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As technology continues to evolve at an incredibly fast rate, CMOs and CIOs cannot assume that their current messaging strategies will still be as effective and relevant in the coming weeks, months and years. Take A2P SMS as an example – the customer alert is engrained into people’s lives in such a way that to imagine communicating without it both on a personal and brand level is near impossible. Welcome Rich Communications Services (RCS) – shaking up the communications world already, this service is touted to be the next big thing in messaging, as the GSMA are already actively working to make RCS a standard capability on all platforms, so it could soon be easily accessible to everyone.

Recent research by the GSMA revealed that although A2P SMS is still a core part of business messaging and marketing strategies, the majority of customers (61 percent) wish it had more functionality. This is where RCS comes into play.

By complementing SMS, RCS is based on a typical messaging framework, but with more engaging technology customers can receive a wider, branded palette of richer content such as videos and images. Also, the report found that added security is another attractive benefit for both consumers and brands, due to the preference for communicating through services from trusted companies and brands – capabilities beyond those of traditional SMS.

With SMS continuing to be one of the only effective communications channels which can be used offline, it certainly still has its place in a brand’s messaging strategy. However, complementing this, RCS technology can offer simplicity, personalisation, continuity and reliability, and therefore is essential if brands want to stay relevant and satisfy their customer’s needs.

RCS and customer experience

Customers want seamless communications

As technology develops, so do customer expectations. This is why brands across industries are continually looking for new ways to communicate effectively with their customers both online and via mobile, and so far, when it comes to mobile, this has tended to mean creating and relying on their own branded app. However, Localytics research revealed that 62 percent of consumers use an app around eleven times. Therefore, it would seem traditional messaging still remains a popular tool for businesses to communicate with their customers, which, combined with app use, can provide customers with a more seamless service and can tell their story to their entire user base.

RCS is complementing the app market/OTT market, prompting the user to also download the app. RCS also allows brands to reach consumers who have not yet downloaded their app, in a seamless and credible way, meaning they can cast a much wider net and reach more people with their messaging. It allows an open dialogue to be created between the customer and the brand, so the conversation will never really end – both parties can start the conversation back up at any point. This means consumers can speak with any service provider, for example airlines or restaurants at their own convenience.

Personalisation is key

Today, customers want to receive timely, relevant information that is personal to them. Not only that, but they expect this information to span over various platforms, and for all communications to be cohesive. Ultimately, a truly personal experience comes down to delivering relevant content, on the right channel, at the right time.

This is where Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) – a cloud-based platform that enables developers to add communication services to their applications, comes in. It allows companies to implement SMS, Voice and other means of messaging without developing their own communications solutions. With the capabilities of CPaaS, they can benefit from cost and time savings, as they are not required to invest in developing their own solutions. Not only that, but companies can also tailor customer messaging in brand new ways, easily and affordably.

As part of this platform, RCS technology will enable brands to offer personalised deals and offers, which 68 percent of consumers would find appealing, according to GSMA research. Also, in general, nearly 80 percent of consumers find RCS attractive, and 74 percent say RCS would make them more likely to want to communicate with a brand.

In terms of ensuring content is not only personalised, but engaging, RCS enables brands to deliver dynamic content such as internet video calls, location sharing, photos and live video to various messaging platforms. Leveraging this technology can increase consumer engagement, help foster brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales and overall brand reputation.

Keep up continuity

Hand-in-hand with seamless communications is continuity – research shows that customers want the brand dialogue to be streamlined, fast and intuitive. Not only that, but they want engagement with brands to be in their hands.

RCS provides a single communications channel that offers an easier and quicker experience, increases consumers’ sense of control, and reduces the time they spend manually entering information. Also, RCS anbles companies to send native content with strong branding, including logos and tone of voice, which insures consistent and credible messaging.

The Future

Creating and maintaining a good customer experience is crucial in every industry, and will ultimately be the driving force behind the adoption of RCS. As consumers become more connected in their everyday lives—at both a personal and professional level—their expectation for a streamlined, targeted, personalised customer experience has increased rapidly, leaving little choice but for brands to adjust marketing initiatives accordingly.

Founder and CEO, Silvio has been the driving force behind Infobip’s growth and the strategic focus towards professional enterprise and mobile network operator solutions since the company was founded in 2006. Having earned an M.Sc. at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, he always had his sights set on creating innovation inside the communications space. With the help of a few enthusiastic friends, his startup project transitioned into what Infobip is today – a global telecoms and tech company that reaches half of the world’s population.

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