Enterprise-Wide Customer Communications Management Turns Data Insights Into Action

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There is a close connection between customer relationship management (CRM) and customer communications management (CCM) that centers on the interactions occurring between an organization and its current and potential customers. CRM is focused on managing those interactions. It uses data analysis about a customer’s history with a company to improve the relationship and increase customer retention and sales growth. By contrast, CCM encompasses the tools and processes that support those interactions between the business and its customers.

Organizations in industries reliant on customer communications—including banks, healthcare payers, and property and casualty insurers—have a plethora of communications created by various functions within their businesses. These communications are spread across different channels and are generated for marketing, on-boarding, customer service, compliance, and billing. In most organizations, these communications are siloed, with different teams responsible for managing each type of communication and the content that goes into them. Each of these teams may be using different CCM tools with limited access to the organization’s CRM data.

Typically, a great amount of attention is paid to the design of these various communications and the collection of CRM data that will be used to understand customer interactions. The focus is on the technologies employed to gather the data and analytics that will help drive the positive customer experience and push communications to various channels. However, there is another vital component in the process that is often overlooked—the quality of the content that will go into those communications.

If you don’t have the ability to access and use the right content, all of the intelligence you get from analyzing customer data is useless because you can’t incorporate that information into messages to those customers. Similarly, you may have a beautifully designed communication that you are able to deliver via a mobile device with existing CCM capabilities, but if it doesn’t include the right messaging, it will simply be an attractive communication that ultimately falls flat with the customer. The customer experience will not be improved.

Content Is at the Core of Improved Customer Experience

The power of content to enhance customer experience cannot be overstated. For example, analyst firm Forrester has conducted research in nine industries that strongly supports the importance of clear content when it comes to enhancing the customer experience. It found that auto and home insurers could see nearly $1 billion in incremental revenue by clearly communicating policy costs and how to file a claim. Similarly, banks have hundreds of millions of dollars to gain from projects that make communications easily understandable.

Clear and personalized communications deliver a number of important benefits, including driving positive customer experiences that lead to increased revenue and trust as well as ensuring consistency in messaging and branding across every channel. All of this translates into increased revenue opportunities for the organization.

Finding the right CCM technology that supports integration of enterprise-wide CCM capabilities with CRM data can make it possible to put the right content in the hands of customer-facing staff, who can then use it to create relevant messages for your customers. With an integrated approach, your customer-facing employees can incorporate all relevant customer data and demographics into messages, rather than having their access limited to data siloed in various CCM systems for channel-specific communications. Similarly, an enterprise-wide CCM approach will support plain language rewrites of frequently used content as well as streamlined rules and approval processes that will support compliance and quick time-to-market with relevant content.

Augmenting CRM with a holistic CCM approach will ensure that your customer data not only provides you with insights, but also makes those insights actionable.


Patrick Kehoe is executive vice president of product management for Messagepoint, Inc. Kehoe has more than 25 years of experience delivering business solutions for document processing, customer communications, and content management. For more information on Messagepoint, visit www.messagepoint.com.

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