CCM has come a long way since its early days when the industry exclusively focused on document composition and print communications. Fast forward thirty years, and the industry looks very different. From the standalone systems and disconnected data silos of its origins, the industry has evolved with CCM technology to provide customers with an omnichannel experience and businesses with beginning-to-end insight into the customer journey.
Customer experience has played an integral role in shaping CCM technology and enterprise businesses' expectations about their CCM solutions. However, that was only sometimes the case. During the 1990s, print communications were the only game in town, and customers had minimal interaction with the businesses that generated their billing and other correspondence.
Things began to change in the 2000s with the emergence of interactive websites where customers could register for online accounts. Moreover, affordable personal computers allow people to access their communications anytime and anywhere. In the 2010s, the emergence of e-commerce gave customers new ways to interact with company websites to make purchases or obtain support. As interactivity increased, customers expected more from the businesses they patronized and the communications they received.
The technological revolution continued through the 2010s as businesses invested in digital communications and multichannel delivery. By 2020, companies leveraged creative advertising that emphasized customer empowerment through a mobile-first strategy. As enterprises recognized the growth opportunities associated with branded communications, CCM was no longer regarded as a cost or revenue center, with marketing taking center stage.
Today, CCM is undergoing another transformation as businesses seek to eliminate siloed departments in a data-driven economy. The standalone systems of a bygone era have been replaced by CCM platforms that can pull data from multiple sources and house information in a centralized system. Today's CCM platforms are integral to diverse IT ecosystems that disseminate communications through various channels.
As CCM solutions evolve, they will need to meet ever-changing customer expectations. Doing so means continuing to provide the services customers have come to expect while adding new features that enhance convenience, ease of use, and satisfaction at each touchpoint on the customer journey. Delivering customer expectations also means giving them what they want under one roof, rather than forcing them to go to one channel to download forms and other channels to obtain additional services.
To provide a seamless customer experience, CCM platforms must sit on top of core systems developed for various industries, pulling and collating data using a centralized communication tool. Rather than making improvements as a by product of core systems, modern platforms must be agile enough to customize and develop solutions that solve new challenges. Throughout the development process, customer experience will be the centrifugal force that drives the next technological evolution for CCM.
With customer experience at the forefront of CCM, businesses can now access valuable information to drive decision-making. Every data point in a customer's history, from their online transactions to conversations with call center representatives, will be ready to inform critical marketing decisions like what mailers to send out or what colors to use to build the company brand. A deeper understanding of customer expectations will help companies retain existing business and create new opportunities.
Like development decisions, buyer options are dependent on end-user requirements. In today's hyper-connected world, technology cannot be batch-based; it must be event-based. Enterprise buyers want solutions that can solve their pain points by connecting to centralized databases and linking compliance and other departments while controlling who does what during document design, composition and approval. To accomplish these lofty ambitions, CCM platforms must become interoperable with quick interactivity that allows businesses to respond in real-time to customer needs and desires.
With increased focus on customer experience, customer behavior analysis has become table stakes for enterprise businesses. In this new era of CCM, buyers must be forward-looking and focused on platform solutions rather than standalone software. Developers of modern platforms will need to identify their target audience and divide this demographic across various market segments to meet buyer requirements and give them new channels, new communication methods, and new ways of telling people how these enterprises care for their end customers.
Innovations in CCM have come a long way from the print-centric standalone systems of the 1990s. Increased customer demand has shifted the industry toward digital communication solutions and from an exclusive focus on print. As CCM platforms integrate with core systems for their industries, the customer experience will continue to shape CCM technology and drive buyer expectations. Through integration with various IT ecosystems, an evolved CCM platform can help businesses solve the challenges of a data-driven economy while providing a seamless experience at every step of the customer journey.
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