Back in early 2018, Apple introduced Apple Messages for Business. Business Messages is a powerful new way for organizations to connect with customers directly from within the Messages app. In iOS 13, Apple has added Message Suggest, which makes Apple Messages for Business easier for customers to discover.
Previously, Apple Messages for Business 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. Apple Message Suggest makes Apple Messages for Business available in search results and anywhere else in which a customer might call from their iPhone.
Apple Message Suggest is a prompt for iPhone users that helps them initiate a text conversation with a business through Apple Messages for Business. It provides an alternative to calling during business hours and waiting on hold to talk directly to a contact center agent.
Message Suggest appears as a pop-up message when an Apple iPhone user taps on a business phone number. iPhone users will see two tappable buttons, one of which is to confirm they want to initiate a call with the Phone app. Above the call prompt is a messaging icon with a customizable call-to-action that takes customers to their native Messages app when tapped. Message Suggest also displays a company icon and verified badge to confirm the registered business’s identity.
Companies already using Apple Messages for Business can take advantage of this feature for their high call volume phone numbers by contacting their Quiq representative. Apple does the rest, triggering the Message Suggest interface for users with iOS 13 and above.
Apple Message Suggest features
Message Suggest offers convenience for customers and a way for companies to capture actionable engagement data for their customer relationship management software. It allows you to:
- Trigger the Message Suggest UI on your brand’s website with a tappable telephone link. As long as you use the proper phone URL scheme, you can also offer app users the option to chat with text messaging.
- Collect and measure Message Suggest volume. By capturing how many users tap the Business Chat option on Message Suggest, Apple helps calculate your conversion rate and your call to messaging ratio.
- Share rich messaging exchanges with customers. Message Suggest shifts inbound inquiries to Messages for Business, a familiar text channel that offers more control over when and how customers respond. Rich media messaging also opens more direct lines of service between customers and employee representatives.
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.
According to Statista, there are currently more than 100 million iPhone users in the United States, accounting for about 45% of all smartphone users in the United States. It’s a safe bet to assume that at least half of your customers have iPhones and they all want to use the convenience of messaging to contact you. Apple Messages for Business is built into iMessage and included with every iOS-enabled device there’s a huge market to address.
Message Suggest for iPhone became available when Apple iOS 13 was introduced, ushering in a new way for your customers to engage with your brand. When customers tap on any of your registered business phone numbers, a small window called a phone sheet appears allowing your customers to choose between voice and messaging.
By tapping on the “messaging” icon customers can contact you through Messages for Business in the Messages app. Your customers have immediate access to messaging with your company which reduces phone call volume to your contact center.
The benefit of Message Suggest to businesses
Messaging offers a better agent to customer concurrency ratio compared with either voice or live chat. Brands reduce their contact center operational costs by launching Message Suggest.
By enabling Message Suggest, you can:
- Deflect calls before they reach your IVR queue
- Reduce voice support costs by shifting call volume to messaging
- Improve agent concurrency with messaging, enabling agents to manage 6 or more conversations at a time
- Increase customer satisfaction by reducing wait times and getting cut-off in mid-conversation on phone lines
- Better customer experience with built-in features, such as Apple Pay, list pickers, time pickers, and Augmented Reality
Do more than a phone call ever could with Apple Messages for Business. 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 Messages for Business, everything is possible, private, secure, and most importantly, easy.
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.
As you can see from the screenshots, one of our clients, Brinks Home Security, has already taken advantage of Message 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.
If you are interested in taking advantage of Apple Messages for Business and offering to message 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 Messages 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 Messages for Business.
- Register with Apple and create a Business Chat account (BCA). Quiq will be your guide throughout this process.
A significant shift in the way consumers communicate with brands is happening, with Apple leading the charge. Message Suggest takes Apple Messages for Business 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 Messages for Business, 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, contact us today.
Q: Which devices display the Message Suggest phone sheet?
Message Suggest appears on iPhones with iOS 13 or higher installed.
Q: What can be customized with Message Suggest?
Each registered phone number in Message Suggest can have its intent ID, group ID, and body parameter customized. You can also create custom call-to-action texts and display chat hours. Quiq can help you customize these configurations to fit your needs.
Q: On my website or app, can I have buttons or text-formatted phone numbers bring up the Message Suggest UI?
No. Apple requires you to use a certain telephone URL format for Safari mobile browsers and native apps. Talk to a Quiq representative for additional information.
Apple Messages for Business is a powerful way to deliver a positive, engaging experience for customers, and the right platform makes rich messaging management seamless. Quiq representatives will help you register with Apple Messages for Business and implement the service within your system. Request a demo of Quiq to get started today.