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Can your CCM system support your crisis communications needs? 12 questions to ask

BY Pam Mugford

Legacy customer communications management systems (CCM) require IT to do the heavy lifting when it comes to building, editing, proofing, targeting, and testing customer communications.

This process frustrates communications teams at the best of times, but in times of crisis like the recent pandemic, it can create a fundamental business issue. The time required to build new communication touchpoints or even edit existing ones is typically measured in weeks, preventing an organization from responding quickly to crises in order to provide customers with necessary information.  When communications need to go out the door ASAP, this delay can be disastrous.  In fact, due to the shortcomings of internal legacy systems, many organizations have been forced to look to external service providers to create crisis-related communications, which adds extra time, cost, and reduces control.

Modern CCM solutions provide organizations with intelligent solutions that enable them to respond quickly in times of crisis.

Find out whether your CCM solution is up to the task by asking yourself these key questions:

  1. Does your CCM solution enable business users to author content, proof, and test communications with sufficient control and capability that enables them to respond in a crisis without IT support?
  2. Does your CCM solution enable business users to create rules so you can easily target customers by demographics, such as ZIP code (for specific messages to regions that might be impacted differently), or to respect language and channel preferences?
  3. Does your CCM solution enable your business users to create a variation of an existing communication within minutes to customize and update for an unexpected situation?
  4. Does your CCM solution enable you to centrally control and share content, down to a granular level (such as a phone number or URL within a paragraph), across multiple communications in multiple channels to accelerate change management and take advantage of existing content repositories?
  5. Does your CCM solution support all your customer communications channels (print, email, SMS, Web) in one system to ensure your communications are updated at the same time and consistent in the information conveyed to customers?
  6. Does your CCM solution automatically help you improve the quality of your content by controlling adherence to brand guidelines, reading comprehension levels and sentiment to ensure your communications are trusted, understood, and communicate the right feeling?
  7. Are user roles flexible and configurable so that you can enable a super user to author content, apply targeting rules, and proof and test communications in order to accelerate time to market?
  8. Does your CCM solution enable you to quickly empower customer service teams with pre-approved, standardized content, and communications that can also be personalized in real-time?
  9. Does your CCM solution allow you to quickly and easily modify an important bulletin across all your standard servicing customer communications at once with a single change?
  10. Is it cloud-based to ensure it’s easily accessible remotely and product updates are completed without IT support?
  11. Does your CCM solution scale to sufficiently support your needs?
  12. Does your CCM solution tie you into one print vendor or are you able to easily move print jobs in case a supplier is no longer operational?

If the recent COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we should be prepared for the unexpected. Having customer communications management solutions that enable you to both prepare and plan for crisis situations and respond quickly to those situations that can’t be predicted is critical to maintaining business operations and strong customer relationships in times of crisis.

Watch the webinar replay – Crisis Communications: Best Practices for Preparing for the unexpected – as we discuss strategies that enable organizations to increase their agility with customer communications during a time of crisis.

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