By Simon Tindal, Chief Technology Officer of Smart Communications

The customer isn’t just always right, the customer is in control! Today, customers expect an incredibly high level of service, and they also have the power to publicly share their opinions about that service with the tap of a finger. This can be a challenge, for sure, but it can also be an incredible opportunity. Companies now have more chances to interact with their customers than ever before—potentially several times a day via multiple channels. It’s crucial to make these interactions count. You must make them not just relevant, but also helpful, anticipated and appreciated. You must also maintain the highest levels of accuracy, privacy and security. If you get this right, you can significantly improve brand loyalty and customer retention. Despite this potential, many organizations are still taking a fragmented and outdated approach to their customer interactions.

Key to providing a more rewarding customer experience is to truly understand each customer—to know where they are in their journey, what they are struggling with, and what channels and devices they prefer. Armed with this knowledge, companies must then deliver interactions that feel like one-to-one conversations with each and every customer—personal interactions at scale.

To keep up with these increasingly complex customer demands, customer communications management technologies are evolving from supporting static, one-way message distribution to delivering dynamic, multi-channel experiences on-demand. To accomplish this efficiently and cost-effectively, more companies are turning to multi-tenant SaaS environments.

Moving to the cloud to replace on-premise, legacy technology can save companies time and money. Cloud integration is 60–75% faster than on-premise and companies that adopt cloud services experience a 60% average improvement in time-to-market.1 Customers benefit from faster processes as well. When customers speak to a representative to discuss a statement or file a claim, they don’t want to wait days for the requested forms or follow up. They want resolution in the moment, and more agile and scalable solutions can deliver this—in less time than it takes to compose a tweet.

But, does moving to more modern technology come with increased risk? Actually, no. In fact, the opposite is true. Cloud-based solutions, given their flexibility, can reduce exposure to compliance failures. Modernized customer communications tools are built for evolving compliance standards, managed by business users (not IT), connected to risk management, and include automated approval workflows.

Think it’s going to be too hard to make the switch? It doesn’t have to be. Look for cloud-first customer communications technology providers that can migrate your system and get you up and running quickly.

1.Cloud Adoption & Risk Report Q4 2016