From desktop publishing to CCM: the metamorphosis of customer communication

In today’s connected society, where access to information is instantaneous through multiple channels, customer behaviors and requirements have changed. Customer communication management has radically changed and faced with new business needs, standard composition solutions have become obsolete. Also, to enable organizations to respond to new customer communication challenges, CCM (customer communication management) platforms have become essential.

Throughout time, the way content is produced has always been of particular importance and has evolved with the advancement of technology. With the rise of computing, organizations first created and printed many documents to communicate with their customers. This primarily involves sending transactional documents (purchase orders, invoices, bank statements, receipts, transaction notices, etc.). To do this, they use document production systems connected to business tools that produce data. These systems ensure both the acquisition of data, their layout in templates, up to the management of printing systems.

Bulk dial and reduce shipping costs

Along with technological innovations, these desktop publishing platforms have expanded their functionalities, focusing primarily on personalizing customer relationships and distribution across all channels. The goal is to dynamically generate large volumes of personalized documents and prepare them for multi-channel distribution. Since most documents are printed and distributed by mail, one of the goals is to reduce the cost of postage. For this, desktop publishing software made it possible to sort, group, split, organize, format, standardize document flows to make them suitable for industrial stamp, less than the standard rate. This process still exists and remains an important cost item for many large companies, which they can reduce by using the CCM platform.

Customer communication, a business issue

The CCM platform is more than a means of disseminating a document or information. It is now a pillar of the customer relationship, important in the context of customer loyalty and acquisition. Designing and managing client communications requires not only an appropriate approach, but also tools that can meet the company’s marketing and communications needs and goals.
a reliable means of transmitting information. Instead of just sending legal information, it becomes a sales tool, an image tool and a step towards the digitization of some processes. This makes it possible to combine all customer relationship channels and harmonize the company’s outgoing communication, which therefore becomes a real business challenge.

Create once, Distribute many

Especially since digital communication has taken a big place in customer relations. Today, the web is one of the most widely used channels for transmitting information, while enabling the collection of large amounts of data. The same goes for mobile apps that allow organizations to reach their customers directly, anytime. Therefore, the CCM platform must be able to adapt and distribute the same content to all available channels (physical and digital), while maintaining the format and layout of the paper. Therefore, the document is no more than a starting point for the communication plan and a simple way of representing information.

Asking customers who are willing to do it themselves

Because today, customers want to receive communications tailored to their current situation and enriched with up-to-date information. They also want to respect their choice of preferred channel and only have control over when they process incoming communications. Finally, they want to be able to do it themselves. At least sometimes they start the conversation or conduct transactions on their own account.

Adapt customer relationships to new consumer expectations

The last two years have really marked a shift in consumers’ relationship with brands. With the development of e-commerce, the explosion of social networks and environmental issues, the French no longer have the same interaction with brands, or the same expectations. More than a simple consumer, the consumer of 2022 has become a “consumeractor”: more attentive to brand promises, sensitive to the impact of their products and services and very observant of their purchasing power, this new consumer is enter into an active, even. activist posture. He now searches for information himself and sends it, particularly in alternative channels (social networks, forums, etc.). Note, in fact, that the average number of channels used by the French to interact with a brand increased to 3.9 in 2021 (against just 3 since 2018) (HUB Institute/Gobeyond Partners study 2022). In addition, more than 1 in 2 French people (52%) use several channels for the same request.

A new posture, but paradoxical expectations

Therefore, the consumer of 2022 has radically changed his posture and his demands may sometimes seem paradoxical. It requires great proximity, but without intrusion, many choices, but simplicity, recognition and extensive personalization, but without excessive collection of its data… The relationship with the customer is evolving and companies must, more than ever, to listen and especially to hear the new expectations of their customers.

Data at the heart of the new customer relationship

To offer a tailored customer experience, brands regularly poll their customers and have developed various systems over the years to collect their opinions. However, these historical devices have limitations and new modes of collection are emerging, such as social media listening, for example. They appear to be more in tune with current times and new customer interactions with their brands. Hence the importance of pushing the level of personalization of customer communications to last-minute changes based on an exchange, feedback or opinion. This is the ultimate in customer relations. It also makes it possible to assign content management to “in-the-know” people, such as marketing departments, for example, who mix mandatory information and ultra-targeted and above all contextual marketing messages.

Communicate better to build loyalty

These new needs are too many opportunities to be seized. Giving the client access to his information through a web portal, notifying him of newly available documents thanks to automatic alerts (or mobile app notifications), and creating documents on demand are strategies that make it possible to stand out from the competition, to get and above all to keep customers. This is exactly what CCM platforms allow.

To learn more about the technologies around customer communication management and their uses, download our free Supplement here.

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