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Next Generation CCM: Where Topdown Sees Communications Software Headed Blog Feature
John Zimmerer

By: John Zimmerer on February 8th, 2021

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Next Generation CCM: Where Topdown Sees Communications Software Headed

Strategy | Customer Communications | Technology | INTOUCH | Digital Experience | Cloud

We’ve talked about 2020 trends and what to avoid in 2021. In fact, we’ve published several posts on CCM trends over the last few years. When we take a step back and plot the curve over time, we clearly see the trajectory of CCM. Here’s where we see customer communication management (CCM) software headed.

5 Core Capabilities

Previously, in our five core capabilities of CCM software article, we talked about a set of features for managing multiple moving parts in order to present a cohesive, consistent image when communicating with customers.

The five core CCM capabilities are:

  1. Content Management
  2. Communication Design
  3. Lifecycle Management
  4. Omni-Channel Delivery
  5. Reporting and Analytics

All five of these core capabilities are extremely important to just about every CCM use case, and will remain relevant for the next generation of CCM. It’s how these capabilities will be leveraged that will change going forward.

microservices represent the future of CCM technology

Organizations are focusing CCM usage more toward improving their CX.

Looking Forward

Topdown is already beginning to see a shift in strategy with CCM software developments. The focus is definitely shifting away from operational excellence toward improving customer experience (CX). While CCM has always been about providing the customer personalized, relevant, and timely communications, the justification for purchasing a CCM solution has always been its ability to cut costs and free up time for employees. Nowadays, customer expectations and a shift to “digital first” engagement is making new metrics more important.

In regards to the underlying technology, CCM vendors are now seeing more lines of business managing the technology as opposed to the business’ IT departments. With the shift to the cloud, CCM vendors are bearing more of the infrastructure burden compared to on-premise CCM implementations.

Currently, according to research conducted by Aspire CCS, 13% of companies operate on a subscription-based cloud platform while 43% are expected to be on a subscription cloud-based platform in two years (as opposed to managing a server on location). Modernizing core business with the cloud delivers a multitude of benefits, and we’d like to see the number of these integrations climb even more.

Looking forward, we believe that more companies will treat CCM more as a “service layer”. These organizations will create their own front-end user interfaces on top or alongside of the CCM solution to address non-traditional use cases, essentially using the CCM software indirectly in an on-demand model. Generally, the CCM vendor will involve the organization’s IT department only at the beginning, during initial implementation phase, to help with integrating data sources, lines of business applications and digital workplace platforms.

For example, Topdown is working with a health insurance provide who is integrating our INTOUCH® SaaS solution into a service mesh. They will be using the solution to manage content and address interactive use cases directly, while leveraging the API and essentially treating INTOUCH as a “headless” content management system back-ending multiple internally developed applications, including a mobile app.

In any of these apps, a user chooses a template from a permissions-based list pulled from INTOUCH, i.e., the user sees only the templates related to their department and for which they have permission to use as defined by their role. Once selected, the user invokes INTOUCH to generate a draft communication that the user can edit in a new window—all within the INTOUCH user interface—and can add files or documents, as well as additional recipients (i.e., carbon copy recipients), before finalizing the communication to be sent.

The INTOUCH output (e.g., HTML, PDF) may go through a review/approval workflow facilitated by INTOUCH, which is then incorporated into some other deliverable (e.g., an email, a web portal) by other systems.

The organization will be using INTOUCH to address a number of communications or use cases—policy renewal letters, certificates of insurance, payment schedules, and claims-related communications—to finalize the interaction and deliver the communication the desired recipient(s).

A Final Word

Topdown is the premiere source for CCM software, knowledge, and industry expertise. For more information on how to innovate using our solutions, get in touch with Topdown today.

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Image by dric from Pixabay

 

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.

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