Scott joined the industry in 1997, after earning a B.A. from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He started as a document designer using several VDP technologies, before moving to the software side of the industry. He has more than 17 years of experience in the document composition software industry as both a transactional document designer and a software vendor. He earned his EDP and M-EDP certification from Xplor and his MBA in 2007 from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Organizations are often reluctant to change an operational environment, for various reasons. You may think to yourself, “my company makes millions of customer connections every day and it’s going well.” You might even have metrics that prove the contribution of each project to each department, or multiple years of data showing trends of cost reduction. But, you probably are not fully accounting for the ownership and operational cost of each system. Furthermore, you are likely not counting the externalized costs of inbound calls, lowered customer satisfaction, and customer defections when your systems are not delivering consistent and correct information.
Customer Communication Unification will help you reach your company’s full potential and set you up for the future. A single-platform CCM and digital solution enables you to look at your communication portfolio as a whole. Connecting all of the teams, you will minimize poor experiences, increase consistency, and reduce operational costs. When you see your communications as a portfolio that you actively manage, you will accomplish more, with greater certainty.
So, suppose your organization is ready to let go of legacy systems and departmental silos, where do you start? These six steps will walk you through the process of migrating to a successful and cost saving single platform for all your communications:
1. Understand the experiences you create by mapping it out
To control your communications, you have to understand them. This means creating a complete inventory of your portfolio from all departments, systems and employees. You will find that the organization is unaware of some documents that create major impacts on customer experience across the organization because they are ungoverned. Discovering these documents early in the process will save money as you will find system efficiencies that are invisible when enterprises manage by the system rather than the communication.
Even if some of your documents are not immediately part of a migration to your unified platform, it is critical to put them in their right place in terms of the customer journey. Some documents will be handled later than others when looking at them in priority order. Understanding your total communication inventory helps you identify the most impactful areas for your migration efforts. You can also identify which communications can benefit from channel-based consolidation.
2. Straight migration
The first step towards Communication Unification is to standardize on a platform that supports all of your teams. You also need to support your simple communications, as well as your most complicated ones from the same platform to ensure consistency and portability of content. You also have to select a platform that generates output for all of the channels you need to reach your customers.
Once you choose a vendor, you have to start your migration. The sooner you move all projects to your new platform, the sooner you are able to scale your benefits across the organization. But, it doesn’t make sense to create more difficulties than you need.
3. Go omni-channel ASAP
Now that everything is on the map, and your first migrations are underway, look for opportunities to consolidate multi-channel and omni-channel delivery. These projects generally offer the largest impacts because they have highly redundant design, implementation and approval processes. Using your omni-channel CCM capabilities to remove redundant work streamlines your operation and improves your focus.
4. Divide your applications into an impact matrix
Some communications are pretty simple and straightforward. For these, you may consider a straight migration. This may be a temporary state that you will revisit later in the process, but applications that will migrate easily will benefit enough from being included as-is on your journey map. There are a variety of tools and techniques that can move projects to a new technology one at a time to enable you to permanently shut down a legacy technology stack on an accelerated schedule.
Other communications are in serious need of a redesign. You probably have some confusing communications that create both confusion for your customers and costs for your business. Redesigning these is a top priority, and a great chance to show that you are in control of the communication strategy by improving the most impactful communications. Focusing redesign efforts on these will speed the success of your strategy at the beginning of your transformation.
5. Consolidate applications by purpose
As you get more experience with your unified communication portfolio, you can start consolidating communications and increase the amount of content that is shared across your portfolio. This makes it easier to enforce consistency across your customers’ journeys. Maximizing the sharing of rules and content reduces the approval and compliance work downstream.
6. Omni-channel ready
Now that you are capable of producing omni-channel communications, it’s time to adjust your processes to get more performance out of your unified portfolio. In the past, you executed each project for each channel. Now, you no longer have space between your channels. You can start optimizing communication-based processes to digitally transform your business. This will immediately boost operational efficiency, but most importantly, it will give you the opportunity to deliver on an excellent and competitive customer experience that will confound your competitors.