Boost Profitability with the Right Customer Communication Management Strategy
Elizabeth Allen July 28th, 2022
Customer experience is more important than ever. Gone are the days where it was sufficient to send your customer a single text-laden email. Customers now demand a more bi-directional approach to how they interact with the companyies to whom they are giving their valuable dollars. They are looking for a two-way conversation that provides easy, instant access to their information while being offered an enhanced, interactive experience.
With Kaspar Roos, founder and CEO of Aspire Customer Communications Services, we took a look at the evolving trends in customer communication management strategy, how to meet your customers’ ever-changing needs, and how to take full advantage of having extended engagement with your audience.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Trends Driving Communications Transformation
COVID-19 forever changed how customers and companies interact. Aspire has found that with this unprecedented situation, 80% of respondents in the U.S. and Canada accessed a statement or made a payment entirely online. Fifteen percent of those respondents had previously never engaged with companies in this way.
So many users came to prefer paperless or app-based communications with organizations, coming to appreciate the ease and convenience of enhanced access to their information. With the advent of remote work, labor shortages, and inflation, the need for increased digital communication is only exacerbated.
Market conditions have forced the hands of companies previously reliant on paper documents delivered via the USPS. Now if they receive paper documents, customers still expect to have the ability to access that same information online.
Given this shift in user behavior, companies had to act fast to meet customer demands. Companies are moving away from print as their primary form of communication, adopting a strategy of total digital transformation. In fact, organizations worldwide anticipate that half of their communications with customers will take digital form by 2024.
Source: Aspire, State of the CCM to CXM Evolution, 2022
As consumer behavior evolves, companies are coming to understand the importance of an effective customer communication management strategy. A more holistic and technology-forward approach to interacting with customers will be the only way to ensure that companies aren’t being left behind for organizations willing to embrace this newfound understanding.
Keys to a Successful Customer Communication Management Strategy
Age is an important driver when it comes to the ways consumer behavior changed during COVID-19. Aspire’s research has found that while customers of the Gen Z and Millennial generations were the most likely to have embraced digital communication, they were least likely to have positive feelings towards the digital experiences offered by their providers (as is represented in Figure 2 below).
It was becoming increasingly apparent that companies were not taking the needs and preferences of young consumers into account, continuing to believe that the Baby Boomer generation made up the majority of their business interactions.
However, that is simply untrue. Younger generations are progressively becoming the largest purchasing population and companies need to begin acting accordingly. The instinct to simply digitize a static print document is incorrect.
Source: Aspire, Understanding the New Digital Reality, 2020
The 5 Essential Elements of a Successful CCM Strategy
As companies truly begin to focus on expanding their customer communication management strategy into the digital space, there are a few important fundamentals that must not be overlooked:
1. COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATION
Make your commitment to superior user experiences a featured component of your company’s identity. The customer’s understanding and perception of your organization will change when they see how dedicated you are to enhancing their overall interaction with your company.
2. CLOUD-BASED SOLUTIONS
Investing in a SaaS platform with configurable functionality, automatic system maintenance, and plug-and-play connectivity will keep your company focused on the future and give you the ability to remain in-step with the larger technological landscape.
3. BROWSER-BASED SOFTWARE
Ease of access is the name of the game. Your customers must be able to access their information in a user-friendly and timely manner, regardless of where they are on the planet. Offering tools to compose, change, deliver, and track communications will positively alter how they view your company.
4. FOCUS ON CUSTOMIZATION
As we saw during COVID-19, a company is only as good as its ability to adapt to shifting situations and customer needs. Solutions that offer customizable workflow solutions allow for more organizational agility, improved ability to meet consumer demands, and increased compliance with regulations.
5. AUTOMATION IS KING
Standardized and expedited transactions are the goal. With automation, companies are available to recognize and meet needs while strategizing on how to make the most out of every touchpoint with valued customers.
Leverage Customer Interactions to Fuel Your Communications Strategy
At the start of the pandemic, companies started realizing just how vital quality communication is between themselves and their prospects or customers. So it was no surprise to find in Aspire’s 2020 survey, respondents reported reallocating budgets away from customer acquisition, choosing to focus instead on customer experience.
Aspire’s continued research shows that customers under 40 (the customers that fall within those Gen Z and Millennial generations) are willing to entirely switch providers after a single negative communication experience.
And as Millennials will account for 50% of the U.S. workforce and 75% of the global market by 2025, it’s more important than ever to heed the inherent warnings this research gives. To stay relevant, companies are going to have to not only accept the importance of a digital customer communication management strategy, but fully adopt this mindset.
This will lead to a better understanding of customers- that with every interaction, their goal is to either save time or use it wisely. Time is the only thing someone can never get back.
Source: Aspire, 2022And younger generations seems to be acutely aware of that – looking for solutions that optimize this precious commodity. With faster transactions, easy-to-use mobile interfaces, and intuitive UX design, your company can be a step ahead by providing the information customers are looking for while respecting one of their most valuable assets…their time.
Recommendations for Your Customer Communication Strategy
Struggling with too many communications templates, lack of financing, and outdated technology, many companies find they keep confronting obstacles in their quest to provide top-tier customer experiences.
1. SAAS IS THE SOLUTION
Speed is so important when it comes to transforming your digital customer communication management strategy. With a cloud-based platform, companies can deploy interactive functionality and digital features quicker than they could with installation-based software.
2. PAY AS YOU GO
Instead of being chained to a solution in the form of expensive software licenses, look for solutions that allow for annual or monthly payment plans. As your company grows, you can ensure that your customer communication management tool scales with you without extraneous costs.
3. THE RIGHT TOOLS
The Great Resignation is a real threat to companies all over the globe. In fact, 1/4 of employees have reported considering searching for another job. Organizations need to be better about giving their employees the tools they need to effectively and productively do their jobs, improving overall fulfillment and loyalty.
1. INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY
Such a shift in a company’s customer communication management strategy will require additional investments. But to guarantee happy customers and satisfied employees, it’s an investment that is well worth its cost. Earmarking a significant amount of your budget to enhancing and standardizing your brand experience across all customer touchpoints will show its benefits quicker than it would have taken to print and mail antiquated and ineffective documents to your consumers.
Power Your CCM Strategy with MHC EngageCX
The earlier you understand your audience and their unique communication needs, the quicker you can provide experiences that truly speak to them. Make sure you’re ahead of the customer communication management strategy curve with MHC EngageCX. With the flexibility of configurability, the power of automated workflows, and the extended reach of omnichannel distribution, MHC EngageCX grants you the ability to meaningfully engage with your customers while building a reputation for your brand. Prioritize your customer’s experience above all else and schedule a demo to learn more about the MHC EngageCX customer communication management solution.