Top 3 Things to Know About Apple Messages for Business

How much do you know about Apple Messages for Business?

We know what you’re thinking. Not *another* messaging platform.

But hear us out. Business Messages is one of the most organic messaging experiences you can offer your customers.

There’s no denying that Apple knows how to create a great customer experience. From their Genius Bars to their MacBook packaging, there’s care and attention paid to every small detail.

And that extends to their Business Messages feature. We’re answering three basic questions to help you discover what it is and how to use it to improve your customer experience below.

What is Apple Messages for Business?

Apple Messages for Business allows users to connect with your business through Apple’s native Messaging app on their iOS- or macOS-enabled devices. With more than 1 billion iPhone users, you have a simple way to connect with your customers.

When you enable Apple Messages for Business, users get one-on-one access to your representatives directly in Maps, Safari, Search, Siri, Spotlight, and even within your iOS app. All they have to do is click the messaging icon, and they’re taken to their messaging apps.

Your customers don’t need to navigate through an automated phone tree, search for an email address on your website, or download an app—they can simply open up the Messages app and start chatting with a customer service representative right away.

What can you do with Apple Messages for Business?

Besides enabling customers to connect with you as easily as they do with their favorite people, Apple Messages for Business offers a variety of features you can leverage to improve your customer experience.

Rich messaging

So much more than a text. Rich messaging allows you to send images, links, share a location, read receipts and more.

Send a rich link that displays website information from within the message. Customers can verify it’s the information they’re looking for before tapping the link, and they’re provided an easy way to get back to the conversation after they’ve visited the site.

Retailers can use messaging to send product images, insurance companies can ask for pictures of car damage, or you can share nearby brick-and-mortar locations.

Appointment scheduling

Let customers schedule appointments right from within messaging. Customers can see if it conflicts with their schedule, automatically add the appointment to their iCal, and get reminders to ensure they don’t miss it.

Augmented reality

Help customers decide if a product fits in their home. Using their iPhone camera and augmented reality, customers can visualize a product in their homes.

List picker

Simplify customer choice by letting them pick from a pre-populated list. Use it to help them pick locations, item size, color, or service.

pay to chat apple pay

Accept payments with Apple Pay

Eliminate abandoned carts by completing sales right within Messages. You can send payment requests with Apple Pay and make it so much easier for customers to complete a transaction. No more entering in extra information, and no getting up from the couch to get your credit card… Just instant gratification.

Collect (secure) customer information

What’s one thing customers hate most about customer service? Having to repeat themselves and give out their information to multiple people. Apple Business Chat removes this obstacle by providing the customer information you need. Plus, messages are long-lived. No matter when a customer reaches out, their previous conversation will live in the messaging platform so you can pick up right where you left off. Just like messaging a friend.

What are the benefits of using Apple Messages for Business?

Apple Messages for Business provides many opportunities to delight customers while still streamlining your customer support process. Benefits of Apple Messages for Business include:

  1. The ability to encourage messaging with Message Suggest.
  2. Delivery of a seamless customer experience.
  3. Incorporation of both live agents and chatbots.

Encourage messaging with Message Suggest

Typically, customers can message you by tapping a messaging icon. But you can boost messages and reduce your call volumes with Apple Message Suggest. Customers can tap on your business phone number from anywhere within iOS or macOS, including websites, social media, business directories, etc., and they’ll be given the option to message instead of call.

Adding Message Suggest can help reduce call volume and drive traffic to messaging, which is often more efficient and cost-effective.

Deliver a seamless customer experience

Think of Apple Messages for Business as an extension of your brand experience. You control your business contact info the user sees when they search your name, including logo, contact information, and more.

You can even customize the call-to-action text for Apple Suggest. Instead of the standard, “Why call when you can message?”, consider a simple “Text us” or an encouraging “Get faster service when you send a text.”

Incorporate both live agents and chatbots

One of the requirements for having an Apple Messages for Business account is having live agents available to respond to customer inquiries. But that doesn’t mean you have to have someone at the ready at all times. You can still use chatbots at specific points of the interaction to ensure instant service at all times.

Use bots to:

  • Welcome customers
  • Automate the checkout process
  • Gather customer information
  • Troubleshoot simple customer issues
  • Collect feedback

Since messaging can happen at any time, you can use bots to service customer questions 24/7, such as:

  • Checking order statuses
  • Canceling an order
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Confirming account balances

You can still utilize bots to help you deliver the best experience to your customers while tapping in live agents to provide that one-on-one support.

Take a deep dive into Apple Messages for Business.

