Tami May

Tami May
Tami has over 20 years of marketing experience at Fortune 500 companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard, and start-ups such as DataBeam and Digital Freight. Her experience includes a wide range of strategic marketing and communications initiatives. Follow her blog on customer engagement trends, CX, and the impact of millennials in business.

Next-Generation CCM: Blending Customer Communications With Digital Enablement

CCM

Guest blog from Omer Minkara, VP & Principal Analyst, Contact Center & Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group. Digital has become table stakes for companies to survive and thrive in today’s market. Specifically, the term refers to the continuous increase in the adoption and use of digital technologies by both B2B and B2C buyers. It also refers to organizations adapting their activities to address changes in modern buyer / seller dynamics. To this point, findings from Aberdeen’s February 2017 CEM Executive’s Agenda 2017 study shows that 55% of businesses use at least ten channels (e.g. web, email, print and social media) to interact with customers. While the use of channels varies across businesses, the common thread is ensuring that communications taking place through these channels are personalized and yield intended results. Enter Customer Communications Management (CCM). This refers to companies using a technology platform that enables the automation of activities involved in creating and delivering personalized customer communications across all channels. These communications can include marketing materials, account statements and self-service website content. Recent findings from our 2017 CEM studies reveal that companies making effective use of CCM achieve 63% greater year-over-year growth in annual company revenue, compared to those that don’t use it (21.5% vs. 13.2%). Similarly, CCM users also achieve 5.2 times greater annual increase in customer retention rates (11.0% vs. 2.1%), and more than three times greater annual increase in return on marketing investments (18.0% vs. 5.6%) than All Others. Savvy users of CCM succeed because they exploit the opportunities digital channels and tools provide them to better interact with their customers. Figure 1 shows several examples of these capabilities. Figure 1:Use Content to Deliver Consistent & Personalized Conversations As depicted in Figure 1, CCM users are 15% more likely deliver consistent messages to customers (71% vs. 62%). This is vital for minimizing the risk of confusing buyers through different messages via multiple channels or delivered through multiple stakeholders. Additionally, CCM users grow their revenue by adjusting content delivery to become more proactive. This means that instead of sending customers content to respond to a request, clients are automatically provided with certain content without prompting the company. Proactive communications are invaluable in demonstrating to customers that the business is tuned in to regularly address client needs. In fact, by catering to customer needs through proactive (and relevant) communications, CCM users also maximize their success in cross-selling and up-selling. Specifically, they analyze content consumption patterns through service interactions such as self-service history, and use it to deliver targeted offers to drive additional spend. To this point, Figure 2 shows that CCM users are 96% more likely to regularly analyze how content consumption influences customer behavior across numerous digital channels (45% vs. 23%). Companies are able to better personalize customer conversations by using analytics to determine how each buyer reacts to different content. For example, marketers can analyze how buyers across different customer segments interact with content used across different campaigns to determine the types of content that are most likely to convert a prospect into a paying customer. Figure 2: Regularly Monitor Your Performance to Make Optimal Use of Content Analyzing customer behavior in relation to content also reveals process inefficiencies companies must address. Figure 2 shows that CCM users are 31% more likely to have this capability than All Others (68% vs. 52%).Analysis of customer experience data doesn’t just point out inefficiencies. It also helps organizations determine correlations between content and customer advocacy. Companies do this by identifying clients sharing positive word-of-mouth about their products and services, segmenting them, and determining the content used in interacting with these buyers. This ultimately helps companies use personalize conversations across each channel through the right content that is most likely to convert each buyer into a brand advocate. The Bottom-Line Digital technologies have brought fundamental changes to almost all industries. Companies using this as an opportunity to improve internal processes and external customer communications are uniquely positioned to succeed in today’s market. We recommend adopting the key capabilities listed in this article to maximize your performance results through digital enablement. View Aberdeen’s February 2017 CEM Executive’s Agenda 2017

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OpenText Positioned as a Leader Again in 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Customer Communications Management (CCM) Software

Gartner

Gartner recently published its 2017 Customer Communications Management Software Magic Quadrant, with OpenText positioned as a Leader in this report. Gartner evaluated both OpenText™ Communications Center and OpenText™ Exstream before the acquisition. However, Gartner focuses on each vendor’s technology execution, strategy and vision – not product specifics – so there is only one OpenText “dot” on the graphic. The 2015 CCM MQ positioned both OpenText Communications Center  and Exstream in the “Leaders” quadrant. In the latest version, we believe we maintain a strong position as a Leader due to our breadth of capability across our CCM products and the strength of our direction to combine Communications Center and Exstream into a single platform, thereby bringing additional value to our current and prospective customers. Our position on the “Ability to Execute” axis improved from the average position of Communications Center and Exstream in the 2015 MQ. The position on the “Completeness of Vision” axis held steady compared to Exstream’s placement in the last report, which we believe is a good sign that Gartner approves of our strategy to provide a single flagship CCM offering to enable business users to easily design and deliver omnichannel communications – including web, mobile, SMS, and print channels. The future is bright and exciting as we bring our CCM products together into a single, powerful platform to meet any omnichannel CCM requirements. This is happening now and will bring benefits to all current customers of Communications Center Enterprise (formerly StreamServe), Exstream, and Communications Center CRM (formerly PowerDocs). Get your copy of the full report here.

