Many business enterprises are in the midst of some type of transformative change. The impact of a pandemic has seen significant disruption in many businesses and has accelerated institutional changes already in motion.
In fact, a recent CMO survey by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, revealed 74% of U.S. CMOs have placed an increased value on digital experiences. Additionally, a digital engagement report from Twilio shows enterprise decision-makers view COVID-19 as a serious change agent in their organizations’ digital communications strategy:
- 97% of executives say the pandemic sped up their digital transformation
- 95% say they’re looking for new ways to engage customers
- 79% say COVID-19 impact has prompted budget increases for digital transformation
This new environment has had a significant impact on customer communications management (CCM) decisions. Many corporate clients going through CCM transformation have found the current environment a tipping point where consumer preferences, societal changes, and new protocols have all combined to accelerate the selection of a trusted partner for this journey.
It’s news to no one that trust is an essential part of relationships, both personal as well as in business. However, with organizations increasingly driven by the confluence of commerce and compliance, this trust factor has become, possibly, the most important value when selecting and partnering with a CCM service provider.
For those of you in the throes of this process — or preparing to be — it’s critically important to step back and ask the right questions. Here are three that will serve as a solid foundation:
Can I trust my CCM service provider to understand my changing customer communications needs and create an innovative solution?
A Lightico consumer habit report found that 82% of consumers want their financial institution to serve them through more digital/remote processes. Consumer preferences are not only charging; they’re becoming more demanding and more refined.
Since most decisions are made on the basis of risk management, it is important to understand that your service provider understands the current state and more importantly the future state of customer communications.
Can I trust my CCM service provider to create a scalable solution that is dynamic enough to grow and adapt to a changing environment?
If your goal is to future-proof customer communications, this answer will be evidentiary. A CCM service provider needs to show significant background in implementing both large scale and integrated solutions with success.
A proven track record will provide some assurances that words like complex, legacy, and disparate will no longer keep you from meeting demands for digital content delivery.
Can I trust that my CCM service provider will be here tomorrow?
This may be the most important question. As you evaluate CCM service providers, keep your short list limited to those who can exhibit deep roots in this business as well as high probability it will remain in this business well into the future.
Pro tip: As you go through this evaluation, remember that transparency from both parties is key for long-term success. By giving a provider visibility across your department, it will allow them to think more holistically.
Knowing your goals aids them in bringing solutions that advance the impact of work with other groups and vendors. Remember, the right provider will want to see your business succeed, not just in the areas you’re hiring them for.
Transformation take time and trust
As with any significant organizational change, successful CCM transformation requires confident decision making, a deliberate process, and an investment tied to clear outcomes.
In Edelman's "Trust Barometer Special Report," trust is the second most important factor when engaging with a new brand (second only to price). It may seem unusual in this 21st century to think in terms of trust and not immediately think in terms of technology.
It’s true, many CCM service providers have the newest technology. Yet, a considerably smaller cohort has the rare combination of technology, people, and processes that an enterprise can trust will be there to support their customers today and tomorrow.
Russ Borgman is Director of Product Development for RRD's Business Communication Solutions.