Global industry is in the midst of unprecedented change. Heralded by many as the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ one of its key drivers is digital transformation, a technological advancement that, in part, has given rise to new competitors, growing customer expectations and a raft of new regulations. To remain competitive in such an environment, organizations need to become more agile and responsive to shifting consumer demands, and this means speed to market has become increasingly important.
The principle challenges for companies are how to improve CX, acquire and retain customers and grow their market share by expanding their operations and quickly launching new and enhanced products. At the same time, all this needs to be achieved while maintaining compliance with increasingly stringent and complex regulations.
Enhancing CX is pivotal in a market where consumers are increasingly experience-led and where there is a growing expectance of transparency and personal choice. In such an environment, organizations should strive to build richer and stronger relationships with customers by delivering communications that offer more positive and meaningful experiences.
The foundations for achieving this lie in the implementation of effective and efficient communications systems. In doing so, omnichannel communications strategies can be developed that allow organizations to engage with their customers across the spectrum of platforms — especially those that customers prefer.
In the current environment, where the numbers of online consumers and the amount of time they spend connected has grown considerably, the need for digital adoption has never been greater. This makes the ability of these communication systems to facilitate digital transformation all the more desirable.
The threat of constant new entrants and disruptors to key markets who provide a seamless digital customer experience — particularly in more traditional industries such as financial services, utilities and insurance, amongst others — has forced organizations to transform and bring themselves into a new digital era.
While organization-wide digital transformation programs are the ultimate goal, using innovative digital conversion techniques and technologies to convert a business’s paper documents to electronic versions that are stored either on a server or in the cloud can deliver great benefits. Not only can this allow organizations to manage documents more efficiently, without losing critical documents, but also deliver a much-improved CX that is more befitting to the digital needs of consumers.
Empowerment Through Technology
The cutting-edge technologies provided by the latest customer communications management (CCM) solutions can play a critical role in empowering organizations, helping them connect with their customers across the range of channels in deeper, more meaningful ways.
This can be successfully achieved by adopting a one-platform approach where communications strategies are run using a single, centralized, customer communications management delivery model. As a result, companies are provided with the delivery infrastructure needed to support truly frictionless customer communications across the range of both traditional and digital channels.
Not only does the deployment of such enabling technologies facilitate transformation at pace; it gives organizations the agility to effectively adapt to successive changes in consumer behavior and swiftly capitalize on new opportunities. What’s more, aside from enabling organizations to keep pace with technological advances and be flexible with change, the latest intuitive CCM platforms also present them with new opportunities to swiftly and efficiently deliver enhanced CX.
Included in this is an increased ability to be consistent and informed. By centralizing communications, organizations have better control of their messaging and by unifying customer data across all touchpoints, they can maintain high standards of customer service and deliver better experiences by ensuring that customers communicating with various departments don’t get mixed messages.
Central control over changes to critical customer documents dramatically reduces risk, inconsistencies and off-brand messaging, while naturally delivering on efficiency and compliance. Indeed, highly proficient change implementation ensures changes can be rapidly applied across all channels through a single system.
In today’s rapidly evolving environment, where regulatory change is constant and customer journeys can be transformed almost instantaneously, the critical advantage of a centralized view is that organizations can effectively keep pace with longer-term transitions in consumer behavior. They can, for example, add new communications channels and simultaneously change messages across all channels.
This is particularly beneficial for those organizations whose transformation is hindered by complex legacy service models and IT infrastructures. By adopting an integration layer of this kind, they can achieve the benefits of cohesion without the need to replace existing legacy systems. As a result, transformation can take place cost-effectively, at pace and without disruption.
Furthermore, with regards to regulation and compliance, such a centralized approach provides new levels of visibility, helping organizations simplify document audits and ensuring that communications stay compliant with changing industry regulations.
The Vulnerable Demographic
Of course, the present social landscape and changing customer dynamics means companies must also have the infrastructure and strategies in place to accommodate the needs of consumers in vulnerable circumstances and handle a growing volume of inbound communications. They also require the capacity to engage with customers quickly and efficiently, across the gamut of channels, to keep them informed about today’s continually changing circumstances.
To ensure those communications are relevant and timely, organizations need to be aware of the individual circumstances that their customers find themselves in. This can be achieved through the adoption of innovative technologies which unify data to map customer journeys across all touchpoints. In doing so, companies are better able to provide these customers with user-friendly solutions that meet their specific needs and which are appropriate for their capabilities. In this way, these technologies present organizations with the unique opportunity to deliver enhanced levels of services and CX to different demographics.
Using data, these intuitive technologies deliver individual customer profiles, providing companies with critical insights into consumer behaviors and enabling them to use these profiles to identify those most vulnerable across different products and services. From a communications perspective, this helps organizations accommodate these customers’ preferences for communications channels, the types of messages they are sent and when they receive them.
Essential for all organizations is the need to comply with regulations. This includes both data protection and industry regulations. With the latter, companies will need to clearly communicate with customers in a timely manner and via the most appropriate channel, any changes to policies, prices, terms and conditions, etc. which affect them. Additionally, if a customer response or action is required, these communications need to be tracked and recorded to ensure individuals, especially those in vulnerable circumstances, do not fall through the net.
Ashley McIntosh is Head of Products/Service Development at Paragon Customer Communications (PCC). To learn more, visit www.paragon-cc.com.