Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of Mashable once famously said that attention is the new currency. Every business is vying for the customer’s attention. In a world where the average consumer is glued to the smartphone, the mobile has become the new battleground for brands in this quest for customer connection.
Businesses reach out to customers through various channels such as social media platforms, Facebook messenger, and instant messengers such as WhatsApp. However, contrary to what some may believe, SMS communication is still alive and thriving. That said, if the aim is to connect and engage, businesses need to think beyond sending plain text SMS. They need to send rich texts to gain customer’s attention. Enter RCS!
Rich Communication Services (RCS) create messaging touchpoints that are more engaging and provide a rich experience to customers. RCS adds that value in Application to Peer (A2P) SMS.
No wonder brands are willing to spend $18.04 billion on RCS.
RCS enables businesses to send multimedia and experiment with different types of content such as hyperlinked texts, rich images, and even polls and quizzes through A2P SMS.
The results are evident too. According to mGage’s research, RCS achieved a 14 times higher engagement rate and a better response rate than other methods used previously.
While businesses are expected to benefit from RCS, how do mobile operators stand to benefit from it?
Let’s delve into the subject to know more.
How Can Mobile Network Operators Benefit From Rich Communication Services?
- Better customer experience
With the help of rich communication services, businesses can send high-resolution pictures and heavy files to their customer contacts, share locations and add emoticons and features to their messages to make them more interactive. Such messages will improve customer engagement by virtue of being more interesting and inviting. Businesses can also brand their messages to give them a distinct identity. These features enable mobile operators to strengthen their connection with the customer by being consistent across all the channels they use to communicate. This is a remarkable difference from the current fragmented experience offered to them. Most importantly, the transition from SMS to RCS is seamless. Studies show that customers are already overwhelmed by the number of channels being added to the ecosystem. They don’t want to download an additional messaging app to interact with businesses. However, RCS does not require the customer to download another app. They are automatically upgraded to RCS. So, they can leverage the benefits provided by apps like WhatsApp and Signal from the default messaging app available on their smartphone.
- New revenue-generating opportunities
RCS provides a unique opportunity for mobile operators to generate more revenue beyond their traditional revenue channels. Businesses are forever on the lookout for new digital channels to reach out to new and existing customers. Some channels are effective, while some do not offer the kind of ROI expected. For example, a banner ad generates an average of 0.1% CTR. As SMS is more personal and sent to the in-built messaging app, the CTR and open rates are much higher. Add to that the power and engagement of RCS and the brand campaigns promise to outperform by 207%. According to Gartner, the interoperability of SMS and its better reach to customers makes it an extremely viable marketing channel for businesses. They know that it’s a channel that customers will use regularly. In fact, operators are expected to generate $52.5 billion from RCS messaging by 2028.
- Improved customer retention
Some messaging platforms have come under the scanner due to data privacy concerns. SMS and RCS are still considered safer options as they are known to protect customer’s data by default and are permission-based. This helps businesses to communicate safely with their customers and retain them. Apart from helping businesses, RCS messaging can also be useful for mobile operators to retain their customers. Instead of sending plain text SMS to their customers, operators can send rich communication with capabilities to enable customers to respond to messages. They can use rich templates to create brand recall for customers. Most importantly, they can reduce customer churn by creating an engaging and consistent experience for customers across the entire communication ecosystem the customer uses.
RCS provides many benefits to both businesses and subscribers. The future of RCS messaging looks positive as carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are planning to embrace RCS from 2022. Also, considering that SMS is still the most used form of communication in many countries and does not require an app to be downloaded, RCS messages have a scope to reach out to more customers than the new messaging platforms.
However, there are also a few shortcomings, such as both the network and texting apps must support the protocol. Otherwise, the customer might not be able to use RCS across all networks. Also, some regions such as Europe and France are still slow in adopting RCS. The other bottleneck in adoption is that only 8.9% of global mobile networks support RCS messaging.
Unless these challenges are resolved, businesses and operators cannot realize the full potential of RCS. However, operators can partner with trusted solution providers to optimize the usage of RCS messaging and gain a competitive advantage.
To know more, contact us.