RCS: The new way to deliver empathetic interactions

OpenMarket – September 8, 2017

You know the power of text messaging to engage customers. Now, Rich Communication Services (RCS) makes it even easier to surprise and delight your customers in real time.

Picture this: it’s Friday rush hour, you’re strolling down the station platform to your train, and no one else is around you. That’s because they’re still staring at the departure board, waiting for their platform to be announced.

But not you. Before the stampede began, you received a personalized text message with your platform number, carriage and seat. It even had a QR code, so you didn’t drop your latte at the gate while fumbling for your ticket.

That’s the power of RCS – and it’s set to change the way organizations interact with customers in real time. OpenMarket is at the forefront of the RCS revolution, working with businesses to deliver just the kind of information and service that their customers need – at the exact moment when they need them.

How does RCS work?

Everyone uses text messaging. We bet you’ve sent several since waking up today (and maybe even some in your sleep). And it’s a fantastic channel for customer engagement: according to our research, 72% of people use SMS to interact with brands.

But SMS messaging has its limitations – and that’s where RCS comes in. RCS enables you to send sophisticated messages, straight to a customer’s phone, with more options for them to respond and interact.

In short, it’s similar to a mobile app, but delivered to your customer’s SMS inbox – bringing the rich functionality of an app to a channel where 99% of messages are opened and 90% are read within three minutes.

What’s more, there’s nothing for your customers to download and install. It works on their mobile device, it integrates with your customers’ calendars and maps, and you can patch new features in through the cloud.

Recent OpenMarket research showed that 79% of people feel safer interacting with a message that includes verified company branding and sender ID – but that’s not always possible with SMS. With RCS, your real-time messages can do just this, and with encrypted messages, customers can be reassured that their data is safe.

Why use RCS in your customer engagement strategy?

Think about every plane ticket you’ve ever booked, or each time your bank has tried to contact you. Now imagine if that airline sent your boarding pass straight to your phone and told you which terminal to go to, or if your bank checked that dodgy payment with you before fraudsters wiped your account.

We call these “empathetic interactions”. It’s when brands anticipate customer needs before they happen, or solve a problem before the customer notices anything wrong. A quick, well-timed message can give them the information they need, just when they need it. In an age where customer experience is a huge differentiator, a thoughtful, timely SMS can turn a casual customer into a lifelong fan.

And the more useful the message, the better the customer experience. With RCS, a customer can tap on a pre-set reply, rather than typing a response, making it even faster and easier to interact with messages when they arrive. Rescheduling an appointment has never been so easy.

The benefits aren’t just for your customers, but for your business, too. If you can get personalized, relevant, real-time communications right, you’ll create a dedicated following of customers who never want to leave your brand.

SMS messaging is already playing a huge part in enabling that to happen. With RCS, the potential for delivering empathetic interactions goes even further.

As OpenMarket customer Sky says:

“RCS messaging can offer our customers a simply brilliant way to manage their install and service appointments.  Exceeding our customers’ expectations and ensuring that we don’t send engineers to properties when the customer is not home is of great benefit to both Sky and the customer.”

When can I start using it?

RCS is an upcoming feature that’s poised to take off. Most mobile operators intend to support it, according to the GSMA, the body that represents 800 mobile operators across the globe. With the backing of Samsung and Google, RCS platforms will soon be available everywhere, giving businesses a superb opportunity to deepen and enrich customer relationships.

Want to find out more?

To find out more about RCS, who’s using it, and how you can start exploring its potential, watch our online RCS webinar, or download our RCS datasheet. And if you’d like to talk to someone today about the potential of RCS, give us a call. We’d love to help.

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