“Why don’t we stay at that really nice hotel in the Cotswolds?” On our recent vacation trip to the UK a change in schedules around family visits meant that we suddenly had an extra night free, So my wife suggested that we make good on a promise and return to a hotel that we’d last stayed at 24 years ago.
The hotel in question has been an Inn and lodging place since the 15th Century, and carries its tradition and history proudly. We also remembered it as one of the best hotel stays we’d ever experienced and had vowed to return at some point.
The hotel may be historic, but its customer communications weren’t.
From my phone I managed to book a room for our suddenly free night. My booking confirmation was quickly followed by an email asking me a few questions – what time would we arrive, what sort of car would we be driving, did we need a dinner reservation (we did), did we have any dietary restrictions, was the stay a special occasion, and had we stayed at the hotel before. The morning we headed out for the hotel I received confirmation of our dinner reservation by email and text message.
On arrival as we pulled up outside the door, a member of staff came out and greeted us by name (clued in by the car and registration number), and when we checked in our dinner reservation was reconfirmed, and we were welcomed back to the hotel. All simple things that made us feel welcome. In our room there was a personalized “welcome back” note that promoted the new services the hotel offered since a recent refurbishment.
From website booking, to email, to personal service, and printed material, this was impressive customer communications. It was a perfect example of how to use mobile technology and traditional methods to give customers more choices and wider flexibility in terms of how they receive information and maintain their accounts, employing a mix of electronic delivery alongside printed communications. Most customers today, and I include myself, have come to expect a consistent experience no matter how we interact with a company.
No matter what industry or market segment you are in, customer communications drive the fundamental profitability of any organization. However most Customer Communication Management (CCM) systems have not kept pace with innovation. Many on-premises solutions have come to their end of life, redundant and homegrown systems are increasingly expensive and time consuming to maintain, and typical legacy approaches to CCM do not offer the kind of modern messaging features and enterprise integration capabilities that companies need to remain competitive today.
Many organizations have disparate and often redundant systems for different segments of their customer communications. It is not unusual to have one system for transactional documents such as invoices and account statements, another for line-of-business correspondence specific to a process such as enrollment or claims processing, and yet another for security disclosures, corporate forms, or other customer-facing correspondence. And it is rare to have these different systems talk to each other or share a common repository.
Cloud-based Customer Communications Management changes all that by consolidating systems and reducing, or in many cases eliminating, the added expense and support needed for these diverse and isolated on-premises systems. Eliminating redundant and disparate systems saves money and advancements in personalization and multi-channel delivery make cloud-based CCM a compelling option for organizations looking to be more competitive and boost customer experience overall.
For more information on CCM in the cloud use cases, and how to plan a migration strategy check out this Customer Communications in the Cloud whitepaper.