How to communicate on the customerâs terms | DMA

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How to communicate on the customerâs terms


"If you don’t take proper care of your customer relations, you end up with dissatisfied customers. In many organisations, different departments work towards similar communication goals, but they don’t talk to one another and that affects the customer. Then they lose money.”
The words of Jason Russell, business developer at UK market research company Infotrends. The company conducted a study of eleven large US companies. They concluded that most companies don’t bring together their customer communication within one central unit. And most companies don’t have one individual person responsible. This means that communication doesn’t work as well as it could.

Analyse data properly

“To get around this problem, companies should work with Customer Communications Management, CCM,” believes Jason Russell.
CCM is all about analysing the data you have about your customers in the right way. This enables you to communicate with the customer on the customer’s terms. The mantra is: to the right person, at the right time, in the right channel and with the right message. So if you manage your data the right way, you can grow as a company.
Jason Russell cites UK borrowers as an 
“In the UK, loans cover terms of a few years, and most people move around between different banks, searching for the best interest rate. A bank that can interpret data and see when a person’s starting to look for the lowest interest rate can make an offer at the right time – and retain its customer,” he says.

Centralised communication hub

The single biggest factor in making a CCM system work is bringing together all communication and all customer data in one central unit.
“When communication isn’t managed centrally in an organisation, there’s often a lot of duplicated work. Central control can cut costs by not using resources unnecessarily,” says 
Jason Russell.
One example of such a solution is a centralised communication hub that has responsibility for all content and decides how to communicate with the customer. The hub quality-assures all communication so that it’s always in line with the company’s profile.
This department should be headed by a 
manager at the same level as a Marketing Manager, i.e. immediately below the CEO, believes 
Jason Russell. Reporting to this person you need a group with a blend of competences, such as marketers, IT engineers and economists.

What are the biggest challenges when implementing a CCM system?

“One challenge is that the implementation cycle can last several years. So there’s a risk that when you’re nearly ready, the job you started has already passed its sell-by date. The most difficult aspect of CCM is obtaining funding, as it can be difficult to show management what you can earn from soft values. So you need an experienced person who can explain the benefits and who knows how much the organisational changes will cost.”

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