Customer Communication Management

Use Marketing Technology to Build Stronger Brands from Within

Marketers in healthcare systems juggle a myriad of brand assets across an array of media. From patient relations to internal signage to external communications, your logos, font and color systems, messaging, and content really are just that – an asset that holds and conveys the organization’s value.

As such, the way you manage your brand assets helps to build efficiencies across the organization. The right digital asset management system can streamline content production and delivery, build credibility with current and prospective consumers, and strengthen your organization’s culture from within.

Cost savings and culture building become especially important during a merger. Brand assets in transition require additional oversight; further, research has found that about 75 percent of M&A deals fail to deliver their expected value, often as a result of cultural onboarding issues. In addition, research by Adobe in 2017 found that 29 percent of healthcare organizations plan to prioritize content marketing in the next few years.

A digital asset management system offers numerous benefits to healthcare providers:

  • Safely store, tag, and organize content including text, image files, audio and video files
  • Design workflows to accommodate complex approvals processes and improve collaboration
  • Store and retrieve data to better evaluate campaign performance
  • Ensure HIPAA compliance and keep a clear audit trail for regulatory agencies

Clearly, finding and utilizing the best-fit brand asset management system can create a significant positive impact during a merger – even more so if you’re also ramping up content marketing efforts at the same time.

MRM: Digital Asset Management Pioneer

While digital asset management is a strong player in brand management, it often has limitations in the breadth of content management it offers. For instance, DAM systems don’t always tie to printed output or offer ecommerce for ordering warehoused inventory – capabilities that are critical to rebranding and mergers.

One early and still reliable form of digital asset management is marketing resource management (MRM), offering organizations a platform built on a centralized database from which assets can be created and managed in house. MRM systems can handle large amounts of content and a customized platform for the specific needs of a single organization. Such systems are particularly well suited to consolidating the diverse data and resources that come together in a merger.

Asset Management for Next-Gen Content and Workflows

The core advantage of marketing resource management is that it facilitates the comprehensive management of branded assets. Combined with a user-friendly interface, MRM allows content managers to maintain brand control, stay in compliance, increase production and distribution speed, and reduce waste.

Additional tools, such as MarCom On Demand, empower marketers throughout a given network to access content they need while still enabling managers to maintain brand quality and consistency. When you minimize miscommunications; reduce waste of time, effort, and money; and maximize transparency and freedom, you not only improve your marcom operation – you make a huge contribution to your merged brand’s credibility and culture.

CCM: Improving the Patient Experience with Customer Communications Management

Designed to support outbound patient communications, customer communications management (CCM) systems (such as the one Strata Company provides) enable healthcare organizations to automate the creation of brand-specific communications. Among its many capabilities, a CCM solution can, for instance, capture patient data, create unique profiles, and build one-to-one communications in real time. This allows you to streamline, simplify, and accelerate effective branded communications on a very large scale. Further, CCM enables you to meet deadlines more easily, minimize error, and ensure regulatory compliance.

The Next Step: Ensure Success in Your Brand Merger

Strata Company offers MarCom On Demand and Corspon to enable marketers to exceed expectations and overcome challenges involved in healthcare mergers and other complex transitions. We offer dynamic templates, 24/7 cloud-based secure access, tracking and reporting, and more. Contact us to learn more.

Implications of the Continuously Evolving CX Focus

Traditionally, businesses have approached customer communications management (CCM) technologies with an agenda stacked high with internal improvement goals: to cut costs, maximize operational efficiency and reduce strain on staff resources, among others.

Meanwhile, CCM’s potential affects on the customer experience (CX) garnered little attention. Until recently.

CCM now encompasses so much more than just ensuring central location of documents and accurate, timely materials. Channels have multiplied; the digital experience now figures prominently in nearly all aspects of communications; customer expectations have evolved.

In short, the customer is now in the driver’s seat. If they have a negative experience somewhere along the customer journey, chances are good that they’ll re-route their business to a competitor.

How CCM Can Transform the Customer Experience

CCM technology gives businesses the opportunity to provide consistent, positive interactions at multiple points in the customer journey.

