RCS: What It Is & Why It’s the Future

RCS: What It Is & Why It’s the Future

Take a moment to consider the communication technology of the future. Imagine meeting in VR, talking to chatbots on social media, speaking face-to-face in VR… With so much flashy tech coming into maturity, you might be forgetting one of the most tried and true platforms: text messaging. While SMS has fallen out of favor compared to other messaging platforms, a new kind of messaging is on the horizon. IT’s RCS, short for rich communication services. And it has just arrived to revolutionize B2C communication. Here are just a few of the advantages RCS offers over other messaging platforms.

Messaging is a Powerful, Popular Platform

Marketing and interacting with customers using SMS is already popular for organizations. It allows for one-to-one communication and its user base beats every other platform, including email. With a 98% read rate, text messages get a lot of user attention. In fact, out of 7 billion text messages sent year after year, over 90% are read within three minutes of receiving. This makes SMS a powerful tool for push notifications. RCS messaging includes all these benefits to SMS marketing while offering features from other platforms—like rich media, but more on that below—to the number-one digital communications platform with the most universal user base.

RCS Messaging Gives Your Brand a Voice

It offers several features to give brands a voice and personality, offering more conversational experiences powered by AI. Just like with chatbots on other platforms, rich business messaging allows you to set a branded avatar as well as suggestion chips to your conversations—all within your customers’ native message app. With typical SMS messaging, brands often rely on the tech by broadcasting updates. The shift to more sophisticated conversational tools with rich business messaging lets brands forge a deeper connection with their fans, inviting them to talk back.

RCS is Secure and Verifiable

How many times have you received a text message from a brand and wondered if it were spam or a phishing scheme? Before RCS, branded messages were identified only by a phone number that likely isn’t in users’ contacts. This can make it difficult for users to verify whether they’re actually talking to the brand in question, which might prompt them to ignore updates or report the number as spam. RCS messaging lists verified sender data, allowing for no ambiguity about where a message has come from. This not only instills more trust in customers but keeps their communications with you more secure.

Boost Your Messages with Rich Media

We explained above how SMS is great, but it’s also very limited. You have a character limit to deal with, no menu buttons, no images, no formatting. This harms usability and limits the functionality you can offer through the world’s most ubiquitous digital messaging platform. But rich communication services offer rich media, much like chatbots you’d find on data-based platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Some of these features include video, gifs and audio; QR codes; photos; and more. And if your users’ devices don’t support RCS, don’t despair. RCS services can let you default back to SMS for users who need it.

Make Easy Payments

Perfect for e-commerce brands, RCS offers easy payment options that allow users to make a purchase without leaving the conversation. Think of the possibilities both in and out of store. Best Buy, for example, uses RCS messaging to allow customers to make quick purchases which they can pay for in their favorite messaging app or in the store. From there, they can pick up orders at the store, then receive suggestions of related, relevant items in the store.

More Accurate Metrics

With RCS, you can receive more detailed and accurate metrics to gauge how effective your messaging is. In addition to read receipts, you can also check for the time that a message was opened by the recipient. This helps you tailor your messaging. With AI, you can also leverage first-party data. For instance, purchase or conversation histories, to suggest content, purchases and other information most relevant to them.

To put it simply, RCS messaging offers several useful features to brands and users alike. It’s a bit of a “best of both worlds” marrying the benefits of the SMS platform with features and functionality from data-based messaging. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why RCS is set to raise the standard on the future of B2C messaging.