Last month, Apple announced their latest push into messaging with the launch of Business Chat. This feature (launching in the fall as part of iOS 11 and upcoming versions such as iOS 11.3) has the potential to revolutionize the customer experience by seamlessly connecting support, search, payment, and real-time order tracking all through iMessage, Apple's messaging service. Currently there are over 1 billion iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, etc.), 76% of which are currently on iOS 10, which means that there is already a massive Apple devices user base to take advantage of this feature worldwide.
Right now, there is a handful of companies that are already using this feature, including Lowe, Newegg, T-Mobile, The Home Depot, Wells Fargo, Harry & David, Ameritrade, and Aramark.
At Chatdesk, we are constantly looking at the newest innovations in the customer experience space. In December of 2016, we put together our own predictions for 2017 trends. Second on this list was that SMS and messaging would begin to more closely resemble Facebook Messenger, as they are used to resolve issues in customer support. Our prediction here was accurate, and Apple has taken the customer experience even further than we imagined with an improved customer service platform. Apple has integrated iMessage with other productivity tools including, iCal, Apple Maps, and Apple Pay, allowing customers to perform a series of tasks without ever having to leave the messages app. Currently, the Business Chat feature does not employ any chatbots, so that all business chat conversations will be with live agents who can give personalized support.
Overall, Apple's Business Chat can be beneficial for the following reasons:
Here are some more details Apple users might find exciting and useful:
Customers will find links to Apple Business Chat in iOS apps such as Safari (not in Mac devices with MacOS), Apple Maps, Siri, and within apps and websites. During a conversation, contrary to what we are seeing on social media platforms or WhatsApp, businesses can do the following all within iMessage to streamline the customer experience:
We see Apple Business Chat as a potential game-changer for the customer experience. You can register for the developer preview here.
Which features excite you the most? Let us know in the comments.