CRM has been criticised on many counts over the years, with a key point being the difficulty of communicating with the customer at a time when it is useful and relevant (to build the relationship and increase profit), says David Reed, author of a new book on customer communications management.
Over the last decade, many businesses have invested in CRM initiatives intended to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty to boost their revenue streams. At the heart of CRM is a set of activities that come under the heading "customer communication." These activities include everything from billing to direct mail marketing to e-marketing to electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) to call centre operations.
To maximise the effectiveness of these customer communications it is necessary to integrate them with the appropriate business processes they connect with, however disparate those processes may seem to be. Businesses need to make these processes talk to one another, then take those integrated information streams and plug into their CRM effort. This allows the organisation to benefit from examining all relevant customer information before reaching out to the customer.
It is this integration of key business processes and their related information streams into CRM that defines and drives Customer Communications Management (CCM). CCM harnesses the power of specific businesses processes and ties them to the CRM initiative � in order to create, develop, manage, and maintain more effective customer communications.
The bonus we mentioned
David Reed, an independent journalist covering CRM and direct marketing in the UK (and the only journalist and non-practitioner to be elected to the DMA Roll of Honour) wrote the book 'Customer Communications Management - The New Focus', sponsored by mail and communications specialist, Pitney Bowes.
The book provides statistical evidence of today's communication processes and offers expert insight into future customer-centric trends and developments.
Put simply, CCM is directly focused on determining the best and most cost-effective way for engaging in a continual, profitable dialogue with customers. It brings together a series of topical essays on component subjects relevant to CCM.
The book's contents include:
- Customer acquisition, retention and development � the latest trend
- Marketing data � range and availability
- Mergers & Acquisitions � the database management challenges
- CRM systems � are they starting to deliver return on investment?
- Multi-channel marketing an the future of mail
- Advertising on bills, statements and customer correspondence
- Permission marketing � has it taken off?
- SME direct marketing � capability and affordability