Today, Apple announced Business Chat, a new tool that allows consumers to text (iMessage) businesses for support, purchases, and more. Sound familiar?
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.
How Apple can improve business chat
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. 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.
The 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!