Dish Customer Service Is Coming to iMessage

The latest of several companies to begin offering customer support via iMessage, paid television provider Dish is now inviting customers to message the company via the Apple app. Specifically, Dish is adopting Apple Business Chat, a feature Apple rolled out back in March as part of its iOS 11.3 update. The tool enables consumers to communicate directly with brands through the Messages app on their iPhones or iPads.

John Swieringa, chief operating office at Dish, said in a company statement that the move give its customers flexibility and convenience:

"TV should be simple, so we've made reaching our live customer service representatives as easy as sending a text. Adding messaging with Apple Business Chat is a powerful way to connect with us, giving another choice so you can pick what fits with your life." 

Companies including Discover, The Home Depot, Hilton, Lowe's, T-Mobile and Wells Fargo were among the early adopters of the Business Chat feature, but Dish is the first paid-TV brand to join the roster.

As far as functionality goes, Dish customers can use iMessage to speak to live agents and ask questions, as well as make account changes, schedule service appointments, and order pay-per-view movies or paid sporting events. To use the feature, customers have to search for Dish using an iPhone or iPad browser—an iMessage icon will appear next to the search result, and users should tap it to be taken directly into the Messages app.  The company is also working to add a tap-to-chat button to the contact page of the MyDish app.

The advantage of using this approach to live chat versus standard in-app chatbots is that the conversation doesn’t end or time out, unless the thread is deleted from the Messages app. That means customers can continue to engage with service agents whenever it’s necessary. And Apple Business Chat won’t automatically share any customer account details by default, giving customers “complete control of whether they want to share any contact information,” according to a statement from Dish.

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