Printing used to be a much simpler business. The pace of communications was slower. There was more time for design and more time to print. In the heyday of the US advertising boom, printing was a craft with turnaround times measured in weeks and months. The development of communication campaigns focused on long-tail returns calculated in months and years. As high-quality digital printing options and smart online delivery entered the spectrum, the speed of communications and printing accelerated to new heights. The requirement from our customers to deliver faster and faster has also increased.
Competition is also growing. More companies have access to software tools and reasonably priced digital printing equipment that make it possible for print companies to expand into multi-channel communication. That type of expansion requires knowledge beyond print. It requires an understanding of Customer Communications Management (CCM) processes and their role in the communication your clients deliver to their constituent. In the 2000s, the “Customer Experience” rose to the top as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for many industries and brands. If you haven’t been paying attention to this metric, you may be missing an opportunity to expand the work you do for your customers.
What is the Customer Experience? Consider these three definitions from industry leaders:
- Forrester: How customers perceive their interactions with your company.
- Bain & Company: Delivering delightful experiences to customers while simplifying processes and eliminating costs.
- HubSpot: Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey. It results in their view of your brand and impacts factors related to your bottom-line including revenue.
Creating an excellent customer experience relies on a strong CCM strategy. Gartner tells us:
The strategy to improve the creation, delivery, storage and retrieval of outbound communications, including those for marketing, new product introductions, renewal notifications, claims correspondence and documentation, and bill and payment notifications.
At Ricoh, we want you to imagine change and the possibilities that come from a strong CCM workflow so that you can grow your business. Here are some tips on what to look for—and a free webinar to provide you with more information:
- How does work comes in and progresses through your print business (a.k.a., know your workflow!).
- How flexible are your onboarding and workflow solutions – can they support multi-channel delivery?
- Can you offer your customers options for communication preference management to keep their recipients communication needs in sync with their current requirements?
- Can you support real-time alerts, notifications, visibility, and reporting?
- Where are your bottlenecks? (Bonus tip: Some may be hidden—keep digging!)
At Ricoh, we can help you determine your current state while also offering you the ability to learn more quickly. We invite you to watch our webinar discussion on How Customer Communication Management (CCM) Impacts the Customer Experience.
Meet the Author
Jeffrey Hoopes is a 25 year veteran of the Customer Communication Management and Print Workflow industries working for such companies as Quadient, Hewlett Packard, Pitney Bowes, and Exstream Software. He has a keen interest in how communications affect customer experience. Jeff’s focus at Ricoh is to help companies accelerate their transition to an omni-channel communication strategy by aligning legacy business processes with customer engagement technologies while minimizing disruption to the business.