We’ve just scratched the surface on what you can do with Apple Messages for Business to surprise and delight your customers. By giving customers a way to connect with your business that they know, love, and use daily, you’re creating a comfortable and inviting experience for them. P.S. To use Apple Messages for Business, you’re required to use a messaging service provider like Quiq.

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Apple Messages for Business Feature: What is Apple Message Suggest?

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.

Before

After

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

What is Rich Messaging? Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve never heard of this technology, then your first question is most likely, “What is Rich Messaging?”  That’s exactly why we wrote this piece. In this article, we will dive into the topic of rich messaging and all of its capabilities and implications. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what rich messaging is, why it is an exciting technology, and the capabilities it brings to both businesses and consumers.

What Is Rich Messaging?

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a method of communication between a smartphone and a cellular service carrier. This messaging protocol aims to replace standard SMS messages with upgraded, interactive messages and supports person-to-person or business-to-person transmission. Senders can attach high-resolution photos and other multimedia to enhance the recipient’s experience.

RCS is likely to be the SMS successor in personal communications and business outreach. SMS messages do not respond as well to encrypted media, handle group chats, or enable other features like read receipts. They also require a cellular connection, which can be limiting. Though SMS is still around, RCS is becoming increasingly popular for personal use and business operations as companies utilize external RCS apps like WhatsApp and Facebook messenger.

There are many ways that RCS impacts businesses directly. Rich messaging means that businesses now have the ability to:

  • Capture new customers
  • Service customers directly via text, chat, or social media messaging
  • Interact with customers in real-time

All of this happens within the messaging conversation with the support of rich media and features that elevate the messaging experience. RCS helps create a solidified and branded experience across all devices since it does not depend upon the recipient’s network.

In this article, we will dive into the topic of rich rcs messaging and all of its capabilities and implications. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of what rich RCS messaging is, why it is an exciting technology, and the capabilities it brings to both businesses and consumers.

Why Expanding Communication Channels Is Important for Businesses

In today’s fast-paced, dynamic marketplace, it is crucial to develop communication channels with your customers in a way that is convenient for them and facilitates lightening fast conversations. Consumers in the modern era are incredibly busy, tech-savvy, and have a massive amount of information at their fingertips. They are not interested in spending any amount of time, unless absolutely necessary, calling a company for help.

Businesses are constantly looking for the next technology that is going to improve and expand conversation, facilitate high-quality customer interactions, and give them an edge over their competitors. That is why more and more businesses are increasingly turning to messaging and rich messaging.

Rich messaging is the next evolution of text messaging, otherwise known as short messaging service (SMS). It is startling to think that the first text message was sent nearly 30 years ago, and yet the experience has not changed much — until the introduction of RCS rich communications, that is.

Text messaging has grown in popularity in recent years, specifically as the most common technology used on a daily basis to communicate with family and friends. SMS/text messaging has just as rapidly gained popularity in consumer-to-business communications. Business messaging has quickly gained a foothold as the preferred way to contact companies versus placing phone calls. The next evolution of SMS/text messaging is rich messaging. Let’s dig in.

How Google and Apple Approach Rich Messaging

When we talk about rich messaging, there are two providers, one for iPhone and one for Android devices. Apple and Google are the two giants in the communication space. These two providers are both offering great features via rich messaging; they are just going about it a little differently.

Google and Apple are investing massive resources to convince carriers to adopt the rich messaging protocol.  In order to strengthen the relationship with consumers, consumer-oriented businesses are now utilizing technology that both increases meaningful conversation and decreases the inefficiencies of traditional communication methods, like email and phone calls.

Rich messaging is not one of the messaging chat apps like WhatsApp or WeChat. Rich messaging or RCS rich communications is the next stage in text messaging technology that comes with features like read-receipts, group chat, image sharing, video calls, and a never-ending supply of GIFs, emoticons, and animated features.

Apple’s Approach to Rich Messaging

The Apple approach enables businesses to offer a direct line of communication for customers to engage via Apple Business Chat. While Apple uses the word “chat” in their feature, it is really messaging.  To digress a moment, web chat or live chat is when consumers engage with a company on desktop devices versus using messaging or Apple Business Chat on their mobile device. 

Getting back to Apple Business Chat, a few of the rich messaging capabilities available are the ability to present product choices to customers in a tap-to-pick list, offer calendar availability to allow for appointment scheduling, as well as the ability to complete secure financial transactions using Apple Pay.

