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Live Q&A: Ask us anything Square Messages

On Thursday November 19th 2pm PT/ 5pm ET the Beta Community hosted the Square Messages team, live here in the Seller Community! 

 

Jason Purdy, @jasonpurdy, the Product Manager for Square Messages answered your questions about Square Messages.

 

Have you ever wished that you could email or text your customers inside of Square instead of using your personal account? Maybe you’ve heard that we’re testing new functionality now with Square Messages in beta? Are you interested in using it?

 

What are you looking for in a perfect Messaging platform for contact between you and your customers? We’re looking to and answer the questions, ask some of our own, and take feature requests you have for this product.

 

How does a Live Q&A in the Seller Community work? 

 

Over the next week we’ll take your questions here in this thread. On November 19th at 2pm PT/5pm ET we’ll start answering these questions live and take more throughout the hour. (There is not a LIVE hangout here, we'll all be plugging away at our computers).

 

Here are some example questions for this thread:

  • What is the purpose of Square Messages?
  • I want to test Square Messages, but what if there is a bug?
  • What do you need from me to make this product the best for my business?

 

To get started testing Square Messages, please join our Beta Community, and see what other products we may be testing for now!

 

 

**Please note this date has changed due to scheduling changes with our host.

kellyj
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Hi all! Getting started a few minutes early here, and wanted to thank you for attending our Live Q&A with Jason Purdy.

Please direct all new questions to this thread, and we'll be sure to answer them as they come in. Please remember questions should be about Square Messages and the plans for this product to come.

 

Ask away! 

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Hello again, Sellers!

 

Thank you for the great feedback.

Some of you I have spoken with in the past and many of you I hope to hear from again. We hear you loud and clear that we need to improve permissions and security of the contact data and messages information.

 

We are also very excited to bring Messages to more places and integrations. Please reach out anytime, feedback always welcome.

 

Our Square Messages Beta is being managed in our Beta Community where you can connect directly with our team. If you are interested in testing this feature further- please join the Beta Community and send a message to @kellyj who can get you started with Square Messages. 

 

We look forward to launching this product!

 

Jason
PM, Messages

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Hello all! Popping in with a quick and exciting update...

 

@jasonpurdy is currently looking to interview anyone who is interested in having an inbound number for your customers to send messages to without having to respond to a receipt or appointment notification. Wheels are starting to get in motion! So if you're interested, make sure to first join the Beta Community.  Then request to join our Square Messages Advisory Board and look for the 30 min interview request post to sign up for a slot.

 

We're really excited about this future launch, but we need to hear your input first! Can't wait to hear from you.

Bea_
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53 REPLIES 53
Super Seller Alumni

Thank you so much @kellyj & @jasonpurdy for putting this together!

 

Messaging though Square is going to be such a great safe & private & convenient way to communicate with our customers! Very exciting stuff!

 

 

Pesso - he/him
Pesso's Ices & Ice Cream
Square Super Seller - I'm here to help!
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thanks pesso! it's great to be able to chat with sellers like yourself to make sure we're building something that works for you. 👍

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What about forms integration ???? A pic in the profile area a place for packages and memberships, daily deals , I know a lot of stylists use Schedulicity or VagaroPro because they have a lot of these things I would love to use one platform, I’ve used Square for over 9 years but these other platforms have better options for salon and suite owners !

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@hairgypsy111 

 

Yes! We are very excited to build a forms integration in a few months after launch in January.

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@kellyj @jasonpurdy Hello! I will start listing our questions here and keep adding to them as we think of any:

 

Oct 29

1) Will we be enabled to send marketing messages offering coupons or discounts that the customer can redeem - either in person or online?

2) How does this integrate with Appointments?

3) Is there a function for recipients of either SMS or email to unsubscribe? In Canada, we need to have this functionality due to the Canadian Anti-spam Legislation.

4) There are issues with the Customer Directory in that we cannot filter customers via those who have email or SMS. How "smart" is the Message system to be able to know who can be sent to?

5) Will there be a cost to this after BETA testing?

 

That's it for now! Looking forward to seeing how/if this might work for us! 

 

NOVEMBER 17

 

1) WhatsApp Business Integrations - with WAB coming on strong and set to become the texting app of choice - and given the ever-increasing numbers of people who use it  - and it being poised to becoming the text message age of choice world-wide, can WAB be integrated to Square to be the vehicle for communicating via text with customers to send coupons, adverts, appointment notifications/reminders, reservation confirmations - pretty much everything ... ?

James Wilkinson
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@JPWilkinson 

 

Hi JP, marketing messaging will depend on the communication channel. For email, yes you can send promotional materials, but for SMS you will need to make sure your customers accept proper consent to review marketing text messages, which we provide the ability for you to request from the buyer (we are building this now and will be ready in December). 

 

Our integration with Appointments has been one of our main focuses from the beginning.

You can easily message anyone you have a past or upcoming appointment with, plus additionally Square Assistant will continue to help manage appointment reminders, as well as the ability to cancel, confirm or reschedule, right in the buyer’s SMS client. With Messages you can now view these Assistant conversations as well. 

 

As for the ability to unsubscribe, yes all buyers can easily click the unsubscribe link in any email or reply “STOP” to any SMS to stop receiving text messages. 

 

Interesting point about the customers directory, I’ll look into that! The Messages system will know whether you can send an email, SMS or both by choosing with “channel” (SMS vs Email) and you can switch anytime in the top right “...” menu in a conversation. 

 

Hope this addresses your great questions and thank you for being an early user of our new system! 

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Beta Member

Anything about WhatsApp integration?

