DOCUMENT Strategy Fall 2021

Page 1 | Fall.21



By Stephanie Pieruccini


By Scott Draeger






APRIL 4-6 HYATT REGENCY O’HARE CHICAGO For the past 14 years, DOCUMENT Strategy Forum (DSF) has been the industry leader for educating professionals within Insurance, Financial Services, Government, Healthcare, Utilities and other sectors on building more engaging experiences faster and smarter than ever before. Bottom line: If you are responsible for creating and managing content, communications and strategies to support the customer experience, then our in-person event, DSF ’22 Chicago, is a must-attend!

Transformation doesn’t wait for anybody, and now with DSF CXperience, you don’t have to either! To request information on Attending, Exhibiting or Speaking, email or call 866.378.4991. C O R P O R AT E S P O N S O R S :



OCTOBER 12, 2O21

Organizations need a modern toolbox to maximize their return on investment and maintain customer loyalty—while creating innovative ways to use that toolbox. That’s why we created DSF V-Day, our one-day virtual event geared to covering the emerging trends and strategies for customer engagement in a post-pandemic world.

DSF ’21 V-DAY PROGRAM • CIO FIRESIDE CHAT: Is Hyperautomation Just a Buzzword? Digital Transformation for the Real World

• PANEL: A Data Management Strategy You Can Actually Use • Customer Experience Management Demystified: The Evolution of CCM to CXM

• CASE STUDY: Grow Your Business with Managed Services

• PANEL: Intelligent Automation: Capturing the Capture Unicorn

• Signatures: A Strategic Question • We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Responding to the Customer Zeitgeist for Two-Way Conversations • From the CoE to the LOB: How to Deliver Governance and Compliance to the Business • Your Customers Don’t Care about Your Process Problems: Deploying Frictionless Communication Experiences

• Automating Information Governance in Microsoft 365: Building a Compliance Program to Protect Your Data • CASE STUDY: The Time for Hybrid Mail Has Arrived: Enabling Ad-Hoc Correspondence for a Post-Covid Work-from-Anywhere Environment • Powerful Partners: Forms Management and the Organization • Cloud 101: Customer Communications Edition



Content. Collaboration. Technology. Governance.


TABLE OF CONTENTS volume 28 issue 3 | Fall.21 |


The Future Role of Print in CX What value will print have in a largely digitally transformed age?


By Stephanie Pieruccini


Forced to Scramble

Managing data safely and efficiently during a pandemic

By HK Bain



Eliminate the Guessing Game How can process mining benefit your organization?

By Marty Pavlik


Connecting with Customers in the New Normal

Are you providing a meaningful customer experience? Ask yourself these 5 questions By Patrick Kehoe


A Path to Integrating Systems After a Merger

How a company handles these differences can have a direct effect on whether a merger or acquisition is successful By Gautam Jit Kanwar



Create an Impact Linguistic considerations when planning customer communications By Suyash Kaushik



Death By a Million Upcharges Holding SaaS CCM to your budget By Scott Draeger



Letter from the Advisory Board Contributors


08 28 30

What’s New Advisory Board Think About It



Build a Meaningful Connection with Consumers Thanks for reading DOCUMENT Strategy’s latest issue for Fall 2021. My name is Will Morgan, and I’m the newest member of the Editorial Advisory Board. While I started my career in the public sector working as a historian for the state of Mississippi, my time in the industry began at Keypoint Intelligence — InfoTrends where I served as an analyst in the Customer Communications and Business Development Advisory Service. In October of 2019, I joined Kaspar Roos as the Senior Research Analyst for Aspire and the first employee on this side of the Atlantic. What initially attracted me to Aspire was the way in which Kaspar codified the changes I had observed throughout my time studying the customer communications market. Over the last half century, we’ve seen customer communications gradually evolve from static messages toward bi-directional interactions. When discussing the market, I describe this dynamic as the evolution of CCM to CXM, or the practice of managing all interactions that a business conducts with its customers with the express goal of improving the perception that customers have about that business. Today, nearly two years of unprecedented market disruption have provided a unique opportunity for businesses to embrace the next generation of customer communications and achieve CXM maturity. To be sure, the recent surge in digital acceleration has captured a lot of headlines, but it has actually been in service of a more fundamental pivot from customer acquisition through market-



