Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start Quiq?
I have been in tech most of my life, having degrees in Computer Science and then beginning my career at Bell Labs. I spent a good portion of my professional life as the CTO at RightNow – a leading provider of SaaS customer experience software.
I started Quiq because I saw a huge gap between the way consumers could communicate with companies and how they communicate with family and friends. Everyone has busy lives, and phone calls don’t always fit in with everything that’s going on at the moment. But, we need an answer right away, so waiting hours for an email response doesn’t work either. Texting is how we get stuff done in our personal lives. It should be the same for business communication too.
What is Quiq and how does it fit into a modern Mobile Marketing Technology stack?
Quiq is a messaging platform that helps companies and their customers engage in conversations at any stage of the customer journey. Customers are mobile and on-the-go. They want to interact and hear from companies at their moment of need. One way Quiq is used is by online retailers to deliver notifications regarding the order, shipping, and delivery status. Because Quiq is a conversational platform, if a customer has a question after receiving a notification, they can just text back and be immediately connected to a human or bot to have their questions answered.
Quiq is also used in Pre-Sales conversations, when, for example, a customer needs advice on finding the right product e.g. a rug and a lamp to match a room remodel. Marketers can also use Quiq to communicate product promotions, with existing customers, like new home loan rates, discounts on a re-order for a subscription business, or an alert that a new brand/product is being carried, etc. Quiq is also often also used by our clients to replace the phone or email as a more efficient communications channel for customer service.
Just to highlight some of the messaging channels we support: SMS/text messaging, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messaging (RCS), webchat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, In-App, etc.
Which businesses are fastest to the adoption of B2B/B2C Messaging platforms? How does it impact Branding and Marketing operations?
The fastest adopters of messaging have come from three categories: 1) incredibly competitive industries like online retail which needs to build brand loyalty; 2) from innovative brands who like to lead with new technology; 3) creative individuals at brands who see technology and the customer experience as a differentiator. Messaging communications have been primarily adopted by B2C or businesses with a high number of customers and customer interactions.
We work with our clients to understand their customer journey and touchpoints to find the best moments to use proactive messaging and to present the option for 2-way texting. The technical effort involved in adding messaging is low. It’s just a simple addition of a button or link to the website to invite clients to message or the invocation of our messaging API from existing campaigns or internal systems to send proactive messages. We have standard CRM connectors with Salesforce, Zendesk, and Oracle that make implementation easy.
How have your customers utilized your technology? What marketing/business goals do you help them to achieve?
Our clients span a number of industries/verticals. Our online retail clients use web chat and messaging to help shoppers do research and make a purchase, as well as for post-purchase customer service. Additionally, they use outbound notifications to deliver order status and shipping updates, as well as Product Promotions or Sales. When used during a purchase journey, our clients have seen a 33% increase in conversion rate. When used to support customers, our clients have improved customer satisfaction scores by 5-20 percentage points, while simultaneously decreasing the cost to serve their customers by 5X or more – a win-win!
Our clients in the online and subscription services industries have used messaging to improve communication during the customer lifecycle. For instance, by delivering messages at key moments in the onboarding processes and being available to answer questions via text at the customer’s moment of need, one of our clients saved millions in potential subscription churn.
Our banking and credit union clients use messaging in a multitude of ways, including improving loan processing velocity, serving existing customers, and for collections and other proactive notifications. Because text messages are read 96% of the time and are read within a few minutes, messaging is an invaluable way for financial institutions to communicate critical information and be better engaged with their customers.
Every client we have is trying to grow their business and expand relationships with their customers. Whether that means attracting new members to a credit union or helping consumers select the right product, companies want to make the experience as convenient and frictionless as possible. Messaging is how it’s done!
How can the Sales and Customer Support team better drive Digital Transformation using “Calls-to-Text” features?
People often don’t want to make a phone call, but they feel that it’s the only way to get personal help right away. Because messaging is emerging, callers may not always be aware that texting with a brand is an option. Offering the option to text from within the IVR is a great way to promote the messaging option. For example, if you call a company and there is hold time, how cool would it be if you could get off the phone and text the company instead of waiting on hold? Since an agent can handle 5-10 messaging conversations at the same time, converting calls to messaging has a very significant ROI for companies.
What brands are using your technology and how has it transformed their relationships with customers?
Some of the brands using our messaging platform include Overstock, Pier 1, Men’s Wearhouse, Office Depot, Bissell, Brinks Home Security, Club Med, Jackson Hole Resort, and Thumbtack.
Whether these brands are talking to shoppers, customers, travelers or members, messaging has transformed their engagement. Customers love the convenience and ease of messaging because it fits into their busy lives, allowing the customer to drive the communication and the pace of the conversation.
