The Key Differences Between CCM and CX
A number of similar-sounding terms are currently being bandied about in the tech industry. To make matters worse, what were once distinct dividing lines defining content-oriented technologies, these boundaries have now become fuzzy. Let’s pause a moment and take a look at the similarities and key differences. You’ll come to have a better understanding of the relationship between customer communication management (CCM) and the customer experience (CX).
Very generally, CCM and CX can be compared to the square and the rectangle: every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.
The term “customer experience” broadly applies to the quality of the relationship that a customer builds over time with an organization or company through a series of interactions between the two.
A core concept of this CX is the “customer journey”: the multiple actions customers must take in order to get what they want or need from the entity. The individual touchpoints (web site, app, customer service representative) that the customer encounters along a given customer journey represent the moment at which customer communication is ultimately happening.
While every touchpoint and customer communication is an element of CX, the entirety of CX extends beyond just the customer communications.
CX is a strategy aimed at elevating and improving high-level corporate goals such as increased customer lifetime value. CCM is a tactic or a tool—often implemented at a departmental level—that can help you achieve these CX objectives. While CX focuses on what your customers want or need from you, CCM helps you to effectively focus in on how to satisfy those wants and needs.
Customer communication is a critical component of customer experience.
How Customer Communication Affects CX
As touchpoints and customer communication comprise the majority of the customer journey, improving the tactical execution of customer communications significantly improves the efficiency and the customer experience as a whole.
By focusing on improving an organization's customer communications, many components of customer communication strategy can help an organization see the benefits of an improved CCM from top to bottom.
Evaluating a company’s CX and CCM will also identify opportunities for additional touchpoints that can greatly improve individual customer journeys, which collectively leads to a stronger overall customer experience across all touchpoints and customer journeys.
Using powerful software such as that provided by Topdown has helped organizations optimize operational efficiency and improve customer satisfaction that leads to higher rates of customer loyalty, and an increase in lifetime value of any individual customer.
Connecting CX Strategy to Touchpoints
Due to the vast array of customer journeys and the different touchpoints that support those journeys, companies and businesses need to communicate with their customers in a variety of ways—SMS, email, print and mail—or for a variety of reasons: onboarding, claims processing, etc. Companies have traditionally addressed their customer communication needs a-la-carte, so to speak.
For example, one department might choose one software solution to manage marketing campaigns, while another one uses a separate solution to manage contracts, and a third for managing customer correspondence. These solutions have almost never been integrated into a single digital experience “service layer”. However, many companies have already begun implementing customer journey orchestration and management solutions that “sew together” these disparate touchpoints.
Focusing on creating a top-notch customer experience can greatly improve targeted business metrics. In the pursuit of developing the strongest possible customer experience, customer communications are more than crucial: they can make or break customer-relationships, while playing a role in determining the lifetime value of any individual customer.
If you’re having trouble connecting customer communications to your customer experience initiative, then check out our e-book on Creating a Customer Experience Strategy that Aligns to Business Metrics.
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.