ing to customer retention through superior digital interaction. This effort to enhance customer retention is clearly reflected in the growing priority of omnichannel communications. As we reported in our research study entitled, Understanding the New Digital Reality, half of all enterprise respondents said they had cancelled, frozen or reduced marketing spend in response to COVID-19 compared to around one third who increased spending on customer communications. Nevertheless, while digital communications have become more prevalent, it would be a mistake to assume that consumers are satisfied with the status quo. Our survey found that even though the youngest consumers were the most likely to take steps toward digitization in the wake of the initial COVID-19 outbreak, they were the least pleased with their digital experience and the least likely to report that they plan to continue communicating with their providers this way in the future. Younger consumers’ desire for interaction and a seamless experience is at the root of their dissatisfaction with digital communications today. It’s for this reason I believe businesses looking for a way to differentiate themselves beyond digitization must work to leverage superior interactions to drive improvements in customer experience and build a meaningful connection with consumers. In other words, connecting with consumers will be the new normal.

president Chad Griepentrog publisher Ken Waddell managing editor Erin Eagan [ ] contributing editor Amanda Armendariz contributors HK Bain Scott Draeger Gautam Jit Kanwar Suyash Kaushik Patrick Kehoe Marty Pavlik Stephanie Pieruccini advertising Ken Waddell [ ] 608.235.2212 audience development manager Rachel Chapman [ ] creative director Kelli Cooke

PO BOX 259098 Madison WI 53725-9098 p: 608-241-8777 f: 608-241-8666 email:

DOCUMENT Strategy Media (ISSN 1081-4078) is published on a daily basis via its online portal and produces special print editions by Madmen3, PO BOX 259098, Madison, WI 53725-9098. All material in this magazine is copyrighted ©2020 by Madmen3 All rights reserved. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Any correspondence sent to DOCUMENT Strategy Media, Madmen3, or its staff becomes the property of Madmen3. The articles in this magazine represent the views of the authors and not those of Madmen3 or DOCUMENT Strategy Media. Madmen3 and/or DOCUMENT Strategy Media expressly disclaim any liability for the products or services sold or otherwise endorsed by advertisers or authors included in this magazine. SUBSCRIPTIONS: DOCUMENT Strategy Media is the essential publication for executives, directors, and managers involved in the core areas of Communications, Enterprise Content Management, and Information Management strategies. Free to qualified recipients; subscribe at REPRINTS: For high-quality reprints, please contact our exclusive reprint provider, ReprintPros, 949-702-5390,

Until next time.



FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Stephanie Pieruccini is a Senior Manager of Product for OpenText CCM. She is responsible for CCM Orchestration for OpenText Exstream as well as the StreamServe and Exstream platform solutions. Her experience comes from a strong knowledge of communication and production management from creation through delivery acquired from covering the print, marketing and CCM markets as an analyst and consultant.

Gautam Jit Kanwar Suyash Kaushik is a Customer Experience Manager at FieldCircle, a field service technology company. A writer by heart, he loves to spread the word around how customers interact with business across channels and the role of next-generation technology in customer experience and business success.

is President of BelWo, Inc., a global provider of managed services specializing in customer communications management (CCM) consulting and delivery solutions that help companies meet strategic CCM goals. fall.2021



What’s New Catch up on all the news, opinions, and featured articles that caught our eye on

