What’s Your RCS Fallback? Rich Communication Service (RCS) is the future of texting on your phone. This service adds a richer experience to text messages by offering a higher image and video quality, read receipts, and more.
RCS will change mobile messaging but it’s still early days — which begs the question: “What happens when you send RCS messages to people who don’t have RCS-enabled phones?” You want to send memorable messages without worrying about the devices people use.
If you’re ready to start experimenting with RCS messaging, but you’re worried that customers might not see your message, here’s what you need to know about RCS fallback to Rich Media Messaging.
What is Rich Media Messaging (RMM)?
RMM is an alternative to RCS that lets you send the same types of interactive messages to engage with customers. RMM is incredibly flexible to use and your customers don’t have to download an app to receive messages. Plus, mobile phone manufacturers don’t have to build compatible phones — once customers click on an SMS message to access rich media messages they don’t have to worry about messages reverting back to SMS.
Just like with RCS, rich media messages can include graphics like videos, images, downloadable content, links, and more to engage with customers.
You’re even able to set up automated campaigns where rich media messages are sent at set intervals with personalized content. Another option is to create custom landing pages to link to in your messages. Landing pages are quick and simple to create and let you share specific information to support your RMM campaigns.
Benefits of RMM
Additional benefits of using our platform to generate rich media messages include:
- Quick and simple campaign creation. You don’t need a developer to create messages and campaigns. Whether you’re a team of five or 500 or whether you have a tech department or not, the step-by-step process makes it easy to create campaigns. You can even incorporate your branding so that your messages are memorable and appealing to look at and engage with.
- APIs for third-party app integration. Depending on the industry you operate in, you can incorporate third-party apps to streamline customer follow-through. For example, you can integrate with Stripe to process payments via messages.
- Custom content blocks. You can include signature blocks for customers to sign documents electronically or you can send coupons and promos that link back to your website.
- Device and network flexibility. Unlike RCS messages that can only be sent to compatible Android devices, rich media messages can be sent to any customer on any device. Messages appear in rich media form once customers first receive an SMS to view the message.
- Cost effective. The pay-per-use pricing model lets you plan and budget your campaigns ahead of time vs. paying for each individual RCS message you send.
If the features of RCS appeal to you, but you don’t want to wait for carriers and networks to adopt it, RMM is the next best choice.
Limitations of RMM
The major limitation with RMM, just like with RCS, is capturing customers’ mobile numbers. If you aren’t already using mobile messaging, then using RMM as an RCS fallback means you have to update your outreach campaigns. For example, ways to capture mobile numbers include:
- Ask customers to update their contact information when they call customer support
- Include a notification asking customers to update their profile when they log into your app or online platform
- Publish a message on social media or your website asking followers and users to update their contact information
- When new users sign up to use your product, ask for their mobile number
- Write a blog post about your product’s features and benefits; include a call to action asking readers to update their contact information to receive product updates
RMM is a new option, but it resolves many of the issues users of RCS are faced with.
How to Get Started with RMM as an RCS Fallback
Compared to RCS, there’s far less complexity with RMM. You don’t have to wait for mobile operators to get on board with RMM and you can send messages to any iOS, Android, or Windows phone. Unlike RCS, you don’t have to sacrifice your contact list because of incompatible technology.
If you’re ready to explore RMM as a mobile messaging channel, here’s a start-up guide to show you how to get started with VoiceSage. You’ll see how easy it is to create a contact list, create a campaign, and analyze campaign data.
Rich Media Messaging (RCS Fallback) in Action
Like RCS, RMM can be used in almost any industry. In particular, the following industries have seen tremendous benefits from incorporating RMM into their communication strategies: logistics, energy, banking, and retail marketing. By adjusting the types of messages you send, you can create campaigns that include high-quality graphics and support a seamless experience.
Here are examples of the types of messages you can send with RMM for each industry:
Missed deliveries cost retailers millions in lost revenue a year and damage the customer relationship. To minimize the confusion about when to expect deliveries, use RMM as part of logistics communication.
