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July 10, 2019

How to Leverage Tech in Customer Communications

Summary:

Every customer now expects organizations to have a single, unified view of their relationship that includes all their interactions.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

Customer satisfaction requires sending relevant communications, but how do you sort through what’s relevant when you have multiple relationships with so many customers?

A customer may carry health and disability insurance, as well as long-term care and life insurance coverage with a single insurance company. When it comes to producing documents, issues arise as to how to coordinate multiple, separate applications, systems and processes. In our uber-connected world, every customer expects organizations to have a single, unified view of their relationship that includes all their interactions. Unfortunately, that’s not what typically happens.

Although companies most likely have a plethora of information on each customer, they often face a challenge when it comes to accessing that information to deliver more consistent communications. Technology issues include: incompatible legacy systems, non-integrated lines of business, dispersed customer information and uncoordinated delivery channels.

Understanding whether your technology can take information from disparate systems and work from a single, coordinated platform to create more customer-centric content is important. Being able to take full advantage of software that allows for easy integration with existing systems, data and content sources is critical.

See also: How Technology Breaks Down Silos  

A first step is to have a system that can support multiple platforms, packages and legacy systems. In many companies, by contrast, communications are silos built around specialized business groups, back-end systems and processes and output types.

Remember that it is not only critical to communicate relevant messages to your customer, it is also just as critical (if not more) to listen to what they are saying back to you. Implementing two-way communication means being ready to use all available and emerging communication channels—email, web, social and mobile—and being ready to capture the feedback that your customers give you across these channels. Every customer has preferences, and having the ability to capture and respond to them is the real value of omni-channel communication. Preferences can mean many things, from where to send information, to how customers want to see their documents, to paying attention to concerns they may have expressed. Knowing these preferences, and responding to them, allows each document output cycle to be more and more targeted, making the customer feel like you are having a compelling conversation, and providing one more avenue to a deeper relationship.

The right use of your system can provide the foundation for strengthening relationships with your customers across all contact points—print, electronic and interactive. With the ability to access a whole view of the customer, companies can use mission-critical documents—like statements, bills, enrollment kits and correspondence—to cross-sell and up-sell additional products and services, and lines of business (LOBs) can reinforce brand identity and representation of the organization.

See also: Touching Customers in the Insurtech Era  

Customer communication management (CCM) technologies can be complex. Reaping the rewards and earning ROI on your investment requires the ability to operate and manage CCM effectively. Companies that have implemented a successful strategy for breaking down silos and seeing the entire customer journey have reaped the benefits of reduced cost and customer churn, stronger brand identity and delivering customer communications to a customer more willing to buy.

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About the Author

Gautam Jit Kanwar is president at BelWo, a global managed services provider specializing in customer communications management (CCM).

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