B2C texting just got richer: Why RCS messaging matters (especially for iOS)



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Woman using RCS on iPhone

Following Apple's announcement late last year that RCS was coming to iPhone, companies need to understand what this means for customer engagement efforts. The landscape of customer engagement is undergoing a revolution. Consumers crave interactive, personalized experiences that go beyond the limitations of traditional SMS. Enter Rich Communication Services (RCS), a powerful tool poised to transform how businesses connect with customers, especially with its long-awaited arrival on iOS devices. 

While RCS adoption on iOS may take its time to evolve, its features hold immense potential for businesses aiming for a robust omnichannel communication strategy. RCS goes beyond traditional SMS by enabling rich media like images and videos, which can drive engagement rates much higher compared to plain text. Imagine showcasing product demos or personalized offers directly within a message or fostering communities within group chats and providing real-time support, increasing customer satisfaction. Furthermore, business profiles with logos and verified sender IDs build trust and brand recognition, a crucial aspect in today's competitive landscape. By incorporating these features alongside existing channels like email and social media, businesses can create a seamless and engaging customer experience across all touchpoints.

Understanding RCS: More than just texting 

RCS is a next-generation messaging protocol designed to supersede SMS. Unlike SMS, which is limited to text and low-resolution images, RCS leverages data connections to deliver a feature-rich experience akin to popular messaging applications. This includes functionalities like high-quality file sharing, group chat functionalities with read receipts and typing indicators, and enhanced content delivery. While SMS offers universal reach due to its reliance on cellular networks, RCS prioritizes a richer messaging experience, contingent on a data connection. In essence, RCS can be viewed as a significant upgrade to traditional SMS, transforming it into a more robust and feature-filled communication channel.

Think of RCS as the next-generation evolution of texting (or SMS 2.0). It builds upon SMS and infuses the experience with features you'd find in modern messaging apps: 

  • Rich media sharing: Showcase products, deliver visual instructions, or personalize messages with high-quality images, videos, GIFs, carousels, and even audio files.
  • Enhanced interactions: Gain real-time insights into conversations with read receipts and typing indicators, fostering a more efficient and engaging experience.
  • Group chats: Facilitate project discussions, team coordination, or streamlined customer support through seamless group interactions.
  • Verified business profiles: Build trust and brand recognition with verified sender IDs that distinguish your business communications.

RCS: Powerhouse across platforms 

RCS isn't just a technology; it offers real business benefits. Compared to SMS, RCS offers a richer and more interactive experience, fostering deeper customer engagement. This translates to improved campaign performance with features like clickable buttons for promotions and bookings within the message itself, leading to higher conversion rates. Ultimately, RCS empowers businesses to create a more dynamic and personalized communication channel, driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Here's how it integrates with popular channels like Google Business Messages and Apple Business Chat: 

Google Business Messages (GBM): Reach customers where they search 

  • Search integration: Customers can message you directly from your Google My Business listing, making contact effortless. 
  • Appointment scheduling: Streamline bookings and consultations right within the chat window. 
  • Smart automation: Leverage chatbots to answer FAQs and provide 24/7 support, freeing up your team. 

Apple Business Chat: The iMessage advantage enhanced by RCS 

  • Seamless conversations: Customers reach you within their native Messages app, fostering a familiar and convenient experience. 
  • Rich features: While Apple Business Chat already offers some RCS-like features, its integration with RCS (expected to be later in 2024) will enhance the experience with high-quality media transfers, read receipts, and more. 
  • Customer trust: Business profiles and reviews within the chat window reinforce your credibility and encourage engagement. 

The impact of RCS on iOS 

The long-awaited arrival of RCS on Apple devices has the potential to be a game-changer. Here's why RCS on iOS is so significant: 

  • Unified messaging: RCS breaks down barriers between Android and iOS, creating a cohesive messaging landscape where businesses can seamlessly communicate with all customers, regardless of device. 
  • Standardization: With Apple on board, RCS is poised to become the universal standard for business messaging, offering a consistent and rich experience across all devices. 
  • Competitive edge: Businesses that embrace RCS on iOS will future proof their messaging strategy and stay ahead of the curve in customer engagement. 

Mastering customer engagement through RCS with CEQUENS 

While RCS itself is powerful, finding the best ways to integrate it into your customer communication strategy is where the real value lies. CEQUENS can help you with: 

  • Strategic consulting: We'll develop a tailored RCS messaging plan alongside your existing channels (GBM, Apple Business Chat, etc.) based on your audience and goals. 
  • Seamless integration: Our omnichannel platforms consolidate all your messaging channels into a single, easy-to-manage interface. 
  • Ongoing optimization: We provide data and analytics to help you measure RCS effectiveness, identify areas for improvement, and continually refine your messaging strategy. 

RCS is set to revolutionize business messaging. With its multimedia capabilities, interactive features, and the promise of cross-platform compatibility, it's one of the modern communication solutions expected to have great impacts on customer engagement. 

Get in touch with CEQUENS today to start your RCS journey! 

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