I. What is Apple Business Chat?
Apple Business Chat allows businesses to communicate directly with customers in real-time on their iOS devices. Released in 2018 as part of Apple’s iOS 11.3 release, Apple Business Chat is one of the newest OTT messaging channels on the playing field.
Companies can use Business Chat to provide customer support, manage appointment scheduling, share media, and process Apple Pay payments through a single Apple-native Messaging App.
One of the unique features of Apple Business Chat is that customers always initiate the conversation. They can start a chat through iMessage, Safari, Maps, or Siri.
Businesses can place QR codes and links on their website, social media, emails, and other marketing collateral to encourage customers to start a chat. Customers can instantly connect with a business to get answers to common questions, resolve issues, schedule appointments, make purchases, and more.
Customers can chat when it’s convenient for them, and they can easily recall past conversations by looking through their iMessage history.
II. How Does Apple Business Chat Work?
Here’s an example of how a typical conversation works in Apple Business Chat:
- Any iOS 11 or higher user can initiate a thread with a company that has Apple Business Chat enabled. They can begin the conversation by searching for the brand on Safari, Maps, Siri, or Spotlight search. They can also click on a link or scan a QR Code provided by the business to start chatting.
- The customer can schedule appointments, RSVP to an event, ask questions, browse products, and more by chatting with a customer service representative through iMessage.
- Businesses can also automate frequently asked questions (such as business hours or location information) and processes to give customers immediate answers and improve the chat experience.
- The customer can come back to the messaging thread at any time to request support or engage with your brand. They’ll have access to the entire conversation history.
- Users can end the conversation by opting out of receiving more messages or deleting the conversation.
III. Apple Business Chat Features
Apple Business Chat's mission is to connect customers to brands through the apps they use every day.
Besides being a direct path to iOS users, Apple Business Chat's true value lies in its rich and fully integrated features that support a seamless customer experience.
Here are a few of the top Apple Business Chat features that allow you to hone in on your loyal Apple-user audience:
- Verification & Authentication: Apple Business Chat's verified center allows you to brand a channel with your company's unique logo, so when a customer opens a conversation, they are sure it's you.
- Apple Pay: Apple Pay is native to Apple devices. By integrating Apple Pay with Apple Business Chat, customers can make secure payments and buy products directly within their messaging thread. All they need is a credit card linked to Apple Pay.
- Scheduling: Easily integrate your calendar availability for in-app scheduling and booking. With Apple Business Chat's scheduling feature, users can request a new appointment or meeting and automatically get an in-message prompt with a list of available times to select from.
- iMessage Apps: Connect a list of your store locations with Apple Maps or other Apple-Native apps so customers can check availability or inventory. Automate the conversation so users are directly messaged back with the appropriate application.
- Lists: Make finding and selecting from your products or services easy with Apple Business Chat's Lists feature. With Lists, you can easily upload or connect your service or product with a list that automatically pops up in the conversation. Users are then able to tap to select one or more options of their choice.
IV. Apple Business Chat: Use Cases and Examples
Apple Business Chat makes it easy for your company and customers to interact with continuity.
With Apple Business Chat, you can streamline and automate general processes and user requests all in a single conversation. In a single, asynchronous messaging thread, a customer can:
- Schedule Appointments: Apple Business Chat integrates with iPhone calendars to simplify booking and scheduling.
- Browse Store Inventory: Without leaving the conversation, customers can browse products or services and have a personalized shopping experience with an agent. When they’re ready to make a purchase, they can check out instantly with Apple Pay.
- Get Answers to FAQs: You can integrate custom chat flows with Apple Business Chat to alleviate your customer support team’s stress and offer customers a virtual assistant. Give customers the option to chat with a real person if needed.
- Pay a Bill or Invoice: Provide customers the option to complete payments and purchases via Apple Pay with the click of a button.
- Check on an Order Status: Customers can go back to the conversation thread at any time to check on their order status or get tracking information.
V. How Does Apple Business Chat Solve Common Communication Problems?
Businesses that don't utilize a fully integrated platform like Apple Business Chat are failing to capitalize on an opportunity to directly reach their customers (and vice versa) where they spend most of their time.
Traditional digital channels like voice and email drag customers through hoops and long wait times just to access a support specialist.
Businesses also face a time-consuming and unmanageable system of managing support tickets across multiple channels – often for simple transactions that can be easily automated through Apple Business Chat.
CM.com's Apple Business Chat reduces transaction times and centralizes the customer’s support and shopping experience. Through a single platform, users can complete orders and talk to customer service agents with no hassle.
Apple Business Chat’s suite of helpful solutions and features can accelerate and optimize your business and contact center efficiency.
If you're interested in seeing a demo or ready to get started, get in touch with one of CM.com's Apple Business Chat specialists today!