Today’s increasingly demanding and connected customers expect your company to touch base frequently, but only with relevant and genuinely useful communications. To create these personal connections for their many thousands of customers, businesses are recognizing the need for customer communication management solutions.
Customer communications management (CCM) is defined as the creation, management, and fulfillment of data-driven, omni-channel customer communications at scale. Without such a system, it can be cost and time prohibitive to connect with customers with the frequency and relevance they desire. Better communication leads to happier, more engaged, more profitable customers. In a nutshell, that’s why recent studies are showing a considerable uptick in interest and investment in CCM solutions.
Business Drivers: What Motivates a Shift to Modern CCM?
A recent Aspire study of 500 businesses uncovered some interesting trends in the priorities motivating a shift to enterprise CCM. Historically, customer communications like bills and statements have been largely the purview of Operations departments, with the primary focus being on cost containment, operational efficiency, and risk management. While those priorities are still essential, businesses today are clearly recognizing the business value of CX-centered communications, as can be seen in the results below:
This fundamental shift in enterprise priorities reflects an equally fundamental shift in customer expectations. Having spent the last decade being wowed by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Uber, customers now expect instant access to relevant, personalized information, making customer experience an increasingly important metric in B2C communications. The era of increasing business value by communicating better is upon us.
Roadblocks to CCM Success
Customers expect more from communications, and organizations want to deliver, but there are serious logistical issues that every business faces which prevent a cohesive communications experience. Here are three common situations that Aspire uncovered, which are faced by organizations on the journey to modern CCM.
- No Single View of Customer: A wealth of data concerning preferences and purchase history is essential for personalized customer communications, but in many cases it is scattered across different departments and buried in myriad legacy systems. When data is not clean, accessible, and centralized, sending relevant communications becomes a slow and manual process. Before executing a campaign, businesses must ask themselves if the time and expense a marketer spends collecting data from disparate sources actually outweigh any advantage the company may gain from distilling that data into a personalized communication. This is why a move to more sophisticated customer communications must begin with data accessibility and the right tools to help business users uncover the customer insights they require.
- Unclear ownership: Since communications from many businesses have historically originated from multiple departments (marketing for offers, IT/Operations for billing, etc), different groups within an organization may be sending messages to a single customer with little or no regard for the actions of the others. That kind of discordant messaging is poisonous to customer experience, as it tells customers that their providers do not know or value their business. Centralizing all messaging under one team allows organizations to build out multi-step, multi-channel communication campaigns that deepen engagement and promote the right products to the right people at the right moment.
- Wasting the opportunity to effectively engage customers: Finally, many organizations fail to make good use of the most common communications they have with customers. By failing to consider their routine monthly communications as part of their messaging strategy, they don’t make the most of messages they are already required to send and customers are likely to review. Instead, any changes they make to routine communications are reactionary and short-sighted, only made to comply with a regulatory requirement or calibrated to cut costs and no more. By making good use of 1:1 messaging zones on monthly bills, statements, and other documents, these organizations can boost conversion rates and maintain a personal touch with their customers even as more and more of their interactions go online.
Partnering with the Experts for CCM Improvement
The most important thing businesses can do to improve their communications is to take control of their CCM. The enterprise-wide benefits of doing so are tangible, and can be experienced almost immediately. So, why are many businesses still struggling with CCM? The truth is, at a time when every company is trying to do more with less, many lack the skills, resources, and domain expertise necessary to develop and execute on an effective strategy.
One appealing solution for many organizations is to partner with an experienced vendor for CCM success. Aspire’s survey found that enterprises with high CXM (customer experience management) maturity prefer to turn to a service provider to help them manage their communications. They make this choice because they believe providers can offer better customer service at lower cost, and have a comprehensive understanding of the compliance and security mandates that surround sensitive documents. If your organization recognizes the value of CCM, but doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel in-house, a CCM partnership may be just the ticket to accelerate the transformation of your communications strategy. Stronger, more profitable, and longer lasting customer relationships are sure to follow.
Learn more about the state of customer communications in your industry! Download the Aspire whitepaper ”CXM Transformation: How Establishing a Single Source of Truth Can Help Businesses Build a Consolidated Communications Strategy”