Text messages have become an integral part of digital communication in the past couple of decades. Thanks to modern technology, SMS evolved from just a simple messaging tool to stay in touch with people within our personal space to fortifying small business stature.
This became an important aspect of running a small business. Of course, it has its limitation and boundaries of operation that inhibits an individual from completely utilizing its capabilities. However, the advancement in recent years may guide us with a way for another groundbreaking innovation that would lift the text messaging platform and its relation with businesses to another notch – the rise of RCS in mobile marketing.
Learn how using texting can help you attract, engage, and retain more of your customers, then check out Weave Texting to see what comes next for your small business.
What is RCS?
For starters, RCS stands for Rich Communication Services, and this form of messaging will eventually take over the role and replace short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging services (MMS) features. RCS messaging combines the simplicity of text messages and the catchy traits of a multi-media messaging platform. It also features a special twist of its own such as more dynamic group chat services, file transfer, video calls, audio messaging, and more. It even has typing indicator and has the capability to read receipts through your android devices.
Sounds familiar, right? Yes, it integrates all handy facets of popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and iMessage all into one default messaging app. The vital ingredients of other messaging apps are squeezed into one useful software that is built directly as your native messaging application in your smartphone.
It also opens up a new ballgame for messaging services, and understanding how it works now may be important to the future success of your business. With the future of digital communication already embedded within the framework, it is no surprise to see that RCS messaging will become a major player and the main tool for entrepreneurs for mobile communication of the future.
RCS: Features and How It Works?
Phone manufacturers and mobile carriers have achieved major progress in switching the old SMS platform to the Advance Messaging Standard that all people want to see. It makes sense to support RCS, use certain features of instant messaging applications and combine them to one native messaging app in your smartphone. After all, it is optimized for not only sending and receiving messages but offers all sorts of useful features that a wise business owner should take advantage of.
Small business owners may benefit from other services aside from basic messaging – features that are made to make life easier are available with just one tap of your finger. We are talking about preset replies that would be useful if we want to have a quick follow-up to a scheduled meeting. That’s just one of the added features, but we’ll do a quick breakdown so you’ll have a better insight into how it would affect your future business plans and marketing route.
- Quick Replies
- Embedded Rich Cards
- Invoicing and Payment Services
- Maps integrations and Location Sharing
- Scheduling integrations
Unlike the old SMS functionality that relies on simplicity, RCS takes full advantage of the available customization available to the platform. For business owners and regular users, that means we can integrate subtle branding every time we send out messages. Simple things such as color customization may greatly influence people’s perception of your message to them. On top of changing minor details about your message, you can intelligently use your brand’s logo and distinct icons to add marketing flair.
What this means to small business owners is the added value they can provide by adding a touch of personality to the simple messages sent to customers. It also helps convey a clever hint that you care for all your clients by giving them quality and reliable service with the help of your crafty branding!
Smart business owners have even found a way to make their text messages more interesting to their customers by simply adding video demos and QR codes to build brand reputation and loyalty.
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Answering queries promptly may sometimes make or break your business relationship with your clients and potential customers. Receiving replies, especially in a timely manner, conveys the notion of how important your customers really are to your business. That’s what most patrons would think if they send a message to any small business. However, we also know that small ventures have limited resources, such as time and manpower, to address all the questions and inquiries. This means some of the messages you get from your customers might have been staying in a queue for quite some time.
Small business structure puts the customers in front of everything. With that in mind, it is best to think of yourselves in your clients’ shoes. Let’s think about this, a lengthy gap of reply to a simple question is a rift in the making between the relationship of a small business and its loyal consumer. Quick replies allow you to steer your customers in the right direction with the help of pre-determined replies that provide answers to their questions. It is like hitting multiple birds with one stone – answering your customers’ queries, saving time looking for the right information, and maintaining a happy client.
To put it in simpler terms, the concept of RCS provides enhanced interaction and adds tons of value to small businesses’ regular SMS blasts.
Another way to make your small business look good is to initiate a quick reply of appreciation to your customers. It would not only lift your small business’ reputation but also the overall customer experience and satisfaction. Learn from this guide for more details.
Embedded Rich Cards
Embedded rich cards surfaced a couple of years ago, but it revolutionized how small and even mid-sized businesses offer their goods and services to potential clients. From a marketing perspective, it allows you to simply lay out a selection of tailored fit products that potentially meet your client’s demands. These snippets are the perfect representation of your services in a visual format.
For business owners, it also serves as an additional advertisement and potentially attracts loyal customers to your business. The rich preview of the services and goods your small business offers aids your potential customers to pick exactly whatever fits their fancy and view your other offerings. This kind of feature in RCS is perfect for a small business like a start-up restaurant showing off its selection of quality cuisine. The cool thing about this service is you can control your content with just a few swipes and taps on your phone.
