Apple Business Chat Expands Beyond United States to 10 Countries and 30 More Brands

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple Business Chat, a platform for businesses to provide customer service through iMessage, is now available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The feature launched in the United States earlier this year.

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    The international expansion coincides with 30 additional businesses adopting Apple Business Chat around the world today, adding to 15 brands in the United States that have been using the platform, which remains in beta.

    For example, luxury fashion brand Burberry is integrating with Apple Business Chat worldwide to enable clients to check availability on items nearby, ask questions about the size and fit of clothing and accessories, and get help placing an order. Customers can also inquire about special events like fashion shows.

    Hotel chain Four Seasons is expanding its adoption of Apple Business Chat to reach 88 properties across the globe with Four Seasons Chat's capabilities to communicate with real people at each property in more than 100 languages, with response times averaging 90 seconds or less.

    The full list of brands launching Apple Business Chat today:

    North America1-800 Contacts
    DIRECTV NOW
    Fairmont Hotels, including the Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley
    Kimpton Hotels
    Freshly
    Mall of America
    Macerich malls, including Scottsdale Fashion Square and Santa Monica Place
    Men's Wearhouse
    Jos A. Bank
    Overstock.com
    Quicken Loans
    West Elm
    Hendrick Automotive Group
    Lithia Group
    SnapTravel (US & Canada)WorldwideBurberry (Worldwide)
    matchesfashion.com (UK)
    NH Hotels (Europe)
    nPower (UK)
    Robins & Day (UK)
    buddybank (Italy)
    Engie (France)
    La Redoute (France)
    AXA Insurance (Switzerland)
    Swisscom (Switzerland)
    Vodafone (Germany)
    Credit Suisse (Hong Kong and Singapore)
    Telstra (Australia)
    Harvey Norman (Australia)
    KDDI (Japan)Apple Business Chat launched in iOS 11.3 in March, enabling iPhone and iPad users to ask for information, schedule appointments, make purchases, and complete other customer service tasks directly in the Messages app.

    Business Chats must be initiated on an iPhone or iPad, but they can be continued on any other iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch signed into the same Apple ID. You can start a conversation by searching for a business in Maps, Safari, Siri, or Search and tapping on the Messages bubble where available.

    Other brands using Business Chat include Apple itself, DISH, Aramark, Four Seasons, Harry & David, American Express, Discover, Hilton, The Home Depot, Lowe's, Marriott, Newegg, T-Mobile, Ameritrade, Wells Fargo, and 1-800-Flowers.

    Business Chat requires iOS 11.3 or later. Also note that while the feature has expanded to additional countries, availability varies by brand. For example, when we tried to message Apple through Business Chat in Canada, an automatic reply indicated that the feature remains unavailable in that country.

    Update: This article has been updated with additional information from Apple's announcement.

    Article Link: Apple Business Chat Expands Beyond United States to 10 Countries and 30 More Brands
     
  2. Steve121178 macrumors 601

    Steve121178

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    This could be useful. Online chat is a quick way to get stuff done.
     
  3. cmaier macrumors G4

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    I still haven’t he slightest idea how to use this in the U.S.
     
  4. AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    Text a business instead of calling it.
     
  5. rmoliv macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Another feature I’ll wait forever until it’s available here... And always the same group of places getting things first. As usual. No HomePod, no cellular Apple Watches, no Apple Pay... Even Siri only speaks one “dialect” of my language even though it happens to be the 6th or 7th most spoken in the world.
     
  6. cmaier macrumors G4

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    No, I mean I can’t figure out how to actually do it. Say I want to chat with Dish. How? It says “search in iOS for dish.” I tried that. Doesn’t show up.
     
  7. Pokeymon macrumors newbie

    Pokeymon

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    I'm thinking Dish Network isn't yet participating (or maybe not active with the public yet). I just looked them up in Maps and the Message option was not on the list of available options. I did the same for Home Depot and that worked.
     
