Introduction

Apple Business Chat enables brands to help customers resolve issues, schedule appointments, and make purchases or payments all within the Message app. Brands can leverage the rich features of Apple’s platforms to provide an integrated messaging experience that is branded, verified, encrypted and delightful. LivePerson has enabled hundreds of brands with Business Chat, helping them to easily connect with their customers. Business Chat is supported by Apple devices running on iOS 11.3 and later or macOS 10.13.4 and later.

Benefits of Apple Business Chat

  • Expand your consumer reach - As of January 2020, Apple hit 1.5 billion active devices with ~80% of recent iPhones and iPads running iOS 14+. You can expand into a massive base of iOS users to offer true service and transactional use cases with a ‘Tango’ between automation and human agents.

  • Easy to connect, always in touch - Easy to start from a wide range of entry points and continue on the customer’s time across commerce and service flows.

  • Secure messaging - Apple’s strictly enforced Brand verification ensures consumer confidence and their rich, secure, interactive messaging capabilities drive optimal experience.

  • No Gateway Fees - Reduce costs by eliminating carrier gateway fees - Apple does not charge gateway or transaction fees for Business Chat messages.

  • Rich Experiences - With interactive messages, customers can communicate with brands in dynamic, visual ways within the Message app.

    • Interactive capabilities native to iOS include Apple Pay for payments, iMessage apps to display business app features within the conversation, pickers to prompt customers to choose an item or timeslot, etc.
    • LivePerson solutions can also be leveraged such as automatic messages, secure forms, post conversation surveys and file/ image/ audio sharing.

How conversations start: Entry Points

Consumers can start a conversation with brands through Business Chat buttons. These buttons can be enabled in places where customers might want to contact your business. Additionally, brands can also set up Chat Suggest to further deflect calls and reduce voice support.

Entry Point Description Requirements LoE Traffic
Chat Suggest Chat Suggest allows for call interception as a way to help brands reduce call volume. When iPhone users tap on any of your registered phone numbers, an overlay appears allowing your customers to choose between voice and messaging. Registered phone numbers must be accessible on digital platforms. Low Low
Sticky & Embedded engagements on website Sticky buttons float in the same location relative to the page, so even when the user scrolls, the sticky button remains in place. This is the easiest engagement on the website for a visitor to locate and communicate with your business. Embedded banners are fixed within the same place relative to the webpage. An embedded banner is the right choice if it is relevant to the context of a particular page. You can limit the display of the Apple Business Chat engagement to Apple devices. Add web tag in business website. Engagement design must be approved by Apple. Design must follow Apple's design guidelines, and include a call to action and context. If adding embedded engagement, a div tag in the webpage where the engagement should appear must be added [Contact your account team to learn more] Medium High
Conversation Links When customers click the Business Chat URL on email, social media, etc., they are redirected to the Messages app where they can send the initial message to your business. Conversation Links are generated once Apple approves your Business Chat account Low High
QR code To allow for additional use cases through an offline entrypoint, brands can link QR codes on both digital and offline materials for customers to invoke Apple Business Chat. You will need your Business Chat conversation URL and a QR code generator. Medium Low
IVR Deflect Brands can deflect consumers from voice call to Apple Business Chat using IVR deflection to SMS. You must have an IVR deflect system. [Please speak to your account team for accurate scoping] High High
Maps, Siri, Spotlight Search Native entry points can be enabled to allow for customers to message you in Apple native applications: Maps, Siri Business Chat accounts must be ‘online’ and enabled. Low Low

Is Business Chat right for me?

There are a few things you need to consider if you are thinking of adding Apple Business Chat to your messaging strategy. Business Chat is a great way to offer Rich Messaging, however it may not be for everyone. The channel is only available for your Apple customers. Check out the Operating System split of your customers’ devices – do you have enough Apple users engaging your business to warrant Business Chat? A number of independent studies suggest that users on Apple devices spend more than their counterparts on other platforms. Check your web and app analytics to determine share of Apple users, and revenue generated by this group. If you still want to proceed, then we recommend offering Business Chat to customers with Apple devices and other channels for Android users.

Additionally, Apple Business Chat has a set of criteria that disqualifies a business from obtaining Business Chat approval. See the list below.

Qualifying for a Business Chat account

  • To qualify for a Business Chat account, you must have live agents available during business hours and an asynchronous messaging strategy.

  • You must be willing to offer rich customer experiences and abide by Apple design standards and Business Chat policies. To find out more, click here.

  • You must comply with Apple’s policies and best practices, as documented here.