Mike Myer of Quiq

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Mike Myer, the founder and CEO of Quiq, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Quiq – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

I started Quiq a few years ago with the observation that people, in their personal lives, when they need to communicate and get stuff done, do it with text messaging. When they interact with businesses today, they’re forced to use email and phone and those aren’t exactly the preferred methods of communication. Quiq is changing that.

Quiq is a next-generation communication platform for businesses to communicate with mobile customers, and we do that via mobile messaging, either with human agents or bots. Of course we support SMS/text, which everybody knows very well, but our channel coverage goes much further: Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp, WeChat, and Google Rich Business Messaging. We also support in-app messaging and web chat, so in some sense, you can say that Quiq is the platform that covers all the asynchronous messaging channels.

There’s a whole generation of people out there who are not fond of phone calls and even though I’m not a part of that generation, I still I don’t like to set aside time in my life to call a business. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to being busy and needing to do two things at a time. When a company is using Quiq, I don’t have to set aside time to call them. I can start and stop the interaction when I’m available. For example, I can start an interaction in the morning when I’m getting ready for work and put it on pause while I’m driving to work. I can pick it up again maybe later that morning and if I get into a meeting and can’t continue, the conversation is paused again and goes right back in my pocket. Having a running ongoing dialogue with family and friends is something we’re all familiar and comfortable with on text messaging, so that’s a win from the consumer standpoint.

From the business standpoint, the win is the increase in productivity and customer satisfaction. Quiq has a chatbot designer that allows business users to design bots to handle common inquiries and integrate with internal systems (e.g. help a customer know why their order hasn’t arrived). In addition to completely automating repetitive inquiries, Quiq also improves human agent productivity. Messaging, versus phone calls in particular, is much more efficient. One agent can handle one phone call at one time, but with messaging they are able to handle 7x more customer interactions.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

It’s a super interesting time because most brands are just learning about messaging and communicating with their customers via asynchronous messaging. We’ve seen a lot of brands that understand the “why”. They get why they need messaging as a channel, but they are unsure about the “how”. They have concerns about staffing, integrating into other business systems, how to build and implement bots, etc. We’ve done all the hard work so that it’s easy to adopt messaging using Quiq.

Our team are experts in this new world of async. We go the extra mile to help support clients onboard and make it as simple and seamless as possible. Every case is different, but we’ve had bots up and running in an organization in less than 24 hours.

Our biggest hurdle is just getting companies to act in their best interest. Some companies are so busy fighting fires that they don’t look for a better way. We’re offering them a fire truck and they’re like, “Good idea, I’ll get to it when we’ve got more time. Right now, I need to fight this fire”.

What does the future hold for Quiq?

World domination :).

In the upcoming year, brands will feel incredible pressure to adopt messaging and bots 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. COVID-19 has forced a lot of consumers and companies to “rip off the band-aid”, so to speak, and dive into digital channels. A lot more people have become aware of and more comfortable with digital engagement for all sorts of reasons. We expect to see a lot more brands looking for asynchronous channels.

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 these tech titans promote their business messaging capabilities. The savvy marketer needs to prepare now to be able to respond to both their customers’ and management’s messaging focus.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Bozeman?

We ended up in Bozeman because we had the idea that the world was flat before the book was written and believed that all you needed to build an internet business was a great source of talent, high quality of life, and an internet connection. It looks like a lot of other people are reading the same playbook because I see a lot of startups and foresee a lot more to come.

I’m excited to see the community of startups growing and proud to be among a great group of tech startups here.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Persistence!

 

For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series

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