애플이 ‘비즈니스 챗(Business Chat)’ 서비스를 확대할 계획이라고 밝혔다.
올해 초에 출시되었던 애플의 ‘비즈니스 챗(Business Chat)’ 서비스는 원활한 상품 구매를 위하며, 고객과 기업이 직접 소통할 수 있도록 연결해 주는 채팅 플랫폼이다.
iOS 사용자일 경우 아이메시지(iMessage)를 통해 무료로 메시지를 주고받으며, 간단한 고객 문의 또는 배송지 추적 등의 기능을 활용할 수 있는 것으로 알려졌다.
올해 초 비즈니스 챗의 베타 버전을 출시했던 애플은 본격적으로 서비스를 확대할 계획이다.
애플은 총 15개의 새로운 기업과 파트너십을 체결했으며, 영국, 일본, 홍콩, 싱가포르, 캐나다, 이탈리아, 호주 및 프랑스를 포함한 15개의 국가에 지원 계획을 밝혔다.
이번에 새로운 파트너십을 체결한 기업에는 버버리(Burberry), 웨스트엘름(West Elm), 킴턴 호텔(Kimpton Hotel) 등이 포함된다.
비즈니스 챗은 ‘애플 페이(Apply Pay)’와 같은 애플의 부가적인 기능의 도움을 받는 것으로 알려졌다.
애플 페이는 신용카드 결제를 위해 다른 플랫폼으로 넘어가는 번거로움을 줄이며, 고객과 기업의 거래가 한 공간에서 쉽고 빠르게 이루어질 수 있어 효과적인 거래가 가능하다고 전했다.
현재 애플의 비즈니스 채팅은 iOS 11.3에서 확인할 수 있다.
Apple Business Chat launched earlier this year as a way for consumers to communicate directly with businesses on Apple’s messaging platform. Today the company announced it was expanding the program to add new businesses and support for additional countries.
When it launched in January, business partners included Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s and Wells Fargo. Today’s announcement includes the likes of Burberry, West Elm, Kimpton Hotels, and Vodafone Germany.
The program, which remains in Beta, added 15 new companies today in the US and 15 internationally including in the UK, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Italy, Australia and France.
Since the launch, companies have been coming up with creative ways to interact directly with customers in a chat setting that many users prefer over telephone trees and staticy wait music (I know I do).
For instance, Four Seasons, which launched Business Chat in July, is expanding usage to 88 properties across the globe with the ability to chat in more than 100 languages with reported average response times of around 90 seconds.
Apple previously added features like Apple Pay to iMessage to make it easy for consumers to transact directly with business in a fully digital way. If for instance, your customer service rep helps you find the perfect item, you can purchase it right then and there with Apple Pay in a fully digital payment system without having to supply a credit card in the chat interface.
What’s more, the CSR could share a link, photo or video to let you see more information on the item you’re interested in or to help you fix a problem with an item you already own. All of this can take place in iMessage, a tool millions of iPhone and iPad owners are comfortable using with friends and family.
To interact with Business Chat, customers are given messaging as a choice in contact information. If they touch this option, the interaction opens in iMessage and customers can conduct a conversation with the brand’s CSR, just as they would with friends.
This link to customer service and sales through a chat interface also fits well with the partnership with Salesforce announced last week and with the company’s overall push to the enterprise. Salesforce president and chief product officer, Bret Taylor described how Apple Business Chat could integrate with Salesforce’s Service Bot platform, which was introduced in 2017 to allow companies to build integrated automated and human response systems.
The bots could provide a first level of service and if the customer required more personal support, there could be an option to switch to Apple Business Chat.
Apple Business Chat requires iOS 11.3 or higher.