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Top considerations for ECM and content services in a customer-first digital world

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Next, it needs to be future proof. It needs to have the capability to either capture and manage voice channel communications or integrate with purpose-built systems designed to record and store web, cell and land line calls. This also includes customer service call backs.

It also needs to integrate with current and future applications designed to capture and store communications from chat channels, such as chatbots, live chat, messenger apps and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as modern face-to-face channels or modern enterprise video communications to capture recorded video.

A modern integrated ECM, CPS, and CCM solution needs to be like a Swiss Army knife – maybe not an expert at any one type of archiving, management and presentment, but have the ability to integrate with a multitude of applications at the content level and present customer communications in the form needed for consumption. For example, to automate the conversion process of transactional customer communications and personalize them on demand, like transactional promotion (transpromo) marketing, the solution needs to integrate with print stream transformation utilities and post-composition tools. This permits an organization to optimize archived content, post-production and distribution workflows across physical and electronic channels.

The solution also needs to be fast, easy and efficient to use. Plus, it needs to meet the needs of lines of businesses that communicate with customers:

  • Customer service - They need to access and view the exact same documents that the customer sees, provide product instructions, communicate the latest marketing and sales incentives, share compliance related information, etc.
  • Self-service portal - Customers want to be able to find, view and download communications, information and related documents using their own devices.
  • Compliance requirements - Exact replicas of customer communications and records must be bundled and readily available for viewing and printing even if they are in a multitude of systems.
  • Legal - In case of litigation, organizations must bundle and provide required documents in a reasonable matter of time for eDiscovery.
  • Marketing & sales - Combine customer communications and social media posts with personalized content and targeted offers to boost cross-selling and up-selling, improve customer retention and loyalty.
  • Billing & collections - Securely share documents and supply transaction and billing history.
  • Decision makers - Have real-time dashboard reporting of inbound and outbound customer communications and interactions; take proactive steps to mitigate customer defections before they happen.

Finally, a modern, high-performance integrated ECM, CSP, and CCM solution needs to have:

  • Seamless integration with current and future enterprise applications that create or manage enterprise content and customer communications.
  • Open standards architecture that makes use of web services, avoids vendor lock-in to specific platforms, hardware or programming languages and utilizes containerized software to roll out software in day or weeks, rather than months, without disrupting operations.
  • Compatibility with other systems or components is another key aspect. For example, using REST APIs to share documents and communicate with electronic signature applications.
  • Agility to deploy faster and adapt more easily to changes and scale more easily.
  • Reach to provide secure document access within and outside of your organization.
  • Near infinite scalability to ingest millions of pages per hour, with no disruption to operations, and support hundreds of thousands of concurrent users in real time by transforming print-ready documents to PDF or responsive HTML5.
  • Document quality preservation, to ensure images aren’t down-sampled to lower resolutions and substitute fonts and to compress print streams so restored documents are in their original, high-quality resolution.
  • Exceptional repository performance that grows continuously and has no degradation to services. For example, regardless of repository size, search stays fast and nimble. Users can instantly retrieve and view the exact page they want, no matter how old, no matter how many pages in that print stream and no matter how many pages in the customer document.
  • Flexibility to support a multitude of electronic and print file formats. Users need to have almost unlimited flexibility to enhance, change, combine and reengineer print streams. And the repository should be flexible enough to integrate with accounting, billing and customer care systems as well as web applications.

Putting it together

ECM, CSP, and CCM platforms do a good job of managing enterprise content and customer communications in mostly non-integrated functional silos that support specific employees, business processes and applications, but these data silos are deteriorating the customer experience. They are not paving the way to create a consistent and personalized experience across all customer channels.

Using cloud computing and REST API web services helps to integrate content and data from existing ECM, CSP, and CCM systems and applications to achieve content and process integration. This approach will improve operational performance because employees who communicate with customers will have customer content and communications at their fingertips. It will also increase application versatility and usability by transforming file formats into mobile-ready responsive HTML5 layouts and making documents accessible for the blind and partially sighted. Furthermore, productivity and flexibility will be enhanced by making customer data and communications available in real time for employees, partners and customers.

The benefits to this approach are far and wide for an organization, but one of the most impactful is improving customer experiences. This will in turn increase customer retention and loyalty.  According to the article, “The Value of Investing in Loyal Customers,” increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%-95%. With that return, putting forth the effort to integrate ECM, CSP, and CCM platforms is well worth it.

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