Apple Launches Business Chat in iOS 11 Developer Preview

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple revealed more details of its new Business Chat feature for iMessage at a WWDC developer preview on Friday. Coming in iOS 11, Business Chat allows real customer service representatives to communicate directly with users, making the feature separate from existing AI chat bot systems.

    Users send the first message to start a Business Chat conversation by tapping Message icons that appear beside the names of businesses in Spotlight searches, Siri, and Maps, or by scanning a relevant QR code with their phone's camera. These actions switch them into the Messages app, where the business can offer products for sale, provide appointment scheduling options, and send notifications to customers in the related chat thread, among other services.


    In addition to connecting the user with a business, the Message icons or QR codes can carry specific information that links the user with a particular geographic location, or a related product or service, and can even provide the customer service representative with the user's first language and any existing customer account details, including past orders and security questions.

    To further the conversation, Siri's predictive text bar above the onscreen keyboard can offer up personal details like phone numbers or addresses to the user in case they want to share the information with the business. Elsewhere, a new Time Picker feature in Business Chat makes it easy for customers to select appointment times, while a List Picker lets users choose sale items, like clothes or groceries, with Apple Pay on hand as a convenient payment method.

    To help businesses assist customers, Apple is also letting them build their own custom iMessage App extensions. One demonstration given on stage was of an airline seat selector app that allowed the user to tap where they wanted to sit in the cabin when booking a flight.


    Crucially, businesses can only send notifications to users who have already initiated contact, and the customer can choose to turn off notifications of incoming messages, delete the chat thread entirely, or simply block the company from communicating with them outright.

    Businesses with a Customer Service Platform (CSP) can register for Business Chat. Genesys, LivePerson, Nuance, and Salesforce CSPs are currently supported by Apple.

    Business Chat is set to compete with similar services offered by the likes of Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Skype, but Apple has the distinct advantage of offering it as a native feature in iOS 11, which will eventually come pre-installed on new devices and will likely enjoy a high adoption rate by millions of existing users when it is released in the fall.

    Article Link: Apple Launches Business Chat in iOS 11 Developer Preview
  2. stukdog macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2004
    It would be great to have an implementation of Business Chat Server included in macOS server.
  3. LewisChapman macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2015
    Looks great.

    Does this mean a business needs an app to use this feature?
  4. timmyh Contributing Editor


    Mar 18, 2016
    Liverpool, UK
    No. But businesses do need a Customer Service Platform in place to integrate with it. Genesys, LivePerson, Nuance, and Salesforce are currently supported.

    Thanks for asking. I've added this to the article.
  5. Mtmspa macrumors 6502a

    May 13, 2013
  6. sudo1996, Jun 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017

    sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    I like what I see. Everyone else wasted their effort on chat bots. I have yet to see one that is actually better than using the website, and none of them mimic human chat either.

    I called Comcast to activate my modem and got a bot. Instead of it just having the old-fashioned "press 1 to...", which is kinda annoying but at least works without fail, it asked for voice input, which was even worse because I had to guess which phrases would work. Took a few tries, each time wasting about 2 minutes. "Activate my modem" and "install my modem" did not work, but "modem" did... except then they told me that department was closed for the day.
  7. scarecrowmac macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2011
    South Coast of NSW, Australia
    This looks great, would be nice to be able to get support from telcos, gas, electricity providers etc from within messages rather than using poorly designed chat websites or waiting on hold for ages
  8. ra.skill macrumors member


    Sep 11, 2015
    Just hurry up and make iMessage cross platform!
  9. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I hate those! Fortunately most companies seem to be going back to the "press 1" system now though.

  10. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    Looks good . I like this feature, got real potential
  11. GadgetBen macrumors 6502a


    Jul 8, 2015
    I use Drift for my online web chats with customers and it works really well capturing traffic and leads - much better interface than Live Chat. Apple don't seem to have them in their list yet.

    Plus, I've tried registering my business for this and it keeps looping back asking for the same details over and over.
  12. sudo1996 Suspended


    Aug 21, 2015
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    They're not going to do it. It wouldn't do anything except cost them money and let people switch to Android.
  13. keef_khan macrumors newbie


    Jul 10, 2017
    IMG_5284.PNG Business Chat actually works! There’s just no one there to respond.
  14. DENZIE macrumors regular


    Apr 19, 2007
    I’m on 11.2.5 and noticed business chat for Apple verification codes is already live.

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