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Whenever talking to customers is involved, there is customer service.
Many see customer service as a means for resolving issues. In fact, this task goes hand in hand with product recommendations, guiding users through the assortment of products or features and meeting their expectations.
Customer service isn’t limited to a customer support team. The customer-centric approach proves effective in all spheres of a company’s life, be it sales or employee onboarding.
Actually, according to the Forrester survey, almost 80% of customers want the brand's internal teams to better communicate with each other. They want a cohesive journey across channels and are not going to repeat themselves.
No wonder that the customer communications management software market has been growing at an annual rate of 11%, demonstrating an increasing demand.
What is customer communication management software?
Customer communication management (CCM) is the way a company creates, uses, manages, and improves the methods to interact with customers. A CCM software helps to streamline and automate business communication, bringing all conversations to a single cloud-based location with a single user interface.
Put simply, this is a platform that stores and provides means to create business correspondence throughout the customer’s journey. It can be on-premises or cloud-based, or both - like OpenText Exstream. Having everything together helps to ensure nothing is forgotten, and the customer is fully engaged at each stage of their journey to the purchase.
Most businesses use CCM tools to improve the efficiency of:
- Documentation-related correspondence management
- New product introduction
- Marketing materials coordination
- Bills and payments management
At the end of the day, CCM software reduces the time customer support teams spend on routine tasks, freeing them up to focus on chat etiquette and problem-solving. It also simplifies personalization, thus boosting customer satisfaction and driving customer loyalty.
Benefits of customer communication management tools
We already outlined the key ways CCM software optimizes customer service-related work. Now, let’s specify the areas where it proves to be the most helpful.
- Centralized communication platform
Each department in a company develops its own way of communication with customers. With proper management, you’ll ensure everyone has access to the same information provided by the client database software. It will also enable all those with access to see the previous communication history throughout web pages, mobile applications, paper documents, and more.
Having all the latest information about a customer lets marketing and sales teams better personalize interactions to cater to customer preferences and improve their experience. The Aberdeen survey has proved that companies that keep their teams’ operations in sync, get 55% more satisfied customers than those working in silos.
For the content that needs approval before being sent, the usage of a CCM tool shortens the approval time significantly. Most CCM tools let managers see all the files waiting for their review on a personal task board and send notifications about new tickets in the helpdesk system.
On the customer’s side, the omnichannel capability of a customer communication solution helps ensure the same level of customer experience regardless of the way they interact with a company. Be it on desktop or mobile, SMS or social media; the message should always reflect a cohesive brand image.
- Improved operational efficiency
A customer communications management tool helps to visualize the customer journey, thus creating a system. Looking at a map, you can easily determine which touchpoints produce tension, review the supporting files, and suggest ideas for improvement for your team members to see.
A clear structure and the ability to discuss a certain issue with the entire team of relevant people promote faster solution implementation. The more polished and effective communication, the faster sales and the greater the customer experience ROI.
Secondly, a company’s relationship with a customer often entails the exchange of documents back and forth. By implementing a CCM tool, you can cut the number of files to store and use. Many files can be converted into a digital form and given access to authorized individuals to review and take the necessary action.
- Better branding
Using customer communication software, company employees stay in the loop of the industry news and can track the communication process with each client. Thus, they align their messaging style, paving the way for relevant communications and consistent messaging.
Another benefit of a customer communications management platform in terms of branding is that it integrates into the majority of data software. Having all the customers’ data collected in one place and structured, you can create smaller, more precise customer segments. Next, you can adjust your content workflow to ensure maximal personalization and a better customer experience.
The most recent CCM solutions integrate channels with voice assistants, enabling chatbots to adjust their content with every new piece of information about the client. While chatbots still can’t fully replace a human agent, this functionality certainly helps for the automated personalization of general and transactional messages.
- Regulations compliance
Business messages should always follow a specified format to ensure consistency. That’s why many companies create regulatory compliance guidelines to set standards for communication with customers. Meeting them is necessary to control content creation and requires collaboration between teams. In a CCM platform, business users can share and approve content in a minimum of steps, thus speeding its time to market.
Some customer communication tools additionally simplify content management by letting users choose if they want to make changes in one location only, or apply them to all similar blocks. They also identify and restrict unauthorized language usage.
One more advantage of a customer communications management solution is that it shows the history of all communications, be it emails, voice or text messages, papers, or more. So the chance of a customer receiving irrelevant content decreases. In addition, content creators get a visual representation of what customers will see and how they will use the content for analysis.
- Analytics and reporting
Since customer communication software integrates and generates a massive amount of customer data, it’s obvious to use it for report pulling and analytics. You can generate reports on individual customer interaction details, collect delivery statistics and improve internal knowledge management by tracking content usage. What is more, it's a good idea to use call analytics if you provide customer service via phone as your customers can provide you with valuable data when sharing their pain points with your customer support reps.
Thus, in an Espire case study, a telecommunication company used a CCM tool to improve their bill turnaround time by 45%, reduce the cost of email operations and generate detailed reports on their e-bills delivery rate. A customer communication tool lets them skip a consultation with the IT department. Real-time numbers and the ability to see what works for customer relationship building and what doesn’t straight away substantially saves resources.
CCM software for HR
While it’s easy to assume that customer communication management strictly applies to support teams, HR managers can find it useful, too. Support agents help customers efficiently use the company’s products and services. HRs ensure that the company employees get enough resources to take part in those products and services creation.
HR is about managing a lot of things. With a CCM tool, HR managers can provide a centralized knowledge hub for internal use and collect feedback on the materials’ informativeness and relevance.
In terms of internal communications, customer communication management software can be helpful too. Think of all the information your employees are expected to read — emails, company updates, Intranet, memos, industry news. How do you know if they actually read it line by line or drag them to trash immediately?
With CCM, you can make certain content available to a group of employees based on relevancy and give them options on what to do with it. Even better, with omnichannel communications provided by a CCM solution, you can have employees get the relevant information via their preferred channel and collect feedback. Then you can check and adjust the content based on the most common action.
Later on, you can use the most often-demanded content pieces for creating a self-service opportunity. By setting up a knowledge management system, you will help everyone in your team to get the right information at any time.
What’s more, the software makes it easy to set requirements for reporting lines, deadlines and outlines the limits of decision-making. Such a framework provides guidance while still leaving space for employee creativity.
Overall, by treating employees as valued clients, HR managers can contribute to better employee training and higher morale within the company. Also, the analytics feature of CCM software can help estimate employee engagement rates, retention, cost per hire, turnover rates, gender pay equity, and more.
Tips on choosing CCM software
There are plenty of CCM software providers in the market. As with any tool, your business may have individual requirements for customer communication management software functionality. Yet, here are the basic features to help you start:
- Inbound and outbound communications tracking
- Customer and vendor contact information managements
- Content distribution automation
- Personalization options
- CRM integration
- Documents creation and management
- Data security guarantee
- Detailed analytics
The purpose of a CCM solution is to optimize business messaging and make it look familiar to a user, regardless of the device or communication channel. A perfect tool is one that integrates with your current systems, provides multichannel communications optimization, and helps to improve customer engagement.
If you’re in the services, finance or communications industry and want to keep up with digital transformation, customer communication management software is a likely a must.
CCM systems provide omnichannel support in the creation, handling, delivery, and management of highly personalized communications with customers. They centralize all the business processes and messages in a company and tame them into a uniform brand, providing customers with the exact same experience any time they interact with the company.
Not only that, a CCM solution can be used to improve internal communication strategy within the company. By delivering relevant content and removing roadblocks towards getting approvals, it makes an HR’s job more effective.