  8. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020

    SteveJUAE

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    Many good companies already have their own version of chat so not quite sure of any additional appeal for companies when it's limited to Apple owners only

    I guess it can't hurt :rolleyes:
     
  9. Braderunner macrumors 6502a

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  10. Pokeymon macrumors newbie

    Pokeymon

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    Hmm, I just noticed Dish is on the list that Apple publishes of participating companies. No idea why it doesn't work for us(?).
     
  11. cmaier macrumors G4

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    I searched Home Depot in maps, clicked one that’s nearby, and messages isn’t listed as an option.
     
  12. AngerDanger, Oct 2, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018

    AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    My apologies for the initially patronizing response. It seems to work with Home Depot (I searched with Spotlight and tapped the chat bubble under the "Business" result), but it doesn't show up when I type "Dish" into Spotlight.

    depot.jpg
     
  13. LandRovers macrumors member

    LandRovers

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    I search “Dish Network near me” in either spotlight search or Safari, and the option appears that has their website, a phone call button, and a messages button, which should initiate the Business Chat. “Near me” was needed, as it doesn’t show up without that.
     
  14. gwhizkids macrumors 68040

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    Thanks for posting that. That is really, really unintuitive. Never would have thought to look in Spotlight. I stay at Marriotts almost weekly and could never figure out how to use this to contact them.
     
  15. Muceda macrumors newbie

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    Where are you from ?
     
  16. WatchFromAfar macrumors 65816

    WatchFromAfar

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    So instead of a real person on location more call centres then?
     
  17. MacWorld78 macrumors 6502

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  18. AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    And it's even worse if you read @LandRovers post above yours. It would be better if you could search the business name right from messages.

    I've searched MacRumors' previous articles, and I don't think there is one detailing the… nuance… required to get Apple Business Chat to work. Might be some thing to consider, @Joe Rossignol. :)

    E.g. Home Depot → Spotlight search for "Home Depot"
    Dish → Spotlight search for "Dish Network near me"
    American Express → (still haven't figured that one out)
     
  19. cmaier macrumors G4

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    Yep that works. Thanks.
     
  20. truthertech macrumors 68000

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    Nothing like this where it is specifically set up with "one click" access from phones and support. That's a very different model than going to a web site and having to hunt through to various screens to find that option. And with over 1.5 billion devices, the appeal for businesses to connect with customers should be strong. Biggest issue is that they can't simply add this feature to their app, as they have to have the support people behind it to respond to the potential large number of people wanting to chat.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 2, 2018 ---

    Me thinks you don't know how most large businesses currently handle customer support. It's almost never going to be someone "on location." It's centralized somewhere and usually outsourced.
     
  21. WatchFromAfar macrumors 65816

    WatchFromAfar

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    So I was right: more call centres then?
     
  22. mthomas184 macrumors 6502

    mthomas184

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    One thing to consider, Home Depot, Lowes, T-Mobile etc have iMessage extensions so its easier to message them without having to search etc.

    Not sure about Dish.
    Amex I dont have an Amex card so I cant verify, but I do see there is an iMessage extension so it may work.
     
  23. gwhizkids macrumors 68040

    gwhizkids

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    That is one solution, but I really don't want to have to have an app for every retailer I visit IRL. Apple has done a very poor job in communicating how this should be used or how to find "handles" for the retailers. Just like they're doing a bad job at communicating at how Shortcuts works. They come up with some great stuff, but if people don't know how to use it and it doesn't surface well, its just kludgeware.
     
  24. truthertech macrumors 68000

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    No, just a continuation of what is standard industry practice. Business chat doesn't change that. What is does do is offer a potentially much better customer experience by ease of access/use and a method of communication that most people have switched to (over telephone and email). It would be great if when you called, emailed or chatted with a support person they were at the store or business, but it hasn't been that way for large companies for decades now. It's just too inefficient to have decentralized support. Companies couldn't afford to offer support for most items they sell if it wasn't centralized, and usually out sourced.
     
  25. cmaier macrumors G4

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    #25
    The day I install an app, then let it install an iMessage extension, instead of just picking up the phone and dialing an 800-number, has not yet arrived.
     

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