Originally published in Digital Journal, CU Insight, Insurance Canada, Virtual Strategy Magazine.
GMC Software (GMC), a leader in customer communications management, announced today the release of a white paper it commissioned from analyst firm, Madison Advisors, evaluating best practices for enterprises when selecting a Customer Communications Management (CCM) solution. The white paper reveals that although the need to engage with customers today is a top priority for enterprises, many organizations lack the proper tools needed to effectively evaluate and track the experience of their customers. Moreover, with a flood of new CCM solutions being introduced to the market and existing platforms evolving with specialized capabilities, it can be difficult to determine which solution is the best fit for an organization.
According to the paper, key questions that should be answered when considering an investment in CCM include:
How can the customer experience be improved and ultimately increase effectiveness of achieving goals such as engagement?
How will customer experience and engagement not be interrupted or negatively impacted during the selection and implementation process?
Will the CCM technology future-proof communications, or at least come close?
When a decision to invest in new CCM technology has been made, before starting the requirements gathering and technology selection process, critical steps include gaining the proper leadership support (with financial support and a clear understanding of the executive sign-offs needed for the investment to prevent logistical delays) and ensuring all stakeholders are included in the requirements gathering and technology selection process. A clear plan for managing the selection and decision-making process is also essential.
There are many factors involved as to why an enterprise finds the need to invest in new CCM technology, involving both internal and external drivers. Either case should trigger a needs assessment and documented requirements gathering that involves both identifying current gaps in communications capabilities and a consideration of future near-term requirements and long-term goals. In this regard, the speed with which CCM providers release general availability versions of software and respond to customer feedback and feature requests is important.
Other major considerations in the selection process include understanding the different types of communications that the organization needs to send its customers and which communications it would like the new solution to support, as well as ensuring that the solution supports preference management, allowing customers to receive communications in the channels they prefer.
Finally, the importance of a live proof-of-concept (POC) is stressed, which can uncover issues not identified in the evaluation process and reduce roadblocks during implementation. A detailed POC should take a specific application that each shortlisted vendor develops on their CCM platform to display exactly how their solutions can meet the needs of the enterprise.
"Investing in a new CCM technology is no small task, but success can be ensured with the proper planning and support early on,” said Steve Francis, president and general manager, GMC Software Technology, Americas Group. “This informative white paper offers enterprises a straightforward path for choosing a solution that best fits their requirements.”
For free access to the white paper “Selecting the Right CCM Platform: A Guide for Enterprises,” written by Madison Advisors, click here.