Today, Apple announced Business Chat, a new tool that allows consumers to text (iMessage) businesses for support, purchases, and more. Sound familiar?

Apple conference
Apple unveiled Business Chat at a conference on Friday.

Zipwhip is thrilled to see tech giants like Apple and Google innovating in the consumer-to-business texting space; we see it as part of a natural evolution of texting. Last month we wrote about how Google committed to RCS in a big way. Without comparing apples to apples (pun intended), Business Chat appears to be Apple’s answer to RCS.

In a way, Apple, Google, and Zipwhip are all working towards the same goal – making it ubiquitous and easy for consumers to text businesses. That said, there are differences and at first glance, we do foresee some obstacles.

3 way Apple can improve business chat now

1. Ditch the QR code. Business Chat requires the consumer to scan a QR code each time they want to text a new business. The QR code is still widely unpopular, and challenging to use in a lot of situations. It’s our stance that a consumer should simply send in a text to originate a conversation.

2. Let businesses start the conversation. Currently, the business can’t start texting without explicit consent from the customer (via scanning a QR code). We get it – compliance is important, as is the ability to opt-in to receive marketing messages. Apple is likely trying to prevent spam, but again, the downside is that they’re complicating the user experience. For example, if you’re checking into a hotel, and you request that the hotel send you a text, do you really need to scan in a QR code to start the conversation? It’s one extra step that complicates the user experience.

3. It’s only available to iPhone users. We love the examples of Business Chat being used in the Apple retail stores, but realistically, Apple retail will still need to text with Android users. They will need software that allows any mobile subscriber to initiate conversations.

Business Chat AppleThe announcement further underscores the growing demand for consumer texting. 97 percent of American adults text weekly (Pew Research Center) and 95 percent of texts will be read within three minutes of being sent. (Forbes) Texting is highest-rated contact method for customer satisfaction compared to all other communication channels (Text – 90; Phone – 77; Facebook – 66) (eWeek).

As Apple Business Chat continues to unfold, Zipwhip is already gearing up to support these conversations in our software. Congrats to Apple and we look forward to working with you!

 

zipwhip

Zipwhip is the productivity tool that lets businesses and customers text each other like friends. Zipwhip text-enables your existing (landline, VoIP, or toll free) business number. With direct connections to tier 1 carriers - Zipwhip is the trusted, scalable solution to business texting.