In days gone by, the way businesses communicated with their customers can be likened to a “one-way street.” Most brands relied on one-dimensional, point-in-time outreach, and every customer was treated pretty much the same. Personalization was rare and response times were often slow. Larger players with deep pockets often assumed that having a high-profile brand and a presence in the media was sufficient to keep customers loyal and coming back for more.
Those days are long gone.
The digital age has “democratized” the world of customer experience, and the balance of power has truly tipped in favor of the customer. Companies that cling to outdated approaches to customer communications are paying the price.
Today, consumers have many more choices, which means that their expectations of the brands they interact with are at an all-time high. Their attention spans are short, and switching brand allegiances has never been easier. Now, more than ever, people want to be heard and feel that they matter.
To capture and keep customers, you need to deliver hyper-personalized engagement across multiple channels and platforms, near-real-time responses, and an unrelenting focus on their needs, challenges, and goals.
All of this starts with strategic customer communications management (CCM.)
In this article, we’ll explore the “art and science” of successful CCM and what to look for when selecting a partner to support you in your efforts.
CCM Consulting: What Is It?
For brands looking to reconsider and invigorate how they communicate with customers in the digital age, help is at hand.
Today, specialized CCM experts and consultants work with organizations to connect and engage with their customers in meaningful ways to create enduring, mutually satisfying results.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that you can’t simply “buy” great customer communications. It requires research, planning, testing, precise execution, ongoing management, and iteration.
For these reasons, the best results happen when organizations work with CCM providers that adopt a consulting-led approach to ensure that their solution aligns with the business's customer base, product and service portfolio, and growth ambitions.
Benefits of Using CCM Consulting Services for Your Company
A thoughtfully crafted CCM solution allows for better internal collaboration across your entire company and ensures your employees are focusing on the right areas.
Once you elevate the standard and relevance of your customer engagement by leveraging unified omnichannel communications platforms, conversations will start flowing seamlessly and you’ll experience greater productivity, profitability, and satisfaction all around.
And let’s not forget the role of technology. When you take a strategic approach to CCM and couple it with deploying the correct CCM software, the benefits become even more compelling. Digital CCM tools help you save time and money by enabling accurate, professional, timely, visually consistent, and – where appropriate – automated customer communications.
Cost savings is another benefit that shouldn’t be understated. Many organizations don’t have a clear line of sight into how much their current CCM systems are costing them or how many hours could be saved by automating certain tasks such as template development or manual reporting. With a sound CCM strategy, you’ll be in a position to understand your current spending and identify areas for savings.
Choosing the Best CCM Consulting Services for Your Company
With a great CCM partner at your side, you can put your company on track to deliver relevant, meaningful, memorable experiences across the entire customer journey – for every customer, every time. But creating and maintaining a band of loyal followers requires you to select your CCM consulting provider with care.
Here are some tips on what to look for when narrowing down your search.
Ideally, as we mentioned earlier, you need a partner that takes a consulting-first approach and has a solid track record of delivering impactful results for other clients in your industry, geography, and market segment.
They should also have a proven methodology for tackling the massive effort that is managing your communications, from design and brand standards, content, and language, all the way to requirements and development. As part of this process, a seasoned partner will want to address the following areas:
Clarification of Objectives
Being very clear about why you’re revisiting your CCM approach is a critical first step, no matter how large or small the scope of the initiative. Your CCM partner will help you map out and validate your objectives and draft a solid business case to present to senior management.
Identification of Key Stakeholders
A CCM project will likely require coordination with more than one internal team. In addition to individual business areas and Product Owners, there’s also IT, Marketing, Security, Fulfilment, and Procurement. Your partner should help you ensure you have buy-in from all your business partners and clarify roles and responsibilities. They should also be willing and able to support your initial internal awareness drive regarding your strategy so that everyone understands what you’re doing and why. This will allow you to set clear expectations upfront.
Definition of Project Scope
This is where you and your CCM partner will start getting into the details. Keep in mind you don’t have to tackle everything at once, and defining an incremental path forward is better than having no plan at all. For example, will your communication strategy include revisiting membership and sales forms? What about email and web forms and invoices? How will your social media presence and outreach play into the mix?
Your CCM partner should help you identify which software platform best fits your needs. Questions they might ask include, “What are you hoping the software will do? Who will use it? (e.g., IT or the business?) What features does your organization require? How often are you willing to upgrade?” Understanding your long-term goals will help with right-sizing the software platform for your company.
WayPath CCM Consulting Services
WayPath has years of experience helping companies of all sizes and industries take their CCM to new heights with our tailored solutions.
With us, you can enhance customer communications across multiple touchpoints and nurture customer relationships at scale. We can help you centralize and personalize your omnichannel customer communications, streamline customer service processes, map every customer’s journey, and deliver experiences that set your brand way ahead of the crowd.
As part of our engagement approach, we offer:
- CCM strategy and roadmap
- End-to-end development and testing
- CCM Center of Excellence (CoE)
- Implementation, migration, and upgrade support
- Managed support services
- Intelligent automation and data unification
- Web-based command and control interface
- Interactive content management
- An omnichannel customer engagement platform
- Training and post-implementation support
WayPath’s bespoke CCM solutions are the intelligent answer to the challenge of bringing versatility, visibility, and efficiency to your customer interactions through scalable, real-time, omnichannel communications.