Overwhelmed by the Complexity of Customer Communications Management?

by | Apr 6, 2021

Customer Communications Management (CCM) has changed forever

At a high level, customer communication management (CCM) refers to how an organization manages the communications it sends to customers. But there’s no doubt that CCM means different things to different people.

To an organization, CCM is a critical part of customer experience management (CXM). But various teams within a company have different agendas and objectives when it comes to customer communication. Some teams see CCM as a means to drive cost savings, for example, by migrating customers from high-cost channels to lower-cost channels. Other teams are more intent on improving the customer experience in order to drive customer engagement, build loyalty and increase retention.

Customers experience the result of CCM and CXM (or lack thereof) each time they receive a communication from an organization. Today’s customers expect relevant and timely communication, customized to their personal circumstances, needs and life stage. They also expect to be able to choose which communication channels they prefer, and to switch channels when they want to, without fracturing their experience.

It’s easy to feel daunted by the layers and complexities of CCM

CCM really is as simple as sending relevant, personalized communication that helps to build a great customer experience. But, when you drill down, there are many layers and components. CCM encompasses consumer preferences management, data, document templates, regulations, physical and digital channels, omnichannel orchestration, integrations with data systems, security, process automation, and much more.

Once you reach the ‘technology level’, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope and complexity of customer communication management.

So, how can one be successful in driving the required changes within an organization without feeling daunted by the complexity that is inherent in the CCM space?

Four tips to avoid CCM-overload

Having thought about this a lot, I suggest following these four tips to develop a paced and methodical approach to CCM initiatives and avoid the overload one feels when working on an insurmountable project.

1. Acknowledge that print is declining as a channel

Print is no longer the only viable option to communicate reliably, nor it is the most desirable option for many consumers who want real-time digital options. Print volumes will continue decreasing as more consumers opt for digital alternatives, and organizations realize associated cost savings.

Print communications won’t go away completely, but it’s important to acknowledge that consumers are choosing digital, so organizations can only benefit from providing digital and doing it well.

Keep this in mind when determining your approach and prioritizing projects. Ask and answer the following questions:

  • Can your initiative help save on paper costs for your regulated communications? Check.
  • Can your suggestion on a process improvement eliminate a paper-based process? Check.
  • If you simply change a subject line or an incentive in your digital enrollment campaign, will this alone be enough to encourage more customers to switch to digital documents? Check!

2. Focus on key challenges first and remember – small changes matter

No matter where you turn, there will be an opportunity to improve CCM and CXM. The trick is to focus. Start with what’s causing the worst experiences for your customers and tackle that area first. Then, move on to the biggest cost item for CCM/CXM, and plan to find ways to eliminate some costs, for example by consolidating vendors, renegotiating pricing levels or models, and reducing paper usage.

Whatever your role and influence is within the organization, remember that small improvements will have a ripple effect. Small tweaks to your e-adoption program are a good example, and there are many more ways to introduce incremental improvements.

Because CCM is so complex, large-scale projects take years, and you need the quick wins to stay motivated and continue moving forward.

3. Pick the right partner for the journey

When building the tech stack to support your strategy, pay attention to the future plans of potential technology vendors. Change is happening so quickly that companies cannot afford to entrust an important initiative to an outsourced partner that doesn’t have a vision of what CCM will look like in one, two or three years from now. Make sure to ask your vendors the harder questions, like:

  • What is your 5-year vision and roadmap for CCM and CXM?
  • What have you invested into research and development for CCM this year and what is your plan for the next year?

It also helps to read the vendors’ published thought-leadership articles to understand their approach to CCM/CXM and talk to current customers to find out if the vendor has acted on their product promises in the past.

Implementing great technology does not automatically result in digitization or great customer experience. Your organization will need support around best practices and change management, so look for partners that give you both the ‘what’ (technology) and the ‘how’ (digital transformation consulting)!

4. Simplify at every opportunity

Being a CCM/CXM champion is a very challenging (yet inspiring) job. No matter the size of your organization, the complexity of CCM doesn’t need to be overwhelming. If there is any opportunity to simplify projects and processes as you work on CCM initiatives – do it!

Some examples might be adopting proven implementation methodology from your vendor to cut time to market; outsourcing integration work; or choosing a fully managed, hosted, SaaS solution to limit the need for internal IT support.

Also pay attention to the vendor’s contracting process, pricing structure and invoicing, to make sure that their internal processes are not adding complexity to yours.

CCM has changed forever and while it will continue evolving, it is unlikely to become less complex. The great news is that technology exists to enable organizations to offer a fully omnichannel communication experience. Perhaps more importantly, the right partner will bring practices and processes that can help you navigate through the complexity to achieve your target outcomes.

We can help simplify your CCM journey. TALK TO A DOXIM CCM EXPERT

3. Expansion of digital products

As banking customer behavior shifts, banks must move with the times, or risk getting left behind. Many banks today are exploring the power and potential of open banking, which can allow them to offer more innovative products and services to their customers, as well as to better compete with fintech companies and other non-traditional financial service providers.

As you shift your banking business model to reach new segments or provide an enhanced array of services, communication becomes even more pivotal to your success. After all, if your customers don’t know which new services they qualify for, or how those services will help them meet their goals, then they are unlikely to explore them further. CCM technology can be leveraged here to provide personalized on-statement messaging that directs customers to the right products and services, as well as 1:1 personalized “explainer” videos to help them get started.

Adjusting your bank’s priorities to thrive in 2023

In an era of constant change, the key to successfully transforming your bank’s business model will be to stay attuned to the changing needs and preferences of customers, and to be open to exploring new opportunities and technologies that can help your FI stay competitive and relevant. But these new opportunities are doomed to fail if you do not clearly communicate their benefits and make it simple for customers to access them.

That is why transforming your customer communication strategy is the best first step to broader digital transformation. By updating your approach to communications to meet omnichannel customer needs, you also position your bank to communicate the benefits of changes in your broader organization, like new or enhanced products and services. The pace of change in banking has never been brisker – but with the right strategic approach to these changes, the future is bright.

Investing in a modern customer communication management and engagement platform is an essential part modernizing your banking strategy, as it can provide the personalized digital experiences that will keep your bank or credit union ahead of the competition. It helps provide a great customer experience, and builds rich relationships, which in turn results in customers for life and a competitive advantage in the rapidly evolving financial marketplace.

How Doxim can address the banking customer communications trends identified and help future-proof your digital banking strategy

banking customer communications trends

Doxim’s experienced consultants and omnichannel platform can help transform your customer experience in many ways, including:

  • Gathering and utilizing customer data to continually improve the personalization of communications.
  • Building trust with customers via communication (via print, PDF, HTML, email, text, and online interactive experiences).
  • Leveraging interactive video to drive personalized digital customer experiences, such as interactive statements, bills, or reports, that offer visual engagement and real-time interactivity
  • Putting customer data, including customer statements, at the fingertips of your service representatives for immediate and personal service.
  • Making a meaningful connection with value-added content, like information about philanthropic activities, on customer statements.

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