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RCS Chatbot Directory Opens Up New Opportunities for Marketers


With engaging, app-like functionality and tremendous results from in-market pilots, RCS has the attention of many innovative brand marketers

“Company Updates to Customers and Customer Support” also ranked highly among marketers who were surveyed—and both make for compelling RCS use cases. Delivering updates to customers via RCS allows brand marketers to drive rich engagements with clear organization of important information and even deep-linking from the messaging client directly into a native device application or the brand’s own app. Suggested replies, or smart reply chips, play nicely into an RCS customer service application, as they provide a single-tap way for customers to interact conversationally with a brand without the need to type out their own response. Suggested replies also help guide customers gracefully through the experience, reducing friction and minimizing the time it takes to complete a task. In addition to suggested replies, implementing adjacent technologies like Natural Language Processing (NLP) can further enhance these use cases as they allow customers to phrase questions and responses to the brand with language they’re most comfortable with, as opposed to needing to know an exact keyword to continue an engagement.

Early Results with RCS Are Very Encouraging

While the majority of brands are still in the early phases of education and planning around their deployment of RCS, early adopter brands have already jumped at the chance to be the first to pilot chatbot prototypes using the new messaging protocol. Although the total addressable market of RCS-enabled devices is still growing, brand marketers across industries have been enjoying promising results from their pilot programs when compared to more traditional methods of customer communications.

When testing new communication methods for effectiveness, one could naturally look to a more traditional method such as email. As one of the most common and trusted channels for communicating with customers, email typically sees read rates anywhere from 15 to 20 percent. However, the early pilots with RCS are seeing much higher open rates. In-market trials of RCS launched by 3Cinteractive are showing read rates anywhere from 73 to 92 percent—highlighting RCS’s tremendous ability to reach customers on the app they use most frequently: the native messaging client.

These early pilots are also garnering click-through rates (CTR) higher than rates for both SMS and email. Where email would typically see CTR between two to four percent, and SMS around three percent, brands are enjoying CTR of seven percent with RCS—driving meaningful engagement with customers. Click-through has also been linked to a 20 percent increase in conversion with RCS when compared to traditional channels.

As these pilots evolve and add more robust RCS functionality—like payments and deeper integration with a brand’s back-end systems— there is plenty of reason for confidence that RCS will take its place as the premier mobile communication channel for brands and consumers alike.

RCS and Encryption

The security of RCS has been challenged recently in the press, but in fact, with the launch of RCS, carrier messaging has received a few upgrades that are intended to protect users from cases of fraud or other malicious, third-party activities.

Universal Profile 2.2 has added more protection for users by enacting a message verification and brand certification process, creating a “verified sender” or “verified brand.” Before a brand is able to launch an RCS chatbot to the chatbot directory or initiate an RCS broadcast, it must first be approved through an official verification process by the carrier and messaging provider—ensuring user interaction with legitimate brands and protecting users from fraudulent accounts, impersonators, or phishing attempts. Verified chatbots are clearly marked to distinguish them from non-verified entities.

In addition to protections from the latest Universal Profile standards, RCS has received more secure encryption systems than SMS and uses a completely new protocol. Legacy SMS traffic runs over SMPP or SS7 protocols, whereas RCS traffic is SIP traffic over TLS secured by several carrier interfaces between the device and the network regardless if connecting using cellular data or WIFI. The communication between the messaging providers and the RCS chatbot platforms for business messaging have also been secured by using either VPN or TLS.

So What?

With engaging, app-like functionality and tremendous results from in-market pilots, RCS has the attention of many innovative brand marketers—leaving brands with only the question of how do I get my customers to start using this? The ability for customers to find brands through the launch of the chatbot directory may answer this question for them.



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