T-Mobile integrates new Apple Business Chat support

Posted:
in General Discussion
T-Mobile on Wednesday announced support for Apple's new Business Chat feature, allowing customers and non-customers alike to message customer service representatives directly from the Messages app on their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac.




To access Business Chat, T-Mobile users can conduct a Siri search or look up T-Mobile in the Maps app. There will be a message bubble icon that can be tapped to start chatting with a live representative at T-Mobile.



T-Mobile isn't the first company to back Business Chat. Zendesk, Discover, Lowe's, Wells Fargo, Hilton have all announced support.

Depending on which company you are talking to, there are a variety of use cases for Business Chat. If you chat with the Apple store or Lowe's, for example, you can get help placing an online order, and check out directly from Messages using Apple Pay. In T-Mobile's case, Business Chat is an easy way for anyone to alter their plan, update their address, pay their bill, or ask general questions.

The new feature is supported for both personal and business customers as well as those who are not currently T-Mobile customers.

Business Chat, which launched just a few weeks ago with the release of iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4, is currently limited to the United States. Like traditional Messages, it works cross-platform, meaning conversations can be initiated on your iPhone, then moved to an iPad or Mac.

Previously, companies like T-Mobile would build chat options into their apps or website. These features typically resulted in poor experiences, as browsers might reload or users would lose their place in the app while trying to get help.

Now, all messages will be relegated to the same location; the Messages app. The biggest designator that you are chatting with a brand is that the contact name will have a verified checkmark next to them, and there will be a clear theme in the actual conversation. As an example, you can see the T-Mobile Business Chat has been branded pink.

Since it uses the messages app everyone is familiar with, it taps into other standard features like read receipts, delivery notifications, attachment browser, and even iMessage extensions. When we reached out to T-Mobile through Messages, it prompted us to login to their T-Mobile account with the T-Mobile iMessage app extension.

In use, this feels like a very seamless way for customers to reach out to companies but may take some time to educate customers on the method. It may not be entirely intuitive out of the gate for users to realize they can message businesses just like their friends and family.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,009member
    huh?

    anyway,
    I'm a little surprised at how quickly this is taking off. Must be ridiculously easy to implement. while I don't see this being a better way to order pizza than the apps, it might be cool for local restaurants if customers can make reservations, check wait times, business hours etc. I never trust the apps for making reservations. 
    lostkiwijbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 3
    SoliSoli Posts: 6,672member
    Off Topic; I wish there was a cleaner way to obscure text and avatars on a screenshot, like the one above. Perhaps an app that would let you highlight the areas you want the obscured, then looks at the background color, and maybe even uses OCR so that it can know it's looking at text before it changes it to psuedu-Latin lorem ipsum that matches the flow of the original text. The current method pulls my attention away from what I'm suppose to be looking at because of janky and out of place it looks.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,400member
    cornchip said:
    huh?

    anyway,
    I'm a little surprised at how quickly this is taking off. Must be ridiculously easy to implement. while I don't see this being a better way to order pizza than the apps, it might be cool for local restaurants if customers can make reservations, check wait times, business hours etc. I never trust the apps for making reservations. 
    This would be most suited to task-oriented processes that are relatively straightforward. A pizza order involves too many steps. Unless you could type in the order in one message. 

    One ham and pineapple with extra ham, one mega meat feast, one large bottle of coke, one tub of ice cream, one cardiac specialist … 

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