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Every year, we post our list of the top communication trends expected to make the biggest impact on the industry. I think it's important to hold myself accountable for the predictions we've set—sometimes we're close, and sometimes we miss the mark.

In particular, one prediction we thought would mature sooner is now just beginning to emerge—and it looks like the intersection of customer experience (CX) and customer communications management (CCM) is finally upon us. As a result, the CCM market is embracing CX-focused concepts like customer journey mapping.

Additionally, technical developments are starting to take shape in markets like digital experience platforms, customer engagement management, and customer experience management. While these horizontal markets are generating valuable insights and interest from the analyst community, their definitions neglect to include CCM, which I believe is a major oversight.

In the past, I've discussed how early CX practitioners examined the larger ecosystem of experiences (which include our communications), the importance of consistency across all customer experiences throughout the customer life cycle, and how to give yourself a customer experience makeover.

Without CCM, these emerging markets are ignoring the last mile of the process, which creates trillions of transactions every year. If omni-channel customer communications aren't included in these strategies, the desired experience simply won’t make it to the customer. Today, customer communications are about the outcomes that consumers are trying to achieve.

It’s not about sending documents to stay in compliance, retain business, or keep regulators at bay. It’s about improving our customer's life by way of excellent customer communications.

It’s not about sending documents to stay in compliance, retain business, or keep regulators at bay. It’s about improving our customer's life by way of excellent customer communications.

It's this key relationship between CCM and customer outcomes that we failed to mention earlier this year as a major trend to look for. We continually see marketing terms like “digitized,” “digitalized,” “digitally transformed,” “taking to the next level,” or even “disrupting traditional communications.” However, none of these newly defined markets can exist without some core CCM concepts.

Digital experience platforms, customer engagement management, and customer experience management cannot exist without core concepts of data quality, integration with core systems, content review, compliant designs, data transformation, complex delivery, archiving, and tracking that are deep inside the DNA of CCM experts.

This doesn’t mean that CCM experts can sit back though and bask in the good news that their skills are still important. They will have to learn how to synergize their CCM projects with new digital channel requirements. That means extending your omni-channel strategy to many more channels, augmenting processes with new delivery services, and investing in design teams that are channel fluid.

Businesses are ready to transform, and they need people like you!

Scott Draeger is Vice President of Customer Transformation at Quadient. He joined the digital document industry in 1997, after graduating from UNLV. He started as a document designer using a collection of hardware and software technologies, before moving to the software side of the industry. His broad experience includes helping clients improve customer communications in over 20 countries. For more information, visit www.quadient.com or follow him on Twitter @scottdraeger.
 

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