Digital transformation has radically changed both customer expectations and the possibilities of how businesses engage with customers. Personalized, customizable communication across traditional and digital channels is no longer just preferable, but expected. Given the growing trend towards seamless customer experiences, enterprises now realize that they cannot win without upping upgrading their customer experience game with a well-planned customer communication management (CCM) strategy.
For insurers, this often means replacing their legacy CCM systems with a modern platform that has more features and capabilities to support their digital communications strategy. Although implementing a modern CCM platform is integral to customer communication success in the digital era, the level of planning and strategy work that comes before the implementation plays a significant role in how effectively an insurer will leverage the new platform for their CCM strategy. How can leaders driving these efforts ensure implementation success? Based on our experience helping insurer clients modernize their CCM environment, high-quality planning boils down to insurers being able to answer the three following questions:
- What is the concept of a modern CCM?
- What key features can I leverage in the modern platform to improve my current processes?
- What skills do I need on my team to support my CCM strategy into the future?
These questions can act as a framework to help guide insurers to upgrade their CCM strategy, modernize their processes for the digital era, and build a strong technical team to lead the platform implementation to success.
Customer Experience Strategy in Application: One Insurer’s CCM Journey
Here’s how one annuities company effectively applied this framework to their CCM strategy and planning:
Breaking down the concept of CCM to start
The annuities company, which offers annuities for retail investors and fixed income products for institutional investors, began their journey by first conducting an architectural assessment of their CCM platform. The problems were evident: the carrier did not have the ability to deliver documents via multiple channels, and the CCM team came from a legacy background that lacked the expertise and experience to manage a complex modern CCM platform. Their “old” concept of CCM was simply document generation, where their internal team would spend hours manually pulling data from multiple systems to populate fields on a Microsoft Word form.
To transition from this outdated concept, this insurer needed a new understanding of customer communications—one that is more aligned to communications in the digital age. This required the insurer to identify all the different components necessary to generate a document—for example the data, design, coding, scripting, modules, and inputs and outputs. Breaking down the concept of CCM and being able to see customer communications in all its parts allowed the insurer to rethink processes and add more flexibility and customizations into their communications.
Identifying key features to leverage
Internally, the client lacked the proper technical skills and tools to manage intricate data input and drive effective, simplified multi-channel output. They did not have a standard guide for requirements gathering nor did their old CCM support a consistent template and stylesheet concept for better governance. Application design inefficiently utilized multiple text boxes, unnamed rules, and hard coded statements for seemingly simple documents.
To accommodate for these challenges, the carrier had to identify key features in their chosen CCM platform—OpenText Exstream—to close their knowledge gaps and modernize their processes and templates. This led them to leverage Adobe InDesign to create communication that follows a consistent Communication Standards Guide, OpenText Advance to properly use dynamic design concepts, and ExStream’s debugging functionalities for operational efficiency.
Developing technical skills for support into the future
Once the insurer decided on the features to leverage, they realized that they had to expand their team’s skill sets to support these additional features and functionalities. For example, in order to provide an omni-channel experience, the IT team had to be further trained in SFTP, Java/.Net, Message Queues, and Responsive HTML. The team also honed in on developing their knowledge of rest APIs and Webservices to further integrate their systems with Core Applications.
These new technical skills allowed the insurer to reduce repeatable tasks and increase productivity. Training the team in those areas not only closed knowledge gaps, but also lowered development cost and improved overall business user control over content management. This further deepened the team’s understanding of modern communications and eased the troubleshooting process for large sets of data. As insurers upgrade their strategy to add additional capabilities, they must concurrently evolve their IT teams to be able to support those features.
Implementing Your CCM Strategy
The three-question framework comes down to this: improving customer experience in insurance means transitioning away from CCM as simply document generation, building the essential features into the requirements of the platform, and finally developing the team’s skills to fully utilize the features to build clear, consistent and personalized customized communication for customers. CCM strategy is not a one-fits-all package, and clients’ knowledge base and desired features desired vary. Ultimately, insurers must be able to define their company’s specific concept of CCM to find a strategy that works for them. These three questions can serve as a useful starting point for insurers to identify their concept and take actionable steps for their CCM strategy.
For a more complete picture of how this client’s’ CCM journey and, more project-tested, client-based tips for improving customer experiences, check out the full webinar for more project-tested, client-based tips for improving customer experiences.
Ready to revamp your CCM strategy? Check out ValueMomentum’s Customer Communication Management Services.