Apple and Zendesk today made Business Chat generally available for all businesses that use Zendesk Support, over two years since the service first went into beta.
First announced in 2018, Business Chat is designed to allow iPhone, iPad, and macOS users to communicate directly with businesses right within the Messages app. Users can chat with businesses, schedule appointments, and make purchases, without having to call for help.
The messaging add-on for businesses also integrates with other core Apple services like Apple Maps and Apple Pay, allowing users to search for relevant local information and pay for things in the Messages app while chatting with a support agent.
Companies wanting to set up Apple Business Chat have to integrate it to a customer service platform that uses Zendesk Support. From there, companies can connect to customers from multiple platforms and manage all interactions through a unified interface.
As with most of its services, Apple focused on privacy with Business Chat, so no business is provided with a user's contact information and chats can be ended at any time.