It is that time of year again when technophobes are all abuzz with the latest Apple innovations. Every year, the second week of September becomes the week of Apple. This year, with the anticipation of the iPhone 11 and iOS13, appears to be no different.
There are a couple new features in iOS13 that we find notable and think you will too. The first is a new little toggle button in Settings called “Silence Unknown Callers” that promises to make millions of iPhone users much happier. The second is a much bigger addition that will continue to change how consumers and their favorite brands connect. This second feature builds on the Apple Business Chat roadmap and is called Chat Suggest.
What is Apple Chat Suggest?
Back in early 2018, Apple introduced Apple Business Chat. Business Chat is a powerful new way for organizations to connect with customers directly from within the Messages app. In iOS 13, Apple has added Chat Suggest, which makes Apple Business Chat easier for customers to discover.
Previously, Apple Business Chat was offered from Apple Spotlight Search, Apple Maps and on a company’s Contact Us page. But many customers find companies in Google search results. Chat Suggest makes Apple Business Chat alive in search results and anywhere else in which a customer might call from their iPhone. With Chat Suggest when a phone number is tapped, iOS recognizes the number is associated with a Business Chat company and offers the option of a Business Chat (messaging conversation) in addition to a phone call. As a result, customers are immediately aware the business is reachable through Messages, rather than just a plain old phone call.
How do I get Chat Suggest for my business?
If you are interested in taking advantage of Apple Business Chat and opening up messaging to your customers, there are 2 steps. The first is to identify what Apple calls a Customer Service Provider, or CSP, and the second is to create a Business Chat account.
- A Customer Service Platform (CSP) is required to connect your business to the Business Chat service. A CSP provides the software and services necessary to allow your agents to respond to customer messages sent from the Messages app on Apple devices. Fortunately for you, Quiq is already an approved CSP and has many clients live on Apple Business Chat.
- Register with Apple and create a Business Chat account (BCA). Quiq will be your guide throughout this process.
Impact on businesses and consumers
Up until now, Google has controlled how the contact information for businesses was presented in search results. The default way offered to reach your business was a phone number. What if you don’t really want consumers to call first?. If you are like most companies, the cost of handling a phone call is expensive, more expensive than any other channel. It is a 1-1 conversation with a human agent. It doesn’t get much more expensive than that. This is why other channels like email and chat have been featured in Contact Us pages. But, when Google offers your phone number front and center in the search results, your customers aren’t even going to visit your Contact page to learn of other contact channels.
Think about it from your customers’ perspective. If you were in their shoes, do you want a phone call to be the only option offered? What if you are going into a meeting, headed to pick up kids, hanging out with friends? Do you really want to call a business, navigate a phone tree, wait on hold, and then have to talk to at least one person to get a question answered? No. You don’t. Stopping everything to make a phone call is quite possibly one of the least convenient things to do today. Our lives are too busy to sit down and focus on just one thing.
Apple Chat Suggest offers an alternative to calling a company and waiting on hold and allows consumers to simply text or message with one tap, allowing them to get on with their busy lives.
As you can see, one of our clients, Brinks Home Security, has already taken advantage of Chat Suggest. Now, when consumers tap on Brinks phone number from their Apple device, they are presented with the option to message or text in addition to call.
The benefit of Chat Suggest to businesses
Do your customers call you? If you are one of the handful of companies where you don’t engage with consumers over the phone, skip ahead. For the rest of the world, let’s get real. Wouldn’t it be great to reduce the number of inbound phone calls and to shift consumers to messaging? Yes. Yes, it would.
If call reduction is at all important to you, business messaging is the way to go. Phone calls are expensive – typically more expensive than any other channel you offer. Your agents can only handle one phone call at a time. Compare that to messaging and you will quickly see that messaging is a fraction the cost of a phone call since your agents can manage multiple messaging conversations at a time.
Not only can business messaging reduce costs and decrease inbound calls, it also allows you to do more than a phone call ever could. Have you ever tried sending an image over the phone? Not possible. Have you ever tried to schedule an appointment over the phone? Painful. Have you ever tried to take payment over the phone? Not the most secure. With Apple Business Chat, everything is possible, private, secure, and most importantly, easy.
The future is messaging
A significant shift in the way consumers communicate with brands is happening, with Apple leading the charge. Chat Suggest takes Business Chat to the next level by proactively offering consumers the option to chat/message with a company instead of calling. Your customers will be happier and your business will be more efficient!
As an authorized Apple Customer Service Provider, Quiq helps brands present their customers with consistently jaw-dropping customer experiences across SMS/text messaging, Apple Business Chat, Google Rich Business Messaging, web chat, and social channels. With Quiq’s Conversational Engagement Platform, companies can easily orchestrate commerce and service conversations involving both bots and humans. For more information about Quiq, go to www.quiq.com.