Three Reasons Business, Not IT, Should Own Customer Communications
Many companies still rely on IT to make changes to their customer communications. It made sense when technology wasn’t advanced enough to provide non-technical users a way to interact with it, but today the “coders only” notion is as antiquated as flip phones and dial-up Internet connections.
Implementing a customer communications management solution with an interface that empowers business users to quickly create, manage and generate complex interactive customer communications without IT involvement can change just about everything — for the better. Here’s why.
1. 162 days is too long to wait for a template change.
One credit card company reported that it took IT and two other departments 162 days to make a change to a letter, according to Forrester Research’s “Developing The Value Side Of The DOCCM Business Case". Forrester politely stated that this was “not a sustainable process with consumers expecting real-time communications.” That’s a HUGE understatement.
Companies need to be able to make changes on the fly to communications with a simple-to-use front end layered over complex business logic or business won’t be sustainable. If there’s an error in a template, it needs to be fixed ASAP or your company’s reputation may suffer. If new regulatory text isn’t added to a letter by a certain date, fines can result. If a new logo is on only some of your communications, your brand can become convoluted. You get the idea. And so does IT. Really, they do. And they’d like to help, but you’ll need to go ahead and submit that service request because there’s a three-month backlog of work. Sound familiar?
2. IT has better things to do.
As frustrated as you are waiting for IT to change a zip code on a template, IT is likely just as frustrated at having to do it. Businesses and processes are changing rapidly, and IT departments are struggling to keep up. Does it really make sense to use such a highly valuable resource to change a “4” to a “5” or format a date in a specific way? A customer communications system that empowers business users to create templates or make text changes takes the strain off of IT and frees up its resources.
The only time you should need IT is for system implementation or if you want to expand the implementation to encompass a new distribution channel or department. In addition, bringing in a comprehensive communications management system and getting rid of redundant software packages means there’s less for IT to worry about. Forrester’s “Value Side” white paper found that typical savings are 5% to 10% per consolidated system — imagine what that could add up to!
3. Only the business line knows what’s right for the business line.
In addition to being able to create templates, make changes to existing templates, add business rules, format data elements and handle other day-to-day necessities, business lines need the power to design – and instantly change – their workflow processes. For example, one group may want quality assurance (QA) checks on every letter a new employee generates, while another wants QA only on letters with certain elements. Again, an out-of-the-box customer communications management platform allows business lines to make what works best for them a reality almost instantly.
As important, the business process can be set up in a way that empowers ends users to succeed. Supervisors can define how they want the end user to interact with a particular communication. Maybe there’s a prompt with questions that need to be asked or they lock certain content from changes. Whatever the need, the business has better control over the user experience than if they had to rely on IT.
If your customer communications management system requires more IT involvement than you’d like, give us a call at 800-361-1211, or request a demo to see how business-friendly our software is.
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