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Why is CCM software extremely expensive?
Customer communications management solutions are utilised by businesses that want to seamlessly communicate with their customers while making sure that the information is easy to update, maintain, share, and reuse. The key challenges with today’s enterprise-level customer communications management solutions lie in the technical complexities and the hazy clarity around their pricing structures.
Parts and pieces of these CCM solutions vary as per business requirements and infrastructural setups. With the advent of cloud-based solutions, while costs can be controlled a bit, it may not be until a few years before a business can truly grasp the extent to which they’ll need a CCM solution and how much they should negotiate and pay for it.
The hidden costs of customer communications management solutions
The hidden costs of a customer communications management solution are attributed primarily to the following:
Localization of communication:
Most customer communications management solution providers lack support for providing content in local languages, or they’ll charge a significant premium to support languages other than English. Localization would mean gathering sufficient data sets to ensure that businesses can support other languages. The content makes sense in a needed language in terms of tone and semantics. Linguistic features are unique for each language and their simple forms, which would mean having technological support that can improve the localization of your content over time and for a larger user base. Privacy concerns arise as data sharing to support localization needs to be done well and is compliant.
You wouldn’t want to expose personally identifiable information of your users when you integrate your customer communications with localization modules of a CCM solution. Implementing a secure and compliant data privacy setup would drastically increase the burden of expenses for businesses. Beyond a given scale, failing to comply with data privacy laws and regulations may be hefty penalties. Thus, having a customer communications management solution for your business that efficiently handles your localization needs would mean that you can expand into newer markets and reach your customers who communicate with you across multiple languages. At the same time, you make sure that you don’t have to worry about data privacy concerns that could potentially lead to financial and reputational losses.
Need for skilled resources for solution usage and maintenance:
Most customer communications management space solutions are complex systems comprising moving pieces deployed and used in isolation. While decentralization can work for enterprise businesses, for small to medium-sized businesses, this brings many challenges around data reconciliation and data management. As a result, when you integrate such solutions into your customer communications, it would require you to have architects and skilled resources who would be able to use them the right way from the very beginning, as these resources are certified by the CCM solution providing companies, who push for these certifications to use their solutions across their client base. This creates an exclusive demand for such resources in short supply, which ultimately leads to high hiring, onboarding, and employee costs for the companies.
The room for error around customer communications should be less. A lack of expertise in the solution users leads to delays in piloting the CCM solution. This adds to the cost overhead as you incur opportunity costs in waiting to build a CCM-enabled business process for your business and your customers. A customer communications management solution that’s difficult to use would be further difficult to maintain and, simply put, to read.
Complicated user interfaces lead to difficulty in using the tool for operational and strategic purposes. Such tools become a bottleneck for resolving customer requests for exceptional customer scenarios. Using the same CCM solution becomes a cumbersome process for introducing your business’s new product or service.
Infrastructural costs of hosting a customer communications management solution:
For the small portion of businesses who can woo their investors to fund such infrastructural needs, when the time comes for a digital transformation to cloud-based solutions, it becomes challenging for them to transform, as they’d then have to hire consulting firms who’d help them with the digital transformation and shift their CCM solution and the related information systems to the cloud. It would ultimately result in pivoting their focus away from their core offering (non-technical products) to invest in people and processes that can support their technological needs.
Absurdly high switching costs:
Most customer communications management solutions are complex to deploy, use, and charge through a pricing model that makes it difficult to leave their solutions ecosystem. With changing business needs, you tend to stick with a yearly renewal fee since it usually takes many months to reflect the process and content changes into the solution. It takes significant learning and unlearning within the organisation to off-board a customer communications management solution for any business reason, making users live with what they already have managed to incorporate over the years.
It ultimately takes time to get buy-ins from various essential stakeholders to move into a different alternative. Not all teams would be using the solution the same way and at the same pace (another pitfall of decentralised systems).
They address localization issues by providing personalization features to the solution and eradicate hidden costs by making the solution extremely flexible and detailed as follows:
“The better alternative to improve CCM solutions is to keep solutions to the problems mentioned above at their core, as there is a pressing need for affordable solutions for all sizes of businesses.”
Personalised customer communications management solutions:
The human touch is the key to successful business-to-customer interaction, so a personalised solution is instrumental in helping businesses add a human touch to communications in the most efficient way and at scale. For the business, a personalised customer communications management solution would work as per the users requirements working on communications and using this solution, allowing them to set preferences such as languages and style and give indicative recommendations based on their past usage history.
A personalised solution helps customers communicate their requests and their problems effectively and without too much of a hassle. It helps build high customer satisfaction scores and ultimately contributes to a positive brand recall for the business.
Flexibility makes for desirable customer communications management solutions:
Innovations in infrastructural technologies such as cloud technologies help any-sized businesses reap the benefits of improved, affordable CCM solutions. Businesses can opt to pay only as per their needs. At the same time, they get to have full control of the extent to which the solution can be used in their customer communications processes.
They can choose to plug and play with the system and tweak features according to their changing needs. They can make the user interface their own by using white-labeling features on customer communications management solutions to make it easy for anyone in the system to use them. These things make alternative CCM solutions highly flexible and customizable. The lightness that such flexibility provides helps any mid-sized businesses to quickly adapt and onboard their teams to improved and efficient customer communications.
Better data privacy systems:
Implementing data privacy might be a complex process, but it shouldn’t be a cause of worry for businesses looking to integrate their systems with CCM solutions that further integrate third-party systems. A good customer communications management solution would simplify the integration process while keeping the pricing around data privacy solutions transparent.
They wouldn’t charge the businesses additionally for this, as data privacy should be a best-practice measure by default. Such CCM solutions are especially beneficial for companies that cannot invest too much in digital product and engineering teams.
A majority of customer communications management solution providers are expensive because they are not doing a great job at communicating the hidden costs of their solution. These hidden costs concern a business at every level and scale. They get justified to support a complex system, ironically, built to simplify and amplify better customer communications and resolutions. The pricing around such solutions is created as a one-size-fits-all approach, unfair for emerging businesses.
Emerging businesses cannot afford to invest too much into an inflexible approach to customer communication that demands more investments with changing needs. With time, many small and mid-sized businesses miss out on market opportunities because they are either too slow to address customer needs or have their core focus on their offerings than their technological infrastructure.
A better alternative to such CCM solutions would be the one that levels the playing field by ensuring that any business can afford key features around personalisation, localisation, and privacy. Such alternatives should look to reduce the opportunity costs of newer businesses instead of being a favorite of enterprises and creating barriers to entry for the newer businesses. With just 1-2 thousand dollars every month, instead of the millions of dollars that other CCM solution providers quote in the market, a better customer communications management solution, such as TekClan’s Perfect Doc Studio, is possible and viable in this day and age.
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