What Does CCM Stand For? Everything You Need to Know
Ira Brooker Written: October 24th, 2019 Updated: May 25th, 2023
Have you noticed that your customer retention rate has gone way down in the past few months? Are you worried about whether an unexpected new competitor could steal clients away from you?
Have you received customer feedback that leads you to believe your clients don’t feel valued, known on an individual level, or that they can’t seem to get an effective solution to their problems with your company?
If so, you need to improve your CCM strategy immediately.
In this post, we’ll fill you in on what CCM is, how it can help to improve your customer relationships, and what you should look for in an effective customer communication management system.
CCM is an acronym for Customer Communication Management. That’s an elaborate name for a simple concept. In a nutshell, it’s the process of making sure the messages you send to your customers are congruent, complete, and personalized.
CCM encompasses all the different ways that you communicate with your customers. This means through email, on your website, via postal mail, through different marketing channels, on social media, over the telephone, or any other way you exchange information with your customers. It also includes communications for a wide range of purposes, such as marketing, product notifications, billing and payments, customer service, and many other areas.
The goal of an effective CCM system is to improve your overall customer communications no matter which kind of platforms you use. A good CCM strategy ensures that all communications are effectively created, delivered, stored, and opened by your customers.
You can use CCM to help customers to renew their subscriptions with your company, make sure they pay their bills on time, tell them about new products and services you’re offering, and above all, to meet any of their customer service needs.
The Benefits of CCM Systems
There are countless reasons why you need to consider investing in a CCM system at your company. After all, 68% of business leaders say that poor communications cost their company $10,000 or more in the past year via lost productivity, missed deadlines, and rises in costs.
Most businesses require customer communications management systems to handle large volumes of customer documents. By using platforms that allow for mass creation, production, and distribution of documents, companies from all different types of industries have dramatically improved the fluidity and efficiency of their customer correspondences.
Let’s take a look at how these comprehensive solutions will help you improve the customer experience and shorten your overall buying cycle. Here are five key benefits CCM systems can provide for your company:
1. It Improves the Customer Experience via Personalization
Did you know that nearly 60% of consumers say they’re willing to pay more if it means they receive a higher level of customer service? In fact, personalization in customer communications is a leading trend in business communication. While you certainly want to provide as much one-on-one attention to your customers and leads as possible, you still need time and resources to manage your business.
A good CCM system will do the heavy lifting for you by giving your clients personalized, real-time assistance on the communication channel that they prefer. For example, it can keep records of the purchases clients have made in the past, so that you can recommend new products that are likely to interest them. It makes it easy for customers to engage with your content and provides answers to common questions—meaning that customers won’t need to reach out to you directly as often.
It ensures that, even if your customer needs to speak with multiple representatives, your customer service agents can learn about why they’re reaching out, any information past agents have collected, and where they are in the resolution process without having to start over every time the customer contacts you.
The right customer communications system will even keep track of your clients’ preferred language, tone (formal or casual), and of course, the channel by which they prefer to be contacted.
2. It Shortens the Customer Journey
For most businesses, it’s a key goal to make your sales cycle as short and as effective as possible. A CCM system can help with that by offering your clients more control. Features like fillable and interactive documents and forms allow for seamless data collection and communication between you and your customers.
When you no longer have to manually collect important data from clients, the buying process is shortened. Plus, the right customer communication system can also help you learn exactly where customers are getting lost on your website, so you can pinpoint the real issue and know when to provide assistance.
An automated CCM system also makes it much easier to create a customer journey map, a visual representation of how your customers interact with your brand. A CCM system allows your business to easily track, record, and examine your customers’ behavior and get important insights on the ways they discover, purchase, and use your products and services.
3. It Builds Cross-Department Efficiency
Have you ever wanted to make a quick adjustment to a document but didn’t have the access to do so? With a CCM system in place, authorized business leaders can create, edit and manage content themselves. This means they don’t have to wait for an IT staff member to do the job for them.
The result? Organizational silos fall by the wayside. In the past, companies would designate different departments to handle specific client interactions. For instance, one might oversee email marketing while another handled print materials. What followed was an inconsistent, disorganized, costly mess full of risks and potholes.
