Apple unveils Business Chat, brings customer service /shopping into iMessage
Apple unveiled its Business Chat feature at the Worldwide Developer's Conference 2017 (WWDC17) in a bid to turn its iMessage app into a communication platform which can compete with the likes of Facebook's Messenger.
The app will be available as a part of Apple's new OS, the iOS 11, and will integrate customer service and shopping options into iMessage.
Apple's new Business Chat app
A paradigm shift in customer service
Business Chat has already been integrated with a few customer service products companies like Salesforce, Genesys, Nuance, and LivePerson, with aim to shift customer service from voice-based human solutions to mostly chat-based AI solutions, with only exceptional cases being reserved for humans.
What makes Business Chat unique?
Business Chat will allow iOS 11 users to find businesses using the Safari browser, Maps, Spotlight, and Siri.
The app can help users start conversations with businesses.
Apart from basic texting features, the app also offers complex interactions like scheduling appointments and deliveries.
Businesses can also offer services to customers through the app, using Business Chat's in-built list app.
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Changing consumer-business interactions
"I really think this changes how consumers are engaging with businesses," said the CEO of LivePerson, Robert LoCascio.
What could you actually do with such an app?
Since Business Chat will be synced to Apple Pay, customers can actually use the messaging app to browse and purchase products and services.
Moreover, Business Chat will allow Apple's iMessage App Store become a platform where companies can launch some of their app capabilities through a chat - e.g. Apple demonstrated how a customer could book an airline seat through a chat.