How businesses can leverage RCS and SMS to provide cost-effective CX this festive season
By embracing the power of RCS and SMS, businesses can not only capitalise on the unique strengths of each but also create a cohesive customer communication strategy that resonates with their audience and enhances the joy of the festive season.
Festivals are here and every brand is in the race to win over their customers with effective brand messaging and communication.
While an omnichannel approach to influence customers is tried and tested, it is also the right time to leverage the combined benefits of Rich Communication Services (RCS) and SMS to deliver a cost-effective yet exceptional customer experience. The business world has seen how SMS has generated thousands of communications between users and brands in a personal and empathetic manner. But how can RCS benefit businesses?
RCS is like SMS on steroids where businesses can engage with their customers through branded, rich, and conversational messaging that provides enhanced experiences through high-quality image and video sharing, read receipts, and more. It provides customers with an interactive and app-like experience right in their messaging inboxes. This next generation of SMS, available on Android, runs on data and helps businesses reach customers at a lower cost.
What makes the RCS and SMS combination a reliable messaging strategy for customer interaction?
Mobile messaging's greatest strength lies in enabling businesses to be available for their customers 24x7 and be useful and responsive. Consider this: there are five billion people in the world who are using mobile messaging. It means businesses can easily reach out to these people, especially when almost 98% of the texts are read and 90% are opened within three minutes. It shows that no other channel than text messaging offers such ubiquity and accessibility. Texts will always get through!
RCS offers an enhanced existing SMS use case, like the option of longer messages with 1,000 characters. It also provides true metrics like whether the message was delivered, seen, or clicked.
Let’s take some of the use cases of RCS and SMS integration that will enable brands to decide why it is the best channel for all those festival messages:
Boost sales and marketing with RCS
Utilising RCS and SMS for sales and marketing offers a valuable chance to engage potential customers precisely when browsing, purchasing, or completing a transaction. This can involve the elimination of obstacles to sales and providing timely incentives to streamline and expedite the buying journey. Items like coupons, special offers, or additional information about their interests can frequently yield positive results.
RCS and its rich media functionalities are great for capturing attention and marketing campaigns. It enables businesses to take customers on a conversational commerce journey.
Let's say you are shopping at Zara and abandon your cart with about Rs 10,000 worth of goods. It makes sense for the brand to send an SMS because it adds a layer of urgency. However, instead of just sending a text, the brand can send an RCS message with a link to the cart or a snapshot of the products in your cart. It helps attract customer attention, while SMS, on the other hand, shows the urgency for action, like in the case of a sale or a limited-period discount offer.
Such communication strategy means that, as a brand, you have the power to influence customers when they are thinking about your brand, looking at the product online, or are at one of your stores.
Delivery and confirmation
Businesses that deliver home services are overburdened with the number of deliveries around the festival season, and there can be a lot of delays if the customer isn’t home. However, a quick and reliable communication channel is the best way to prevent such roadblocks and SMS, and RCS are the best way to ensure deliveries and confirmations. You can keep customers updated about the location and time of delivery by integrating messaging workflow into your IT systems. RCS would enable the brand to share the picture of the delivered product in your SMS inbox.
For example, a person is planning on going shopping after work, but a delivery message from the ecommerce brand, “your parcel is outside the door, don’t forget to pick it up with the picture,” reminds them that they need to go back home first and pick it up. Such timely messages ensure no missed deliveries, helping save money and logistic issues.
Security with authentication
People are increasingly dependent on online apps and platforms for their shopping needs, but at the same time, they want their online identities and accounts safe without any hassle. This is only possible with mobile messaging authentication.
For instance, two-factor authentication via SMS makes data protection easy. Once you have shopped online, a quick message from the bank and the platform confirms that the purchase is complete. Automated SMS alerts are the best way to authenticate transactions and authorise account activity.
As a brand, if you want to grow, it is essential to listen to your customers, and the integration of SMS and RCS is going to be a game changer.
For example, you want to know the experience of a user who visited your online store. Now, an email wouldn’t be read immediately, and a paper form would be lost before they know it. However, a rich communication message with a link to a feedback form is delivered soon after the visit is complete when the experience is fresh and the best time to get a response. If the feedback is negative, you can immediately make up for it before they take it to social media platforms.
The same channel can be used for information requests as it’s cheaper and more convenient.
Mobile messaging not only enhances the overall customer experience but also lowers operational costs. This is precisely why SMS has emerged as the preferred channel for organisations focused on enhancing customer experience.
(Shradha Thapa leads the OTT partnership at Infobip India.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)