Lithium, eGain Integrate Apple Business Chat

Customer engagement solutions providers eGain and Lithium Technologies today announced integrations with Apple Business Chat, a new way for iPhone and iPad users to communicate directly with businesses using the Messages app on their devices.

With the eGain integration, users will be able to leverage eGain's artificial intelligence to infer customer intent, power bot conversations through messaging, route escalations to contact center agents, and guide agents through messaging conversations, while at the same time using the rich features of Apple Business Chat, such as rich links, list pickers, date and time pickers, Apple Pay, images, and Messages extensions. They can also handle conversations, leveraging the eGain Advisor agent desktop software to provide personalized, proactive customer engagement and the eGain Solve button for access to contextual knowledge and AI-powered conversational guidance.

"Providing customer service where digital consumers live is emerging as a business differentiator," said Ashu Roy, eGain's CEO, in a statement. "This integration makes it easy to provide rich, conversational service through Apple Business Chat, guided by eGain knowledge and AI reasoning, and importantly, unified with traditional communication channels."

Meanwhile, the combination of Lithium and Apple Business Chat offers a way for consumers to message companies directly and for companies to connect with and deliver personalized experiences to customers at the right time.

Apple Business Chat will allow users to ask questions about products or services directly to businesses using the Messages app. When searching for a business on iPhone and iPad in Maps or Safari, with Search or Siri, or through the businesses' website or app, users can contact the business using Messages, and they can continue conversations with an Apple Watch or Mac. The service can steer conversations to live agents and users are always in control of whether they share any contact information with a business.

Lithium's engagement platform monitors companies' digital conversations and organizes them for the right person to respond. Lithium unifies and processes digital interactions with intelligent workflows and secure account authentication and then follows it with holistic analytics to track success.

Complementing Apple Business Chat's built-in security, Lithium's Secure Verification capability allows companies to authenticate customers before requesting private information.

"Great customer service today is really about creating great customer engagement," said Lithium CEO Pete Hess in a statement. "Today's consumers expect a convenient way to interact with brands without waiting on hold or expiring chat sessions. The ease of messaging a brand directly and personally, through Apple Business Chat, is a crucial way brands to build loyalty and trust. Being there for customers whenever and wherever they want to connect with you is an absolute necessity for businesses who wish to survive.

"Given shifting consumer expectations, the importance of authenticating and responding in a secure and personalized manner in the channel of a customer's choice, such as through Apple Business Chat, is essential in today's competitive marketplace," Hess added.

Apple Business Chat is available in beta in the United States and is built into iOS 11.3 and higher.

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Posted July 27, 2018