Achieving customer experience excellence via mobile, digital, social media and print technologies remains high on the agenda for businesses across a wide variety of sectors, from financial services, insurance, healthcare and much more. Paragon's Head of CCM, Ross Kittlety reflects on the benefits of implementing a Centralised Customer Communications (CCM) platform to keep pace with ever-evolving customer expectations.
Having recently returned from one of the industry’s premier Customer Experience Management (CXM) events in Texas, where IT leaders and businesses representing 23 countries around the globe were in attendance, I endeavour to remain at the forefront of the latest trends in customer communications management.
Whether that is boosting ‘Cloud-migration’ or delivering ‘Hybrid CX’ and adopting a digital first, not digital only approach to communications, as an expert in the field of CCM I have encountered many viewpoints shared by end users of CCM systems.
However, one that continues to raise its head – and one that is often critical to the success of omni-channel communications strategies – is how to best implement such systems, whilst fulfilling ever-evolving customer expectations.
The future of CCM
At Paragon Customer we often encounter two distinct groups of organisations. The first group is those that have not outsourced CCM before, and the second is businesses that have been tied into IT contracts that include CCM within the package of software delivered.
For those organisations that have opted to take CCM in-house, the substantial investment required to implement the software has been far greater than anticipated. From multi-million pound investments in software licensing costs, to the hardware estate, recruitment and ongoing maintenance expenses, budgets had been stretched significantly.
Whilst for organisations with outsourced IT services, the CCM systems incorporated within their contracts lack the ongoing support to ensure software is kept up-to-date and in line with the latest trends in customer communications. More crucially, given that it is delivered as part of a wider IT services package, the CCM system can unfortunately often become a bolt-on or afterthought to the IT software and hardware supplied.
What’s more, for businesses in highly regulated industries such as insurance and financial services, complex legacy IT systems, combined with operational silos between different departments, and the requirement to comply with changing regulations, often poses further challenges.
A new approach
Modern CCM solutions enable organisations to design, manage and deliver high-volume, personalised communications on-demand from a single, centralised platform – across the entire customer journey.
By centralising communications, organisations can deliver a truly omni-channel customer experience in the digital age. Leading-edge CCM systems provide businesses with the means to meet the evolving needs of customers by seamlessly communicating across multiple channels from print to email, SMS, app notification or other preferred channels.
The benefits of switching from a model that integrates multiple CCM platforms, to one which utilises a single, unified, end to end solution are enormous. Not only can the latest generation of CCM platforms facilitate easier integration with legacy systems, they can also streamline processes and eliminate operational silos, while at the same time reducing the risk of non-compliance.
The result is increased operational efficiencies and reduced costs, as well as greater consistency in brand image and messaging.
Beyond the software
While the merits of modern CCM systems are apparent, one of the biggest hurdles is a lack of expertise when it comes to deploying systems, and perhaps more crucially, maximising the capabilities they can deliver on an ongoing basis.
Partnering with an experienced customer communications expert can help organisations formulate the most effective end-to-end solution for their business. At Paragon Customer Communications our project teams cover all aspects of the journey, from supporting the initial deployment and implementation, through to the ongoing management of CCM software.
Our experienced team take responsibility for the solution design, transition planning and project management of CCM platforms. Through our project management approach, we ensure organisations can provide all services in-house with the support Paragon Customer Communications. Whether that is understanding the software or hardware behind the CCM system, supporting IT developments or providing quarterly reviews and annual reviews of software to ensure the CCM is continuously updated and ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest developments in customer communications.