Tag Archives: Brings
Things have been looking up for customers of Office Depot since last year, when the commercial-messaging startup, Quiq, came to their rescue. According to Mike Myer, Quiq’s founder and CEO, Office Depot customers no longer have to call or fill out an online inquiry form to find out, say, what a particular location has in stock or the status of an existing order. Today, that customer can send a text and have it answered by a helpful Office Depot employee almost immediately. (The first text reply generally gets to the customer within a minute, and the entire back-and-forth is usually completed in less than ten).
Skiers in Jackson Hole are in luck as well, says Myer, who spoke to me from Quiq’s offices, located in the improbably booming tech hub of Bozeman, MT. Wondering about snow conditions or tram hours? All that’s needed is to text the resort for an immediate and up-to-the-minute response. For the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Company, whose entire customer base is a certifiably mobile-only whenever they’re on or headed toward the slopes, this makes a lot more sense, Myer tells me, than a desktop- and email-based support approach.
Overstock.com has also recently implemented Quiq’s solution and is now providing up-to-the minute order information via text. According to Overstock, the most quantifiable “aha” they’ve enjoyed from the new approach is the open rate: 98% for text messages as opposed to “in the single digits” for email.
Micah Solomon, Forbes.com: Tell me what Quiq is and what makes it special.
Mike Meyer, CEO and Founder, Quiq: Quiq is a company in Bozeman Montana that’s focused on making people’s lives easier. You, me and nearly all the consumers out there lead a digital-first lifestyle, where we are always connected. People love text messaging (SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Web chat, etc.) because it’s convenient and fits in with the crazy pace of our lives. By bringing text to business communication, Quiq makes it as easy to talk with companies as it is with friends.
No one likes to make phone calls (let alone to customer service!) and waiting for an email response is like waiting for paint to dry. Messaging is also more efficient for companies since one agent can serve multiple customers concurrently, unlike phone calls, and there’s no seemingly endless back and forth with to solve even a single issue, like there can be with email.
Who are some of Quiq’s marquee clients?
Pier 1, Brink’s Home Security, Tailored Brands (Men’s Wearhouse, Joseph A. Bank), Overstock, Office Depot, Tile, Insikt, and about 80 other great companies.
If my readers want to see your technology in action, where can they look?
Here’s an example they can see for themselves. Go to http://officedepot.com on your mobile phone, you’ll see a Text Us link right next to the phone number at the bottom of the page, which is powered by Quiq. If you were to have a question about a product or order with Office Depot, all you have to do is use that link to get assistance.
There’s a lot of excitement (and apprehension) about AI and chatbots. Your solution takes a different tack. Is this a philosophical choice on your part, a practical one, or both? Tell me your thoughts here.
The hype curve for AI and chatbots is nearing the apex. But I wouldn’t say that these technologies are much help by themselves to true customer service at the moment. Most consumers (me included) can’t point to a satisfying interaction they’ve had with a chatbot that has solved a true, actual customer service issue. Getting the weather from Alexa is perfectly suited for a chatbot. Checking payment status or getting account info is harder, but within chatbot capabilities. Getting an actual customer service issue that requires troubleshooting resolved is orders of magnitude harder.
Quiq is in a great place at a great time because our success isn’t dependent upon how fast AI research is able to solve the chatbot problem. There is a ton of ROI and customer satisfaction to be gained from just adding messaging into existing contact centers with human agents serving customers via text messaging.
This doesn’t mean that I’m opposed to AI and chatbots, when properly deployed I think where they excite me most is in the realm of “bot fusion”: the fusion of chatbots and human agents. A lot of people think about chatbots as first handling the conversation and then passing it to a human if the bot can’t handle it. But we think that agents and bots can work together. There may be a specific dialog that a bot can handle during a conversation between the agent and customer. For instance, identity verification or return address confirmation. If the bot gets confused in its task, it can tap the agent for help. The fusion is the seamless transition of the conversation back and forth between the human agent and their bot assistant without the customer’s awareness.
What role will telephone and email support have in the contact center of the future?
In the future, I believe the majority of interactions in the contact center will be messaging, rather than phone or email. Frankly, I don’t see a need for email to continue to be offered for much longer as a channel in the contact center, since it is so prone to laggy, circular conversations. The phone will still have a place but only in a minority of interactions, and even these will likely start with messaging. Why will the phone still have value? Because there are, and will continue to be, situations in which the consumer wants to be solely focused on troubleshooting a problem. In these cases, speaking is likely to continue to be more efficient than typing. But, the voice conversation will be multimedia, meaning that the agent and customer will be able to text back and forth and view images and video at the same time that they’re on the phone call.
