Perhaps now more than ever, it’s vital for brands to maintain meaningful lines of communication via mobile messaging. There are a range of options from SMS to RCS and OTT chat apps like WhatsApp that bring richness, relevancy, and engagement to the table. According to Nick Millward, VP Europe at mGage consumer trust is also of paramount importance. Here he explains the messaging mix…
As the landscape of mobile messaging continues to evolve and our latest whitepaper highlights that 97% of people use some form of messaging daily, it is crucial that organisations adopt communication channels that reflect the needs and demands of their consumers.
With an expansion of people using Over-The-Top (OTT) services such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, it is clear brands need to move beyond the simplicity of SMS messaging and transform their customer interaction with a newer and more engaging experience.
Consumers increasingly want service providers, banks or other businesses to connect with them via text over picking up the phone due to the convenience it offers. As such, brands need to look at adopting new forms of communication that satisfy and exceed customer expectations.
Success with RCS
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is one way in which brands can transform customer experience and further enhance their mobile strategy. With its wide variety of features such as carousels, videos, images and chatbot functionality, it offers a robust channel that delivers meaningful, engaging interaction directly to a phone’s native messaging app to address the growing demand for a more personalised, relevant and timely approach.
RCS can be utilised to drive smarter conversations that reduce internal costs, retains customer satisfaction and offers an avenue to upsell different products and services. It not only allows for messages to be sent but creates a dialogue that gives customers quick responses to send and suggested actions.
Conversations are brought to life with rich media content such as images, GIFs or videos which have been proven to drive rates of engagement 14 times higher than traditional forms of communication.
A survey by mGage shows nearly three-quarters of people want brands to contact them using a safe and secure service. RCS builds trust between the organisation and consumer with the capability for sender verification – enabling a layer of fraud and security protection. Personalised branding through this feature also provides familiarity and peace of mind making user engagement more likely.
While RCS has its benefits, there are other solutions emerging into the market that meet the demands for a more responsive, interactive communication channel.
More than half of smartphone users, when surveyed by mGage, said they wanted text messages to include app-like features, for example images, video or sender verification. It is clear too, that there is huge appetite for a service like RCS – with 74% of consumers admitting they are more likely to communicate with a brand if they use it.
Giving mobile phone users a more personalised and engaging experience, RCS has been shown in trials to offer a highly effective and robust channel for brands to incorporate with a click-through rate 13x higher than that of a standard SMS text.
While RCS has its benefits, there are other solutions emerging into the market that meet the demands for a more responsive, interactive communication channel. WhatsApp has the benefit of vast global reach and Apple Business Chat reaches all Apple devices, giving both solutions huge audiences. The pair provide end-to-end encryption, enabling a level of trust to be built up between the person receiving the message and the sender.
These platforms allow for a more customer-friendly approach whereby informative messages such as order updates and appointment changes can be sent directly to the customer – offering a highly-effective customer support channel.
The future of messaging
As consumers demand more engaging interaction, brands must reflect on the ways they use messaging and look to incorporate a range of tools within their strategy.
Despite these new technologies, SMS is a communication channel highly unlikely to be replaced, simply because it is still widely used and remains the preferred platform for brands to communicate with their consumers for critical applications. With SMS being an Application-To-Person (A2P) service with 160 characters of basic text, it is ideal for one-way dialogue applications from the brand to the consumer such as one-time passwords, reminders or account updates and can be utilised alongside other messaging platforms.
By adopting more than one platform brands are guaranteed to meet the ever-increasing demands for a more personalised approach…
RCS with its rich experience for users and wide range of features for most business needs, offers a more conversational channel with its interactive A2P and Person-To-Application (P2A) ability – allowing for both outbound and inbound traffic. It is a great choice for brands wanting to create a more customer-centric approach without the need to download additional applications.
Options such as Apple Business Chat and WhatsApp when used alongside the other services mentioned, are good for building rapport with consumers. However, our latest research shows that 67% of people would prefer a brand to communicate with them using a native messaging app that does not require further platform downloads – making a mix of traditional and next-generation messaging services the key to success.
It is essential that brands look carefully at embracing new trends to stay relevant. By adopting more than one platform brands are guaranteed to meet the ever-increasing demands for a more personalised approach while also staying ahead of their rivals by adopting new forms of technology.
Nick Millward, VP Europe, mGage