With a centralized customer communication management system, these messages are all in the same place. With the click of a button, you can make a change to one document and propagate it across the enterprise so everyone is looking at (and distributing) the same thing.
4. It Expedites Digital Transformation
Still working with outdated worksheets and brochures? Especially if you’re utilities, insurance or the financial services sphere, this might be the case. These industries tend to leverage complex legacy systems even today because they’re full of mission-critical data.
The only problem? Besides the fact that these machines are clunky, slow and outdated, they’re also designed for printer output only. This means they’re incapable of sending digital messages to your customers, who are meanwhile embracing online messaging.
The good news? Most CCM systems will sync with these core systems. From there, you can translate these templates into the dynamic and feature-rich documents that your clients want to see.
5. It Simplifies Workflow Management
The smoother your communications, the more effective your overall process. Being able to connect quickly with customers gives your business a clearer understanding of which areas are working well and which have room for improvement. When customers are able to communicate clearly and directly with your team, it becomes that much easier to give them exactly what they need.
Setting up automated workflows tailored to the needs of both your business and your customers creates clearer channels of communication that simplify both the creation and delivery of your messaging. That provides your customers with reliable, familiar means of getting their concerns heard, while also freeing up valuable time and energy for your team.
6. It Aids in Compliance Efforts
It’s critical that your documents meet rigorous compliance and quality standards before you release them for public consumption. While you might have an in-house review team in place, how easy is it for them to all get on the same page, literally and figuratively? With a CCM system, all team members involved in this step can collaborate with ease.
You’ll all be working from the same version, tracking and organizing edits at every step. This helps relieve internal frustration and speeds the time-to-market. It also provides a comprehensive, eagle-eye view of the entire communications package, giving reviewers access to every way your message will appear, whether that’s via text message, your website or a print copy.
This way, any edits made to one version can translate to the others. Catch a mistake in a print manual? You can fix it across the board, so the online version is also correct.
CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT DEMO
What features to Look for in a CCM System
With so many options for customer communication management tools, how can you choose the best one? Let’s discuss what you should look for in an effective CCM system. These are the central features your chosen solution needs to have:
Many companies have issues when it comes to customer information. This information is probably stored in multiple locations, which prevents businesses from crafting individual content based on information gathered from each customer. By using a CCM system capable of retrieving and correlating data from multiple sources, this process of data integration is usually the first step in producing personalized communications. Your customers want to be called by their names, to receive offers that will interest them as opposed to generalized mass mailings, and to feel like they’re a priority to a business. A good customer communication management system helps you to know what to send customers based on their demographics, buying and account history, average spending, and even the time of day when they’re most likely to respond.
Times have changed, but has your company? Customers are no longer content with receiving correspondences from you (such as invoices, statements, letters, notifications, brochures, etc.) in their mailbox. Some documents are undeliverable on a cellphone, tablet, or computer, which prevents organizations from effectively reaching most of their customer bases. If your company doesn’t have a CCM system to provide omnichannel engagement, you’re missing out. Communications must be tailored to meet the wants and needs of your customers. While some might prefer to continue receiving a bill from you in the mail, others might want to see their bill as a PDF in their email.Simply put, companies using communications management systems to implement omnichannel delivery want to engage with their customers. Omnichannel communication is the ability to speak with customers seamlessly across multiple channels, and that can pick up where they left off in the customer journey no matter which channel they’re using. As we know, engaged customers not only become great brand ambassadors, they spend more with your company.
If your company has to generate millions of documents a day, it certainly isn’t easy and it definitely isn’t cheap. You’re talking about the creation of individual documents for customers on-demand; without a CCM system, it’s almost impossible to do this successfully. A communications management system that meets small to high volume document production demands enables you to create up to 100 million pages a day. You can create one-off documents through a document composition mode, or create documents in batch, on-demand, or interactively, which helps your company save time, energy, and money.
Customer interactions need to be documented over time to avoid a misguided perception of customer needs. It pays to make it easier for your customers to provide you with the information you need while giving them the satisfaction of knowing you actually care about their needs. Interactive bills and statements are more informative, versatile, and easier to navigate than any ordinary PDF or Word document. Clickable documents record customer interactions and send them back to your CCM system, which analyzes the data and tailors marketing efforts based on predicted future behavior. Interactive documents are channel-neutral, so you can start viewing a digital document on one device, then view on another wherever you left off. This is an invaluable tool for any business wanting to transcend boundaries.