Any advice you can share for other entrepreneurs?
The biggest challenge for entrepreneurs is finding and hiring the right people who can stand side-by-side to build a business from the ground up. It isn’t easy work. My advice for entrepreneurs is 1) find a great market opportunity, 2) hire amazing people, and 3) set the direction. Then, get out of the way and let the magic happen!
What about working with investors and partners?
When working with investors and partners, you need to make sure you keep your focus. While investors and partners are important, they’re not building your product and they are not the ones buying it, so be sure to allocate focus to them in the appropriate proportion.
What is the competitive landscape for Quiq?
We think about our competitive landscape in three broad buckets: 1) legacy chat vendors, 2) CRM vendors with a messaging option, and 3) social vendors adding messaging. Quiq is the first messaging platform built from scratch for asynchronous messaging, as opposed to adding messaging onto their synchronous systems.
[Author’s Note: LivePerson’s messaging solution, LiveEngage, was also built from the ground up for asynchronous communications, to the best of my knowledge. Read about LiveEngage in my previous article.]
Our goal isn’t to displace existing CRM or customer support systems. Quiq integrates seamlessly with Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle and internal systems. So, we’re only competing against other messaging solutions, not the incumbent systems.
BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Apple Inc will accept Chinese mobile payment app Alipay in its local stores, boosting its ties with giant e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd amid a push by the iPhone maker to revive growth in the world’s No.2 economy.
The tie-up will make Alipay, run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at any physical Apple store worldwide, Ant Financial said in a statement on Wednesday. Apple’s own payment system has had a lukewarm reception in China.
The Cupertino-based firm will accept Alipay payment across its 41 brick-and-mortar retail stores in China, said Ant Financial, which was valued at $ 60 billion in 2016.
Apple, whose China website, iTunes store and App Store have been accepting Alipay for more than a year, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The deal comes as Apple is doubling down on the market and looking to strengthen ties with local Chinese partners and government bodies. The firm’s CEO Tim Cook has made regular recent visits to the country.
Apple is also shifting user data to China-based servers later this month to meet local rules and last year removed dozens of local and foreign VPN apps from its Chinese app store.
Alipay is China’s top mobile payment platform, but faces stiff competition from rival internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd’s payment system that is embedded within its hugely-popular chat app WeChat.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday that Apple would build its second data center in China in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after it set up a data center in the southern province of Guizhou last year.
Reporting by Pei Li in BEIJNG and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Himani Sarkar
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Facebook has hired a former NBC and CNN journalist to lead its news partnerships team, a major hire as the platform deals with criticism over its role in spreading misinformation around the election.
Campbell Brown will be filling the new role, which was first posted in December. Brown previously worked as a television reporter centered on politics for NBC, later moving to CNN, where she continued to cover politics. She helped anchor CNN’s 2008 election coverage and hosted various shows. CNN and Brown parted ways in 2010.
Most recently, Brown started an education-focused non-profit focused
Brown announced the move in a Facebook post. Read more…
Bandai has announced that it will be releasing a new Dougram toy as part of its Hi-Metal R range next February.
Vena Solutions Joins Commonwealth Trade Initiative to Connect with Customers, Partners Across 53 Member Countries
(PRWeb June 02, 2016)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13458740.htm
Disney just rolled out the mobile version of its latest game in its Disney Infinity series.
The company launched Disney Infinity: Toy Box 3.0 on Thursday, the companion app to its console platform. The update marks the first time characters from Star Wars make an appearance in the app.
As with previous versions of the app, Disney Infinity: Toy Box 3.0 is centered on Infinity’s Toy Box experience, which allows players to create their own games using a mashup of characters and environments from Disney franchises
While the console game also has a Play Set mode, which uses physical figurines and offers campaign-based games centered around a single universe, Toy Box is essentially a blank canvas that lets players bring characters from multiple movies together in custom, often intricately designed, levels. Like the console version released earlier this year, the app for Infinity 3.0 features new Star Wars characters and gameplay, along with new characters from Disney, Pixar and Marvel titles. Read more…
More than two years after launching Google Keep on Android, the company is finally bringing its note-taking app to iOS: Google rolled out a new version of Keep for iPhones and iPads Thursday.
Like the Android and web version of the app, Keep on iOS allows you to arrange your notes into a sticky-note-like interface. Notes are synced with your Google account so you can access them across devices.
Though not as full-featured as some competitors like Evernote, Google’s free app offers much more than Apple’s new Notes app. Recorded voice memos are automatically transcribed and you can share notes with people you know so others can collaborate on a checklist, for example. Read more…
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