Breaking down the RCS hype: What every CIO needs to know

Topic: Business messaging
People looking into data to help improve SMS marketing.

Rich Communication Services messaging (RCS) has long been expected to replace traditional SMS and MMS. But why? And what is it?  Read on to unravel the buzz around RCS and discover why it’s more than just an upgraded version of SMS. CIOs, prepare to uncover the potential of RCS for your business communication strategy.

What is RCS? 

RCS is similar to a text message, but better. Imagine some of your favourite features from platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and others allow, but as part of your standard texting capabilities.  

RCS allows communication-enhancing features like read receipts, high-quality images, reply suggestions and commerce workflows, giving users a form of communication on the next level. And yes, you can already do all that in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and other platforms, but RCS is now being built in as part of your usual texting capabilities. 

Currently RCS is offered by Google globally via its Android Messages to users when they install and select it as their default texting app. When Google rolled out RCS as its main text platform for Android messages, it led to many Android phones coming with Android Messages pre-installed. Now, Samsung and Google have teamed up to enable RCS features to work between the Samsung Messages and Android Messages apps. Messages can also be downloaded from the Google Play Store.  

Why is RCS useful? 

So now you know what it is, let’s look at why RCS is relevant for businesses, and just how brands are utilising it as a catalyst for growth and customer satisfaction. 

Take a look below at some of the key features and benefits of using RCS for your business: 

  • Data-based messaging with SMS
  • Interactive content such as photos, locations, videos,  GIFs, documents, carousels, stickers and more.
  • Geolocation exchange
  • Client-to-server encryption with optional end-to-end encryption
  • Suggested responses and actions
  • Verified business profiles

RCS messaging is attracting brands who want to drive value and increase their sales. RCS does this by allowing the use of richer media, pushing customer engagement to a higher rate. This could ultimately result in more sales compared to traditional SMS and MMS. RCS: 

  • Gives more convenience to the customer
  • Increases customer trust and confidence
  • Gives the customer better access to your business

What CIOs need to know about RCS

RCS provides a much richer communication experience between businesses and consumers via smartphone texts. It offers the same richness as an app, but combined with the convenience of the text. 

However, while the benefits of RCS are obvious, there are some things that CIOs need to be aware of as this method of communication looks set to take over the business communication world. 

  • User Experience – Businesses need to understand that not all their users are the same. Not everyone will have the right device and not everyone will enjoy the same amount of communication. Therefore it’s vital that brands tailor their RCS strategy to match the user. Although RCS messages will fall back to SMS if a user doesn’t have an RCS-enabled device, it’s still worth noting that personalising messages will build customer trust and show off your brand’s integrity and empathy. 
  • Avoiding Misuse – In order to build trust with your audience and protect your customers, businesses using RCS need to ensure that they can be uniquely and clearly identified, and their identity needs to be verified, making sure that they are protected against impersonation. This protects customers from being tricked into sharing sensitive information with outside parties, making false payments or having their identity stolen. 
  • Audience Permission – RCS requires user consent in order to participate. The FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act states that businesses should have permission to contact the owner of a particular phone number, as well as consent to send marketing messages. Businesses are also required to give users an opt-out option. 

There’s no doubt that RCS has a valuable place in the world of customer communication and, if used right, it can add a whole load of value to a company’s marketing prowess, boosting revenue, confidence and reputation. But, if the above considerations are not given enough time and thought, all your hard work and effort will go to waste. So, CIOs, take heed and get started with RCS today. 

Here at Esendex, we’ve helped countless companies create effective RCS marketing strategies. If you’d like us to help you with yours, get in touch today. 

Author Avatar
Laura Haynes

Hey I'm Laura, UK&I Marketing Manager at Esendex đź‘‹ I enjoy developing and implementing marketing strategies and campaign experiences that create brand awareness and drive revenue by winning, growing and retaining engaged customers.