James Wilkinson
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Super Seller Alumni

Here are some questions for ya:

 

1. We use Square Online for most of our orders, and right now if anything goes wrong we need to look up their phone number and call them. Would Square Messages be able to handle in-app messaging through the Orders Applet on POS to streamline this process?

 

2. I've worked with some other Sellers that use Appointments, and their big issue is privacy. They want their employees to be able to communicate with customers who book with them, but they don't want the employees to see the customers' private contact information. Will Square Messages solve solve this?

Pesso - he/him
Pesso's Ices & Ice Cream
Square Super Seller - I'm here to help!
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1000% agree with @pessosices in that we do not want employees to be able to see the contact information for the customer. We do this, and they can walk away with the entire customer list and start communicating with them if they start their own competing business. In fact, we don't really want them to be able to see the info in the directory aside from being able to add a new customer and then edit a new customer. We do not want them to see anything beyond the name of a customer so if they are assigning them to a ticket, that they can find the customer but not being able to take a photo of the directory either. In the service industry, the customer directory is your bread and butter for a business. We need to be able to lock it down as much as possible to anyone but Management for full access.

James Wilkinson
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Hey @pessosices , great to hear from you again. 

 

Our orders integration is coming next year, I’m sorry to say this won’t be ready at launch, but it is something we are building post launch. 

 

Appointments privacy is something I heard from a few sellers. Although our current permissions based system is based on “permissions sets”, that you can attach certain employees to, we are going to build employee based permissions which should help. One thing we’ll look into is whether we can hide the contact information based on these permissions. Great idea, keep them coming! 

 

@JPWilkinson Got it JP, thank you for more info here, really helpful.

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We operate a small massage facility and book appointments through square. We have been on the beta messenger program and are getting a glimpse of what messenger COULD end up being. Main question/request: permissions around how messenger works (owner/manager/service staff).

 

A Potential guest is trying to book a specific service or has a specific question BEFORE booking. Does messenger work? What user can "see" that guest message and reply to it?

 

A guest books a service and is assigned to a staff member. That guest gets a reminder notice to confirm their appointment and tries to message us to ask to move service time. What user can "see" that guest message and reply to it?

 

Basically we plan to use Messenger as a core communications tool with our guests but only if we can clearly understand (and control) the functionality around permissions. Which our of our team members receive the message and can reply to the guest is make-or-break for us.

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@exquisitewellne 

 

Hello and thank you for your thoughtful question.

 

Yes, permissions is something we’re building based on “permission sets” like owner/manager, etc.

 

For a question before booking, messages currently works best by replying to a receipt or an appointment reminder, in the future we will give better inbound questions capabilities, but again, will be tied to the permissions sets mentioned above.

 

Over time, we will attach that employee with the appointment (along with any role like owner/manager) to that specific conversation but for launch in January that’ll be focused on just the role access.

 

Hopefully that makes sense, this is something we are going to improve as our top priority post-launch! 

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Thanks for reply. If/when this messaging system has another Q&A where all the posts are questions and answers related to the MESSENGER system I'll surely participate. Until then, this format resulted in too many "unrelated" inquiries. If I can assist with the development of the messaging system feel free to reach out directly; this is a feature that we can really get behind for our 20+ person operation if the functionality and permissions gets worked out.

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@exquisitewellne 

 

 Noted. Feel free to visit the Beta Community where theres a lot less chatter around specific products and requests. We tried to keep the conversation on topic as much as possible, and happy to talk with you in person, or chat in one of our Round Tables Events.

kellyj
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How can I obtain notifications when someone buys a product from my weebly website?

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@minnis57 

 

Square messages is a tool for external communications with your customers, and this Q&A is specifically for questions regarding this product. But you can change your settings to provide a notification when an order comes in: 

 

To update your preference for notifications and ticket printing from the app, open the navigation menu > Settings and scroll down to Orders.

 

  • Alert Settings: By default, alerts will be enabled – you can disable or adjust how often you’re notified of new orders. Choose to be notified every 5, 15 or 30 minutes.

 

kellyj
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I understand that part of the new Square Messages is a 'bot'.   because we get a lot of the same questions already today - either on the phone, email, facebook, etc - standard stuff - when are you open, what are your hours, do we need an appointment, do you take cash, etc...   Then we get a lot more specific stuff - what's in stock currently, what variety of blueberry do you recommend.  

 

Our business is very personal and I am concerned about a bot.  I do love the idea of someone getting an instant answer to a simple question - are you open today?  instant yes.  what are your hours? instant reply.

 

So a couple of questions

Can we have the bot only answer certain questions? 

Can the customer easily bypass the bot?

Will we still see all messages even if the bot answers them?  (more important - will we get notification of messages even if the bot answers?)  We want to be able to correct the bot if it's giving wrong or nonsensical answers instantly - not discover it later as we are scrolling through messages.   

Notification of new messages is very important - if I have to remember to go check to see if we have messages, that won't work out well for us. 

 

 

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@HappyValleyFarm

 

Hey again Happy Valley! Great to hear from you.

 

The bot framework today is solely focused on Appointment reminders, but sometime next year we’ll be able to have business owners like yourself customize and program the bot to handle the specific questions you’d like. 

 

Also notifications is being built into the Point of Sale App, so that should hopefully address those issues. 

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Will messages be customizable by groups, to send out particular notifications?

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Hello @Andriana1, by customizable do you mean access/permissions or templatized messages for specific groups?

 

Access/permissions is something we are building now, but if it is a templated approach you'd like, we would love to know any messages you’d appreciate we could add! 

 

Feel free to post them below.

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