Friday, March 8, 2019

Implementing RCS in Your Mobile Strategy

Today, we’re covering one of my favorite topics: RCS, or rich communication services. Rich communication services messaging is a type of text messaging goes beyond your simple SMS  message with multimedia capabilities like video players, gifs, message bots, and more. And, it’s perfect for businesses for two reasons:

  1. It catches the attention of your audience, and
  2. It can be tailored for any type of messaging

Plus, RCS messaging creates connection opportunities with your brand that previously customers could only access through an app or app-like experience. To use RCS messaging, the text message receiver (your customer or audience, in this case) has to have RCS support through their carrier. Google, AT&T, Samsung, Sprint, Verizon and a handful of others, (not including Apple–they’re focused on Business Chat, which is a similar concept), have promised to support RCS messaging in the near future. Rollout has already begun at Verizon on select Google Pixel phones. Companies that are supporting RCS are using “Universal Profile”, a set of deployment features and capabilities, which is allows RCS messaging to operate tidily across different systems and makes it simple for consumers to interact with brands. Let’s dive into all aspects of RCS, starting with major brands that are using RCS.

Who’s Using It (and How Are They Getting Started?)
Major consumer brands like Subway, Redbox and SeatGeek are all using RCS messaging within Google Chat, by utilizing status updates, feedback bots, and customer service through RCS to swiftly get information and content to their audience–all right within their messaging platform.
RCS messaging through Google, called “Chat”, is supported by Google’s messaging partners like Mobivity, 3CInteractive, and Bowtie; innovative companies that are helping brands to implement RCS messaging in their marketing mix.

Start with Strategy
Introducing the idea of RCS messaging in your brand is one thing–implementing it with your team is the next. Brainstorm how your messaging through RCS can connect with your customers while staying on brand and relevant. Creating content that is useful and consumable to your customer can help drive engagement and encourage more touch points within the customer journey. For example, Subway’s RCS messaging for weekly offers and promotions yielded
an increase in engagement of more than 140 percent, when compared to their original SMS system.

Subway's RCS messaging

Subway’s RCS promotional messaging service for offers and specials

That’s a pretty steep jump! Brands can benefit heavily from this mobile tech when it’s relevant to their messaging and specific for each type of consumer.

Implementing RCS
Now that you’re on the idea fast track for success with RCS, your next step is following through. Following these best practices can set you up for success with implementing RCS in your brand, whether you just learned about it from this article or you’re an old hand at mobile messaging.

1. Make it personal

In a survey, 46 percent of respondents said that brands generally lacked a personalized touch in their communications with the brand. Use the data that your customer gave you to make it personalized with their name, the products or services they prefer based on previous shopping, or fun things like their birthday!

2. Create a support line

More than half of today’s consumers prefer contacting support through text messaging. I’ll say it first–I would much rather Facebook message my local gym about a question on membership, rather than call. It’s faster, more concise, and easier for brands to track customer inquiries. Customer service is increasingly more important for younger generations who want their problems fixed quickly and without a hassle–plus, it can create a positive brand image that will earn loyalty with customers, new and old.

3. Promotional offers are fair game

I’m sure that you sometimes get old SMS messages from that restaurant down the road that you haven’t visited in two years. It’s a plain fact of brand messaging–people are far more less likely to opt out of text messaging than they are to delete an app or to read a marketing email. Take advantage of the phone data you already possess and update your messaging periodically. Send a creative and on-brand reconnection with that customer that contains a promotional offer to get them to come back in and visit your brand again and make it worth their while.

There you have it! We know that RCS messaging is estimated to be a $74 billion market by 2021, which is only a few short years away and there’s no better time than the present. Get your mobile messaging aligned with the innovations that are happening in mobile, starting with RCS messaging. Questions or concerns? Tweet us @Lumavate or follow us for more RCS content, Mobile 101 starter guides and mobile strategy content that’s relevant to you.