Invoicing and Payment Services
The direct approach of text messages gives small business owners a little wiggle room to integrate a couple of essential features to keep trade running. However, that changes with the use of RCS messaging. An important feature that we need to maximize – combining your messages, invoices, and payments in one platform. Of course, you can do that on your computer, but busy business personnel doesn’t have time to sit around the computer and compose all this stuff. With RCS, all potential issues will be minimized, which means less room for error.
On top of that, RCS messaging app security offers reliable end-to-end encryption that provides unparalleled protection for both parties.
Maps integrations and Location Sharing
Depending on the type of business you are running, you might need to occasionally provide your physical address to your customers for one reason or another. Using map integration and location sharing in RCS, you can easily do this with just a couple of taps from your trusted android device.
Let’s say you’re planning on a quick breakfast with a potential client; you can effortlessly guide them through unfamiliar territories using this service. Depending on how you utilize map integration and location sharing in your strategies, it also serves as a key point in some marketing schemes.
Similar to location sharing, RCS messaging offers another plug-in integration business owners may use for the freedom of setting up schedules with your customers coming from a simple reply. You can either set up a selection of time slots, and your clients would simply choose what works for them best. It is a simple yet effective way to manage new and regular patrons for your business.
Coming from a marketing standpoint, you can utilize scheduling integrations in RCS with limited-time sales campaigns. On top of that, you can reach a huge amount of audiences with this approach. Another viable application of this feature is apparent for people who offer services, such as dentists, doctors, and other similar practices. You can integrate a proposed schedule with your clients using a simple message from your phone, and they can easily lock in their time for their appointments.
In summary, communication is a key ingredient for a small business to reach new heights. It delivers crucial information and responses from both your’s and the client’s side. Learn more on why communication is important to your business.
SMS, MMS, and RCS in Relation to your Small Business
We are in the midst of the digital age, and people aren’t surprised to receive tons of special offers and loyalty programs coming to their email. However, a lot of companies also utilize SMS messages- or commonly known as simple texts- to inform of their promotions and limited-time specials. But with RCS messaging, we can safely transition to the new norm, with added benefits and without compromising its efficacy.
The reason? Rich communication services provide a significant improvement, added features, and better control over the text messages that your business sends to your customers. Think of it as a notable upgrade of the way you communicate with your clients and the overall information exchange experience. This is made possible thanks to accessibility to other features and the possibility of integrating them into a simple text message.
If you’re worried about mobile carrier support, save yourselves some hassle. A few years ago, some of the biggest mobile carriers in the United States, along with Google, announced and backed up the idea of going full in supporting RCS in the coming years. Sprint took the leap of faith and became the first mainstream carrier to fully supports RCS. In 2017, all new-released Android devices from their camp had Android Messages – an RCS platform created by Google – out of the box.
T-Mobile had its take on RCS implementation, which they are calling Advanced Messaging.¹ Sometime around 2018, T-Mobile paved its way and implemented its foundation that supports Universal Profile 1.0. This allows T-Mobile users running Universal Profile 1.0 larger bits of transferrable data and up to 100 group chat participants.² With these developments only spanning a couple of years in between, big players in the mobile carrier business have shown interest and are now expanding into RCS implementation.
What Holds the Future in Mobile Marketing?
With new standards unfolding, it is expected to see a couple of challenges here and there. For example, android smartphones enable Rich communication services (RCS) while iPhones are still considered non-supported devices. However, we can’t deny the fact that RCS pretty much solves diverse enterprise issues regarding mobile marketing. On top of that, it also spices up that plain and boring text message feature on your phone to something more sophisticated yet, user-friendly tool.
The most significant impact of RCS in small businesses is the rise in customer interactions and experience. There are currently a couple of additions that go beyond your typical video and product photos to promote a certain brand, and we’re talking about bots. By crafting conversation-like responses and interaction, these chatbots peel away the surface level of your potential target customers and expose exactly the perfect match for their interest, and complement it with their expectations.
Outside the mobile marketing field, RCS also goes that extra mile with the help of optimized options that greatly refine your customer’s experience with your business.
We’ve indeed come a long way from sending regular text blasts to customers and made a signficant overall mobile messaging experience with RCS messages. However, it is safe to say that we are only in the beginning phase of the platform. In a couple of years, we might see even more ways of ingenious mobile marketing with the use of Rich Communication Services.
To learn how to level up your business messaging communication, schedule your demo with Weave to learn about the services we can offer you.