RCS Will Change Texting: 5 Ways Businesses Can Benefit
Remember the acronym SMS? Of course, you do. It’s the most reliable mode of communication that we have been using since the 1990s: texting.
For 30 years, SMS hasn’t seen a significant change, until 2019. The evolution of Rich Communication Services (RCS) is about to change the way we communicate.
First Things First, What is RCS?
Rich Communication Services, RCS, is a protocol endorsed by the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA). This protocol enables rich multimedia in text messages, including things like video, audio, high-res images, and GIFs. Other enabled functions include improved group chat functionality, read receipts, typing indicators, and the ability for businesses to send real-time updates and more.
The summary explanation is that RCS is the new, better SMS. Think of the way users use iMessage-like functionality, but without needing a specific device or third-party app to do it.
So, what’s important to know? (Especially for businesses.)
5 Ways RCS Will Change Texting
RCS will change texting as we know it today. Not only that, but it is projected to be very profitable with a forecasted value of $16B by 2023. That said, here’s what you should pay attention to:
- RCS is universal
RCS delivers 10x more value than SMS. RCS is native to a device’s built-in messaging, similar to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Therefore, users can seamlessly adapt to the technology. RCS is not new, and Google has been tapping into it since 2007 with its devices. Now, in 2019, we will see Google’s most aggressive push.
Both Android and Apple fully support RCS as well.
- RCS will replace your apps: an opportunity for business to expand their reach.
RCS doesn’t require a download, which makes it more powerful and accssible than an app. Research shows that only 10-20% of customers download an app. RCS can help reach the other 80-90% of customers. For example, instead of seeing alerts in an app, a message will be sent directly to users as a text message.
- RCS will replace phone calls: a new kind of customer service.
Okay, not all phone calls, but at least customer service phone calls. With RCS, texting inboxes will be searchable. That means users can search in their texting inbox for a brand and direct message them about an issue. The conversation will be stored for future reference, too.
- RCS is measurable: opportunities for new marketing strategies with more data.
RCS gives more data transparency, providing real-time feedback and metrics. The ability to see when messages are sent, delivered, read and actively responded to will allow marketers to jump on immediacy and usefulness in their strategies. Ultimately, this opens up the door for customers to engage with a brand faster and more often.
- RCS UX opportunities
The user experience (UX) or customer experience (CX) of RCS will be dramatically improved. Here are some things to expect:
- More than 160 characters in text
- Two-way conversation between customers and businesses/brands
- Searchable inbox
- Embedded call-to-action’s (CTA) and links in rich media format without requiring downloads
Too Good to Be True?
No, not really. However, a word of caution. Businesses and brands jumping to utilize this immediate customer interaction should keep in mind the issues surrounding spamming and privacy. Immediacy and intimacy can aid customer satisfaction, but when abused, can just as easily decrease customer satisfaction.
Businesses can highly benefit by using the new RCS functions for things like appointment reminders, rescheduling or rebooking a flight, or for sales notifications among so many other things. However, when doing so, it’s important to remember all of the current hot-button issues of data privacy.