How to use Apple Messages for Business in your contact center
Fans of Apple products really set the benchmark for brand loyalty.
We have all seen the queues outside Apple stores when a new phone is released. People literally camping overnight on the pavement to be first in line to get their hands on the shiny new model from the brand they love.
At last count there were over 1.8 billion active Apple devices in the world!
As we know, the goal of omnichannel communication is to give customers the choice to interact with you on the channel they choose. The best way to connect with this committed segment of consumers is definitely going to be Apple Messages for Business.
Remember though – Apple customers have high expectations. You will need to be on top of your comms game. Luckily, help is at hand.
In this blog we discuss how you can incorporate Apple Messages into your contact center solution and take advantage of its many features to help your customers find you and your products, and then provide a compelling customer experience when they do.
What is Apple Messages for Business?
Let’s get back to basics for a minute.
Apple devices can send messages to each other (for free) using Apple’s own messaging infrastructure. As you know, when you send a message to another person from your iPhone and the message background is blue, that means that the other person also has an Apple device.
Rejoice! Your phone has skipped your own provider’s network (and any associated charges) and used Apple’s free service. So, you can send images, videos, and attachments, with the only hit being to your data usage.
Businesses can join the party too. Apple Messages for Business (previously known as Apple Business Chat), is a two-way communication channel that enables conversational commerce. You can help customers resolve issues, schedule appointments, buy products and services, make payments with Apple Pay, and more.
Even better, businesses can use chatbots to automate a lot of the interactions that don’t require a human agent. The customer doesn’t have to wait in a queue, and your agents can be left to work on more complex issues.
When integrated into a contact center solution, the Apple Messages channel can sit alongside existing voice, email and other messaging channels – so that agents can see all past interactions with the customer across all channels.
The Apple fan gets to communicate on their favorite channel, and the business gets another angle to complete their holistic view of their customers’ interactions with the brand.
Let us explain using a short story.
The one about the cat that almost ruined a work presentation
Jim is an Apple fan – one that likes his home comforts, so no pavement camping for him.
Like many people, Jim’s home is also now his office, and he is preparing for an important presentation. Unfortunately, his internet service is playing up.
Jim uses his iPhone to search for his provider’s support number and notices a small Message button in the results next to the Call option.
That’s handy, thinks Jim. No need to talk to another human.
He uses the messaging option to start a chat to report the issue.
A chatbot replies immediately, advising Jim that an agent will look into the problem as soon as he has restarted his router and provided some details, including a photo of the blinking light panel on the back of the router.
After a couple of minutes, a human agent takes over the chat – her name is Magda.
Magda has all the information she needs to quickly diagnose the problem and advises Jim that the router has a faulty connection and needs to be replaced ☹.
(At this point Jim remembers the cat knocking it off the shelf the day before.)
Magda is very understanding. She also has a cat, and also works from home – small world! Jim feels like they have a rapport.
Magda can see from Jim’s account history that the router is a couple of years old and unfortunately out of guarantee.
She takes payment for the new router via Apple Pay and checks the service calendar to book a timeslot for a technician to visit (in our story there is a slot the very next day).
Jim is feeling very pleased – he hasn’t even had to leave his messages, let alone his apartment!
The new router gets installed on schedule and Jim’s presentation is a huge success.
He even forgives the cat.
The next day Jim gets a ‘Rate Our Service’ message from his internet provider and is very happy to give them 5 stars!
Integrating Apple Messages for Business into your contact center
With Infobip’s Conversations solution, adding the Apple Messages for Business channel to your contact center is almost as easy as knocking a router off a shelf.
We provide all the required software and services to manage communication sent through Apple Messages for Business, which sits seamlessly alongside all the other channels that Conversations supports.
The messaging integration works like this:
The first step is to implement the entry points for your Apple Messages for Business account. This is how customers and prospects will find you to initiate a conversation. There are a lot of options, and Both Safari and IOS have been designed to make these connections easier:
- Link in Safari search results
- Apple Maps
- Message Suggest
- Links in your own app, website and social channels
- QR codes on product packaging or outdoor media
Once they find you, the person clicks the link (or scans a QR code) and is automatically redirected to their messaging app where a branded chat window is displayed.
When the person sends a message, it is routed through Apple services to the Infobip webhook, which depending on the context and use case, will route either to a chatbot or to a live agent via Conversations, our cloud contact center solution.
Your response, be it from a human agent or chatbot, is then sent over the Messages for Business API to Apple, which delivers the message to the end user.
It really is that simple!
With 1.8 billion Apple devices on the planet owned by one of the most loyal sub-tribe of consumers – it makes sense to get them on side by adding their favorite communication channel to your contact center. We think Jim and his clumsy cat would agree.
Get in touch to find out more about how Infobip can help you get started with Apple Messages for Business.