Apple Messages for Business will enable you to connect with customers directly from within Messages. Integrating your Freshchat account with Messages for Business, you can interact with customers, respond to their questions, resolve issues, and complete transactions from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch through iMessage.
Note: Apple devices running iOS 11.3 or later and macOS 10.13.4 or later will support Messages for Business.
Messages for Business 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 Messages for Business 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
Apple Messages for Business integration is available for all paid plans in Freshchat.
How to set up a Messages for Business account
To set up a Messages for Business account, first, you need to sign up at register.apple.com.
Go to Messages for Business accounts > Manage Services > Messages for Business Accounts > Add new.
Acknowledge the policies of Apple.
Configure the new Messages for Business account.
Fill in the account applicant details.
Choose the Business Chat account type.
A Commercial Account is an account you use to communicate with your customers.
An Internal test account is to develop and test your commercial account setup internally before taking it live.
Internal Test account:
Give a name to the account.
Assign a technical contact.
Select the Apple authorized commercial messaging platform as Freshchat.
If you're on the EU cluster, add the following URL in the Advanced section,
If you're on the AU cluster, use the following URL.
If you're on the IN cluster, use the following URL.
On the next screen, click Add Apple IDs and enter the Apple IDs of the user to whom the test link has to be sent. These users will receive a URL using which they can initiate messages and test.
Note: The tester IDs should be Apple IDs with active iMessages.
Once the test account is set up, head over to the Freshchat account. Add the Tester Apple IDs, and you will receive a link to send and receive messages.
Commercial account: (Customer facing)
Add the account owner (technical contact) to set up a commercial account.
Select the number of locations your business is present in (offices) and add the location details (office address).
Add your brand information.
Set the response hours.
Set up your brand identity: add a logo, choose a header color, and so on.
Add Freshchat as the Apple authorized commercial messaging platform.
These details will be submitted to Apple for review. Once you send your profile for review by clicking the “Send for review” button.
Once Apple has reviewed your account, Paste your Apple Business ID in your Freshchat account to start using it.
How to integrate Messages for Business with Freshchat
Once your Messages for Business account is set up, Click on your Messages for Business account name and Connect to Freshchat.
Note: You can integrate your internal test account with Freshchat while your business account is pending approval from Apple.
Click Connect. You will be redirected to your Freshchat account's Apple Messages for Business integration page.
Enter your Messages for Business ID.
You can find your Apple Business ID in your Apple Messages for Business account by clicking on the ‘Copy ID’
Paste it into your Freshchat account.
Give a name to your Message Channel for the Apple Messages for Business conversations. Select the Group to which you want to assign the conversations and click Connect.
You can follow these steps to test your connection with your MSP,
1. Head to the Messages for Business Account page and scroll down to the Messaging Service Provider section.
2. Click on ‘Test your Messaging Service Provider connection.’
3. After that, you’ll be directed to this Freshchat Sign-in page where you can sign up for preview access to the Freshchat integration for Apple Messages for Business. On this page, you would be required to log in with your Freshchat credentials.
Once you have registered with Apple and have linked your Apple Messages for Business Account with Freshchat, you’re ready to start customizing your account to meet your business needs. Here are some of the unique features:
Chat Suggest :
When you register your phone number with Apple, Chat Suggest proactively gives you the option to chat when a user clicks to call your business phone number in Safari, Maps, Siri, or Search. Customers will be redirected to the Messages app when they select the messaging option, reducing the costs of voice support by shifting the customers to messaging.
To enable Chat Suggest, send an email to the Apple Messages for Business Team (email@example.com) with the following information. Apple will set up the feature for you:
Provide all of your primary phone numbers, including high call volume phone numbers.
Provide phone contact hours to set customer expectations for your after-hours message.
Provide intent, group, and body parameters to associate with each phone number.
Provide an estimate of how many customers your agents can support per day. This can be increased or decreased depending on operational capacity.
Embedding Apple Messages for Business buttons into your website and mobile apps
Customers also have the ability to start a conversation with you through your website or mobile app when you set up Apple Messages for Business buttons and message URLs with a clear Call to Action.
Beyond your website and app, you can configure these buttons to be displayed in communication channels like email, social, and digital campaigns.
To embed Apple Messages for Business buttons on your website, follow these steps:
Add a <div> container to house the button
Customize the banner, fallback support, and button color to meet your brand’s needs
The Messages for Business button must contain the following, at a minimum:
A class attribute to specify the type of container: banner, phone, or message. For more information, see Messages for Business Button Class and Data Attributes.
A data-apple-business-id attribute with the business ID you received when you registered your company with Business Chat.
To learn more about enabling Apple Messages for Business Buttons to your website, please refer to Apple’s documentation for Adding a Messages for Business Button to Your Website. To learn about enabling a button in your mobile app, please refer to Apple’s Starting a Chat from your App documentation.
Once you do this, you won’t be able to edit the fields again on the Freshchat Messages for Business integration page. So make sure you enter the correct details.
If you entered the wrong values, contact Freshchat support.
What are the Rich Messages supported by Messages for Business Chat and how to use them in Freshchat
With Apple Messages for Business, specific messages can be sent from Freshchat using Smart Plugs with a message override option. Messages for Business supports the following message types,
Here are some screenshots...