May 18, 2022

RCS – The Only Customer-Messaging Tool That Matters

rcs business messaging

Texting, photos, video sharing, voice messaging, group chats, location sharing, integrated payments and much more. OTT apps like WhatsApp and Telegram offer these features for absolutely free. And businesses use them to support their customers along the entire customer journey.

So, what could possibly be the next phase of mobile messaging? It’s quite simple – offer each of these features in an all-in-one native mobile messaging app. This is Rich Communication Services (RCS) and it’s making business-to-customer communication simpler while transforming results. For brand use, it’s referred to as RCS business messaging

What is RCS Business Messaging? And What is the Difference Between SMS and RCS?

RCS business messaging (which stands for Rich Communication Services) is the next phase of SMS protocol. It packs richer features into the native SMS messaging app such as payments, chatbots, HQ image and video, group calls and much more. RSC includes many of the best popular features of the most popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.

While RCS business messaging is obviously a convenient solution, the benefits go far beyond convenience. 

Benefits of RCS Business Messaging

Firstly, traditional SMS campaigns via the native messaging app enjoy a 98% open rate and an average response rate of 90 seconds. As the next phase in the evolution of texting, RCS offers the eye-catching functionality of OTT apps, with the unbeatable reach of text messaging. With RCS, businesses simply know their messages aren’t disappearing into a void. They’re being read. 

With the advent of RCS business messaging, enterprises can now provide better support along the entire customer journey, leading to better customer retention, decreased churn, greater brand loyalty and increased revenues. 

The benefits of RCS business messaging leave almost no doubts about this technology being the future of mobile messaging for brands and people. While this may sound too good to be true, let’s have a look at how an RCS API platform benefits enterprises, telcos and end-users, so you can decide for yourself. 

10 Key Features of RCS Business Messaging – How RCS outperforms other messaging apps 

Here are 10 key ways enterprises, telcos and end-users can benefit from RCS business messaging

1. Use of native messaging app

An OTT app is “one of many” messaging channels, while RCS business messaging offers an all-in-one platform that offers all the same features in one messaging platform. 

2. Market penetration of RCS

RCS business messaging inherits both the presence and market penetration of SMS (text messaging). SMS is still the most reliable messaging channel – 90% of SMSs are read within 3 minutes of delivery.

3. Functionality of RCS messages

RCS business messaging integrates a wide array of services, some of which aren’t even offered by current OTT apps: location, payment, interactive chatbots with AI, multimedia (pictures, audio, video), action buttons and much more. One of the biggest differences is virtually no limit on characters (unlike the 160-character limit of SMS). This quickly translates to a better user experience and greater value for operators.

4. Branding with RCS

Instead of using the messaging platform of another company with your brand name and account, an RCS A2P profile features the custom design and branding of your enterprise.

5. Brand verification via RCS

This feature is similar to the verification feature we see on Twitter, Instagram and other social media apps. RCS messaging combines this brand verification with business messaging. This ensures brand spoofing (fakes) isn’t happening and makes unauthorized use of a brand name and its features much more difficult.

6. Deep analytics for marketing via RCS

SMS offers almost no visibility or follow-up after a message is sent. However, with RCS business messaging you can see how your message performs, including:

  • Exactly when a person opened your message
  • Whether the person responded immediately or with a delay
  • Was the message comprehensive (i.e. does the response show that the person understood the message and had a reaction)
  • Were there enough options for the user or was the user confused, etc. 

Such analytics provide invaluable information for enterprises to fine-tune messaging 

campaigns for immediate results.

7. User history for better targeting via RCS

With information regarding a user’s brand interaction, an enterprise can quickly identify relevant offers and target specific users interested in a product or service. 

8. RCS is instantly customizable

Since RCS business messaging is a digital product, a campaign manager can always customize campaigns and messages on the go, instantly correcting and fine-tuning a campaign, as needed.

