Becoming a trusted advisor: how service providers can leverage the CXM revolution to secure long-term profitability May 3, 2022

Two years of unprecedented disruption have accelerated the radical changes reshaping the Customer Communications Management (CCM) market on an evolutionary scale. For the majority of enterprises, the needs of the business have surpassed cost savings as the primary factor influencing investment. Organizations are investing in interactive digital technology and are focused on improving communications experience and boosting customer loyalty. As they centralize their approach and make better use of data, they will move into the next evolutionary step, where businesses begin to adopt a perspective that looks from the outside in, allowing actual consumer needs to shape their communications and placing control in the hands of business users (and eventually) customer experience professionals who can direct a cohesive strategy reaching consumers at every point along their journey. The zenith of this transformation will see an indelible shift from traditional outbound messaging triggered by regulatory requirements toward customer-centric, two-way interactions based on an individual’s needs and calibrated to their preference and convenience.

For Enterprises, transformation from CCM to CXM requires three things:

Modern technology to enable personalized communications that fit customer history and preferences.
Streamlined processes that allow business users to make content changes themselves from a centralized infrastructure (without IT involvement).
Cross-functional teams consisting of customer experience experts, communication professionals, marketers, copywriters and other stakeholders who visualize customer journeys, understand where experiences are broken, and have the power to fix them.

Technology is a key component, but people and processes are equally vital. In order to craft a cohesive plan that can seamlessly send consumers relevant messages on any channel at any point on the customer lifecycle, enterprises are going to have to break down internal silos, establish a single view of customer, and consolidate output within a central hub.

Figure 1: Communications Control Should be at the Center of the Customer Journey

Source: Aspire, 2022

Enterprises are sure to encounter many strategic and logistic obstacles along the path from one-way messaging to truly interactive experiences. Service providers have the opportunity to offer a modern platform that allows clients to achieve greater business value through consistent and personalized omni-channel conversations that can flow seamlessly from one medium to the next at every touchpoint along the customer journey.

That’s a tall order that’s going to require choosing solutions partners that offer a wide range of capabilities on technology platforms that are easily scalable and simple to integrate with legacy software. Open integration will also be important moving forward, allowing enterprises the freedom to easily plug in outside solutions that can fill any gaps in a single vendor platform.

While many Service Provider already offer tactical customer experience solutions, few have the brand permission or necessary connections to work with their client’s C-suite to enact real strategic change. Meanwhile, CCM technology vendors and even new players from adjacent markets have identified the CXM opportunity and are encroaching on the evolving customer communications space, all vying to become an end-to-end next-gen services provider.

Figure 2: The Competitive Landscape is Dramatically Evolving

Source: Aspire, 2022

Aspire believes that the omni-channel provider industry will be redefined in the years to come as transactional print providers and BPOs with a strong history in billing, compliance, and payments expand deeper into data analytics and customer experience, often by acquiring digital agencies and design firms. Meanwhile, digital agencies and advertising firms with a background in marketing, design, and brand services are beginning to approach from the other direction, helping their marketing clients establish a stronger stake in billing, services, and compliance communications. They are also starting to sell into IT environments, sometimes through partnerships with system integrators. They often approach this from a perspective of customer value optimization highly centered on CRM and marketing automation. For their part, system or solution integrators are leveraging their history of implementing traditionally siloed billing, service, and marketing technology solutions to build omni-channel consultancy practices around centralized platforms based on best-in-class or self-developed technology. Those organizations are powered by cutting edge AI, allowing them to achieve faster migration at significantly lower costs.

While many enterprises realize control of their communications is key, most lack the skills, resources, and domain expertise necessary to develop and execute on strategy. They would happily outsource specialized skilled assets or ask their strategic partners to manage technology on their behalf. (This is especially true for the most digitally mature organizations who prefer to procure CCM through a hosted managed service. Going into the new decade, we expect hybrid models to emerge that blur the lines between insourcing and outsourcing.) Enterprises with high CXM maturity also feel that service providers offer better customer service at lower cost and have a better understanding of compliance and security than software vendors.

Service providers should capitalize on this advantage by becoming both a trusted advisor on everything customer experience and a careful curator of CCM technology with an unwavering focus on helping their clients improve end customer experience. Providers will have to become experts in helping their clients navigate the complex technology landscape. Even the largest CCM vendors cannot offer everything, and one measure of success for providers in the CXM ecosystem will be how successfully they can source, integrate, and offer new solutions to their clients.

As experts in CCM-to-CXM transformation we help software vendors, service providers, and enterprises find digital success through meaningful customer interactions that have a positive and indelible effect on customer experience. As part of this effort, we are currently conducting an international enterprise survey to better understand the challenges services providers face when implementing digital and omni-channel communications strategies and services. For information, please contact me at will.morgan@aspireccs.com.

May 3, 2022
Will Morgan

https://www.aspireleaderboard.com/insights/becoming-a-trusted-advisor-how-service-providers-can-leverage-the-cxm-revolution-to-secure-long-term-profitability

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