Breakthroughs in Digital Customer Service: Two Technologies Every Business Needs to Know

Mobile messaging is on the rise. The Genesys State of Customer Experience report found that 53% of respondents prefer mobile messaging—a 43% jump from 2014—indicative of an ongoing shift away from phone and email.  

But simply adopting a digital channel isn’t the same as engaging with your customers on that channel. In fact, while businesses rated the effectiveness of mobile messaging at 53%, consumer satisfaction on the channel clocked in at just 34%. As new technology emerges, and business messaging evolves, so too should your omnichannel strategy.

The tools of today are not the tools of tomorrow. Here’s a look into the future of two emerging technologies and how they’ll affect your contact center.

SMS Makes Way for 10DLC

As SMS use increases for customer engagement, contact centers are experiencing growing inbound and outbound volumes. They’re seeking ways to be more efficient while ensuring they’re also effective. Traditionally, contact centers would turn to SMS short codes for their marketing programs. For example, an end user can text a keyword (like “cupcake”) to a number (such as “53455”) to receive a coupon or opt-in to a rewards program. But it can take months for a business to get short codes up and running. And carriers are slowly sunsetting shared short code programs, eliminating cheaper alternatives and leaving dedicated short code as the only remaining option. Additionally, customers and businesses both want to be able to easily escalate text conversations to a phone call—which simply can’t be done via short code. These challenges have spawned the birth of text-enabled toll-free numbers and DIDs that make it possible to text-enable a landline or customer service number in minutes. The problem with this approach is that messaging traffic is more likely to get blocked as spam, because it doesn’t appear to be associated with a mobile number.

A complete short code replacement solution—carrier routes dubbed 10DLC (Ten Digit Long Code), is expected in 2019. Carriers are currently in the process of commercializing the use of an individual DID number, enabling businesses to use 10-digit numbers for application-to-person (A2P) messaging and large-volume campaigns while maintaining compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and ensuring consent.

This also opens the doors for contact center as a service (CCaaS) vendors like Genesys to introduce self-service tools, including the ability to purchase and manage SMS-enabled numbers directly from within your contact center application. When 10DLC becomes a reality, you’ll ultimately get a sanctioned way to send A2P messages from individual local numbers, leveraging the cloud flexibility you’re used to. And that results in better speed-to-market and speed-to-revenue, and more in-depth message delivery statistics.

RCS Will Revolutionize the Messaging Experience

Carriers are making strides to bring Rich Communication Services (RCS) to market. Think of this new media type as a universal iMessage—but better.

Over 60 mobile network operators, alongside Google, are developing and adopting this technology to create a standard of highly dynamic and engaging messaging—and then make it available globally. The result has the potential to completely change the game in the world of customer experience.  

Here’s a list of functionalities that are expected, along with the opportunities they create:

  • Branding capabilities  
    • Use your logo as an avatar
    • Customize message backgrounds to reflect your brand colors
  • Rich media
    • Upload high-definition images that represent your product
    • Send multiple images in a scrollable carousel
    • Track click-through rates on texted links
  • Video support
    • Retarget your video ads from social media channels to mobile messaging
  • Chip lists
    • Provide a dynamic set of suggested actions and replies to guide your customer and increase engagement
  • Read receipts
    • Know instantly when a message is read, so you can better understand efficacy of the message and/or when to send a follow-up
  • Location services
    • Contextualize the messages you send based on where your customer is located
  • Real-time surveys
    • Surveys are no longer an asynchronous tool; you can adapt to survey responses as they happen

Imagine how these robust capabilities could transform your digital strategy—from proactive notifications to self-service to sales. Genesys is partnering with carriers at the forefront of these emerging technologies, and we’re innovating our customer service platforms to keep pace. When 10DLC and RCS launch, we’ll be ready so that you can be ready.

This blog is the first in a four-part series. To read more on this topic, check out the other posts.

Part 1: Breakthroughs in Digital Customer Service: Two Technologies Every Business Needs to Know 

Part 2: What is RCS (and Why We’re Excited)?

Part 3: Move Over, SMS: How to Get Customers’ Attention with RCS

Part 4: How RCS is Changing How the Hotel Industry Interacts With Guests