How to Reduce Costs Using CCM Software
In today's economic climate, organizations are vigilant in controlling and minimizing all costs related to managing customer communications. Most importantly, though, the pursuit of these savings should not come at the expense of preserving and enhancing the customer experience.
How can those organizations actively seeking to reduce costs ensure that their operational effectiveness, customer intimacy, products, services and market share will not be affected?
Let’s take look at, identify and describe some of the key cost reduction measures organizations can adopt using a Customer Communications Management (CCM) system without compromising customer experience.
Three Key Technical Trends in The Current Marketplace
First, let’s review some of the key trends currently happening in the broader CCM market:
- More organizations are migrating their business systems to cloud platforms and SaaS solutions as their older CCM becomes costly to maintain and update.
- As a consequence of moving to the cloud, organizations are systematically minimizing and transferring their technical footprint from on-premise CCM solutions developed in-house, to packaged and turnkey solutions that require minimal customization and configuration.
- Organizations are consolidating and centralizing their multiple departmental platforms and creating a focus on digital channel initiatives to display eco-friendly cognizance and drive down printing and postage costs.
Three Critical Challenges
Simultaneously, organizations seek to address three business challenges:
- Retaining customers is a key business strategy now. CCM software applications improve the creation, delivery, storage, and retrieval of all customer communications, whether generated interactively, on-demand, or in batches, including automatically generated communications.
- Public and private organizations want to understand and define their customer journeys throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to servicing.
- They also want to identify and measure the effect that CCM has on elevating each use case such as important date/policy reminders, claims-related correspondence, statements of benefits or explanation of benefits for health insurers.
You can reduce CCM costs and still enhance the customer experience.
Three Cost Reduction Recommendations
To address these emerging trends and challenges, organizations should consider these three recommendations:
- Assess current CCM platform options in the market and identify those opportunities for consolidation to improve efficiencies and provide cost reductions.
- Perform a current-state analysis of existing CCM platforms and applications and determine the desired state that will help them achieve their company's strategic business objectives. Here’s a good starting point that we provided in a previous post with a list of top analyst firms..
- Review, identify and consolidate multiple departmental CCM platforms (for example, customer correspondence management) to reduce costs. Consolidating to fewer systems will create significant cost savings and reduced annual maintenance fees.
- Bind CCM projects to business objectives to identify and quantify the key metrics for measuring a project's success across all resource categories.
Strategic business objectives, normally mandated by business leaders, are underpinned by strategies for excelling in areas such as operational effectiveness, customer intimacy and product or service leadership, frequently focused on three key business activities:
- How to successfully run the business
- How to grow the business in a methodical manner using a consistent approach
- Transforming the business to reflect the changing nature of their industry
CCM can help organizations grow their businesses by enabling added effective communications with customers and constituents.
Organizations focusing on successfully running their businesses should:
- Consider deploying CCM projects to reduce operational costs via automated, streamlined, centralized creation and delivery of all customer outbound content.
- Identify all opportunities that minimize printing and distribution expenses.
- Reduce excessive delivery expenses by shifting to customer self-service
- Improve customer service and overall customer experience, which helps increase customer retention while enabling new customer acquisition.
- Adopt a digital-first approach to engage customers across multiple communication channels while maintaining the communication integrity regardless of the channel adopted.
Multiple digital communication channels have emerged, with new innovations continuing to engage customers via more options, in particular web, mobile, and social. These varied channels are providing cost-saving alternatives to replace printed communications like bills, statements, business policies, and brochures.
As customer communications progress into and develop within these digital channels, organizations must focus their CCM strategies not only on expense conservation, but also on improving the overall customer experience.
The critical activity required to realize this recommendation is to discover, promote, foster, and guide customers to the digital communications channels with which they’re most comfortable.
Continuous cost pressures arising from the pandemic are driving business and IT leaders to ensure that CCM solutions and associated processes achieve a higher return on investment (ROI). Yet, these cost reductions should also focus on helping the customer easily navigate through their journey as, by better understanding the customer’s wants and needs, organizations can deliver a better, more compelling experience.
Get in touch with the experts at Topdown to learn more about how a CCM solution can help you reduce costs and improve your overall operational efficiency. Topdown's CCM solutions can help your business processes become more efficient while significantly reducing costs. When you are ready to surprise and excel at consumer-driven communications, call the Topdown team to request a demo today.
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.