one customer for a fixed time period. Digital channels like messaging are fluid or asynchronous, meaning agents can handle multiple simultaneous conversations because the cadence of each conversation (the pace at which the customer engages) is constantly changing.
Another digital channel is chat. Nearly every chat vendor actually has “synchronous” chat. We built chat from the ground up to be asynch and to fit in better with today’s customer. Have you ever started a web chat session and then gone to a different website and the chat disappears? Or have you had to step away from a chat conversation and the agent is saying, “Are you still there?” and if you don’t respond fast enough, they close the chat. Now, the conversation never closes.
You asked about differentiation…We support 2-way inbound and outbound messaging for all the key platforms including SMS/text, rich messaging from Apple and Google, web chat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Message, and more. Conversations can start on one channel, shift to another, and change again seamlessly without any disruption to the agent or customer experience. Also, we allow our clients to use homegrown bots, 3rd-party bots, Quiq bots, or any combination of bots at any point in any conversation on any channel.
At our core, we help brands present customers with consistently jaw-dropping customer experiences across SMS/text messaging, rich messaging, web chat, and social channels. The Quiq engagement platform enables companies to easily orchestrate commerce and service conversations, involving both bots and humans, at scale.
Why are customers choosing Quiq?
First, companies choose to deploy chat and/or
messaging because they want to better engage with their customers. Everyone
gets that 2-way messaging is the most preferred and convenient way to connect
Then, companies need to choose a vendor. Companies choose Quiq because we honestly have the best application. It is incredibly feature-rich, but built by our engineers to be highly efficient and easy to use. We are constantly innovating to lead the market, and last, but most importantly, companies will not find a better team who cares about making them successful.
How big is the market for your product?
The market size is in the multiple billions of dollars. It has attracted many big and small, old and new vendors. You will even continue to see Apple and Google focus on mobile communications between businesses and customers. There are only a few hundred companies that have even deployed messaging. Quiq is well poised to for the inevitable shift to these new digital channels.
Does Quiq help with the Future of Work – this is our definition.
Of the 8 trends, Quiq is directly supporting or in line with 1 (mobile mandate), 3 (cloud delivery), 4 (bots, AI, learning to improve experiences and efficiency), and 6 (digital transformation – abandoning traditional channels for ones that are more consumer-friendly and convenient.).
How do your customers determine ROI?
Our solution is used for both sales and service, so ROI comes in a couple different flavors.
There are a couple ways our clients determine ROI. The first is the shift in phone calls to the messaging channel. Phone calls are the most expensive channel and messaging is the least expensive. When you add concurrency on top of that, the ROI grow exponentially.
While some customers focus on cost savings, others are focused on conversions and upselling. Messaging is the most open/read channel out there at 98%. Because we offer outbound (2-way) messaging, companies are able to provide tailored suggestions to consumers that they are more likely to take advantage of. With rich messaging, consumers can securely pay and complete transactions with messaging on their mobile device.
For some financial institutions, one great ROI example is around loan payments and collections. Who answers their phone to an unknown number? Who checks their old email addresses for notices? Retail banks are able to send payment reminder notifications or loan collection alerts via messaging and 98% of those are read and a staggering amount are responded to.
Not an ROI metric per se for most companies, but every one of our clients highlights that their customer satisfaction scores on the messaging channel is the highest of any other channel, often by double-digit percentage points.
What is the biggest competitive threat you face?
The biggest competitive threat today is “do nothing”/”wait and see”. Companies have a lot on their plates and their traditional channels and customer interactions, while not ideal, are generally working. They all will add chat and messaging but are able to keep the wheels on the bus without it.
What is next for the company?
We will be expanding the realm of messaging from just sending and receiving messages to transacting business. And, by leveraging the data from existing conversations that have already occurred between your agents and customers, we will help companies handle customer interactions more efficiently than ever before.