When considering the goals of CCM technology, the focus must shift from “How do we improve internally?” to “How can we improve from a customer experience perspective?”

If your organization, like many, has yet to fully embed this thinking into its DNA, this discussion of the implications related to CCM’s role in the CX can help start an internal dialogue supportive of a change in perspective.

#1: Customer Expectations Regarding Communications Have Changed.
CCM technology arose from the need to simplify print-centric processes surrounding mass-mailed communications.

However, it’s no longer satisfactory to deliver information only in print – although print does remain a central piece of the development and implementation of CCM technology.

Indeed, many consumers still want printed communications, or a combination of both digital and print, and there remain some requirements for organizations in highly regulated industries (e.g., healthcare, utilities, financial services, insurance) to generate and track printed communications.

But customers now expect that any printed information they receive will be available online as well. Furthermore, they expect to interact with companies via the channel they prefer, at their convenience: online chat, email, call centers, text, social media. Increasingly, they’re growing accustomed to receiving alerts that documents are available (and easily accessible).

#2: Therefore, Seamless Omnichannel Communications Are Central to the CX.
With customer support and communications now taking place across multiple channels, companies are tasked with ensuring a cohesive experience at every interaction. In fact, research from Aberdeen Group bears out that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies have an 89% customer retention rate compared with 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.

According to a 2018 Target Marketing report on omnichannel marketing and the CX, organizations will need to embody a set of key capabilities to deliver the kind of omnichannel customer journey consumers will expect in the very near future.

Among these identified capabilities are several that CCM technology can support, including:

  • Consistent customer experience across all channels
  • Interaction with customers on many channels, online and offline
  • Ability to access data from your core customer records in any channel they visit
  • Ability to reference actions taken in the past on any channel in live interactions happening in the present on any channel

For example, a customer who contacts a call center with an issue and then sends a follow-up email should (and will expect to) encounter a continuous, personalized dialogue. Enabling a seamless experience depends on data for that customer being collected at every point of interaction and available via a centralized portal so that it can be shared across various channels.

What holds organizations back from delivering a seamless omnichannel customer experience? The usual suspects: siloed content and channels, disparate systems, multiple points of data entry.

But a well-designed CCM solution that fits an organization’s specific environment and existing systems can combat these restrictions. By integrating with existing databases and core web-based systems, businesses can more seamlessly generate data-driven communications. With on-demand access from a single platform to customer information that previously was dispersed across business units, organizations gain the ability to deliver consistent, cross-channel communications from one interface.

#3: The Right CCM Technology Positions Companies to Better Manage the CX.
Staying competitive depends not just on attracting new customers but also on maximizing business from the ones you already have. Positive consumer response to relevant, personalized content is yet another piece of the CX puzzle that CCM technology better positions companies to deliver. CCM systems designed with the capability to integrate customer data can drive more relevant communications.

And if businesses that provide high-quality, consistent and personalized customer communications can significantly improve their CX scores – as reported in a 2016 study by Forrester – then CCM’s importance as an enabler of a better CX becomes clear.

CCM inherently involves interactions with existing customers. Modern, end-to-end platforms can serve to nurture customer loyalty (and therefore grow revenue). The technology can enable consistent communications that are:

  • Trustworthy, timely and error-free
  • Optimized for messaging and cross-offers based on previous interactions
  • Delivered via the customer’s preferred channels

#4: Internal Users Need a Good CX, Too.
While it’s past time for organizations to put the customer at the center of CCM initiatives, it’s also critical that solutions provide an optimal CX for internal users as well.

Analyze the departments responsible for customer service and retention. Are they more process-focused than customer-focused? Are they marked by a lack of awareness of existing customer-enrichment resources? Or misalignment with top-level strategy? Do employees spend a disproportionate amount of time searching for content and then shepherding it through manual processes, only to get it in customers’ hands well after the right time has passed?

A welcome side effect of implementing a customer-friendly CCM platform – i.e., one that’s user-friendly for your own people – is a natural shift in aligning customer-facing roles to end goals that support an outstanding CX.

