Customer Communications Management: what’s your strategy?


Today, this criterion is more important than ever as customer-facing messages are sent across multiple channels from standard mail to social media. Maintaining and delivering consistent messages across these channels is imperative. The communications landscape however, is rapidly evolving and while digital and online platforms provide a huge range of opportunities for businesses to interact, there are some challenges along the way that must be met head-on:

1.    The management of communications

Understanding who owns customer communications within an organisation can be tricky. Increasingly, it is scattered across businesses, with functions like billing, marketing and customer service all intent on having their say. This can however lead to duplicated efforts or worse still, inconsistent communications.

In many organisations, the marketing department oversees and sets the customer communications strategy before the technology solution is implemented.  This makes it easier to standardise all communications from other different departments, improving consistency and efficiency.

2.    Funding

Convincing finance to invest in CCM can occasionally pose a difficulty, particularly as the benefits can be hard to quantify. In addition, interpreting costs can also be a challenge. While print costs are well understood, for example, digital costs, such as building IT systems and maintaining them, can be more difficult to calculate.

With communications spread across different parts of the business, consolidating disparate costs to reveal an overall figure is not an easy task. However, it is important to get a firm grip of the business’ current spend in order to be able to explain the savings potential and sell this into the finance team. Without understanding what is spent on communications strategies across the entire organisation, teams will struggle to demonstrate the benefits of a single solution and consolidated approach.

3.    Aligning marketing with the wider business challenges

Although there is sometimes an instinctive urge in marketers to stand apart from the rest of the pack in order to produce creative and bespoke work, this can backfire. Because as marketers, our sole purpose is not just to create brand awareness – it’s to create a strong business. And this comes with loyal and happy customers.

The shift in recent years to a more customer-oriented form of marketing means that the comms function is well-placed to take a lead on CCM strategies, providing that the other operational goals of the business can be brought together. Given the ultimate significance of customer satisfaction to the bottom line, it makes good business sense to align marketing with CCM and CCM with wider business goals. With a robust CCM strategy, organisations can gain a holistic view of the business and customer interaction, encompassing an internal and external perspective.

A positive customer experience is necessary for the survival of any brand and this is the biggest desired outcome of implementing any CCM strategy: to make sure your marketing message is hitting the right people in the right medium and reaching out to clients in the way they want to be reached. Because without a happy customer base, no business can hope to grow.