Is your organization so intently focused on lead generation and customer acquisition that you are ignoring your most important customers…the ones you already have? It is ironic that organizations often spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours to acquire new customers only to very little to manage and enhance their ongoing experience once they are on board. Beautifully designed marketing campaigns attract new customers, but boring communications that fail to engage and enhance soon work to erode the customer experience, inhibit your ability to up-sell and cross-sell, and threaten brand loyalty over time.
Managing Customer Experience
The concept and discipline of Customer Communications Management (or CCM) is not a new concept, but it is one that many organizations may not have fully understood or embraced. The idea is to advance the way you communicate with existing customers through the use of common transactional documents like bank statements, explanations of benefits or account notices. These transactional documents provide a unique and often overlooked opportunity to connect with customers in ways that extend the brand experience and leverage the existing relationship for improve revenue opportunities.
Clear product and service differentiation becomes harder to articulate as mature verticals and business lines such as financial services evolve. Customer Communications Management therefore becomes a critical initiative requiring a well-thought roadmap that is executed at every level of the organization. The aim is to execute superior experiences at every customer touch point, building interaction and engagement from transactional communications and ongoing customer correspondence that would otherwise be regarded as routine or perfunctory.
Customer Communications Management presents a significant opportunity for growth within your existing revenue base through sustained and personalized customer engagement. As a result, CCM is getting a lot of attention, and for good reason. Research confirms that managing and improving customer experience drives revenues and saves costs. Here are just a few data points to consider:
- It costs 6–7 times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one – Bain & Company.
- Price is not the main reason for customer churn, it is actually due to poor quality of customer service – Accenture.
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is 3 times greater than selling to a new prospect – Marketing Metrics.
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are treated after they become a customer –McKinsey.
- A 5% reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by up to 95% – Bain & Company.
Consolidating Communications in the Cloud with CCM
Clearly, CCM is an important opportunity. What is the path forward for companies looking to boost customer experience through everyday customer communications? One way is to look to the converging developments in CCM that provide the ability to communicate with your existing customers in new and more profitable ways. Strategies like personalized content, targeted campaigns and custom messaging extend the marketing and engagement value of customer communications in ways that were simply not possible in the past. CCM campaigns that coordinate your message across multiple customer touch points can uncover where to best direct your efforts and investments in order to maximize your results.
The good news is that cloud-based multi-channel communications tools like 366° Degrees℠ by OMI provides a single platform to manage all of your customer communications no matter what form they take. By consolidating communications in CCM financial institutions can truly manage the customer experience and drive deeper levels of customer engagement via transactional, marketing, and social communications. Embracing CCM will not come without challenges, but the right mix of technological tools and thoughtful strategies will lead banks, credit unions and other financial service institutions to a new generation of success.