The Next Step: Strengthen the CX with Custom-Designed CCM Technology
Strata Company, a Plymouth Meeting, PA-based marketing and technology firm, specializes in building custom, cloud-based CCM systems. Our powerful CCM solutions boost accuracy and efficiency, ensure regulatory compliance – and drive the customer experience forward. Contact us to learn more.

CMS Wire Article

Jeff Sammak bylined a piece on CMS Wire about how Customer Communications Management (CCM) software allows businesses to operate more efficiently. In this piece, Sammak offers tips to eliminate inefficiencies, mistakes and unnecessary costs associated with obsolete or manual processes. He also outlines the benefits of CCM software and how this technology can eliminate common issues including:

  • Unwieldy creation of complex documents
  • Risk of penalties/fines for not adhering to strict industry regulatory requirements
  • Bottlenecks in execution due to a lack of customer data management automation
  • Drain on human resources from overreliance to compensate for obsolete systems

For the full article and more tips on how your business can operate more efficiently, read the CMS Wire article here.

Strata Company specializes in technologies that streamline and automate customer correspondence, with both custom development and customizable cloud-based solutions. With over 20 years of experience, Strata helps businesses transform their customer communications experience – executing correspondence with precision accuracy and speed. Call 610-941-6100 to speak with a specialist, or contact us to request a personalized demo.

How CCM Systems Increase Efficiency While Eliminating Errors

The increase in volume and complexity of customer communications is a common problem area for mid-size to large organizations. It’s a business function that typically requires a large number of staff and dedication of resources. But organizations that adopt software focused on document management and process automation are saving time, money and energy at every possible turn. Complicated tasks can now be completed by smaller teams, and in some cases, even single users.

One example is Customer Communications Management (CCM) software. CCM software accepts information from a host of different inputs, and then instantaneously transforms that information into effective correspondence output. With this data integration, resulting communications are optimized for branding, personalization, timeliness and administrative control.

Why use CCM software?

CCM software is an ideal solution for corresponding with your customers on a highly specified level. In short, you can utilize CCM software wherever complex data needs to be distilled into effective correspondence with a customer, and output through a variety of channels, drastically improving the customer experience.

Customer Communications Management software greatly mitigates human error. The user still must input data accurately, but once the correct data has been entered, the CCM software will instantly process complex data into the appropriate correspondence. This ensures consistently correct results while simplifying an otherwise complicated and difficult task.

Increased efficiency is another major benefit. CCM solutions can take crucial information from a variety of inputs and organize them into effective communication between business and customer. Previously, communication on this level would have taken a significant amount of time, labor and money.

CCM software has tremendous potential for a multitude of applications in a variety of industries. The example below from the finance sector illustrates this tool’s potential to simplify intricate processes, meet strict regulatory requirements, and reduce costs.

Customer Communications Management in Practice: Financial Investment Correspondence

A financial firm that implemented CCM to disseminate 401k account documents and fee disclosures has experienced reduced data errors, staffing needs and postage costs. These communications are sent to many of the firm’s business clients, which employ anywhere from dozens to thousands of employees. Furthermore, these clients typically offer their employees 50 investment options, of which each employee can choose 10 for their investment portfolio. With employees changing an investment an average of 4 times every year, the average employee is involved in 14 total investments annually.

The firm must create a packet containing generic information on each investment, but because each employee’s 401k portfolio comprises different investments, the packets must be tailored further.

Compiling these portfolios and fee disclosures previously required the firm to search through individual spreadsheets, locate every investment for every employee, manually compile those investments into a 401k portfolio and fee disclosure, and finally deliver the correct correspondence to the right employee.

With CCM software, however, the year’s 401k data can be dropped into one program, organized, and translated into the appropriate correspondence – instantaneously.

The Bottom Line: CCM Software Increases Efficiency While Eliminating Errors

Customer Communications Management software is making effective customer communication easier than ever before. It eliminates many of the errors that stem from the mishandling or improper organization of complex data. CCM platforms makes executing complex correspondence incredibly efficient and error-proof once source data and the appropriate checks and balances are correctly in place.

Strata Company specializes in technologies that streamline and automate customer correspondence, with both custom development and customizable cloud-based solutions. With over 20 years of experience, Strata helps businesses transform their customer communications experience – executing correspondence with precision accuracy and speed. Call 610-941-6100 to speak with a specialist, or contact us to request a personalized demo.

