Lots of stuff can be good, but it can also be overwhelming. We all want stuff, but when you are faced with a big blob of it, how do you start to organize it, and how do you put it to use?
I recently went into one of those big warehouse type stores – an overstock hub where you can get good stuff for great prices, but the store was a complete chaotic mess of stuff. I set out to buy a backyard firepit but did not want to search the massive mecca of disorganized stuff to find what I wanted. So, I left and they lost the sale.
I went down the street to a similar type store that was organized by basic departments. The firepits were located by the outdoor furniture and grills. I made my purchase quickly without having to walk around in circles, and because the store organized the department with similar items, I also purchased some firepit accessories. Good for me, good for them. And I bet you can guess which store I will go back to next time.
Similarly, the world of customer communications management is made up of information. Lots of it. But you don’t want to just start throwing information on your customer engagement shelves. How do you reach the goal of exceptional customer engagement and retention with so much information to work from?
Full customer engagement is key; according to the State of the American Consumer Report, fully engaged customers represent 23% improvement in profitability, wallet share, and relationship growth over customers that are partially engaged. According to a Gallup study, customers spend, on average, 30% more with brands they feel fully engaged with.
As with all the stuff in the big overstock store, there is a way to organize customer information to drive full engagement. Two cornerstones of customer information management are Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Customer Communications Management (CCM). They sound similar, but they do different things. It’s important to understand the differences, so you can determine how they can work together to keep your customers happy. If ECM is an apple and CCM is an orange, they’d make a pretty tasty fruit salad.
Think of ECM as a systematic process, or a strategy on how to use content. It’s a means of organizing content, not just to have it in one place, but to meet specific goals. Let’s say we’re back in the overstock store and checking out. They ask for your information so they can keep a history of basic customer activities: what you’ve bought, warranties, recent purchases, stuff like that. Once they capture the information, they can organize it so that, for instance, you can be added to their web portal. When information is stored, older data or purchasing activity is archived. This way, when they pull you up in the future, they can get right to the most recent intel for a speedier customer experience.
The ECM manages the information, but the CCM puts it to work. The CCM streamlines the archived information the ECM has collected and managed. The goal is to create the most personalized experience possible to drive full customer engagement. Back in the overstock store, they note that you’re shopping on a holiday, which has been stored in the ECM. As a result, the CCM might automatically generate special offers for items related to upcoming holidays: a TV for Super Bowl Sunday, or a wading pool for 4th of July. Because the CCM automates routines, you might receive an incentive coupon if you haven’t visited the store in a few months.
While the ECM strategizes the use of content, the CCM executes the actions to leverage that content. They’re different beasts, but when they work together they can offer a streamlined, personalized customer experience. And happy customers are returning customers.
To learn how CCM ties the customer experience together, view our infographic.