4 Digital Marketing Strategies for SMEs in a Post-Pandemic World

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the US economy. According to the World Economic forum, around 99.9% of all US businesses qualify as a small business. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a staggering number of SMEs to shut down, it appears that many Americans have not been deterred from starting their own business. article-3130-4-Digital-MarketingStrategies-for-SMEs-in-a-PostPandemic-World.html

Taking E-Signatures to the Next Level CCM and the Great Resignation Wave

There has been a lot in the news on the “Great Resignation,” an anticipated major wave of job changes as the pandemic slows down. Some resignations are simply pent up from people who didn’t want to make a move during “these uncertain times,” some are people just wanting to make a change. Various sources expect 25-50% of employees to seek a job elsewhere in the next year or so. Imagine if your business experienced a 25% turnover in the next year. What would be the likely impacts on your customer communications? article-3127-CCM-and-the-GreatResignation-Wave.html



Customer Journey Mapping as a CCM Planning Tool

Some of your most important customer communications management (CCM) applications represent handoffs from one team to another. Proposals represent handoffs from marketing to sales. Contracts represent handoffs from sales to compliance. Welcome kits represent a handoff from sales to customer service. Correspondence is often a temporary interaction to get a customer back on track. All of these handoffs are critical customer experience moments, owned and managed by different teams for years. Customer journey mapping has evolved as a credible planning tool to help coordinate the CCM technologies that support these key handoffs. https://documentmedia. com/article-3142-TakingAnother-Look.html

Taking Control of Change

Global industry is in the midst of unprecedented change. Heralded by many as the ‘fourth industrial revolution,’ one of its key drivers is digital transformation, a technological advancement that, in part, has given rise to new competitors, growing customer expectations and a raft of new regulations. To remain competitive in such an environment, organizations need to become more agile and responsive to shifting consumer demands, and this means speed to market has become increasingly important. https://documentmedia. com/article-3143-TakingControl-of-Change.html

The electronic signature software segment is one of the fastest-growing markets around the world. And, it is heading into this year with a healthy head of steam, due in large part to repercussions from COVID-19. In 2020, the global digital signature market size reached $2.8 billion and is projected to grow to $14.1 billion by 2026.

Can Your MFDs Do ‘Ludicrous Mode’? Accelerate Today Chances are your organization relies on a fleet of multifunction devices (MFDs) to manage basic printing, scanning, faxing and copying functions. In doing so, MFDs support an “always on” print infrastructure and are a critical component in keeping the engine of your business humming. What you might not realize is these essential, but at times overlooked, office devices could give your organization a Tesla-sized turbo boost.’Ludicrous-Mode’-Accelerate-Today.html

From Stagnation to Explosive Change

Document capture has been around for decades, but recent advances have breathed new life into this market. The ability to liberate documents from their physical form and move them into the digital realm has long yielded benefits in productivity and security while reducing costs. Recently, advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) combined with relatively mature optical character recognition (OCR) technology have made it possible to liberate not only the document but also the embedded business information required to drive business operations.

By Stephanie Pieruccini


OF PRINT What value will print have in a largely digitally transformed age?




IN a world filled with mobile smart devices and content flowing in a variety of digital channels, one might wonder what value print has in a largely digitally transformed age. It seems rare to find any piece of information that cannot be found in electronic form and yet, despite some organizations best effort to encourage consumers to suppress paper in favor of digital formats, many consumers still prefer paper. The pandemic has created some concerns around the printed medium as paper was assumed to be a way of


transmitting the COVID-19 virus. While many businesses temporarily preferred other methods of payments besides paper money, the United States Postal Service (USPS) did not slow down nearly as much as one might have thought. As a government-owned entity, the USPS tracks and publishes a variety of statistics around its business including annual operating revenue, mail-volume, parcel-volume, and more. You can check it out at Overall mail volume is tracked as well as broken out by first-class mail (typically transactional in nature), marketing mail, and first-class single piece mail. Figure 1 on page 13 shows some key data pulled from the USPS fact site. As with any difficult economic time, marketing mail took a major hit in volume, dropping just over 15% in volume in 2020 from where it was in 2019. Fewer first-class single piece items such as greeting cards and individual letters were mailed as well, with fall.2021


of formats that cater to these preferences but are also easy to use and optimized to the channel they are received in. Orchestrating the output variations and coordinating delivery in the right channel is just as important as the content that is being generated. It should be able to respond to changes in preferences in real-time to not reduce the impact to customer experience.

