Digital is hot. Organizations are integrating digital capabilities into all aspects of their systems. Any technology solution that interacts with customers, producers or partners should provide digital access.
Customer communications management (CCM) solutions, which enable interactions, originally focused solely on composition—the creation of the document, statement, letter or other communication.
While composition is still a central element of CCM solutions, the focus has shifted to the delivery of the communication. The question “Should we provide digital access?” can easily be answered with a definite “yes.”
However, the answers to two other questions will help define what digital capabilities to look for in a CCM solution:
- What level of sophistication is required for digital access and delivery?
- Which digital capabilities will provide the greatest value to customers, producers and partners?
Not all digital access and delivery is equal. Customers may be able to access documents on an organization’s portal, but they may not display correctly on a mobile device or may be difficult to navigate.
Organizations should at least strive to ensure that documents, statements and other content are created so that they can be rendered properly on mobile devices using popular operating systems.
One approach is to use CCM solutions that are able to produce responsive output.
Creating PDF output (or converting to PDF) is another, as most digital platforms can now display content in that format.
Another important consideration is communications design. Traditionally, communications were designed for documents or letters delivered via mail or viewed on a computer screen. The form factors for tablets and smartphones, as well as the type of communication, must be considered when determining how to lay out content for viewing.
A simple example is creating an SMS text message for delivery to a mobile phone while a more complex example is the creation of statements with color, enticing visual elements and easy-to-read text that will be viewed on a tablet. The level of sophistication required will vary depending on customer segments, document type and other factors.
Most-Valuable Digital Capabilities
It’s easy to get caught up in the technical options and capabilities. However, the first step should be to determine what types of communications are most important, and which of those will be valued by recipients in digital form.
The best way to address this is to include digital capabilities as part of an overall communications strategy. Inventory the types and volume of communications currently created and managed by CCM solutions for customers, producers and partners.
Ask customers about their preferences—which segments have the highest demand for digital documents? Which of those documents do they expect to access and view on mobile devices? Create a grid with document types and user segments to map out priorities based on perceived value, demand and volume.
Just like many other technology rollouts, the key is to understand the business value and create a plan to roll out capabilities where value will be realized and in this case, along with document types and digital formats.
There are many considerations regarding the creation and delivery of digital documents, correspondence and other communications.
Digital capabilities are increasingly becoming table stakes, and digital delivery of almost anything is possible and allowed (with some regulatory exceptions).
The most important advice is to focus on customers first and technology second. Digital priorities should be driven by business value.