Communication-Platforms

For You and Your Customers’ Sake: Streamlining Communication Platforms

It’s a fair bet your employees and end-customers have information coming at them from all angles all hours of the day. They have to be increasingly choosy about the communications they consume – they need it in the formats and across the channels that work for them. This has serious implications for the ways enterprises engage with their customers. It means taking a hard look at communications platforms, optimizing customer correspondence and streamlining operations to make it run smoothly.

Most enterprises suffer from a complex amalgamation of platforms with dozens of workflows, applications, resources and software solutions dedicated to communicating with customers for transactional and marketing purposes. What most often happens is this: different business units operate autonomously and under their own budgets, creating silos that inadvertently duplicate capital and resource expenses. Over time, these siloed environments employ redundant systems and databases, expend redundant efforts and may even distribute redundant communications, creating a costly, non-cohesive enterprise communication workflow environment and a negative user experience.

Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) companies, for example, have long been deeply reliant on paper. They have stringent compliance issues to deal with and loads of sensitive data. But their customers are eager to adopt e-communications and a more comprehensive digital experience. Large, institutionalized BFSI firms are under attack from the new, tech-savvy digital cloud-based firms that are not burdened with disparate operating systems and antiquated technologies. These older technologies create a challenge for unifying communication effort across an enterprise.

Streamlining communications platforms and applications is an important piece of the digitization process. Though often overlooked, it is a requirement for meeting expectations and delivering a better experience for the connected employee and connected customer. A consolidated and comprehensive communication management platform allows organizations to:  

  • Streamline workflows and improve processes to drive efficiency and cost savings
  • Eliminate manual touches and activities and reduce resource spend
  • Obtain information in an easy-to-access way
  • Reduce risks associated with data access based on content being housed in one source
  • Deliver accurate and relevant communications
  • Improve collaboration across the ecosystem

Streamlining communications comes down to two things: 1) consolidating and rationalizing platforms and workflows; and 2) removing manual touchpoints as much as possible. In fact, without addressing the backbone of your communication platform, it’s nearly impossible to implement digital channels.

To streamline and simplify communication platforms, organizations must first do their due diligence. They need to understand their current-state internal environment from a user perspective within each business/department. A complete assessment and mapping of the current-state user experience (UX) and the user interface (UI) is essential and should include relevant data, content, knowledge management and business needs. A similar assessment is needed for the external customer experience to truly understand their expectations and requirements. All too often companies undertake their initiative to simplify, streamline and improve customer communications and experience without involving their customers!

The next step in the process is understanding and mapping the current infrastructure, processes, resources and internal and external integrations involved in generating and distributing communications. Organizations need to sunset or convert legacy infrastructure, break down siloed systems and businesses, and garner the support of internal teams for a new omni-channel system that can enable the creation, delivery, storage, retrieval and analysis of outbound and interactive communications in both digital and traditional forms.

Knowing how to navigate the complexity of the market can be challenging. ISG’s Document Advisory Services helps enterprises design a strategy and roadmap to simplify and eliminate redundant platforms and workflows and reduce resources needed for the creation, distribution and management of internal and customer-facing content. ISG helps enterprises determine which platform(s) will adequately meet their future-state needs.

The journey is not a quick one, but the outcomes of increased efficiency and improved user experience will help you create a healthier relationship with those that matter most: your customers. Contact us to discuss how we can help you. Your customers will thank you.

About the authors

Dave Zamorski is the Senior Director and Lead of Document Advisory Services. He specializes in optimizing document intensive environments and working with clients to develop a clearly defined future-state strategy for an improved user and customer experience.

Lisa Meath is the Director of Document Advisory Services. She advises and strategizes with clients on the streamlining and simplification of document environments, workflows and communication platforms to enhance internal processes and improve customer omni-channel experience.