Understanding the journey a customer takes through your system is a crucial part of establishing a strong customer communications management plan. Customer journey mapping software helps to visualize the ways customers experience your business, from their first contact through the post-purchase period. A software system with journey-mapping capabilities can consolidate customer data across multiple channels to make sure you don’t miss any key touch points. That makes a big difference in an era when social media, email campaigns, third-party referrals, and other resources are competing for your customers’ attention. That same approach also helps to capture data from a full range of customer personas, making sure that you can focus on paths to purchase and pain points that affect customers of all kinds. Customer journey mapping also plays a key role in helping to understand why a customer might end their journey with your business. Knowing why and when your users abandon their transactions can have a major impact on everything from pricing to customer service policies to web design. Getting a handle on that data is essential.
For a business that regularly handles a high volume of documents, a CCM system that can automate managing those documents can save an enormous amount of time and expense. Establishing templates for a variety of regular communications is a big job that requires attention to areas such as language and tone, channels of delivery, data sources, document format and much more. Managing those document templates by hand is a recipe for human errors, processing delays, and late payments. A software solution not only allows your team to avoid all of those issues, it also simplifies the overall template creation process. For example, rather than relying on your IT department to make adjustments to templates, a user-friendly document template management system allows business users to make changes using plug-and-play assets from a template library and content repository. Template management software also automates time-consuming tasks such as collecting signatures and receiving approvals. An automated approval routing system ensures that documents get in front of the right people at the right times, with notifications and reminders to prevent slowdowns. E-signatures allow approvers to sign off on documents from anywhere, eliminating the need to get a physical signature before payment can be made.
They say a rising tide lifts all boats. It stands to reason that one of the surest ways to improve customer communications is to enhance your overall workflow. An automated workflow management system streamlines processes that have direct impact on your communications, from simplified document processing to easier task assignments to real-time visibility into how documents move through your system. All of those improvements help to create a faster-moving, more efficient communications environment. Automating workflow management also makes it easier to develop reliable communication strategies for the future. The real-time data generated by your workforce management system makes it easier to identify what forms of communication are connecting with your customers and which ones need to be improved or replaced.
8. Digital Forms
Digitizing as many communications as possible makes it much simpler to create a smoother, more secure customer communication experience. Rather than requiring your customers to bother with filling out paper forms and delivering them to you, offering digital forms allows them to submit paperwork from anywhere with an internet connection. Digital forms also make it easier for your support team to receive quick, accurate customer engagement without taking excess time to process and record documents. At-a-glance visibility into all of your key communications helps to ensure an accurate, actionable dialogue that satisfies the needs of both parties.
It’s Time to Enhance Your Customer Communications Management with MHC
Improving customer communications is one of the most impactful ways MHC’s automated solutions can help improve your business processes. Our MHC EngageCX system allows touchless processing for every stage of the customer communication process, from creating and assembling documents to personalizing messaging for specific customers to making omnichannel deliveries.
MHC EngageCX offers full communications functionality that can be coordinated and executed by any business user, without requiring intervention from IT. Our solutions are compatible with any work environment, whether you’re operating onsite, remotely, or in a hybrid arrangement. With simplified template management, scalable software, and easy integration across multiple workflows, it’s a communications solution that works for nearly any organization. Request a demo today and improve your corporate communications from the inside out.
Learn More About CCM with MHC
Interested in upgrading your customer communications management solutions? MHC has a wide range of resources available to help you make an informed decision. Explore our library webinars, infographics, whitepapers, and blog posts from industry experts.
MHC CCM Buyer’s Guide
Discover MHC’s Customer Communications Management solution! Learn how to streamline the design, generation, assembly and distribution of business-critical communications with us!
Watch our CCM webinars to get the latest from the biggest thought leaders in the field.
How to Boost Profitability by Transforming Critical Customer Communications
Watch Aspire Founder & CEO Kaspar Roos and MHC CEO Gina Armada discuss how to transform operational communications to meet the needs of staff and customers.