Are you Really Ready for a Digital Migration?

For digital migration success, focus less on IT and more on your customer.

by Matt Waldau

As a customer communications management (CCM) consultant, I’m frequently asked about the best platforms to accelerate customer correspondence conversion to e-delivery. The decades-old goal of slashing mailing costs plus the customer insight Nirvana promised by traceable customer actions is a real opportunity, but most organizations lack a mature operational process to support their customer communication strategy. Customer satisfaction studies continually identify correspondence as a major weakness, yet organizations continue to increase volume and frequency in a “shotgun” approach to communications. After early CCM conversion success, adoption rates often fall well-short of expectation as customers opt out of poorly executed digital offerings. Alas, success can’t be tied to a single product or technology, but rather the systematic maturity of an organization’s capability to synthesize information to facilitate meaningful dialogue with their customers.

Historically, mail campaigns have been self-governed by the availability of postage budgets.  With the growth of digital channels, marketers have increased their prospecting pool as the MROI model has dramatically shifted. As more and more campaigns run through digital channels, the lack of coordination between marketing and servicing is negatively impacting the customer, who faces an explosion of communications, increased confusion and dissatisfaction due to poorly timed and targeted offers. Whether it’s the offer for a new credit card that we already carry or an upsell on our insurance policy directly following a major rate increase, consumer confidence and perceptions erode with every misstep. Organizations that lack a centralized, holistic view of their customer interactions should reprioritize and focus on building a foundation before ramping up their digital offerings.

Unfortunately, many enterprise e-delivery initiatives are focused solely on reducing operating cost and subsequently deploy rudimentary offerings to satisfy electronic channel requirements. Organizations often forgo the opportunity to enhance and improve the customer experience by leveraging basic bookmarking and hyperlinking in e-delivered offerings, assuming a simple PDF version of the current print document will suffice. Furthermore, organizations fail to account for formatting differences that are inherent between the channels. This oversight is especially problematic in lengthier communications, such as policy statements, where page sequencing is altered due to the booklet layout, resulting in documents that are out of order and filled with “intentionally left blank” pages. Lacking knowledge of their current capabilities, organizations live with the problem – and thus so do their customers.

The seeds to mature and grow an effective digital presence exist within current or legacy transactional activities, though many overlook or discount the information assuming success is heavily IT-dependent.  To the contrary, effective CCM deployments begin with understanding your customers and their needs in real-time, and on an ongoing basis. Supplanting valuable internal customer insights with aged, open-market data lists leads to increased correspondence volume and diluted messaging as customers are saturated with irrelevant offers.

As the migration to digital communications accelerates, an organization’s success will be directly correlated to their integrated view of their customer interactions, and their ability to maintain message relevancy. Exceptional customer experience is anchored in “knowing the customer.” Organizations that fail to leverage their existing data points to identify critical events in their customer journeys will struggle to maintain market share. New digital offerings that are not founded in reducing customer friction will fail to deliver on expectation and ultimately add cost and tarnish brand reputations.

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Matt Waldau
Matt Waldau
CCM Practice Lead
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