The Importance of Communication Management Platforms

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

In an age where there are so many ways to communicate, it can often be difficult to blend the right mix of channels to deliver a specific message.

With critical customer communications (such as messages that organisations send to their customers and prospects to promote or advertise their offerings  or to inform them about business transactions) there is an additional challenge. Not only do you have to make sure your message, no matter which channel you choose, is conveyed in such a way that pleases your audience but your message also needs to meet governmental regulations.

There are a huge volume of customer communications of this type – worth (according to InfoTrends*) $56B worldwide in 2013 and this volume is forecast to grow by 6.9% CAGR (InfoTrends*) . So managing customer communications can be a logistical nightmare if you’re not prepared for it.

Introducing Ricoh’s  Customer Communication Management (CCM) platform

Fortunately, Ricoh’s CCM platform makes those goals easily attainable for businesses of many sizes and types, including large enterprises, commercial printers, and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Our CCM platform leverages a variety of software – both homegrown and from our partner companies – to help organisations looking to reach big audiences do so, with defensible audit trails and automated workflow features included.

Components of Ricoh's CCM platform

Components of Ricoh’s CCM platform

When sending out these kinds of communications, it is critical that the document goes to the right place – whether that’s a mailing address, email inbox or branded web portal customers can access at will.  This can often be more than just a question of effective communication; it can be a question of regulatory compliance and avoiding costly fines.

That’s why, beyond accurate addressing protocols, our software helps enact security measures – from secure electronic presentment to encrypted data streams intended for email bodies, attachments, or printed output – to keep customers’ information safe. Additionally, CCM software diligently tracks and records the movements of these documents, so they don’t just know their data is safe, but they can also show it is, making meeting regulatory requirements that much easier.

How  Credit Mutuel  in France uses CCM

Credit mutuel-banner

As a result of Ricoh’s CCM solution mail optimised processing and multi-channel delivery has cut postal costs by more than 20%. Print costs have fallen too, with more documents printed using cost-efficient, production systems.

 “The simple web-based interface is used to generate professionally presented documents. The integrated solution has increased core business productivity and improved customer centricity. It is also saving the bank money”” Crédit Mutuel Arkéa

Find out more

Getting messages across

While keeping personal data safe is clearly important, at its heart, communication is about getting messages across. You can’t get your message across if no one’s reading your communications.

Latest research** has found that people were much more likely to respond to a bill if prompted by a letter through the post rather than via email (80 per cent vs 54 per cent).

That’s why programs within our CCM platform strive to make listening to what organisations have to say as easy and enjoyable as possible for customers.

It is with that in mind that Ricoh and its developer partners designed CCM software with preference management capabilities – that is, allowing communicators to leverage a database matching customers with the channel they’d like to be contacted through and automatically routing communications accordingly: Customers who prefer to be contacted via email get emails, those who prefer printed mail get printed mail, and so on.

Ricoh’s CCM platform goes beyond addressing customers where they want to be spoken to, helping users address customers how they want to be addressed, too. Emails are created by dynamically pulling critical information into readable templates that not only sound like one human being addressing another but also are less likely to get caught up in a spam filter than less sophisticated approaches. Electronic presentment options allow users to customize and brand their content portals, creating a pleasant viewing experience for visitors. Printed communications get a boost, too, leveraging variable data to customise collateral to directly address recipients, potentially boosting response rates.

Whatever the type, format or channel of communication, Ricoh has the expertise and CCM workflow tools to help.

Visit ricoh-europe.com/ccm for more information.

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Notes:

“The Value of Customer Communications – Sizing & Forecast 2013-2018”, InfoTrends July 2015

**‘Managing Money Online’ – Keep Me Posted with London Economics, Sept 2015

 

Infographic – Customer Communications Management

Digital media is disrupting corporate communication requirements and
spending. Below are some key findings from a recent survey conducted by
InfoTrends in Western Europe across vertical markets.
As communication investment grows in online and mobile, indications are
that print is still an important element of an integrated customer
communication strategy, but managing a mix of channels is still challenging
for many organisations.

 

Ricoh Infographic - Critical Communications Management

Ricoh Infographic – Critical Communications Management

Download as a PDF – Ricoh_CCM_infographic v1

 

Customer Communication Management trends – the growing complexity of managing customised, multi-channel corporate communications

Many of today’s corporate communication strategies are being driven by the need to serve and communicate with customers that have different delivery requirements and preferences. So it is no surprise to learn from a recent InfoTrends study that many corporate organisations are pursuing a multi-channel communication strategy to control the growing complexity of related processes.

Despite the migration of many communications both to online and to mobile delivery the study also highlighted that organisations are increasing their use of blended communications, incorporating print with digital channels.

Ricoh Infographic - Customer Communication Management

Ricoh Infographic – Customer Communication Management

Although traditional print continues to decline, it still represents 40% of respondents’ communication spending in the last year. But its future role hinges on its ability to integrate seamlessly with other channels.  And, where respondents are using print as part of an integrated blend of communications (indeed 31% state they already are), it’s achieving some of the best customer response rates. Up to 27% in some cases.

Growth in the use of digital media is reshaping the way organisations manage the growing complexity of communication processes.  The study found that up to a third of organisations are already managing their communication processes in-house. And over a third of firms in financial services are managing their own data analytics to optimise targeted customer communications. This suggests that many organisations are already taking more central control of the content and creation of communications.

InfoTrends conclude that in order to react to ever changing customer demands and market environments, organisations will require investment in technology and workflow automation enhancements that improve productivity, delivery speed, and cost.

Having the flexibility of managing content and the creation of communications in-house, and then fulfilling production of it onsite through a CRD or offsite via external service providers, can be the best overall strategy in many cases. This depends largely on the nature, scale or urgency of the requirement.

There are many solutions and services available to organisations providing the desired level of control over a broad range of communication types – from general customer correspondence to marketing or transactional documents.  Ricoh can help organisations formulate a communications management strategy using a range of technology and services from Precision Marketing consultancy to implementing a multi-channel communication workflow that facilitates onsite or offsite fulfilment – or a combination of both.

Download the Infotrends white paper – Key Trends in Customer Communication Management

Find out more at: ricoh-europe.com/ccm