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The Future of e-Delivery and its Impact on Customer Experience

e-delivery

It seems everyone is talking about “digital transformation” but many are still unsure of what it is, why it is important, or even how to get started. Wikipedia defines digital transformation as the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. It has also been described as taking existing manual and paper-based processes and converting them to digital channels and documents – or “going paperless.” Many companies like yours, are talking about improving the customer experience and going digital, but don’t know where to begin. Regardless of what it means to you, a lot of companies are now realizing that digital transformation often includes e-delivery – ensuring that emails containing bills, statements, ID cards and other business critical information get to the intended recipients. They rely on their customer communications management (CCM) solution for this, but are often not aware of what is actually involved in reaching the recipient’s inbox. It can also be challenging sometimes to quantify the benefits of e-delivery and the costs associated with poor deliverability. To help you better understand the importance of email deliverability, we have a new recorded webcast available and you can register and then view it here. InfoTrends customer communications experts Matt Swain and David Stabel, and OpenText™ Exstream Manager of Product Strategy Avi Greenfield, present new research on consumer preferences and enterprise plans for e-delivery in this webcast. They also share key trends, challenges and best practices for managing e-delivery, including the impact that non-delivery can have on your bottom line. View the webcast.

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Was one of Your Resolutions Better CX? If not, it Should be

customer experience

Ever wonder why some companies seem to do so much better than others? Is there one competitor you always feel like you are chasing to catch up with? If yes, you might want to look at the customer experience (CX) you deliver and how that compares to others in your market. Many analyst firms are talking about the importance of making customer experience a top priority in a business.  Forrester Research recently released their latest CX Index findings and it continues to show that CX leaders consistently outperformed laggards in the market. So, it’s no wonder that companies continue to invest in CX. Better CX leads to a higher ROI and CX leaders tend to beat CX laggards on a number of metrics, ranging from compound annual growth to shareholder returns. CX leaders are also more likely to: Grow revenue faster Drive more purchases Dominate pricing Lower their service costs Reduce regulatory compliance risks   If you are interested in learning more I encourage you to watch this one-hour webinar. Forrester Research CX expert Margaret Rodriguez shares why CX leaders grow revenue faster than CX laggards; demonstrates how to link CX investments to ROI; discusses how to prioritize investments to continually improve customer experience and offers practical advice on how to drive  improvements. View the webinar here.

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Omnichannel Communications for Your Digital-Savvy Millennials

millennials

By the year 2025, millennials, or “digital natives,” will make up 75% of the workforce. This adds a greater sense of urgency to an organization’s ability to successfully deliver digital communications. Though I’m not a millennial, I live with a few of them and I notice our differences. At first I didn’t buy the idea that this generation is that much different than their predecessors. But as I pay attention to the way my 18-year-old son interacts with his friends, how he makes decisions about brands and how he recently responded to his insurance company’s email about repairing his car after a fender bender, I begin to see the light. While he rarely talks on the phone or uses email, he sends around 10,000 texts a month, and reads online product reviews. His behavior is solidly mobile first. For a look at millennial trends and characteristics, check out this infographic. There are now more millennials than baby boomers and they have more than a trillion dollars in purchasing power! As the digital transformation takes hold, companies that recognize this trend will adapt their customer communications to appeal to this highly digital and technologically advanced group. If your company has or is moving to digital, that’s a good plan. But reconsider your path if you hear your colleagues and leadership saying things like: We’re too busy or We don’t have budget to make any changes right now Oh, millennials don’t have any money, they’re teenagers. We already send PDFs, isn’t that enough? Millennials want much more than PDFs. They want access to their brands 24/7. They have the highest adoption and usage of mobile devices of any generation and they navigate seamlessly between devices and channels, which means they expect consistent content experiences and branding across those channels. Millennials use social media like no other generation before. They like, follow, tweet, and share on all channels—actions that can make or break a brand. They engage with brands more deeply through social networks, with 52% saying they, at least occasionally, use their mobile devices on social media to indicate that they like a brand, compared with 33% of baby boomers. Also, 39% post product reviews, 35% share links about products on LinkedIn, and 32% say they follow brands on Twitter. In each case, the percentage of millennials who reported these activities exceeded that of boomers by 150% to 250%. Millennials identify with brands more personally and emotionally than older generations. Fifty percent of U.S. millennials ages 18 to 24 and 38% of those ages 25 to 34 agree that brands “say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in.” Keeping the message relevant To sustain millennial loyalty, companies need a strong digital presence to engage this audience as individuals with omni-channel communication preferences.. That means providing anytime, anywhere access (millennials hate delays), rewarded with targeted promotions and offers. Companies should strive for messages that speak authentically to the attitudes, beliefs, preferences, and personalities of their audience because this group moves away from seeing brands as “badges” or status symbols and instead thinks of brands as “mirrors” that reflect their values and beliefs. View the infographic “Are you prepared to engage the digital natives?”    

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