Customers are the lifeblood of any organization, and customer communications management (CCM) fuels that relationship. As we look forward to 2019, we predict a further expansion of CCM systems into the cloud while organizations provide more end-to-end digital experiences. The result: CCM become will become easier to implement, and more integrated with overall information management strategies and solutions.
We predict five key trends in customer communications management in 2019.
- Continued migration of CCM systems into the cloud
- Tighter integration of customer behavior data and content analytics
- Further movement towards end-to-end digital experiences
- More customer access to their records
- Movement to better customer experiences at a lower cost
Trend #1: Continued migration of customer communications management into the cloud
It’s not new that hosted CCM services are becoming the norm, but as more organizations adopt platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud strategies, the approach will begin to look more like managed services in the cloud.
The vendors that can show customers true acceleration of CCM legacy migration will close more deals and gain market share. Look for vendors and service providers that have utilities to accelerate the content rationalization effort. Messagepoint’s Rationalizer is a fit-for-purpose solution tackling that, but other tools can offer similar capabilities, such as DCL’s Harmonizer. Keep an eye out, as we may see other vendors develop and market tools to accelerate the analysis and conversion for legacy Oracle CDM Cloud or OpenText xPression content.
Also, watch for service bureaus (e.g. R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Broadridge, Taylor Communications) to gain a piece of the pie in 2019. Traditional print shop service bureaus have been transitioning to full service multi-channel communications firms. Expect their integrated solutions to gain more traction this year.
Trend #2: Tighter integration of customer behavior data and content analytics
There will be further integration of customer behavior data and content analytics systems in 2019. This is good for both organizations and their customers, as long as privacy guardrails and overall information governance rules are followed. This integration will drive new custom touch points and approaches.
Trend #3: Further movement towards end-to-end digital experiences
End-to-end digital experiences will continue to dominate. Paper communications will become more and more “opt-in,” rather than the default. That may mean that more organizations will start to provide paper options to customers for a premium fee. This, ironically, may become a way to recoup some costs for those organizations that want to continue to provide a paper option for customers.
As paper and print continue to modernize and digitize, we anticipate the continued reduction of high volume print. This will enable smaller vendors and mid-market tools to win more deals on big accounts.
Trend #4: More customer access to their records
Companies finally will get serious about “accessibility” guidelines. The mandate will be to ensure all that all future communications are accessible per regulations. This is another way in which information governance and privacy rules intersect with customer communications management.
Trend #5: Movement to better customer experience at a lower cost
Firms are beginning to see the big picture and the true cost of their customer communications processes. Chief financial officers and chief operations officers are demanding better experiences at a lower total cost. That means that CFOs and COOs will take a more holistic view of their organizations’ customer communications strategy, including platforms utilized and team members employed across all channels.
These five trends had their antecedents in 2018. And they’ll continue to redefine customer communications management processes for many years to come. Hopefully, the more CCM options you anticipate, the more you can plan for successful customer interactions this year—and in to the next decade.