an almost 8% drop. The least impacted category was first-class mail which only dipped by 4%, which is actually consistent with the standard year over year decline in this category. Despite a slight recession and concerns around paper transmission of the virus, firstclass mail does not seem to have been unusually impacted. What does this mean for print in 2021? It’s clear that there is still a preference for print despite the increased availability and options for interacting digitally. Print and marketing services providers need a CCM solution that

can handle both print and digital communication generation, in increasingly higher volumes, well. As many of us know from personal experience, communication preferences are not always black and white, or in this case print ‘or’ digital. Which means preference management and a variety of options to receive communications are more critical than ever, ensuring that consumers have a way of choosing how and when they want to receive their communications with as much granularity as can be acted upon with a great customer experience. This also means ensuring that your CCM solutions enable composing in a variety

How can print service providers respond? The good news is, PSPs and MSPs are the masters of print output already. The opportunity exists to emphasize the importance of print as part of the overall communications experience. As we move into omnichannel engagement models, it’s less common that a consumer receives a communication in a single channel. They want the print, but they also want the digital. Having a solution that can efficiently create and manage both while also enabling good experiences is critical for service providers looking to support their customers. How to incorporate all channels in overall DX/CX strategy with CCM Thinking about print as only a static silo is in the past. The print communication is the foundation for an overall omnichannel experience. There are opportunities to extend this static record of information into an electronic experience that complements the original communication and could encourage consumers to make the jump from print to digital. From a business or call-to-action standpoint, this could mean enabling an electronic payment from the print statement

As many of us know from personal experience, communication preferences are not always black and white, or in this case print ‘or’ digital.




through an online portal, image recognition or QR code. Some of these enhancements were introduced years ago but have made a comeback as experiences have improved. Crossing media formats can also add valuable information that is otherwise restricted when trying to optimize the space on printed pages. Offering access to online resources to further explain information in the document through additional documentation or videos can provide recipients with self-service ways of finding what they need rather than jumping to a customer service queue. If interactions with customer support are preferred, providing a trackable way to connect the recipient to customer support or a chat can help monitor their experience and also keep them connected. Additionally, notifications are more critical than ever to a customer experience and should be a factor when selecting and implementing a complete end-to-end communications platform. The right CCM solution should enable you to create notifications that complement the original communication and can be scheduled to nurture the B2C relationship, not overwhelm. The important thing to remember is that quantity does not replace quality. So, every touch point should serve a purpose and be engaging. Tying these experiences together through CCM Orchestration and Tracking Understanding the use case(s) for why consumers prefer print will provide the information needed to improve current digital experiences and even allow for new opportunities to solve existing problems, such as the preference to retain hard copy records. Your CCM solution should enable you to orchestrate communication workflows that


First-Class Single Piece

Marketing Mail

2020 - 52.6B 2019 - 54.9B

2020 - 15.2B 2019 - 16.5B

2020 - 64.1B 2019 - 75.7B

DIFFERENCE -2.3B or 4.19%

DIFFERENCE -1.3B or 7.88%

DIFFERENCE -11.6B or 15.32%

accommodate all of the consumers’ preferred channels, react to real-time changes and track the success of these communications. The right solution should not only track when a communication was received and opened for audit tracking but begin to provide the insights necessary to understand how consumers are using these communications in these channels, so you can look for new ways to address these needs. Ultimately, print is a key part of an omnichannel communications strategy that aims to provide a complete customer experience. As the world continues to move to digital, it is important to understand why consumers are reluctant to make the jump to digital preferences despite best efforts to encourage this. The continued preference for print is an opportunity for those responsible for customer experience to build trust in digital experiences by using the print as a foundation. Enabling customers to receive communications in their preferred channel and optimizing print communications to encourage interactions with digital experiences

and notifications can provide an even better experience than a single channel communication and showcase what they might be missing in the digital world. O

