A new year has arrived, which means it's time to share our annual predictions for the business messaging landscape. Learn what trends will shape the business communication scene in the coming months of 2024.
#1: RCS takes a big leap
At the end of 2023, we got the news! Apple announced their plans to introduce RCS messaging on iPhones in 2024, answering a long-awaited demand. The upcoming RCS upgrade ensures that Apple users can continuously send iMessages within their iOS ecosystem while promising a significant enhancement in interactions with non-iOS devices. With approximately 1.2 billion devices supporting RCS worldwide, Apple's move acknowledges the growing significance of this messaging standard. We speculate that Apple's RCS update will be released as an IOS 18 feature due for release in the fall of 2024.
In 2023, RCS witnessed global expansion, making significant advancements in numerous countries. While RCS is already accessible in various parts of the world, certain markets are strategically assessing and gearing up for the forthcoming technology upgrade. Notably, a substantial number of telecom operators in the Nordics recently embraced and implemented this advanced messaging technology. There will undoubtedly be more markets adopting RCS in 2024.
#2: Conversational AI will become the backbone of business messaging
Conversational AI will evolve beyond basic chatbots, offering context-aware and intelligent interactions. This trend aims to enhance user experiences by providing more personalised and efficient communication. Conversational AI can automate repetitive tasks such as sending welcome messages, answering frequently asked questions (FAQs), providing order updates, and processing refunds. This frees up customer service representatives to focus on more complex issues and provide higher-quality interactions.
With enhanced AI automation, called hyper-personalisation, businesses can enable real-time personalisation of messaging based on customer preferences, past interactions, and purchase history. Businesses are using data and AI to personalise their messaging experiences to a much greater extent. This will lead to more relevant and engaging messages tailored to individual customers' specific needs and interests. Automation can seamlessly integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, providing a holistic view of customer interactions across different messaging channels. This allows businesses to gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviour and preferences.
#3: Prioritising security measures
Businesses must ensure that their messaging platforms are secure and that customer data and messaging traffic are protected from various cyber threats, including smishing, artificially inflated traffic (AIT), and other phishing scams. This will be particularly important as messaging becomes a more critical part of the customer journey. Here are some specific security measures that businesses should consider:
Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA): MFA requires users to provide two or more pieces of evidence to verify their identity, such as a password and a code sent to their phone. This makes it much more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access customer accounts.
Sender ID protection: Protect your brand integrity by registering your sender IDs with mobile operators. This proactive step safeguards against unauthorized use, preventing misuse or false claims by fraudulent parties or other companies attempting to claim your sender ID.
Monitor for suspicious activity: Businesses should monitor their messaging traffic for suspicious activity, such as sudden and unexplained spikes in traffic, traffic from unusual geographic locations or IP addresses, high bounce rates or low conversion rates. This will help identify potential attacks early on and take action to prevent them from causing damage.
#4: Ethical messaging practices will be essential
Businesses must be cautious in their use of messaging, ensuring that their practices adhere to ethical standards and demonstrate respect for customer privacy. Consumer trust has often been compromised by the prevalence of smishing (SMS phishing) scams. These dishonest practices include fake companies pretending to be legitimate, enticing recipients with fake discount offers or fabricated package delivery notifications etc. Protecting customers from such fraudulent activities is crucial to maintaining the integrity of business messaging. With new rich technologies emerging like RCS and WhatsApp, companies can brand their messages and add verification badges to their Sender ID – to reassure recipients that the message is genuine and from a verified source, instilling confidence in the legitimacy of the communication.
By prioritising ethical messaging practices, businesses safeguard customer privacy and contribute to creating a trustworthy and secure online environment. In an era where digital interactions are widespread, businesses that embrace ethical messaging are better positioned to foster enduring relationships with their customers.
Here are some common ethical messaging practices to foster a positive brand image and avoid legal repercussions:
Obtain consent (opt-in) before collecting or using personal information (e,g., a phone number) to send messages. Use personal information only for the purposes stated to customers.
Respect customer preferences for receiving marketing communications. Always provide options to opt-out or unsubscribe from marketing communications.
Avoid making misleading statements or false claims regarding products or services
LEKAB provides mobile messaging services, messaging APIs and software for advanced business messaging and process automation. We offer digital tools and solutions to companies that want to optimise how they communicate and interact with customers and employees on the mobile to improve productivity, availability and the customer experience through mobile channels. Do you want to know more or ask us for advice? Contact Us!