Announced at WWDC 2017, Apple is set to include a new Business Chat feature in iOS 11. According to Apple’s official website, it’s a new way for businesses to communicate with customers directly within Messages. It will allow businesses to make themselves available for quick chats directly in Messages for customer service purposes. The latest feature appears to be similar to Facebook and Twitter for making it simple for customers to interact with brands.
With the help of Business Chat feature, customers can get the answers to queries, as well as complete transactions on their iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch. The feature will enable users to quickly message a business for customer support help directly within Messages. The customers will be able to find businesses using Safari, Siri, Spotlight, and Maps, and then start conversations.
Apple’s Business Chat feature seems to be a direct shot at customer service messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and Twitter’s DMs support. The new feature allows Apple to vie with social platforms like FB and Twitter where businesses make use of direct messaging functionality for interacting with customers.
Presently, Apple has provided a screenshot of Business Chat feature, as you can see below.
You can see a father is interacting with Apple customer support about buying an iPad for his daughter. He has messaged from his phone to the company and discussed to buy an iPad for his daughter. Similar to Facebook and Twitter’s brand communication services, the customer service representative refers himself by name. Normally, Twitter-based support team members sign off with their initials to help the customer know who’s conducting their case.
Apple’s developer site shows that Business Chat will support integration with features like Calendar and Apple Pay, letting you pay for products and schedule appointments within the Business Chat interface. It helps customers make purchases right in a chat session. Facebook’s Messenger for Business introduced a similar integration back in 2015. Not only this, but China’s WeChat also has a similar feature like this.
The company will officially unveil Business Chat feature in a developer session later this week on June 9th and then, we’ll come to know how exactly it works. Till then, the feature is available on iOS 11 developer preview.
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