Customer communications management (CCM) isn’t what it used to be. In the past, CCM focused on the creation and delivery of static, printed documents such as bills, statements, and correspondence. Many companies, especially those in the healthcare and finance industries, outsourced the development of these communications to large printing facilities that leveraged automated workflows for high-volume jobs. Customers received their printed letters or packets, sometimes a nicely designed brochure, and that was the end of the story. At least until the next one arrived in their mailbox.
But the days of one-directional and transaction-oriented communications are gone. Or at least they should be for companies wanting to engage customers. CCM has entered the customer experience-driven era.
The Convergence of CCM & CXM
Given this shift, CCM priorities have moved toward a focus on the design and delivery of customer-centric interactions. Rather than solely presenting information about your product/service/company, communications need to anticipate and answer customers’ most important questions at specific touchpoints. You tie in your key talking points only when it’s relevant and convenient for them – not the other way around.
As organizations change their CCM approach, the gap between CCM and customer experience management (CXM) is rapidly closing. For communications to truly drive business performance, they must be built on tried-and-true CX principles, including:
1. Ease of use – Communications should be easy to use, understand and navigate. Like CX, it’s critical to optimize the content, channel, and timing based on where the customer is at in his/her journey.
2. Effective – Communications must be relevant otherwise they’re doomed to fail. The content, channel, timing, and format need to be customized to an individual’s unique needs and preferences.
3. Emotionally connected – Communications must strike the right emotional chord, matching the customer’s specific place – and state of mind – in the customer lifecycle.
Based on this list, it’s clear that data analytics, specifically a 360-degree view of the customer, play a crucial role in the path forward for CCM. But data isn’t the only prerequisite for success. Organizations need a sophisticated, all-in-one platform that integrates content management, digital delivery, data visualization, and more. Implementing this kind of complex solution in healthcare, insurance, finance, etc. setting requires a significant investment of time and money.
Transformation Starts on the Inside
With COVID-19 forcing many organizations into the digital frontier, CCM is getting the attention it deserves at the strategic level. However, Aspire Research has shown that only 10% of companies worldwide have reached CCM/CXM maturity.
Unfortunately, many companies lack the internal talent, capital, and time to implement CCM/CXM solutions on their own. Adopting a fully hosted and managed solution, such as O’Neil’s turnkey ONEsuite platform, may provide the fastest and most affordable way to push ahead. Businesses opting for this platform quickly gain a new perspective of their customer and are empowered to reshape communications programs for optimal performance.
A true, CCM/CXM-led organization achieves the following indicators of success:
- Communications are part of a multi-step, holistic strategy based on data
- Communications are deeply personal, timely, and relevant because they are based on rich customer insights
- Messages reach customers through their preferred channel or device, and you always keep an eye on data that reveals emerging channels and evolving preferences
Remember, a successful CCM/CXM transformation doesn’t happen overnight. True change requires a mix of technology investment AND overcoming functional silos to improve communications collaboration and coordination. It’s a complex, long road but the rewards are significant. In fact, Forrester research showed that customer-centric businesses bring in more than 5x the revenue of their less customer-obsessed peers.
As the leader in CCM and CXM, our team can advise you on digital solutions that align with your organization’s digital transformation priorities. Contact us for a free 15-minute consult or to preview our ONEsuite CCM platform.