What is Business Chat and why should I integrate?

Business Chat will enable you to connect with customers directly from within Messages. By integrating your Freshchat account with Business Chat, you can interact with customers, respond to their questions, resolve issues and complete transactions from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch through iMessage. 


Business Chat capabilities

  • Send/Receive Message

Provide a rich user experience to the customer by sending an interactive message.

  • List Picker

Let the customer choose from a list of items by sending a list picker.

  • Time Picker

Let the customer schedule an appointment by sending a time picker.

  • Apple Pay Payment Request

Provide an easy and secure way for customers to buy goods and services through Business Chat using Apple Pay.

  • Message Attachments

Receive and send file attachments.

  • Authentication Message

          Pass authentication data between your business and the customer's device.

Plan and Pricing

Business Chat integration is available on Forest plan in Freshchat. However, it can be added as an add-on for those in Estate and Garden plan priced at $20 per agent.


How to setup a Business Chat account?

To setup a Business Chat account, 


1. Sign up at register.apple.com.

2. Click on Business chat accounts.



3. Click add New account.



4. Acknowledge the policies of Apple and click Next.



5. Choose the Business Chat account type.



Internal Test account: (You can use this for internal testing)


1. Select Internal Test Account.

2. Give an Internal name to the account.



3. Select the customer service platform as Freshchat.



4. If the customer is on EU cluster, in the drop-down, select CSP provided URL and paste the below URL. Then click Next.
https://abc-webhooks.eu.freshchat.com/ieQuooxae3Hahcaalae8UvuaXeiChoh1/api/apple/webhooks/csp/252ce231-cf6e-492f-8efc-822af4ff13e4



5. Click Add and enter the Apple IDs of the user’s to which the test link has to be sent. These users will receive an URL using which they can initiate messages and test.





6. To configure Apple Pay, you should have registered for a Merchant ID in your Apple developer’s account. Add this here and click Next.



7. Assign a technical contact. They would be technical point of contact on Apple's side.



8. Click Save.



Commercial account: (Customer facing)


1. Select Commercial account

2. Specify the number of live agents who would be available to take up chats within business hours. Click Save.



3. Select the number of locations your business is present in (offices) and give the location details (office address).

If your business doesn’t have a location.  Select no public locations and give a profile name to your brand.



4. Add the customer service platform as Freshchat.



5. Next, specify who can chat with you.



You can expose your account to the public (anyone with your Business chat link, which you will get from Apple after the review, can initiate a chat with you) or, restrict access only to whitelisted IP’s. If you select the second option, enter the Apple IDs of the users you want to whitelist. An email will be sent to them with the link using which they can initiate chat.


Note:

How do I expose the chat to the public?
Embed the link  to a button on your website and this will provide the chat option to your end users


Also, please note that these details will be submitted to Apple for review.


6. Setup your business hours.



7. You can configure the message header with a background color, your logo, and brand name.


8. To configure Apple Pay, you should have registered for a Merchant ID in your Apple developer’s account



9. Add the account owner (technical contact) on Apple’s side.



How to integrate with Freshchat?


Once your account is approved by Apple, 


1. Click on your Business chat account name

2. Under Customer Service Platform Configuration, select Connect to Freshchat.



3. Click Connect. You will be redirected to your Freshchat account > Apple Business Chat Integration page.




4. Enter your Business chat ID. 



You can find this in the URL in your Business chat account URL.



5. Paste it in Freshchat.



6. Give a name to your Message Channel for the Apple Business Chat conversations.

7. Select the Group to which you want to assign the conversations.

8. Click Connect.


Important Note:

Once you do this, you won’t be able to edit the fields again in the Freshchat Business Chat integration page. So make sure you enter the correct details. 


If you have entered the wrong values, contact Freshchat support.


What are the message types supported by Business Chat and how to use it in Freshchat?


Apple Business Chat (ABC) specific messages can be sent from Freshchat using Smart Plugs with a message override option. ABC supports the following message types,


  • Send/Receive Message

  • List Picker

  • Time Picker

  • Apple Pay

  • Attachments

  • Authentication message


Here are some screenshots:


Send/Receive Message



Apple Pay



Rich links



You can add a Smart Plug in Settings > Smart Plugs > Add Smart Plugs.


To learn more about Smart Plugs, checkout this support article.


For the Apple Business Chat Smart Plugs, contact Freshchat support.