October saw the start of the big tech conferences and reveals as businesses prepare for 2019’s consumer tech products, and to help companies and customers communicate with further technology integration and adoption.
While iPad and Mac were at the top of Apple news in October, something more practical, affordable and useful for business also came our way. Apple rolled out Business Chat features in Europe and Asia during October, giving the feature and tools a global footprint.
While few humans could seriously benefit from a $3,700+ Mac Mini or a £1,800 iPad, Apple Business Chat could benefit thousands of businesses and huge numbers of customers. While it remains a beta, the app is good for public use, road tested by some major American brands. For example, the Four Seasons hotel chain was a launch user in the States and is now rolling it out to its hotels in other regions. Burberry, Vodafone Germany, Credit Suisse and other brands among the latest to adopt the platform.
Apple Business Chat is now live in Canada, the U.K., Japan and other territories to help businesses and customers communicate using iMessage to talk to bots, pay using Apple Pay and help out with customer service queries. The feature is available on iPhones or Apple devices running iOS 11.3 or higher.
Apple Business Chat can provide menu-based engagement, bot or human customer service messaging with images video and store checkout all within the iMessage app. Apple’s focus on healthcare and other verticals where bots are high priority issues should also give Business Chat a useful boost in these areas.
While businesses might not think of Apple as an immediate source of bot provider, the company’s millions of loyal iPhone and iPad users are a tempting market for any business, and making customer service easy to access using iMessage, especially with Apple’s high level of security and privacy could see it in good stead as bots become more popular and businesses look beyond Facebook Messenger for more corporate-types of engagement.
Look out for the the iMessage button in more high-profile apps, websites and services soon as Apple looks to play more in customer services.
Chris Knight writes about where technology will take us next, from the power of neural networks, artificial intelligence and chatbots, to the endless worlds promised by augmented and virtual reality. From the latest in gadgets and hardware to how digital businesses can use technology to grow, Chris makes the future clear and understandable to all.