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 full iMessage framework to provide an integrated messaging experience that is branded, verified, encrypted and delightful. As Apple Business Chat’s premier partner, LivePerson has enabled +120 brands with Business Chat, helping them to easily connect with their customers.

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 13+. You can expand into a massive base of iOS users to offer true service and transactional use cases with a ‘Tango’ between automation and Live 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.

Chat Suggest

When your customers tap on any of your registered business phone numbers, a phone sheet appears allowing your customers to choose between voice and messaging.

By enabling Chat Suggest, you can:

  • Provide the most flexibility and controllability of incoming traffic by allowing brands to quickly throttle the feature’s visibility
  • Deflect calls before your customers reach your IVR queue
  • Reduce voice support costs by shifting call volume to messaging
  • Provide better customer experience with business chat’s built-in features, such as Apple Pay, list pickers, time pickers, and Augmented Reality

Overall setup effort: Low

Dependencies: Businesses must either have an existing business chat program OR launch with at least an MVP business chat configuration.

Setup: Once a brand has identified the phone numbers to enable for business chat, they are required to complete a chat suggest form to be sent to Apple.

Note: Chat Suggest has a 7-10 day ramp up period, which is the timeframe for the feature to propagate across all iOS devices with iOS 13+.

For more information, click here.

Business Chat buttons

Customers can start conversations with buttons enabled in brand websites, mobile apps and email.

Benefits of business chat buttons and banners:

  • Ability to only display for iOS devices
  • Entrypoint that generates the most business chat volume

Overall setup effort: Medium

Dependencies: For embedded banners, brands must add a DIV tag into the website. As well, businesses must either have an existing business chat program OR launch with at least an MVP business chat configuration.

Setup: Button and banner setup can be completed in the Conversational Cloud console within the Campaign Builder. For more information, click here.

Note: Apple has defined design requirements for buttons and banners. You can use our engagement tool to create a button icon or banner that you can add to your website.

QR codes

Brands can link QR codes on both digital and offline materials for customers to invoke business chat.

Benefits of QR codes:

  • Allow for additional use cases through an offline entrypoint.
  • Drive fun, delightful marketing, sales and event campaigns.

Overall setup effort: Medium

Dependencies: Businesses must either have an existing business chat program OR launch with at least an MVP business chat configuration.

Setup: Use a tool like QR Code Monkey to transform your Business Chat URL into a custom QR code. There are many free online tools available.

Note: You can include group and/or intent ids in the Business Chat URL to make unique QR codes for different purposes.

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 provide rich customer experiences and willing to expand your program with richness and additional use cases.
  • Below is a list of business categories that are prohibited from offering Business Chat to their customers:

    • Businesses that offer transactions involving: cigarettes or tobacco products, vaping, counterfeit or stolen goods, firearms, weapons, ammunition, illegal gambling, illegal drugs or non-legally prescribed controlled substances, items that create consumer safety risks, items that are intended to be used to engage in illegal activities, pornography, personal fundraising or collections of nonprofit donations unless approved by Apple
    • Businesses that allow an end-user to purchase currency or establish a prepaid account
    • Businesses that violate any law or otherwise fail to comply with legal requirements
    • Businesses that primarily offers or sells drug paraphernalia or sexually-oriented items or services
    • Businesses that promote hate, violence, or intolerance based on race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation
    • Businesses that allow an end-user to purchase currency or establish a prepaid account
    • Businesses that constitute a staged digital wallet (for example, where a second payment transaction is conducted in order to complete the first transaction or where there is a substitute merchant of record in a transaction)
    • Businesses that engage in fraud and infringe or violate the intellectual property, publicity, or privacy rights of another
    • Businesses that show Apple or its products in a false or derogatory light