What is Correspondence Management?

There are few industries that escape the regulatory grasp of federal government. Compliance typically revolves around external communications with customers and regulatory agencies; communications that must be done in a very specific format. Companies that employ a system of logging and tracking all incoming and outgoing correspondence – and granting access on an as-needed basis – streamline their processes to improve efficiency, boost profits and keep regulators at bay.

What is Correspondence Management?

Correspondence Management (CM) refers to amalgamated systems for administering the production, assembly and distribution of business correspondence. Sometimes referred to as Customer Communications Management systems (or CCM for short), these solutions are utilized by corporations and mid-sized businesses, from private investment management companies to federal government agencies like the Department of Justice to fit their specific needs.

CM is not only important for external communication with customers, but also plays a vital role for industries that must adhere to strict directives handed down by state and federal agencies.

Here are three ways Correspondence Management can benefit your business:

  1. Adhering to Regulatory Compliance
    Utilizing a correspondence management tool can help avoid compliance risks in industries with strict regulations and jurisdiction. For example, the 5th Annual Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) Breach Report recorded 164 protected health information (PHI) breaches in 2014. These breaches affected about 9 million patients, representing a 25% increase from 2013.HIPAA violations are punishable by both civil and criminal penalties that can be crippling to a company. Blue Cross of Tennessee was fined $1.5 million by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2012 for violating privacy and security rules. But when you add in all the other expenses, including the entire investigation and mitigation process, the violations ultimately cost the insurer almost $17 million.

    Another example would be financial institutions; as they’re under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), utilizing CM solutions removes guesswork and drastically or completely removes potential for human error from the process. The best-trained, most diligent employees in highly-regulated industries cannot be expected to know every amendment put forth annually.

    An effective CM tool can be built to each clients’ specific needs based on their already existing processes, and improves and updates them as necessary. CM solutions assist your organization in the timely and accurate creation and distribution of correspondence, and archives everything for auditing purposes later on.

  2. Using Multichannel Management Communication
    Despite email and text messages being the dominant forms of communication between individuals and business colleagues today, physical mail and the fax machine are still either preferred or mandated for many formal correspondence programs. This form of correspondence is frequently external, or focuses on business to consumer. For example, physicians still use faxes quite frequently because many believe it to be more secure than email. Attorneys also like the fact that many jurisdictions accept fax signatures on court documents. Many companies are communicating internally and externally with faxes, direct mail, “official” documentation, and other forms of paper-based communication. While some customers prefer electronic communications, mail is still an effective lead generation and business correspondence method in the 21st century.Successful companies will be forced to adopt CM solutions in order to cater appropriately to customer preferences, and make appropriate business decisions regarding delivery format. Bad service, particularly inconsistent and/or illegible correspondence, was the primary reason clients dropped their current financial services provider and found new ones. Customizing delivery channels and personalizing correspondence to your customer’s preferences sets your company apart from the competition and builds loyalty for your brand. Your CM tool should act as the most efficient distribution platform for communicating with your customers.
  3. Increase Bottom Line with Correspondence Management
    Compliance prevents hefty fines, while multichannel capabilities provide flexibility in your communications. But it’s the little things that make the biggest impact on your bottom line. Projects that were formerly labor-intensive are now streamlined through automation and centralized management.
    A surprising number of businesses continue to spend inordinate amounts of time preparing data and related files for correspondence by utilizing manual, inefficient processes. But with correspondence management software, the time spent on this drops dramatically, from weeks to mere minutes in some cases.

Whether the goal is increased customer engagement or compliance with federal regulations, more control over your communications means more individualized messages created specifically for one unique customer or entity. This builds trust in your brand and shows customers that they are distinct and not lumped together in a group. Existing customers will appreciate the engagement efforts, while new customer will recognize a company dedicated to customer satisfaction.

Strata’s Corspon Correspondence Management tool provides a highly-controlled, user-friendly platform for streamlining and automating the creation and dissemination of your customer communications.

Contact us today to find out how we can help improve your correspondence efforts.