CCM Is the New CX
2020 heralds a reinvigorated and deeper investment into user engagements and the customer experience (CX). Traditionally, customer communication management (CCM) has focused on transaction-oriented documents, messages, etc., as an operational necessity as opposed to being considered an essential and core component of the customer experience.
When gazing into the potential future of CCM, we find that these emerging solutions emphasize and focus on building more intimate relationships with the customer to generate a holistic, easier, and more enjoyable experience for the customer.
Let’s take a look at this interaction of content and customer.
CCM is Core to CX
In the good old days, organizations sought out CCM solutions as an operational efficiency for delivering ‘canned’ or repetitive documents or responses to customer inquiries. However, now we see CCM being integrated into more common and daily customer interactions as more companies focus on a healthy (and ultimately profitable) CX strategy.
As companies need the ability to coordinate communications across departments and over multiple channels, they are waking up to the efficiencies of adopting cloud-based CCM software solutions. Firms have come to understand the importance of these solutions that are built with integration in mind: not just with data sources and delivery tiers as CCM had previously delivered, but with the capability to easily integrate with other systems of engagement wherever they reside inside (or even outside) the enterprise.
Thus, the trend moving forward merges CX and CCM as companies attempt to avoid subscribing to multiple vendor services just to manage more channels. Without this integration, companies are finding the tasks of manually merging and interpreting the data from each platform too much work for all involved. This lack of integration makes it difficult to understand the customer journey; it prevents the CX from being more fulfilling, missing out on key opportunities to increase loyalty, brand trust while failing to capture incremental revenue (i.e., to grow customer lifetime value).
For example, Aspire CCS’ report “The State of CCM-to-CXM Transformation,” demonstrates that companies can experience a 41% revenue boost when they concentrate on the customer experience: “Consumer expectations of instant access to relevant, personalized information has made customer experience (CX) an increasingly important metric in customer communications.” Focusing on CX strategy is integral to increasing customer engagement and retention, but it’s also a key component to continued business success and growth.
What insight do current customer metrics provide to your business? And, can your organization take on a 360-degree view of a customer’s interactions with your brand? By having a full-circle view of the customer journey, you not only increase your understanding beyond predictive purchasing habits, but you also gain a invaluable understanding of growth patterns to determine customer needs and how they impact your mission across departments.
Imagine if you could control customer communications at each point of the customer life cycle. Consider the call center agents who are often on the front lines of customer care: they may not be privy to all communications that a customer receives, which in turn, can lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding. Agents who can retrieve, review and reference these communications can provide better care to customers and help them find the right answers without multiple transfers and holds (translation: increased internal cost savings; enhanced external customer satisfaction).
When you have a “central command” for communications, then each arm of your organization can coordinate communications with content creation production and management. When combined, CCM focuses on the document-centric processes while the integration of CX offers customers an omnichannel experience. Your central command should include all lines of business, including but not limited to marketing, sales, customer services, operations and legal/compliance.
The ability to connect CCM with other systems that serve the customer journey continues to rise. Mobile support grows stronger, benefiting from greater integration with digital experience delivery platforms and marketing automation tools. Consistency across these channels builds trust with consistent experiences, allowing your business to minimize systems and confusion.
Integrated content services delivers omnichannel customer experience interactions.
Streamlining is Maximizing
The future of CCM lies in the integration of content services from multiple systems (and vendors) resulting in elegant, simplified and powerful systems. For example, many companies deal with cumbersome and complex compliance processes for customer communications. The lack of time, control and compliance oversight becomes a simplified process with an integrated CX strategy and shared core content services.
The first attempt at leveraging content services to simplify and streamline content sharing across systems was content federation. For example, OpenText's OT2 cloud platform delivers core services sharing by integrating multiple products—first from the same vendor and then with partners—tightly, efficiently and easily.
However, analysts will point out that no one vendor offers a complete customer engagement hub. Thus, you can see why the importance ease of integration becomes high priority in CCM solutions, as firms will need to extend the capabilities of any core platform with other content services-enabled solutions.
Topdown is at the forefront of this evolution. As Forrester analyst Craig Le Clair foresaw, the future of CCM and customer communications is shifting towards a Content-as-a-Service model that provides the flexibility, convenience, interactivity, clarity, personalization and channel preference for a more successful customer journey and growth of the organization.
About John Zimmerer
John Zimmerer is the senior director of marketing at Topdown, where he leads market research and outreach efforts for the company's customer communications and customer experience products. Most recently, John has been researching and writing about the future direction of the technologies that power customer experience, and is regarded as a thought leader in this area. John has nearly 20 years of software product marketing experience. His areas of expertise include market research, analyst relations, public relations and digital marketing.