From Legacy to Flexibility: 3 Benefits of a Cloud-based Customer Communications Management Platform
By Chris Murphy, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Smart Communications
Digital transformation is obviously a key priority for nearly all strategic leaders today, but companies have been experimenting with new digital ways of conducting business for decades. Yet, its importance has never been so keenly felt. Even well before COVID-19 IDC predicted that 80 percent of revenue growth by 2022 will depend on digital offerings and operations. However, when it comes to customer communications, many companies are still using a combination of business intelligence applications, home-grown document processors, and manual document templates to manage their customer communications.
The reality is that these legacy architectures can no longer keep up with the demands of modern communication due to poor integrations with core systems, costly maintenance, and time-consuming production processes. Not to mention, these outdated systems make it extremely difficult to provide consistent and timely messaging – which is key to meeting customer experience expectations. Here are three key benefits of breaking free of the status quo:
One of the key benefits to moving from an outdated legacy system is building an organization’s ability to be agile – increasing both the speed and the efficiency in being able to respond to changes. Whether organizations are looking to adapt to changing market dynamics, launch new products, reach new market segments, scale up agile teams with new services for their customer-base, or incorporate a newly acquired business into their existing infrastructure, having the ability to design, integrate, test, launch and ultimately maintain supporting communication services with minimal friction is paramount.
The use of in-house document creators, ad-hoc word templates, and the reliance on business intelligence applications to locate data and populate forms are all blockers to being able to promote agility and speed in your organization. We’ve seen several instances where organizations can drastically decrease the number of labor hours required to make template edits once transitioning to a modern customer communications management (CCM) platform. A more streamlined and efficient template process allows IT staff to work on more pressing business objectives. Shifting template changes to line-of-business workers allows everyone to focus on what they do best. In fact, Smart Communications helped one customer reduce their number of templates from 1700 to 300, a reduction of around 82 percent!
With the ability to engage customers via digital channels and offer on-demand access to important relationship documents, companies can reduce the reliance on sending this information via standard mail. According to recent findings from our Forrester TEI Report, companies can expect a 25 percent reduction in annual paper and postage spend by simply shifting communications to electronic forms.
Additionally, the cost of maintaining an on-premise solution can add up significantly. Depending on the number of environments, companies typically require at least one full time employee, if not more, that is solely dedicated to maintenance and upgrades. Not to mention the hardware and support costs that coincide. By transitioning to a digital-first CCM solution, future updates and necessary upgrades are performed in the cloud, which means that budget that was typically associated with labor and maintenance costs can now be allocated to other areas – like digital transformation initiatives.
Improved Brand Recognition
With the reliance of business users having to create their own templates, on-premise systems typically prohibit a consistent branding environment. Without a system that centralizes various logo files, fonts and formatting, there’s a lot of room for messaging and branding errors. Modern CCM platforms empower organizations with clearly defined enterprise-level customer communication standards that need to be adhered to across the business. They eliminate the usage of ad-hoc templates historically used by individual agents or business users. Organizations can appreciate a consistent look and feel across all its customer communications touchpoints and channels – which ultimately improves brand recognition.
Need further convincing? Moving to a cloud-based and digital-first CCM solution won’t only empower a more rewarding customer experience, but also provides material financial benefits, including a three-year risk-adjusted ROI of 139 percent and payback in less than six months. Download The Total Economic Impact of Smart Communications and learn how one customer experienced these benefits firsthand.