WWDC: What is Business Chat Suggest?
Apple launched a range of enhancements designed for business users at WWDC, including Business Chat Suggest. What is Business Chat Suggest, what does it do, and how is it used?
What is Business Chat Suggest?
Apple introduced Business Chat in the U.S. in early 2018, expanding it internationally a few months later.
The message-based customer service is now in use worldwide. Business Chat Suggest makes the service even easier to use.
Originally, when you search for a business that supports Business Chat, you get given an option to connect to them using the service.
Business Chat Suggest takes this a step further because when you tap the number to call a supported business iOS recognizes the number relates to a Business Chat supporting enterprise and offers to start a Business Chat instead of making the call.
This lets customers contact businesses through Messages, rather than hanging on the telephone line.
What does it do?
Business Chat sessions don’t fly into the ether.
Enterprises supporting the system usually have arrangements with third party customer support firms (such as LivePerson, Salesforce, Nuance, Genesys, InTheChat and Zendesk) who handle the front-end of the contact.
In some cases, you’ll find the conversation may begin with a simple messaging bot, capable of handling and requesting basic information – the contact will then be escalated to a human customer services agent who will be equipped to handle more complex conversations.
You aren’t confined to support requests. You can also pay for and order items in these sessions, if the company provides it.
Sure, but is it private?
Apple likes privacy. That’s why iOS users engaging in a Business Chat session are given control of the information they share. The company you are speaking too cannot see your personal information unless you choose to share it, which means you don’t need to register with the business before engaging in chat.
When you open a Message thread with a company that company can then send you messages within that thread, but you can stop this by simply deleting the thread.
Once the thread is deleted the company has no way of making contact with you, unless you’ve shared your contact details.
How do I use Business Chat?
Business Chat is as easy to use as Messages:
- When a company you want to speak to offers Business Chat support you just need to press the distinctive blue button to initiate a conversation with the firm, though you must be using an iOS device to do so.
- You can start a conversation through Maps, Safari, Siri, and Search, and through participating businesses’ websites and apps. Search for the business, then tap send message and start the conversation.
- If you don’t see send message when you search for a business, it might not be verified with Business Chat.
- You will be responded to and can then begin a dialog just like any other Message chat.
- You can continue these conversations on any device logged into your Apple ID that has Messages, including your Mac or Apple Watch.
- When you finish and delete the thread the company cannot contact you.
- You can use Business Chat to contact customer support, shop or make appointments – it just depends on the nature of the business you are contacting.
Why does Business Chat matter?
“Consumers today are five times more likely to message with family and friends than call them – and they expect to communicate with brands the same way,” said Meredith Flynn-Ripley, VP, Messaging, Salesforce.
Nuance claims that:
- Over 55% of consumers prefer to use a form of messaging to communicate with companies
- 21% of people have communicated with businesses via text
- 2% have used social media messaging (Facebook Messenger, WeChat).
Business Chat Suggest just makes it easier to use the service.
- How to use iOS Business Chat to get things done
- Big brands are embracing Apple Business Chat
- Apple’s Business Chat page