In the summer of 1994, Internet banking didn’t exist in the US (most US consumers hadn’t even heard of Internet banking yet) and yet only 6 years later 80% of US banks started offering Internet banking. To put that into perspective, there were 8,339 US banks in 2000 and approximately 6,671 of those banks were offering Internet banking — a technology that had been introduced just 6 years prior.
Whenever a new technology hits the market businesses rush to find potential uses for it and how to improve their bottom line by integrating that technology; and while that technology might seem new at first before you know it all of your competitors have already found use cases and have implemented that technology — Internet banking is one example and Google RCS another.
There is a growing trend of faster technology adoption as the decades go by which makes quick action on the part of businesses even more important now than it was 20 years ago. RCS is going to change how enterprises see business messaging — partly because it’s being pushed ahead by one of the biggest tech companies in the world and partly because a new iteration of SMS was sorely needed.
Here are 6 of the many use cases to consider for RCS in 2020.
Use Cases of RCS in 2020
Google RCS was built around the idea of improved messaging (it stands for Rich Communication Service) and for many businesses, this would be the core use of this technology — to communicate more effectively with their target audience. SMS is arguably the most effective communication channel available to businesses but it suffers from many limitations. Messages in RCS solve many of those limitations including the lack of rich media.
For instance, with RCS businesses can send high-resolution images and convey messages in rich text with their company logos and colors. The ideology of “better-looking products sell faster” is even more accurate in 2020. And one might argue that compared to plain text, GIFs are much harder to ignore.
Unlocking Core Business Features
If you’re in the restaurant business, you would want to make it as easy as possible for customers to make a reservation. However, for most restaurant-goers (even in 2020), that means giving a call to the restaurant or going to their website to book a table. Neither of those options is very time-effective. But with an RCS portal, customers can book a table in less than 2 minutes on their phone.
- 1st Click: Open the RCS portal/message window.
- 2nd Click: Select the Booking/Reservation option.
- 3rd Click: Choose time, date, and number of people.
- 4th Click: Confirm.
The same 4 steps can be applied to a ton of different business models. Flight tickets? Check. Hotels? Check. eCommerce store? Check. Product delivery? Check.
In a nutshell, RCS makes it unbelievably easy for customers to access the core features or offerings of your business.
But what about non-core features? Activities that supplement the sales are just as important as sales. Can businesses use RCS to improve their non-core activities as well?
Yes. They can with chatbots.
When there are 10 companies for every service and product out there, competing on price is not feasible. Instead, companies should focus on differentiating themselves from their competitors and one of the most rewarding ways of doing that is by investing in customer service. Benefits of customer service are more than proven already — but what about chatbots?
Well, in 2019, 67% of consumers worldwide used chatbots for customer support which means the adoption of traditional chatbots is already there. But what if the chatbots became 10x more easily accessible to the consumer? RCS chatbots are built into the messaging app which means getting information about product availability, booking status, delivery status, product information and prices, and more becomes incredibly fast and easy.
Another feature of chatbots is that they enable two-way communication, something not readily available on most SMS delivery gateways or email marketing services (more on that later).
Retargeting is the most profitable customer acquisition strategy for eCommerce by some margin. Customers respond better when they see a retargeted ad or get a personalized email from an online store they once shopped at. Similarly, businesses find retargeting warm leads and old customers a lot more economical than investing in full-fledged customer acquisition strategies. The way RCS fits into this is through RCS business messaging, businesses combine the persuasive power of display ads, the flexibility of email, and the open rate of SMS in one tool.
Most of us receive promotional text messages with coupons from brands when we haven’t visited their store in a while. Most of us also ignore those messages because they don’t stand out from the rest of the text messages or are just simply not persuasive enough. Retargeting with RCS solves this problem (with rich media), making it one of the (if not, the) most effective tools for retargeting.
Businesses can also use RCS messaging to send out quick updates — both promotional and logistical. Business messaging through email and SMS is already common for notifying customers about upcoming sales, flight or hotel details, confirmation messages, product delivery status, and a myriad of other things. But using RCS, businesses can create much higher quality notifications that include their business colors, logos, and additional information like pictures and QR codes. The rich media not only makes notification more visually appealing but also more persuasive.
Microsoft says 52% of people around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers. We say that this is an opportunity for you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
RCS messaging enables two-way communication which means your customers can take action right at that moment. They can either reply to the notification with a question (they’ll get an automated reply as an answer) or they can act on that promotional message and make that purchase/reservation/booking. RCS messaging can also be used to gather feedback as customers can use suggested replies.
Feedback is the final element in the chain of communication and there is perhaps no greater metric to measure a campaign’s success than direct feedback.
Businesses can struggle with finding use cases for relatively new technology and by the time they do find a use case, that technology has already been integrated into their competitor’s platform and they’ve lost market share. Google RCS is still new and only some of the top businesses have been able to use it (through Google’s Early Access program) but it’s expected to be available worldwide in 2020. Through this article, you now have, not one, but 6 use cases (all of which can be used together) for integrating RCS messaging into your business messaging strategy.
We’re creating an entire series of educational guides on Google RCS that you can visit by clicking here. If you want to learn more about RCS and how it fits into YOUR business, feel free to reach us at support@masterofcode or click here to schedule a consultation.
Originally published at https://masterofcode.com on January 23, 2020.