We’ve repeatedly seen companies whose agents have worked on other channels receive much higher customer satisfaction scores when serving customers over messaging. Since it was the same agents who were giving the same answers, we know that it’s the messaging channel that is making the difference!
Tell us about your technology integrations with other Marketing Technology platforms such as Contacts, Social Media, Automation, Contracts, Email, and Customer Service.
Our list of standard integrations is long, including Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle and Shopify. In addition, we have a state-of-the-art integration framework that makes it easy to trigger messages from other systems and to publish messaging conversation data into internal customer data master systems and reporting systems.
In addition, our bot framework makes it easy for bots written in any conversation dialog tool to participate in a conversation in Quiq.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
We currently use Marketo, Salesforce, and Outreach.io internally.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Customer Engagement technology for 2019-2020?
Messaging is at the early stages of adoption and many of the brands that have adopted it have only scratched the surface of what is possible. The potential of messaging is so much more than just sending and receiving text messages.
Conversational commerce and rich messages will change the way people shop and interact with a brand. Using rich messages, brands can send product cards and carousels, and purchases can be completed just by clicking on a message blurb – no credit card entry needed. Buying something through a message is the easiest way to complete a transaction!
In the upcoming year, brands will feel pressure to adopt messaging on two fronts. First, consumer demand for messaging will increase as customers begin to expect to be able to message with all their favorite brands. Second. the focus of Apple, Google, and Facebook on business-to-consumer messaging is going to create awareness in the C-suite of large brands as the tech titans promote their business messaging capabilities. The savvy marketer needs to prepare now to be able to respond to both their customer’s and management’s messaging focus.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
At the moment, the most interesting thing to me is not startups, but it’s the messaging teams at Apple, Google, and Facebook. They are rapidly innovating on their messaging platforms, just like a start-up would. The possibilities of what is possible in a messaging conversation are rapidly advancing. For instance, Augmented Reality in messaging. A customer can text a picture of their room to a company and get back a special AR message that shows a piece of furniture that the customer is considering placed in the room. The customer can drag the furniture around in the room to see what their new decor will look like. This exists today!
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business Leader?
I’m excited to be helping to lead business transformation with AI. But I’m also realistic about what can be accomplished in the near term using AI. Certain categories of interactions between companies and their customers can be automated with conversational AI now, such as order status or returns/exchanges. But current generation AI is not ready to replace humans for issues that require a question/answer dialog to understand the issue and then reasoning to reach an answer.
We have brands using conversational bots today to gather input, verify the information and perform directed dialogs (e.g. identity verification). The Quiq platform is open, allowing our clients to use whatever bot platform they wish to build conversational dialogs even combining bots from multiple vendors seamlessly with human agents.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
At our very core, we’re a tech company, so tech is part of our DNA. No inspiration needed!
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
My iPhone and the Apple Messages App (we are a messaging company!)
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Prioritize! Know what needs to be done now and what can be done later. Maintain a task list to organize the things to be done later.
What are you currently reading?
I don’t have big blocks of time so I tend to prefer to consume things that come in bite-size pieces – more blog and online content than books. I read the WSJ religiously to get an unbiased view of what’s happening.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Manage both up and down.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Rob Locasio, CEO LivePerson. We compete with them all the time.
Thank you, Mike! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Mike Myer is the Founder and CEO of Quiq. Before founding Quiq, Mike was Chief Product Officer & VP of Engineering at Dataminr, a startup that analyzes all of the world’s tweets in real-time and detects breaking information ahead of any other source. Mike has deep expertise in customer service software having previously built the RightNow Customer Experience solution used by many of the world’s largest consumer brands to deliver exceptional interactions.
RightNow went public in 2004 and was acquired by Oracle for $1.5B in 2011. Mike led Engineering the entire time RightNow was a standalone company and later managed a team of nearly 500 at Oracle responsible for Service Cloud. Before RightNow, Mike held various software development and architect roles at AT&T/Lucent/Bell Labs Research. Mike has earned BS and MS degrees in CS from Rutgers University.
Mike splits his time between two of the best (and most opposite!) places: Bozeman, Montana and New York City.
Recognized as a 2017 Gartner Cool Vendor, Quiq makes it easy for customers to interact with a company via Messaging. Customers can now engage customer service via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Live Chat, and Kik for help with their Pre-Sales questions and Post-Sales support.
Our mission is to improve the way customers communicate with companies. We believe mobile message-driven communications will replace a significant portion of the traditional phone and email interactions, reducing costs while improving customer satisfaction.
Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with our friends and family. With Quiq, customers can now engage customer service via SMS/text messaging, Facebook Messenger, Live Chat, and Kik for help with their pre-sales questions and post-sales support. Quiq Messaging can be purchased as a stand-alone customer channel or companies can take advantage of one of our pre-built CRM integrations, including Oracle, Zendesk, and Salesforce.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.