There are few adages longer lasting than the customer is always right. The scale on which that holds true in its entirety is a sliding one, certainly. However, the core concept of putting the customer first continues to drive the most successful businesses. A key component of delivering on that promise has been customer communications management (CCM). The ways in which businesses communicate, and their successes in areas of speed, security, and customer understanding directly, affect their growth. While modern CCM remains necessary, it’s no longer sufficient to power a new era of customer experience. To keep up with expectations of consumers in the online, connected economy, the outward communications approach has evolved into a customer-centric focus that’s driving the customer experience management of today.  


Why CXM matters and will increase in importance 


Digital technology delivers a communications environment built for near-constant evolution. New connection channels can become available to customers overnight. Today’s targeted email campaign could be tomorrow’s TikTok customer acquisition channel. The vital constant is that the customer journey – and their relationship with you – is paramount. Customer experience management enables businesses to better understand your customers from their perspective. It’s all about meeting them on their level. Communication processes are a key component of that. For a long time, physical print and phone conversations were the primary focuses of communications management. Now, there are a variety of digital channels – email, social media posts and interactions, and private messaging channels like WhatsApp. Mobile everything also provides its own set of channels and journey opportunities. Successful businesses operate an omnichannel strategy that offers consistency and choice from the customer's point of view. The digital proliferation of the customer experience isn’t slowing and companies who aren’t nimble and adaptable enough will be left behind. 


Opportunities for successful CXM  


There are several major areas of opportunity that businesses can use to separate themselves from their competitors. Customer-centricity includes empowering your customers to action in how they communicate with you, but also their ability to self-serve as part of a frictionless experience. The transition to more digital communications in everything from statements to direct messaging means there are even more interactions between you and your customers. It’s important they can locate and retrieve items like past statements or customer service communications all in one platform. Those businesses working to master the archival and retrieval process for their customers—and their employees – will be a step above.  

This leads into another area of opportunity. The customer-facing positions within your company are evolving, as well. Customer service reps, call agents and brokers are having important conversations with customers every day. Those interactions may be shorter now, and perhaps occur less frequently, but that only serves to magnify their importance. The systems that are used to capture these interactions must allow for an interactive editing environment.  

Data must be readily available in a controlled environment to enable business users to selectively build the guided experience for the customer. This can include more deeply personalized quotes or contract a broker or agent can send to the person they just interacted with on the phone on their preferred channel. The opportunity to excel at personalization will continue to go a long way in building the customer relationship and enhance the journey.  


Technology adaptation is a primary challenge 


Customer experience management across a variety of channels is imperative. It also presents one of the key challenges businesses face. Over the last year, businesses have come to realize how important this transformation really is, however implementing that change is a key contributing challenge. For larger, more complex businesses in highly regulated industries, legacy systems are a major hurdle. Companies often incur not only a higher cost to move from one long-standing system to a new more agile one, but also employee hours lost to training and deprogramming of old methods.

There is also a sort of uncanny valley for customer automation and empowerment. On one side, a recent Forrester survey indicates that 94% of customers who experience those seamless, low-effort interactions with a business are likely to buy again or more with them. This proves the importance of providing such consistent options for your customers. If you go too far, customers no longer feel human. Those customers who come to see themselves as a number are 63% more likely to switch brands. This tells us that automation has a point of devaluation to the customer. They want personalized interactions on their own terms and with seamless consistency; but, don’t forget each one is more than a number.  

The evolution from CCM to CXM has accelerated over the last year, but it was already an inevitable trajectory for successful businesses. Omnichannel, customer-centric communications is the new standard. Businesses that have best practices in place to meet the new challenges will be prepared to lead the way. 

To learn more about the CXM transformation including some best practices for meeting the challenges of CXM check out webinar.   


Avi Greenfield

Avi Greenfield

Senior Director of Product Management

Avi Greenfield has over 20 years of experience in using technology solutions to build business value, with a focus on customer communications and content strategy and delivery. He joined Quadient in 2019 and leads the portfolio vision and roadmap for Quadient CXM. He and his team are responsible for making sure Inspire and Quadient Cloud meet the needs of businesses for managing omnichannel communications to improve customer engagement and improve experiences across key journeys. He has worked in product management, business development, and analyst roles with companies including OpenText, SundaySky, HP, and Doculabs. He studied Marketing and Finance at the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed a Wharton Executive Education program on Business Analytics.


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