More businesses will soon take advantage of the features of Rich Communication Services (RCS), as RCS Business Messaging becomes more widely available. RCS offers many improvements over the more widely used SMS including the ability to send images and compose longer messages. This messaging protocol also has features that companies may utilize to provide faster and more interactive branded experiences to their consumers. Google brands these functionalities as RCS Business Messaging and several companies are already taking advantage of these features to deliver better customer experiences. For example, businesses may use RCS to notify users of package deliveries and account balances, and consumers may also utilize RCS to re-schedule appointments and provide feedback to companies.
According to the official website of the communication protocol, companies may use RCS Business Messaging to create fully branded experiences that show the name and a brief description of the business, and users may also verify a company by looking for a shield icon typically found beside the name of the business. As consumers interact with the company, the business may guide customers to the next steps of the transaction using suggested replies that appear near the bottom of the display. Tapping the suggested replies will often show rich media cards that includes images that better illustrate the different options available to the customer. RCS also allows users to pay for purchased items directly within the messaging application through its support of payment solutions like Google Pay. The search giant expects that more businesses, especially in Europe, will take advantage of the features offered by RCS within the next few months.
Aside from RCS, Google also improved Test My Site, a tool that helps companies measure how much time it takes for websites or specific webpages to load. While it has been available since 2016, Google recently changed its testing service to adjust to the changes in mobile web browsing, which is currently the most commonly used platform of consumers. The tech giant noted that one-second delay in loading a mobile website may result in a 20-percent reduction in the conversion rates, which could negatively affect the revenues of online businesses. This tool not only measures the speed of the website at a given moment, but it also compares the data with measurements gathered from the previous month as well as the speed of other websites. It also details how slow website loading speeds may impact the revenue of a business and it includes suggestions on how to improve the mobile experience of businesses' websites.
Background: Google, alongside its partners, have been working for years to improve communication between businesses and consumers with the help of the RCS messaging protocol. The company launched a pilot program in 2017 that tested how features of RCS could impact the way businesses reach out to consumers, and the lessons learned from this pilot group allowed the search giant to refine RCS to make it more appealing to businesses.
Impact: Google expects that more smartphones will support RCS within the next few years. By taking advantage of the features offered by RCS now, businesses are better prepared to deal with customers who prefer to transact using the communication protocol. However, Google still recognizes the importance of mobile web browsing despite the emergence of modern technologies, and the improved Test My Site tool should help smaller businesses improve their revenue by enhancing the performance of their websites.