Customer Communications

What is RCS and Why Do You Need It?

By Chris Wallbank 14 November 2019

True to predictions, Rich Communication Services (RCS) has become a key weapon in companies’ marketing and customer experience arsenal this year. In 2019, 94% of companies have been looking at using it, making it one of the most popular new additions to cross-channel strategies.

Here we look at why it’s becoming so popular – and how companies are using to improve the customer experience.

RCS defined

Rich Communication Services is the next generation of SMS. It essentially combines the best features of SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage in a single, native platform.

Unlike SMS, RCS allows for personalised messaging, read receipts, automated action and reply buttons, unlimited character counts and high-resolution images and video. It works directly through mobile networks, so you’re not relying on recipients using the same app or having the same device.

How RCS helps improve customer experience

RCS gives you an easy way to deliver engaging, rich messaging to a broad audience, providing new opportunities to build customer relationships and boost ROI.

Here are key examples:

  • More effective marketing campaigns: The ability to use rich content means you’re not restricted to generic text like you are in SMS. You can use branding and imagery to build recognition and increase response rates. For example, OpenMarket research report discovered that almost 80% of consumers find RCS appealing and 74% say RCS would make them more likely to want to communicate with a brand.
  • Location-based marketing and service: RCS can leverage customer location data, so you can give more precise delivery information or offer geographic-specific discounts.
  • Verified business profiles: Sender verification is a key RCS feature which instills trust between companies and their clients. It ensures that users expect to see the verification mark in the company’s profile when communicating with a brand and be suspicious of any attempts at malicious behaviour when the verification mark is not present.
  • Seamless conversation: Besides the simplicity, personalisation and reliability that RCS offers, the application also works person to person as well as person to application. Thanks to technology like Natural Language Processing (NLP), you can now conduct 2-way conversations within customers’ default messaging app.
  • Less channel jumping: Because RCS supports so many different functions, customers don’t have to jump between channels quite so much. For example, they can reschedule a delivery without moving between SMS and mobile browser links – they can do it all in the RCS chat. Or they can check in to a flight and get their boarding pass, along with information on flight status, on-board shopping deals and terminal maps. With financial services, they can receive fraud alerts and authenticate transactions with the tap of a button.

RCS adoption is increasing rapidly, so it’s time to start testing it

Google has been spearheading the roll-out of RCS services, and more carriers are enabling it. The Mobilesquard forecasts that a total of 3.23bn people will use RCS messaging across 486 mobile operators by the end of 2023.

It’s easy to integrate RCS with Engage Hub, so that you can communicate with your customers using their preferred channel. Sign up here to start trialling RCS in your next campaign.

See other posts by Chris Wallbank

Product Manager

As a Product Manager, Chris is responsible for the business management of Engage Hub’s product and its commercial success. With over 5 years of experience working within the customer engagement space, Chris is perfectly placed to help evolve a vision for the product that not only meet customer needs but also drive innovation to fulfill their future demands. Working alongside the Product team, Chris helps to translate business strategy into a product vision, whilst working closely with the Marketing Team to plan and carry out product launches to deliver innovative services for our customers.

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