Examples of the types of interactive logistics messages you can send include:
- Delivery notifications
- Status updates
- Rescheduling notices
Wickes Hardware, a DIY and home improvement retailer, uses RMM to share delivery details with its customers. Here’s an example of an RCS message that can also be sent as an RMM:
When customers receive a message like this one, they have the option to confirm their preferred delivery date and time. Once confirmed, customers receive a summary message.
If none of the proposed delivery times are convenient, customers can suggest a new delivery time. This creates a ticket on Wickes’ end, which updates Zendesk. From here, a customer service rep gets in touch with the customer to set a new delivery time.
This is a quick and seamless process all done through rich media messaging.
Read more about reducing missed deliveries: Customer Journey Stages: Avoiding Missed Deliveries and Improving CX [Part 3/4]
In the energy sector, where customers switch service providers often, missed payments are a part of doing business. As a result, companies spend a lot of time and money trying to recoup late payments. This process usually includes some combination of multiple phone calls and letters to customers trying to get them to pay their bills. This approach is common practice, but it takes up customer service’s time and it hurts the customer experience.
RMM changes this. Now, energy companies can send interactive messages that list the outstanding amount, due date, and include a link to make a payment:
To simplify the payment process, the link takes customers to a payment page, where they can enter payment details. This way, customers can make payments without leaving the original message to open a separate app.
Read more about faster debt repayment practices: 5 Credit Collection Strategies for Faster Repayment (and Better CX)
Using RMM as an RCS fallback removes friction from the payment collection process. Since rich media messages have a higher open rate than emails and are less likely to be ignored than phone calls, there’s a higher chance customers will follow through and pay. Plus, since messages are sent using a channel customers spend a lot of time on, customer service reps don’t have to spend as much time calling customers. The customer service team can then spend more time on value-adding tasks.
Much like the energy industry, the banking industry has to deal with late or missed payments. For example, when customers miss a monthly bill payment, you can follow up with a rich media message that reminds them of their outstanding balance.
BrightHouse, a UK household products retailer, gives customers the option to access the rent-to-own program. When customers sign up, they’re given the option to set their own repayment schedule.
Here’s another example of a request for payment:
Instead of giving customers one repayment option, using RMM lets BrightHouse offer flexibility so that customers can choose the terms that work for them. As a result, repayment is higher.
4. Retail marketing
For e-commerce companies, there used to be one way to communicate with customers: e-mail. With RMM, customer messaging is more immediate and personal – and doesn’t crowd inboxes.
This is why so many retail brands use drip email marketing to keep customers informed and to give them additional chances to buy more. Instead of email, use RMM to remind customers about your products, the benefits, and special offers.
There are several kinds of interactive marketing campaigns to create and send via RMM. They include:
- Promotions like virtual scratch cards and special offers
- Coupon codes
- Abandoned cart reminders
- Event reminders
- Blog content
Whether you’re sending a series of emails or one-off campaigns, use each message to link customers to a page on your website.
For example, with abandoned cart reminder messages, include a summary of products in the customer’s cart and a link to their cart. Customers can make changes to their cart and check out, just with a few taps.
Another option is to send multiple abandoned cart emails that include a reminder, a list of product benefits, and a special discount offer if customers don’t buy anything after multiple reminders.
The point is that RMM is flexible enough to meet your marketing needs and engaging enough to get customers to take action.
Rich Media Messages: An RCS Fallback
Moving on from text-only SMS will lead to better interactions with customers that encourage them to take action. Rich media messaging is cost effective and easy to use, making it an appealing communication choice across industries. Regardless of your business size and technical expertise, we can help you create campaigns that stand out and strengthen customer relationships.
Take advantage of our rich media features today and watch your costs go down and revenue go up.
To find out more about how RMM can help you, book your demo today.
Published on: 3rd July 2019