Delta becomes first airline to use Apple Business Chat for customers’ on-the-go assistance

Delta is the first airline to use the Messages app via Apple Business Chat. The option to message from an iOS device allows customers to connect with a live Delta representative to receive in-the-moment assistance, or with a Delta Virtual Assistant to get quick answers to frequently asked questions.

The new mobile assist tool is being rolled out in phases to some customers this summer to test preferences and demand, and is slated to be integrated into the Fly Delta app for all customers this fall. It will bring even more convenient communications access to customers on the go, building on the delta.com “Need Help” messaging interface that launched earlier this year to rave reviews.

“This is about connecting with our customers where they are — and many have told us that they’d rather message with us than engage on other channels like the phone, email or social media,” said Tori Forbes-Roberts, Vice President — Reservation Sales and Customer Care, in a statement. “Messaging is fast, it’s easy and it empowers our customers to connect with us on their terms — messages will even be saved and remain available so customers have a lifeline to Delta when they need it most.”

Forbes-Roberts added that messaging is expected to reduce wait times in all channels thanks in part to the Virtual Assistant capable of identifying answers to simple, common questions easily found on delta.com, before a live Reservations specialist is engaged. Even so, a customer can ask to speak with a live representative at any time to address questions, comments and challenges, while making the call on when to start, stop and continue conversations on a timeline that best suits their needs.

Rhonda Crawford, Delta’s Vice President of Distribution & Digital Channels, said in a statement that enabling messaging in the airline’s digital tools is a natural next step in delta.com and the Fly Delta app being as intuitive and helpful as possible.

“We want Delta customers to feel in full control of their experience with Delta, but know that we’re just a click or tap away when they need us,” she said. “We’ve seen incredible messaging engagement on our delta.com platform and integrating the Messages functionality into the Fly Delta app is an important part of our ongoing work to position our mobile platform as the consummate travel companion.”

How it works

During the phased roll out, some customers receiving Delta’s summer travel tips email prior their trip will see a “Need Help” link at the bottom of their email. When the link is tapped from their iOS device, the Messages app will automatically launch and connect customers with Delta — the same way they message with friends and family. When the same link is clicked using an alternate device, including a desktop computer, the customer will be connected to the delta.com “Need Help” messaging interface. Delta will also perform limited tests of Apple Business Chat from directly inside the Fly Delta iOS app this summer.

With testing beginning this summer, customers using an iOS device can get real-time answers to questions using their Messages app. This works in one of two ways: customers who receive a summer travel tips email can click “Go Now” and it will open in Messages app, or as a part of a limited test, customers can do so using the Fly Delta app. Visit the “More” section in the Fly Delta app and tap “Message Us” to get quick answers to frequently asked questions from a Delta Virtual Assistant (left), or message with a live Delta representative (right).​
With testing beginning this summer, customers using an iOS device can get real-time answers to questions using their Messages app. This works in one of two ways: customers who receive a summer travel tips email can click “Go Now” and it will open in Messages app, or as a part of a limited test, customers can do so using the Fly Delta app. Visit the “More” section in the Fly Delta app and tap “Message Us” to get quick answers to frequently asked questions from a Delta Virtual Assistant (left), or message with a live Delta representative (right).​

MacDailyNews Take: The first of many.

Smart move, Delta and yet another win for Apple Business Chat!

Apple’s Business Chat Beta is a powerful way for businesses to connect directly with customers using iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. With Business Chat, your customers can easily get assistance, schedule appointments, and complete purchases with Apple Pay, right from within Messages. Apple’s Business Chat is built for the purpose of connecting customers to businesses through the apps they use every day. In Business Chat, customers can answer on their own time, whether that is instantly or a few days later. Built-in features like Apple Pay, authentication, visual lists and scheduling templates make the experience convenient for both customers and company representatives.

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