Gaining Automation, Speed & Agility with Cloud-Based CCM
KPMG recently completed a survey of US CEOs with some interesting findings. Among them is the fact that more than two-thirds of CEOs believe the next three years will be more critical to their industry than the past 50. Key drivers of this outlook include rapid technological advancement, well-informed and powerful consumers, and increasing pressure to innovate.
“Companies that focus on the customer experience while bringing automation, speed, and agility to the back office will be well positioned to navigate market dynamics,” said Steve Chase, head of KPMG US management consulting.
While this observation may be true, for many organizations this is an easier-said-than-done task.
While customer communications management (CCM) software systems play a key role in the overall customer experience, the reality is that multiple departments and multiple systems are often used for different aspects of customer communication, each with its unique processes and Requirements that require time, resources, and expertise. Strategy and investments in an area (such as customer assertions) may be planned and implemented in isolation from other customer-facing communications in areas such as marketing, compliance, or customer support.
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These overly complex and siled systems cannot support the rapidly evolving needs of CCM, but a rip-and-reinforce strategy may not make sense — especially in as little as three years. So how can organizations address the customer experience challenges that lie ahead?
Alternatives to On-Premises CCM Software
One approach worth considering is to leverage cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies for CCM that are delivery system agnostic and integrate with existing print portfolios and digital channels to accelerate the delivery of agile and responsive customer communications and Take advantage of content reuse. Using this approach, editing content does not require any programming or specialized IT resources. Instead, create a collaborative self-service ecosystem where business users can leverage easy-to-use web-based editing tools to enter or change communications. Self-service proofing and testing allow users to see how content looks in real-time. It also facilitates the easy creation of web-based approval workflows to ensure that only content changes approved by the appropriate personnel make it into production.
Such cloud computing deployments continue to grow as organizations seek to take advantage of the rapid provisioning, cost reduction, scalability, and other benefits possible in cloud environments. The popularity of hybrid cloud is confirmed by a recent IDG Research Services survey of more than 100 IT and business executives, which found that 72 percent have deployed or plan to deploy a hybrid cloud solution within 12 months.
Fix security issues
Security is one of the big reasons why hybrid clouds are popular. One of the major considerations for any organization servicing the B2C space is maintaining the privacy and integrity of its customer’s personally identifiable information. Whether an industry is regulated or not, the breach or loss of customer data can have a significant impact on brands, as it breaks bonds of trust with existing customers and creates suspicion among potential customers. These are significant challenges, with the cost of new customer acquisition increasing and the negative impact of customer churn. Regulatory penalties associated with leaking customer information can further impact the financial impact.
For organizations that want to keep customer or other sensitive data behind the firewall, the hybrid cloud model offers a way to get the flexibility of the cloud with the security of protecting data on-premises. A SaaS hybrid cloud CCM solution can address these issues if designed so that customer data is only required when digital communications are generated on the organization’s premises or at its trusted print service providers. With this approach, business users can use cloud components to manage all messaging content and rules, and collaborate to preview and approve content for production, while on-premises decision engine software and sensitive data remain in the organization’s secure environment.
Once content and rules are approved for production by business users, a set of files containing all approved message content and rule descriptions can be processed by the decision engine and the organization’s production composition tools.
Of course, consideration should be given to ensuring that the hybrid cloud provider complies with any applicable compliance and regulatory standards and provides secure connectivity, and adheres to organizational controls related to access to customer data.
Find the agility you need to elevate your customer experience
Businesses continue to need the ability to communicate new information quickly. Whether supporting marketing objectives or compliance, time-to-market for new information is more important than ever. New and changing regulatory requirements are also putting pressure on many companies to bring information to market more quickly.
As organizations plan for the near future, a SaaS CCM approach deserves a closer look, especially if it integrates with existing delivery systems in which the organization has invested heavily. It provides a way to simplify the complex organization present in most CCM infrastructures, providing the agility and automation needed to ensure the highest customer experience.