By James Hall, Commercial Director, Doxim
Most organisations operating today understand the importance of customer experience. They also know how much of that experience is built up through the relationships they foster with customers and how important customer communication is to establishing and maintaining those relationships.
At the same time, however, the conditions of the last year or so mean that the departments in charge of that communication are under pressure to maintain those relationships at lower costs than ever before. Perhaps more importantly, they’re being asked to do so without compromising on the quality of communication being sent out.
While this can be a difficult ask, it’s far from impossible, especially with the help of a customer communication management (CCM) platform.
Understanding CCM platforms
In order to understand how CCM platforms can benefit organisations, it’s important to remember what they allow organisations to do. Using a CCM platform, organisations can send messages to customers that are no longer generic but tailored according to customers’ needs and specific platforms (web, email, SMS, print) and devices (mobile, laptop, tablet, PC).
They also mean that messages received by a customer cover not only the needed information but the entire context of the interaction which includes customer profile (e.g. lifestyle and life-stage needs), history of online activity, and personal preferences.
As a global player in the CCM space, we’ve found that when it comes to allowing organisations to deliver their customer communications effectively and at a lower cost, there are several important roles CCM platforms can play.
Increased efficiencies, reduced costs
First, a CCM platform can help decrease the time spent on customer queries, by giving customer service representatives immediate access to customer documents to resolve customer queries quickly and efficiently.
Secondly, it can reduce the cost of sending, storing, and managing customer documents. The costs of printing and mailing physical documents to customers are significant, and regulated industries have additional costs, such as storing hard copy documents, as required by retention regulations. In the UK, this is governed by regulations such as GDPR alongside the Data Protection Act of 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). As such, any CCM solution should help organisations stay compliant with these regulations in whatever geographies they operate in.
There is also the potential for fines or penalties if documents are not completed correctly, not properly date stamped, or not delivered within the mandated period. Added to this are the costs of inserting personalised messages which, when it comes to physical documents, can include paper, printing, folding, insertion, and increased postage.
A CCM platform provides for the digital storage of customer documents. This reduces the likelihood of customers misplacing the original document and vastly improves the ability of customer service agents to locate documents (stored digitally, rather than in hard copy). It also facilitates the placement of targeted offers without increasing costs.
Thirdly, a CCM can improve customer engagement and retention. Customer expectations have changed and so, it is no longer good enough to only focus on delivering documents and messages in a prompt and consistent way, despite this being the foundation of a good CX.
In today’s data-driven world, customers expect more personalisation, a greater breadth of services, and offers that are relevant to their needs. In the absence of these critical aspects of CX, customers are more likely to look elsewhere for the same service. A CCM solution can help organisations achieve this by creating, sending, and storing customised messages and providing consistency across all the channels that customers interact through. In addition, it enables the organisation to leverage the data on hand to generate highly personalised offers that are relevant to each customer’s needs and lifecycle stage.
The importance of accessibility
Finally, it’s important to note that a good CCM platform will allow your organisation’s communications to be accessible to people with disabilities. Ensuring that communications are accessible to people with disabilities is not only a moral imperative, it is also a legal requirement in an increasingly large number of jurisdictions. Transactional communications and documents, such as financial statements, bills, tax documents and others, need to be produced on time and at scale for thousands of recipients, and present one of the key challenges when it comes to accessible communications. To ensure such communications are compliant, organizations need a technology partner capable of providing a variety of compliant formats, reliably and in a cost-effective way.
Ideally, a CCM’s accessibility solution should include the following capabilities and benefits:
- Digital document accessibility: accessible PDF and HTML documents
- Accessible physical formats: large print and Braille
- Accessible end consumer online portals
- Complete solution from template development to accessible statement composition, production, and delivery via digital channels and mail
- Creation of accessible documents at scale based on compliant and tested templates meeting WCAG 2.0 AA standards
Meeting customer expectations
Contemporary organisations are striving to create a better customer experience, and with evolving customer expectations and changing channel preferences, laying a solid foundation that can also be flexible and agile in our evolving world is becoming a challenge. However, it is critical for organisations wanting to achieve a true omnichannel customer experience today and in the future. A comprehensive customer communications management (CCM) platform is the foundation organisations need to deliver a great customer experience.
James Hall is Commercial Director at Striata, a Doxim company.
James focuses on the UK region and is responsible for the generation of business, primarily in financial services. James has more than 10 years experience in a wide range of technology based roles. His expertise extends across the fields of product management, project management, account management and sales.
James has an MSc in climate change management and a BSc in Ecology and Geography.