What Is RCS?
RCS (Rich Communication Services) is the next generation of Messaging, sometimes referred to as Advanced Messaging. RCS enables a whole host of features that have previously only been available on OTT apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. One of the main differences between SMS and RCS (apart from all the fancy things you can do in RCS), is that RCS is sent via a data or WiFi connection, rather than a signalling system. This means that it’s associated with the actual mobile phone number rather than a third-party app that has been downloaded, with all the associated permissions, terms and conditions etc. For networks, RCS provides a way to bring customers back to the messaging market, away from competitor OTT apps.
Designed to greatly improve standard messaging functionality, RCS promises to super charge SMS, bringing richer, more interactive messaging content features into play - the kind of experience that most people are already familiar with thanks to apps like iMessage, Skype etc.
Features available on RCS include:
· Typing indicators – know when people are replying to messages
· Read receipts – check when messages have been read
· Sending high resolution images and video, up to 10MB – product show reels, photos, logos and powerful calls to action
· Video and audio calls – to improve the overall experience
· Animated stickers – to bring messages to life
· Location sharing – for location based marketing and map functionality
· Expanded character limit – more than 160 characters to get a message across
· Custom colors – pick your brands color palette
These features open the door to a wealth of new opportunities that can be used to not only communicate with current customers, but also to market to prospects.
Use Cases For RCS
RCS has the potential to elevate the way that brands communicate with customers and the way that customers engage with businesses. It provides the opportunity to make the whole experience easier, slicker, on brand and in keeping with the way that modern customers like to do business – offering the ability to share highly engaging content with impressive calls to action. 137 million people are already using RCS to upgrade the way they communicate with customers, taking advantage of the opportunity to improve brand awareness, build deeper customer relationships and increase customer loyalty.
RCS in Action - Travel
The flight’s booked and you’re heading off to the airport. Just as you’re getting into the taxi you get a message on your mobile phone. It’s from the airline you’ll be flying with (you know this straight away as their logo shows in the message preview screen), letting you know that you can check-in now, reserve your seat and get your boarding pass without needing to print a single thing or stand in a single queue.
They’ve also included your gate number and a map of the terminal to help you find your way. Bon Voyage!
RCS in Action - Retail Delivery
You’ve just bought that fabulous new laptop online. Instantly you get a message confirming your purchase, containing a link to your receipt and asking what delivery dates and times would suit you. Also included is a discount voucher for your next purchase – do you need headphones to go with your new laptop? A few days later, you get another message advising you that your package is on its way, confirming your delivery time and the drivers name. Before you know it, you’re ripping open the package thinking about that money off voucher, and all the other cool tech stuff you need…
RCS in Action - Healthcare Appointments
You’re merrily munching lunch at your desk when, crack – that filling finally gives way and comes loose. It’s been bothering you for ages, you’ve got an appointment to get it looked at next week but you need to see a dentist now. No problem, you pick up your phone and quickly scroll through the recently received messages. Finding your dentist, you send a quick message asking to reschedule, they respond with their interactive appointment calendar, luckily, they have a cancellation appointment later today which you grab straight away. Sorted.
How is RCS Being Used?
RCS, the next generation of SMS, is being used in a wide variety of applications to offer businesses increased branding and communication opportunities whilst enriching the customer experience. Take a look at our Industry Guides for more information on how RCS could benefit your customers.