A screenshot of how Quiq allows customers message businesses

A screenshot of the Office Depot website shows an option to text to the company, which is a feature available because of Quiq.

There wasn’t one particular “ah-ha” moment for why Mike Myer wanted to create Quiq, his messaging software for businesses.

“People text each other,” Myer said. “Why not text a company?”

Myer start contemplating that question in 2014, and since the launch of Quiq (pronounced “quick”), this Bozeman company has become a competitive player in the software messaging world.

How Quiq Allows Customers Message Businesses

Quiq is a software for businesses that allows customers to message companies in a variety of ways, such as texting on your phone or Facebook Messenger. Some of Quiq’s 80 customers include Office Depot, Pier One, and Overstock.com. The most common way users use Quiq is through text, said Quiq’s Chief Marketing Officer, Dani Wanderer.

“A few years ago or even yesterday you might have made a call to a company’s customer service organization, or you might have emailed them,” she said. “This is just an additional channel that consumers can use to reach out to companies. You just text message your product questions, support questions and connect with an agent. The thing that is nice about text messaging is you don’t have to make a phone call, put your life on hold, or get put on hold. You don’t have schedule time out of your day to get help.”

Now that companies are becoming familiar with messaging platforms, Wanderer said they are focusing on best practices for implementing messaging platforms in businesses.

Quiq and Apple Business Chat

Recently, Quiq added Apple Business Chat to its list of supported messaging channels.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”Dani Wanderer, Quiq CMO” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”You just text message your product questions, support questions and connect with an agent.”[/perfectpullquote]

Apple Business Chat is the first messaging app that uses rich messaging, which allows businesses using Quiq to interact deeper with its customers. The three most common rich messaging capabilities are scheduling, making secure payments, and choosing items from a list. Wanderer said using these rich messaging features are inherently more secure than SMS, which is important when conducting financial transactions. SMS or text messaging, while not as secure, works extremely well for all other interactions, she said.

Some examples of rich messaging include conducting payments on your cell phone, scheduling drop off times for orders, or presenting different product choices when helping a customer.

There are 20 brands that are live on Apple Business Chat, but companies must use an approved Apple customer service provider. Quiq is one of Apple’s approved providers and is working on taking several of its customers live.

“It’s just another channel for our customers to use,” Wanderer said. “It’s an efficient and seamless experience for customers. But we’re messaging platform agnostic. You can use whatever you want and we’ll manage it on the back end.”

From RightNow to Quiq

Myer, who grew up on the east coast, came to Montana when he decided to join a growing internet startup: RightNow Technologies. After the company was sold to Oracle, a pivotal moment in the Montana high-tech sector world, Myer and other former RightNow employees stayed in Montana.

At RightNow Technologies, Myer was in charge of engineering and gained experience in the customer relationship management software service. Offices were opened across the country in several states like California, New York, Texas, Colorado, and even internationally. But the love of the west drew Myer to Montana and that love kept him in the Treasure State to start his company.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”Matthew West, Quiq Director of Software Development” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Montana brings a bunch of that stuff out of the box. By living in this state you get to have all of those experiences.”[/perfectpullquote]

“One other aspect and this is what made RightNow successful, was the work ethic of the staff and the ‘do the right thing’ attitude,” Myer said. “I think that kind of ‘one-for-all’ and ‘do-anything-to-satisfy-the-customer’ overall spirit of getting it done is really high here. That’s another thing as a startup that makes it successful.”

A Love of the West

Matthew West, the director of software development, graduated in 2004 from Montana State University with a degree in computer science. During college, West completed an internship in Washington which solidified his desire to continue living in Montana. After working at RightNow Technologies with Myer, West decided to move to Quiq when Myer told him about the company.

As a young Montanan with a family, West said his generation and younger have different lifestyle values that the Treasure State can offer.

“It’s much more important to be able to have some lifestyle choices where you get up in the morning, and you love the area you live in,” West said. “You know your neighbors and you experience being part of a community. All those sort of things are just more and more valued. Montana brings a bunch of that stuff out of the box. By living in this state you get to have all of those experiences.”

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