Google RCS Business Messaging: messages that compel customers

Google RCS Business Messaging: messages that compel customers

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June 4, 2024
Nick Applegarth

Enhanced mobile messaging services are transforming the way businesses communicate with their customers.

In today's digital world, customers expect fast, convenient and personalised interactions with businesses. That's why Google's Rich Communication Services (RCS) aims to provide a richer, more engaging and secure experience for users and businesses alike.

Businesses can now utilise RCS Business Messaging (RBM), a subset of RCS that is designed specifically for business-to-consumer (B2C) communication, to send highly engaging application to person (A2P) messages to customers, bringing more features to the native messaging experience on mobile devices.

RBM injects messages with feature rich interactive content, such as images, carousels and simple feedback buttons. With RBM, businesses can send rich media, such as product images, videos, coupons, and QR codes, as well as offer actions, such as booking appointments, making payments, and completing surveys, all within the messaging app. RBM also enables businesses to use chatbots, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing to provide automated and personalised responses to customer queries. Android subscribers can respond to requests and interact with brands, or their third party partner suppliers, with upgraded functionality. Customers don't have to click a separate link or call a number - it's all there in the message - and users report higher confidence levels in security because of sender (brand) verification.

Businesses using RBM are reporting a richer and more satisfying customer experience - and new and improved revenue streams for brands, who are seeing better results compared to SMS campaigns. According to a report by Mobilesquared, RCS is expected to reach 3.9 billion users by 2025, making it the largest messaging platform in the world. The report also predicts that RBM will have a 10% conversion rate, compared to 2% for SMS, and a 23% click-through rate, compared to 4.2% for SMS.

Use cases

RBM can be used by businesses across various industries and sectors, such as retail, banking, travel, entertainment, health and education. Some of the use cases for RBM are:

  • Customer service: Businesses can use RBM to provide instant and automated support to their customers, such as answering FAQs, resolving issues, and sending feedback requests. For example, a bank can use RBM to send account updates, fraud alerts, and transaction confirmations to its customers, as well as offer options to check balance, transfer money and pay bills.
  • Marketing and sales: Businesses can use RBM to promote their products and services, as well as drive sales and conversions. A retailer can use RBM to send personalised offers, discounts, and recommendations to its customers, as well as enable them to browse, buy, and track their orders within the messaging app.
  • Loyalty and retention: Businesses can use RBM to build long-term relationships with their customers, as well as increase loyalty and retention. A travel company might use RBM to send travel tips, reminders, and updates to its customers, as well as offer them loyalty rewards, upgrades, and reviews.
  • Security: some security organisations have been using RBM to send urgent alerts to staff. An example would be sending photographs and descriptions of missing people or suspects to thousands of staff members simultaneously. RBM enables the information shared to be comprehensive, deliverable and effective. 

One of the challenges for RCS and RBM adoption has been its compatibility with Apple devices, which use their own messaging platform, iMessage. Currently, Apple does not support RCS or RBM, and users who send or receive messages from Android devices will only see SMS or MMS. However,  Apple has announced that they will be joining the RCS and RBM ecosystem in the future. The prospects for RBM were good even when it was Android-only, Apple’s entry on the scene significantly bolsters the opportunity for all in the ecosystem.

Three Group Solutions, the innovation and development arm for Three globally, is working with Google to make RCS Business Messaging services available across its 11 global mobile networks and 168 million customers.

Click here to explore capabilities by region.