9. RCS utilizes smartphones

While this may seem obvious and redundant, the fact that RCS business messaging utilizes smartphones is actually a key feature to note. Here’s why: 

SMS messaging currently brings no advantages to smartphone users over traditional button phones (except for using URLs in messages). With RCS, smartphones can bring the same multimedia experience of web services and apps (WhatsApp, Telegram, etc.) to both customer and personal communication.

10. Multiple-choice responses via RCS

Similar to the polling features and other interactive features found on social media platforms and OTT apps. RCS business messaging incorporates these features into the SMS messaging platform. This includes pre-defined user reactions in terms of multimedia carousels, action buttons, suggested replies, and more. 

Users don’t have to type a response and hope the brand understands their message. By offering one-tap button responses, we establish an interaction standard, making it easier for both brand and customer to communicate with each other.

Other RCS features include group communication, calls and video conferencing. While OTT apps already offer these features, SMS doesn’t. RCS messaging, of course, brings them together into the native messaging app.

In short, this wealth of innovative features in a single messaging platform is unprecedented. It makes business-client communication and personal messaging more convenient, simpler and more effective.

How RCS Business Messaging Connects You With Your Clients

Many enterprises today are already using an omnichannel messaging platform that utilizes RCS communication and other channels to support their customers. 

Here are just a few ways an RCS business messaging platform will improve these marketing campaigns and boost relationships with customers.

Benefits of RCS Business Messaging for Marketers

Marketers enjoy the following benefits of RCS messaging for their campaigns:

  1. Highly targeted RCS messaging will only reach customers most likely to take action. This also cuts down marketing costs.
  2. With RCS marketing, you’ll be able to keep customers happy by providing important information exactly when they need it, with the guarantee that they will receive and read the information (ie. delivery confirmations, flight delays, promo announcements, and customer service responses).
  3. Immediate communication with customers, exactly when they need it. This drastically improves brand loyalty.
  4. By regularly connecting with your customers in their native mobile messaging app, you’ll remain relevant in their minds. 
  5. By analyzing campaign data like read receipts, response delays, and suggested alternative replies and options, RCS sms messages allow you to fine-tune your marketing campaign, cutting costs and increasing ROI.

And still, the benefits of the RCS service go both ways. End-users have a lot to look forward to in using an RCS platform as well.

Benefits of RCS Business Messaging for End-Users

Because end-users will also benefit from RCS business messaging, it’s an ideal channel for business-to-customer messaging. End-users will enjoy:

  1. Sending bigger, higher-quality images
  2. Better, clearer user interface
  3. A “personal touch” – with AI, the RCS solution interface learns user and community habits to introduce useful and needed features
  4. Streaming video and audio from directly within the app.
  5. Enhanced group chat functionality.
  6. Greater security than OTT apps.
  7. A shorter journey to purchase and payment. Users will be able to browse, order and pay for products all from within the messaging app.
  8. An incredible amount of in-call and post-call features remove call limitations and make communication incredibly convenient and useful.
  9. Access to an even greater array of emojis.

And much more.

While RCS business messaging is a relatively new technology, it’s on the cusp of a breakout. Any business that relies on communication with clients will benefit greatly from adopting this technology. And any business that doesn’t, will most likely be delaying the inevitable. 

RCS on the Rise

The market for traditional SMS-based business-to-customer messaging was forecast at $19.7 billion in 2020. By 2022, that figure has grown to $25.1 billion. That’s more than $5 billion of growth in just two years.

Today, about 50 operators have already launched RCS solutions or plan to do so. The market already consists of 421 million monthly active RCS users and 1.2 billion RCS-ready devices, as compared to the 30 million users in 2016. That’s a 1,300% growth in the user base in just 6 years.

Final Words – Improving Business-to-Customer Messaging

The momentum behind RCS business messaging demand is undeniable. This data indicates a monumental step in the right direction for operators worldwide who will positively change day-to-day consumer interaction and improve brand reach for marketers. Whether you are a consumer or an enterprise, RCS business messaging is bound to reshape mobile messaging experiences. Ultimately, it will benefit us all, keeping us connected to one another in the most useful, convenient and cost-effective way.