Google’s Approach to RCS Messaging

Google has come to market with Google Rich Business Messaging (RBM). The Google approach is to work directly with the carriers to encourage them to adopt the rich communication protocols versus Apple opening up the gates directly to businesses on their platform. The native messaging experience Google offers Android devices also offers exciting rich messaging capabilities such as the ability to share real-time updates, book appointments, and complete transactions within the messaging conversation.

A growing number of organizations are taking advantage of these features. Chicago’s transit system uses the Android approach to allow customers to get directions and arrival times. Redbox is letting their customers browse their product availability, reserve their choices, and locate a station, all within the Android platform. Overstock is using rich messaging to allow customers to receive order information like purchase, shipping, and delivery confirmation, as well as presenting a product review survey.

The Benefits of RCS Messaging Services for Businesses

Messaging and chat applications have provided businesses proof that engaging with consumers in more meaningful ways is one of the keys to driving sales and repeat purchases. RCS business messaging is a great way to interact with customers in a convenient way that is above the noise of all the other chat apps now populating the conversation infrastructure.

Businesses of all sizes can utilize rich messaging to create a more holistic conversation with their customers across multiple networks, from any device. This opens up a lot of opportunities for businesses to improve their brand image, optimize their customer service, increase customer satisfaction, and gain deeper insights into the pain points of their consumers. Below are some of the specific advantages you will gain from using RCS messaging.

1. Cost-Effectiveness

When you use rich messaging, you know you will gain competitive business advantages through a solution that is easy on your budget. The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) has implemented a universal profile that pulls APIs, display formats, and brings other technological complexities together into one economical and easy-to-use format.

Rich messaging also helps your organization save money by reducing customer support costs. When consumers need to talk to someone at your business, they can speak to knowledgeable agents through your rich messaging platform. You will reduce the need to provide the hardware and staffing required to run a full customer service call center, and you will be able to use those savings to invest in other areas of your business.

2. Real-Time Insights

Using rich messaging, companies gain access to conversation analytics that provide the real-time insights they need for improvement and success. Rich messaging also provides reports on click rates and other helpful interaction metrics.

Businesses can use rich messaging’s real-time capabilities to keep consumers informed and satisfied. You might provide them with real-time order confirmation, delivery updates, and product announcements, for instance.

3. Increased Engagement

credit union member messagingText message marketing through rich messaging enables businesses to boost consumer engagement through rewarding communications. Using rich messaging, your company will engage in meaningful conversations through SMS marketing and business texts that keep consumers informed about and interested in your brand. Your business might also use rich messaging to drive loyalty programs that engage and retain customers.

4. Streamlined Shopping, Scheduling, and Paying

One integral benefit of rich messaging is its enhancement of various consumer activities, from online shopping to appointment scheduling to making payments.

Rich messaging platforms transform the way customers shop by making online purchases more fun and convenient than ever before. They give consumers options for browsing, selecting, and purchasing items, all within the convenient messaging window. When shoppers have questions, support agents are readily available and have a full suite of tools, such as video options, at their disposal to enhance consumer shopping conversations.

Consumers can also schedule appointments with just a few clicks of their mouse and pay for products and services with platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal.

5. Security

In addition to streamlining connections between your organization and its consumers, rich messaging offers dependable security and peace of mind. Rich messaging provides a secure, protected environment for fruitful conversations to take place.

Today’s consumers often seek out trustworthy businesses that have stringent data privacy measures to protect sensitive data. Rich messaging offers consumers the confidence of knowing their messages are going through a reputable organization with enhanced security protocols.

6. Repeat Purchases

Rich messaging tends to make repeat purchases easier and more likely. When consumers experience seamless, convenient shopping through a rich messaging platform, they are more likely to return for future purchases. If a business uses its rich messaging capabilities to develop quality customer loyalty programs, it will boost customer retention and repeat purchases even further.

How Companies Are Successfully Using Rich Messaging

A highly regarded aspect of rich messaging is the diversity of interactions between consumers and businesses. There are a few different ways that companies use rich messaging in everyday interactions with their consumers.

One example of rich messaging is online chat boxes that pop up when shopping. These chat boxes turn questions or concerns into an actionable conversation. The chat bot handles the consumer’s problem, and businesses build their reputation for exemplary customer service.

Business text platforms may change to meet consumers’ needs. In one of our case studies, a contact from Little Spoon notes how their rich messaging service to check order confirmation details quickly became a question line for mothers. Parents could easily ask the company’s employee representatives questions and talk to them as though speaking to a friend. In this instance, Little Spoon’s stakeholders learned and adapted to suit their customers’ needs so they felt heard.