STEPHANIE PIERUCCINI is a Senior Manager of Product for OpenText CCM. In this role, she is responsible for CCM Orchestration for OpenText Exstream as well as the StreamServe and Exstream platform solutions. Her experience comes from a strong knowledge of communication and production management from creation through delivery acquired from covering the print, marketing and customer communications management (CCM) markets as an analyst and consultant with InfoTrends as well as serving as the channel development manager for CCM and digital transformation solutions at Neopost USA (Now Quadient). She has also spent time managing product portfolios for Crawford Technologies document transformation and reengineering, workflow and accessibility as well as leading product for provider communications as part of Change Healthcare’s communication management and delivery services. fall.2021


By HK Bain


Managing data safely and efficiently during a pandemic


s the national economy gradually re-opens, many employers have vowed to continue offering remote working opportunities to staff that do not need to be in the office to complete their tasks. After scrambling to create workable solutions for at-home work during the first days of the crisis, businesses recognize that many employees not only enjoy working from home, but that some are also more productive. However, this was not always the case. The initial concerns over managing financial, client, contractual and other types of data took on new urgency as the pandemic took hold in the United States. But the truth is that a high percentage of organizations across all industries were left unprepared to effectively manage data utilizing a remote workforce. Too many still rely on



paper-based documents, records and contracts, which can cause a wide range of headaches. Those that did have an effective process of “online” records management in place likely had much fewer issues making the transition to remote work. The bottom line is that what was true in March 2020 when COVID-19 began to shut down the U.S. economy remains true now. Most companies require digital records to be productive and efficient. Organizations that rely on paper-based systems will find it increasingly difficult to compete. Although data management technology was increasingly becoming common for businesses, the pandemic accelerated this trend in three key areas: Cloudbased document management, digital forms and automated accounts payable.

Cloud-Based Document Management Companies with cloud-based document management in place didn’t suffer the same problems when shifting employees to remote working environments. These organizations were simply able to access their data through the cloud from the comforts of home, provided they had a reliable internet connection. Employees remained efficient, and document creation and collaboration continued unabated. For example, Cooperative Education Services is an educational procurement agency in New Mexico that manages mountains of paperwork to procure services for its members. They completed a shift to a cloud-based document management before the pandemic, allowing them to conduct business remotely, even

SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! as schools went online and still needed resources to support educational goals. Digital Forms In a post-pandemic world with even more online and remote interactions, a reliance on paper forms will not just be difficult, but often impossible as state and local restrictions limit physical contacts. Virtually overnight what was a shifting preference of consumers, partners and vendors to working with digital forms became a necessity. Real Property Management Vancouver moved its business processes to a cloudbased document management platform with e-forms long before the pandemic. These online forms allow for the efficient collection of information for property contracts. Important documents can be seamlessly e-signed and sent within seconds. Without this ability, Real Property Management Vancouver would not have been able to meet the needs of its stakeholders during a time of stress and uncertainty in the rental market.

