By Michael Watts, COO, GMC Software Technology
The rapid proliferation of mobile devices and the advent of social media are changing the dynamic between business organizations and their customers. Today�s consumers have a growing expectation that they will receive a highly personalized one-to-one immediate experience when it comes to the companies with which they choose to do business. Insurance organizations are no exception, making an effective customer communications strategy essential for building trust and loyalty with insurance customers.
Developing and implementing a customer communications management (CCM) solution that will allow an organization to access relevant customer data and repurpose it for effective multichannel communications can be a disruptive, revolutionary project. For most if not all, insurance organizations, producing and delivering consistent multichannel communications will require coordinating multiple, separate legacy applications and systems. This can be a time consuming and costly process, often involving the parallel development and management of multiple channel communication applications to overcome inflexible and obsolete print-centric software.
Rather than undertaking such a process, insurance organizations may consider adopting a CCM strategy with a holistic, evolutionary approach that avoids the need to rebuild data structures, content and business logic, thereby maintaining the value in the existing environment and integration of legacy systems.
Adopting an evolutionary approach to customer communications
An evolutionary approach can be achieved by designing a CCM solution with an open architecture that enables the insurance organization to easily access all relevant data and aggregate the multiple, disparate data sources contained in legacy and siloed front and back office applications, systems and workflows. An important consideration is whether data can be processed in its raw state, avoiding the expensive and time consuming task of preparing the data before any repurposing can be accomplished. With this approach the organization will be able to efficiently and cost-effectively access customer data and content from legacy communications and quickly transform it into new communications that can be sent through the customer�s channel of choice.
As part of this strategy to CCM, insurance organizations may need the ability to mine numerous data sources, including CRM, ERP, SAP, ECM, Web-based XML data and even integrate with social media sites. Combining data on customer preferences, life stage and past transactions provides an enriched single view of each customer that enables more relevant, targeted communications.
Adopting the right CCM strategy will allow an insurance organization to:
- Create and manage structured, interactive and on-demand communications or repurpose existing legacy applications
- Design the most dynamic communications while controlling content to ensure compliance and brand consistency
- Optimize document production and delivery across any channels including print, email, text messaging, web, mobile, and other digital and paper channels.
Taking a closer look
As an example, suppose an insurance company is interested in differentiating itself by including personalized color graphs and marketing messages in the white space on previously black and white customer statements. In this instance, formatted statement data for the black and white statements is contained in an AFP print stream. While there are many ways to convert an AFP spool into other formats, having the capability to directly ingest an AFP exit spool and analyze it for the wide range of data required to effectively generate the new communications will dramatically reduce the burden on the organization�s IT resources. If business users can intercept the AFP exit spool and examine it for both relevant data and unused white space on a record-by-record basis, they will be able to identify where to put messaging on each statement and what messaging to use, right from the spool data. Existing customer information and content can be quickly reformatted and recomposed with variable images, marketing messages, dynamic color graphs and other eye-catching and relevant content without the need to enlist IT support or touch any of the backend systems and processes.
A CCM strategy of this kind holds the potential for dramatic cost savings and numerous process efficiencies, as well as reduced time to market for new products and marketing campaigns. In many cases, the alternative would be to upgrade legacy software that has limited formatting capabilities and that was not designed to include color graphics. An upgrade could involve the difficult and expensive process of transforming the document workflow from a set of fixed templates to a more dynamic composition process.
Making the proper investment needed to have the ability to repurpose data and content for a streamlined customer communications workflow makes it possible to leverage existing infrastructure and improve agility for insurance organizations. In a highly competitive market, all businesses need the ability to quickly respond to market forces with messaging that tie to the needs of their customers.
Michael Watts is COO for GMC Software Technology, a provider of document output for customer communication management. GMC Software Technology offers a seamless, easy-to-use, and powerful solution that enables business users to reduce the complexity and costs of customer communication management across business silos. The company�s secure, scalable, and reliable solution produces personalized and regulatory compliant communications that can be delivered to members via the channel or choice. He can be reached at [email protected]
About About GMC Software Technology
GMC Software Technology delivers the most effective solutions in the field of Customer Communications Management (CCM). With unrivalled experience in the industry, GMC has consistently demonstrated the ability to help businesses increase customer engagement across all touchpoints. The company�s CCM platform, GMC Inspire, enables enterprises to deliver relevant communications, at the right time, through the preferred channel for every customer � driving customer loyalty, acquisition and operational efficiency.
GMC Software Technology serves thousands of clients worldwide across the banking, insurance, retail, business services, telco/utilities and healthcare industry. Having received numerous awards in the field Customer Communications Management, the company is recognized as an industry leader for innovation. For more information visit www.gmc.net.