Regardless of how companies use a rich messaging system, the impact remains steady. Rich messaging gives consumers a better experience with the brand while allowing businesses to communicate more effectively with their customer base.

Bottom Line – Rich Messaging Is the Future

The future is coming and it’s coming fast. Businesses across every industry need to shore up their messaging infrastructure in order to remain relevant with consumers. There is significant data that shows traditional customer communication channels, like phone, email, and web chat, have already fallen to the bottom of the preference list.  Companies must have the right plan and platform in place that allows them to  react to the current change in customer preferences, as well as the future changes rich messaging offers.In addition to creating a solid foundation for the future, rich messaging offers businesses a greater reach than traditional methods due to the increasing adoption of GSMA’s standards. Major mobile carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T, as well as the OEM’s, namely Samsung, Apple, and Google, have already begun adopting rich messaging technology. More major players are expected to adopt it in the future.

The universal support across Google’s Android network gives every company a wide array of platforms and devices to utilize rich messaging. The emergence of Apple iMessage adopting rich messaging capabilities provides an even bigger boost to both consumers and businesses alike. A2P processes have brought about a boom in interest, investment, and adoption in rich messaging technology. 

To enhance your SMS text strategies with a rich messaging platform, partner with Quiq. Our platform enables messaging communications that promote personalized engagement between companies and consumers. We help businesses connect via methods their customers are already familiar with, including text messaging, web chat, and social media.

The possibilities and opportunities for implementing rich messaging into current marketing and customer experience initiatives have never been better. If you are interested in learning more about rich messaging and what it can do, you can read more, or schedule a demo today to learn more about our platform.

Apple Business Chat MSP (Messaging Service Provider): How to Get Started

Today’s smartphones and tablets offer new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers traveling through the buying journey. Customers researching a business on their iPhones or iPads have the option of contacting a business through the messages icon that appears in map and search results. Apple Business Chat facilitates these messaging conversations.

Apple Business Chat software allows customers to use a familiar text messaging interface and receive richer responses compared to in-person interactions. For example, employee representatives can offer to schedule appointments, share product listings, and collect feedback. The ability to complete transactions securely through RCS messaging is another advantage of Apple Business Chat.

To start using Apple Business Chat, businesses must first register with Apple and partner with an approved Messaging Service Provider (MSP).

What is an Apple Business Chat Messaging Service Provider (MSP)?

A Messaging Service Provider (MSP) manages customer message routing between Apple Business Chat and the business. Think of a MSP as an intermediary that allows a customer service team to respond efficiently from their desktops to what customers send from their iOS Messaging apps.

Apple lays out several requirements for messaging platforms if they are to become approved MSP’s. A platform needs to demonstrate it can identify customer intent from messages and queue, prioritize, and route the customer to the right members of a customer support team. The platform must also support asynchronous messaging channels other than Business Chat, and its team must offer resources to help clients become launch-ready for Apple’s rich messaging service.

There are other Apple guidelines to qualify for MSP approval, but perhaps most important is a platform’s ability to manage and monitor multiple channels while collecting customer metrics. Quiq has holistic features that classify interactions and route messages to support agents, integrate with CRM solutions, and organize a complete customer history within the UI.

Why Deploy Apple Business Chat?

Apple Business Chat makes it easy for consumers to initiate a conversation with a company when searching for a business through Maps, Safari, Search or Siri or even in the businesses’ own app. Business Chat allows consumers to ask a question about a product or service, or complete a transaction using Apple Pay. With Apple Business Chat it’s easier to reach a live person and consumers are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business.

“The things that make text messaging the most popular communication channel with family and friends also make it the preferred medium for customers to engage with companies,” said Mike Myer, CEO and Founder of Quiq. “Adding support for Apple Business Chat allows connected customers to engage with businesses in a way that is personal, frictionless, and easy, using the Messages app on iOS. Companies using Quiq will simply have access to a new messaging channel within the Quiq Messaging platform.”

Today, consumers prefer business messaging over any other form of communication to engage with businesses and a lot of companies have had to sit up and take notice. As mobile browsing and chat interactions continue to grow and overtake traditional channels business messaging, especially through rich communication services like Apple Business Chat has quickly become more than a nice-to-have for companies.

What you need to get started with Apple Business Chat

To get your company started with Apple Business Chat, Apple requires businesses to set up a Business Chat Account, but before they do so, they should follow these steps to ensure a smooth approval process with Apple.

