The demand for personalized and dynamic customer communications (CCM) is at an all-time high. The need for interactive communication through social, web, and SMS channels means that traditional CCM software has transformed into intelligent communication that supports more interactive digital conversations. There are many solutions in the market to integrate and expand your business. But which one is right for you?
When businesses invest in new CCM solutions or upgrade existing platforms, it is because outdated or even unsupported software needs to be replaced. There are usually three factors that directly affect the ultimate effectiveness of a CCM solution: functional performance, customer engagement, and implementation.
Performance and Features
According to the recent IDC MarketScape CCM vendor assessment, examples of the types of questions organizations should ask when considering solutions include:
What types of templates and communication authoring design environments are supported? Can it be embedded into other applications used by your organization?
How easy is it to create, edit, collaborate, and update workflows? Does the application include basic content approval workflows and advanced workflows with callouts to third-party applications such as electronic signatures?
How easy is it to deliver a great customer experience to end users? Does the system support responsive design, HTML5, or native mobile apps?
Does the solution provider provide resources to help design, configure, implement, and use the software?
One platform for all your communication needs
If all the above points resonate with you, chances are you have a lot of customer-facing communications and business-critical documents that often require high-volume processing. You may also have to handle many daily ad-hoc communication requests from various business roles. These can be anything from operations needing to change the address and time on a supplier’s delivery note, to marketing needing access to CRM data to send timely promotional offers via text message or email.
If your organization faces these operational challenges, a single “all-in-one” platform may help. That’s because one of the biggest challenges for CCMs is using relevant information, which often resides in isolated silos of various business systems. Bringing all communications through a central platform not only reduces miscommunication but also ensures brand consistency and compliance.
CCM has become key to the evolution of customer engagement and customer experience management. IDC’s Customer Communications Management Survey found that improving CX is a top business goal for CCM users. 27% of respondents said their CCM solution is used to increase brand awareness and ensure brand consistency across all touchpoints. 73% of consumers say a great experience is key to brand loyalty. Loyal customers are 5x more likely to buy again. Customers told 9 people about a positive experience and 16 people told 16 about a negative experience.
Empower business users
Business users are also an important part of a successful customer communications strategy. An adaptable, easy-to-use CCM tool that can be embedded into other business applications can have a positive impact on user acceptance. Plus, by reducing your reliance on IT to make document changes, you can also free up IT resources for more strategic work.
Ensuring a smooth and successful implementation is critical. A solution may be the best on the market, but if people find it difficult to use and not easy to adopt, it can set your operation back. Implementing with a certified consultant can accelerate return on investment through better knowledge transfer. This can be achieved by providing high-quality training for business users and administrators. Also, the more performance and feature-rich a solution are, the more important it is to have the right skill set to help you.
Leading CCM Solutions
If you’re looking to consolidate your communications onto an intelligent communications platform and streamline document generation, I recommend you also check out two recent analyst reports from IDC and Aspire. These provide a comprehensive assessment of the CCM vendor landscape while placing OpenText in the leading position as a CCM solution.
CCM’S OpenText Exstream
Exstream delivers enterprise-grade capabilities and Omnichannel communications at scale: it leverages data and content already in your organization to create personalized, engaging communications on recipients’ preferred channels and formats.