SOI Direct Mail: Multichannel Management:
Step Three: Scan the marketplace for companies that can help you meet, or exceed, your customers' expectations. Thanks to the lightning-fast pace of technology innovation, companies have a dizzying array of choices to make when it comes to enhancing their customer communications. It can be hard to know where to begin.
One piece of advice is to try not to stitch together your own solution in a piecemeal fashion. CCM, at its best, is an end-to-end, integrated set of activities that combine customer data analysis and profiling, physical and digital document creation, multichannel distribution and multichannel response management with response analysis. It is important to work with technology companies that have expertise across these different areas, and that can help integrate them so they work together and reinforce each other. This approach helps with accountability and reporting, and reduces finger-pointing among different suppliers.
Also, stick with companies that are going to be around for the long term. If you purchase your CCM solutions "à la carte," you increase the risk that at least one of your suppliers will disappear or discontinue support for its products. You should work with large, established suppliers that have a strong track record, good financials and an integrated approach to CCM.
Step Four: Identify solutions that are as easy for your customers as they are for you. The potential for multichannel CCM is very exciting. But beware, there are likely to be many failures there before successes. The failures are most likely going to fall into the trap of being designed for the ease, convenience and benefit of the companies, without much thought to the actual lifestyle of the busy consumers who are supposed to be the end-users. This is understandable because it is the mailers who will pay for CCM solutions, and will therefore disproportionately influence their design.