First, your company should outline the business need to support starting a Business Chat Account. This should provide a very clear explanation for why you want to enable Business Chat for your customers as well as outlining a process for how to identify and authenticate customers within Business Chat. If this sounds a little technical, it’s because it is, which is why it is essential (and required) to have an Apple Business Chat Messaging Service Provider (MSP).

There are very specific requirements for the type of account your business will choose to enable with Apple and applications are reviewed carefully. To qualify for a Business Chat Account, you must have an asynchronous messaging platform staffed by live agents during business hours. An Apple Business Chat partner, like Quiq, can help navigate the process and requirements set by Apple to get started with setting up a Business Chat Account.

Quiq was one of the early Messaging Service Provider (MSP) to support Apple Business Chat, which is a new way for users to communicate directly with businesses using the native iOS Messages app on iPhone and iPad.

Once you have addressed the business need, outlined a plan to support inbound Apple Business Chat conversations, and selected an Apple Business Chat CSP, you’re ready to create a Business Chat Account.

As a part of getting your Business Chat Account submitted, your business will want to set up an internal testing account. This gives your business an opportunity to see and test Apple Business Chat internally prior to exposing it to your customers. At this point, you will need to have chosen an Apple Business Chat MSP, in order to proceed with testing. With your internal testing account, you’ll then be able to send and receive messages through your MSP. As an additional resource, Apple has provided a step-by-step guide to Getting Started with Business Chat.

Why Work With Quiq To Implement Apple Business Chat?

Apple recommends that businesses decide which approved MSP will connect their customers to their live agents while waiting for Business Chat Account approval. It’s a good time to get acquainted with Quiq’s capabilities with Apple Business Chat.

Quiq is built around asynchronous messaging, aligning with Apple’s platform requirements, and is an Apple-approved Customer Service Platform. With Quiq, you can seamlessly integrate with your internal system or choice of customer engagement software and offer rich media experiences through text messaging.

Quiq has helped many clients start utilizing the advantages that Apple Business Chat has to offer. Quiq representatives get to know each client’s goals, and a Quiq implementation specialist guides each client through the Business Chat registration process.

Quiq also provides the support clients need to branch out into other SMS, web, and social messaging channels. Our Conversational Customer Engagement Platform supports many customers’ preferred messaging channels. With Quiq, you can begin providing an enhanced customer experience with Apple Business Chat or another business messaging channel and manage cross-platform conversations easily.

Ready to get started?

Quiq makes it easy for customers to contact a business via Messaging, the preferred channel already in use with friends and family. In return, companies get a digital engagement platform to communicate with customers. Try it out yourself today with a free demo!

Top 6 Digital Customer Service Messaging Channels in 2020

The number of unique business communication channels has grown significantly and continues to expand (what seems like every day). We’ve listed the 6 most common ways customers prefer to message with businesses. 

It may seem overwhelming to decide which customer interaction channels to use but it should be known that getting started is easy. Whether your business is interested in opening up several messaging channels, or just one, communicating with customers over messaging can be a breeze. Here are our top picks for digital customer service communication channels in 2020.

1. SMS/Text Messaging

The number one channel today, by far, is SMS/text messaging. The difference between how consumers view and respond to email vs text is night and day. Consumers are conditioned to ignore an email with an irrelevant, salesy headline, but they are accustomed to reading every text message that is sent to their mobile phone. This makes conducting customer service and sales over text a reliable method for businesses. Business text messaging benefits from high open rates and fast average response times, which is a significant advantage over traditional emails.

2. Web Chat

Web chat allows users to connect with agents or custom chatbots directly from your website. It is critical for many businesses to deliver round-the-clock support and address specific questions users are having with online purchases, before they go somewhere else. Web chat should be a critical component to ensuring your business is available to accommodate whichever customer communication channels are preferred when conducting research or making a purchase.

3. Apple Business Chat

Apple devices allow customers to contact businesses through the Messages app native to Apple iPhones, iPads, or Macbooks. These conversations offer richer messaging experiences customers have come to expect. Consumers can initiate the conversation in all the places they are familiar with on their devices from listings in Safari, on Maps, or by asking Siri. An added benefit to richer customer conversations is customers are able to use integrated functions like Apple Pay, where businesses can provide secure purchasing options directly from within the messaging window.

4. Google’s Business Messages

Google’s Business Messages allows businesses to send visually compelling messages, making conversations come alive with a more interactive and dynamic messaging experience. Business Messages can help consumers schedule appointment times, complete transactions, receive real-time updates and notifications, and complete product reviews. Plus, it’s compatible across all Android-enabled devices so your business doesn’t have to worry about creating different integrated experiences.

