While customer communications management (CCM) solutions have been around for nearly 3 decades, many of these systems have been implemented, used, and managed by IT teams within the enterprise. Current CCM solutions, however, extend their capabilities out to new channels, and CCM is catching the attention of the marketing community. This may leave many marketers who are new to CCM asking themselves - What is customer communications management?
For a full primer on CCM and why it matters, feel free to visit this page: What is Customer Communication Management?
However, Gartner defines customer communications management as:
Customer communications management (CCM) is defined as the strategy to improve the creation, delivery, storage and retrieval of outbound communications, including those for marketing, new product introductions, renewal notifications, claims correspondence and documentation, and bill and payment notifications.
Forrester take a slightly different stance on defining the CCM marketplace, noting that customer communications management technologies are becoming more digital, and in fact are aiding digital transformation for many companies:
"CCM doesn't get a lot of attention as a software market; it developed thirty years ago to help enterprises drive high-speed transaction printing. CCM is still strongly associated with the print channel, but ironically, it now helps enterprises move away from printing through emerging mobile, analytics, or customer experience technology."
Customer Communications Management Makes the Move to Digital
These definitions may lead some readers to conclude that CCM is more of a legacy technology that is focused on document output and high-speed print output, but this is simply not the case. In her article on the subject written for eContent Lin Pophal looks to clarify where CCM fits in an increasingly omni-channel world:
"When it comes to growing interest in CCM implementation, there are really two driving forces at work: the recognition that consumer communication is multi-faceted and occurs through channels separate from the formal marketing function, and the promise that technology may hold to help manage what has previously been considered broadly unmanageable."
In fact, in his article for Entrepreneur.com, Virendeer Jeet highlights the benefits of CCM in helping companies make the transition to digital - namely:
- Engaging across all channels
- Personalizing each interaction
- Allowing outreach to happen for all customers
- Ensuring communications are compliant and secure
- Being able to integrate with legacy systems
Navigating the Complexities of Customer Communications
As communicating with customers becomes more complex, such as extending CCM to mobile applications content and development - even straightforward applications such as SMS push notifications become more difficult to integrate into the content flow or your organization.
And all of this comes at a time when "Managing Real-Time Customer Communications in a Crisis" is more important than ever - as customers now expect companies to be more organized, efficient and proactive in messaging to them on the right channels at the right time.
In 2018 and Beyond, Marketing and IT Are Working Together
The good news is that marketing and IT are now working hand in hand to solve the customer communications gap. Where traditional communications were once the sole domain of the IT department, and emerging channels tended to be owned by marketing, our research indicates that today, Marketing Leaders have twice as much budget authority to spend on CCM solutions than their IT counterparts. However, Marketing and IT leaders demonstrate equal responsibility for choosing and implementing their customer communications management solution.
This is good news as CCM as a technology is uniquely positioned to address the top challenges to digital transformation today. From optimizing processes, allowing business and IT to work together, integrating legacy systems and siloed data into communications and allowing IT teams to skill up to take on new digital projects through one platform, CCM is a powerful tool that marketers and IT leaders share ownership over in the name of creating a better overall customer experience.
As the leading global CCM provider with capabilities in each of the core competencies including Automated Document Factory, Customer Communications, Business Automation and Omni-Channel Orchestration, Quadient is supporting the shift to omnichannel communications that support the needs of marketers and IT professionals.