5. Facebook Messenger

According to Facebook, over 20 billion messages are exchanged over Messenger between consumers and businesses each month, signaling high engagement. Facebook Messenger provides a private channel for customers to contact businesses directly (as opposed to public comments). Displaying the coveted “Very Responsive Badge” on your business page will reassure customers they can get the support they need at a moments notice. Messenger is a rich media platform that supports image and video exchange, chatbot implementation, and lead generation templates, offering plenty of flexibility and personalization to service customers.

6. Twitter Direct Messages

Twitter’s popularity makes it another valuable customer interaction channel for wide-ranging demographics. In addition to a private conversation channel, Twitter can link from tweets to Direct Messages, establish custom welcome messages, and collect feedback on the customer experience.

Connect With Your Customers Effectively

In this list of channels for customer care and conversations, it may seem there is no shortage of ways for customers to be able to message you.  As we stated from the beginning, while enabling every available messaging channel shouldn’t be the goal, it is easy for businesses to explore new customer communication channels with the help of a business messaging platform. These platforms allow customer service agents to manage customer conversations all in one place. By enabling agents and customers to connect across multiple messaging channels, your business is encouraging convenience, engagement, and efficiency – for both the customer and your customer service team.

To manage this process smoothly, Quiq provides a multi-channel approach to unify your messaging channels and monitor success. Our platform integrates seamlessly with today’s digital customer service channels, and its many features provide valuable, personalized connections with your customers. Schedule a live demo to see the platform in action today.

Rich Messaging: Make Online Shopping A Conversation

The term doesn’t refer to communication reserved solely for the elite, but rich messaging does rank highly among the most effective ways to engage customers today. Rich messaging (or Rich Communication Services or RCS) adds personalization, branding, and interactivity to 2-way messaging conversations , which even in its current SMS form, has very high open rates. Let’s cover the uses and benefits of rich messaging and how this service can enhance the customer experience as a whole.

What Is RCS Messaging?

Rich Communication Services messaging is a new way to exchange a text with added functionality. Consider RCS an upgrade to the simple plain-text format that SMS consisted of during the early years of mobile messaging when 160 characters was the limit.

With RCS, it’s possible to:

  • Attach large files and interactive media such as images, videos, digital promotions, and sign-ups
  • Shop and place orders 
  • Schedule appointments
  • Complete secure transactions 
  • Include option menus, response suggestions, or next steps
  • Leverage device components like a mobile camera to capture augmented reality, or GPS to display store location on a map

It’s expected that RCS will likely surpass SMS in time as the main protocol for messaging services. Right now, the use of rich messaging has risen dramatically in the digital marketplace, particularly in retail, consumer goods, and consumer services. 

The two primary providers of these rich communication services are Apple and Google with Apple Business Chat and Google Messages. Businesses getting started will need to work with a Customer Service Platform like Quiq to enable using these communication services with their customers.

How Rich Messaging Drives Conversions

The biggest benefit of RCS for businesses is the ability to send more sophisticated texts for better branding and customer service. The numerous features of RCS give the digital customer experience a personal touch. The organization or the platform itself provides the methods to fine-tune the message for each recipient, and even account for customer data like the customers location or 

Additional benefits of rich messaging services include:

  • Convenient product displays: Send carousel galleries or expandable pages for customers to scroll through
  • Direct assistance: Convert questions or complaints into actionable solutions in one conversation
  • Fast, personalized answers: Whether through a chatbot or live agent, customer requests are fulfilled without navigating out of the messaging window
  • Skip directly to the bottom of the buyer funnel: Provide sufficient information to make a sale without customers dialing a number or visiting a store

Improved Satisfaction With Faster Service and Richer Communication

Today, customer satisfaction hinges on timely, accurate, and useful information. RCS is beneficial for times when the full picture matters in the final purchasing decision — like the appearance of home decor — or when busy customer schedules make speedy applications or appointments a necessity.

Altogether, implementing rich messaging makes it more convenient for both businesses and consumers to exchange information. With the ability for businesses to respond in these more modern ways, they are then able to be faster and more tailored in their communications, and these richer experiences make it easy for customers to complete transactions and want to come back for more.

Deploy Rich Messaging in Your B2C Engagement With Quiq

Quiq makes enabling rich messaging as easy as sending a text message as it recognizes and sends the richest form of message possible, whether RCS or SMS, based upon device capabilities. To see the potential for yourself, schedule a live demo today.

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