Automated Accounts Payable (AP) Processes in the Cloud The traditional model of an accounts payable team is to work together in a single physical location. Yet, the vast majority of work an AP team is responsible for can be completed from anywhere. Additionally, organizations can actually save money by automating AP processes. The Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) has estimated it costs an average of $11.76 to process a single invoice, and 70-80% of invoices in the United States are still paper based. Those that switch from paper to digital invoices save $5.46 per invoice. There are clear financial and operational benefits of an “AP in the Cloud” model. As the No. 1 specialty tea company in the United States, R.C. Bigelow has several suppliers it works with to manufacture and ship its drinks around the world. After the company automated its AP processes, Nucleus Research, an independent analyst organization

specializing in the financial return on technology investments, calculated the return on investment for R.C. Bigelow to be a whopping 813%. Digitizing AP files in a dynamic cloud environment is essential to enable finance professionals to securely work anywhere. In an evolving world, maintaining secure remote access to corporate documents, forms and financials is a necessity for growing organizations. We were reminded from this pandemic that cloud-based document management, digital forms and managing accounts payable in the cloud are more than a trend or a fad. Each is an essential benefit to business that draws a line between the ability to effectively manage data and documents and failing to meet internal and external needs. O

HK BAIN is the Chief Executive Officer, President at Digitech Systems. Learn more at www. fall.2021



How can process mining benefit your organization?


igital transformation is impossible unless you understand your business processes. Poorly designed or outdated business processes cost organizations money — in lost customers, missed opportunities and wasted time — daily. Historically, it’s been practically impossible to learn precisely how a business process is performing. It has been a matter of educated guesswork — a reading of the digital tea leaves to gather insights to act on. As the pace of work increases and customer expectations rise, that’s no longer good enough. Over the past decade, a category of process automation tools has emerged that can provide real-time data and insights into how automated processes are performing. It’s called process mining. Process mining allows companies to use their data to identify flaws and



bottlenecks in their business processes and fix or remove them. What’s the Basic Problem? Understanding Old Workflows Is Difficult (at Least) Many processes were designed over a decade ago. They are built on legacy products (sometimes homegrown) and are breaking under the strain of customer experience expectations. Modernization is needed, but understanding old workflows is hindered by:  Lack of documentation and/or the staff who developed them  There’s limited (at best) visibility into how items flow This means companies are flying blind as they attempt to optimize and modernize their processes. If you don’t know where you are, then it’s hard to navigate to where you want to be.

Understanding the “as-is” state of processes is, bluntly, a time-consuming, costly, error-prone pain. Generally, a small army of consultants will attempt to map existing processes from the outside looking in — interviewing users, reviewing process maps, etc. Process mining provides an insideout view of a company’s process data. By identifying and analyzing event data, companies no longer have to guess where their process bottlenecks are. The areas of process improvement enabled by this technology is any automated business process such as: purchase-to-pay, order-to-cash, customer service, accounts payable, accounts receivable, procurement, order management and inventory management. What Are the Benefits? Without knowing how processes are working, companies encounter


makes a few assumptions regarding the average size of a business:  Revenue: $5B  Average order price: $1,500  Sales orders: 3,333,333  Purchase orders: 3,000,000  Total supplier spend: $2.4B

process execution problems. Readers of DOCUMENT Strategy will be familiar with the need to automate manual processes with digitization tools. Yet as pointed out previously, roadblocks and bottlenecks continue to exist which create inefficiencies in these processes. Let’s take one of the most commonly discussed “low-hanging fruits” for automating a manual process: accounts payable. Automating this business process continues to be a focus for many capture companies. Vendors such as Ephesoft, ABBYY, Kofax, Hyland and others have invoice processing solutions (often cloud-based) to simplify this process for companies. Research from Celonis, a process mining software provider, places an estimated dollar amount on having an “average” process here. The 2021 State of Business Execution Benchmarks Report

The research pointed to savings for other processes as well, but sticking to accounts payable: Eliminating the execution gap between days payable outstanding in benchmark companies (48.4 days) and top performing companies (74.5 days) would free up $171,616,438 in working capital. Obviously, these numbers are skewed towards Celonis’ target market. The benefits of process mining also scale down, so you don’t need to be a $5 billion company to benefit from process mining. At Doculabs, we find that these five benefits can help any business, regardless of industry. 1. Diagnose the effectiveness of a process to determine whether to move a process “as-is” or re-engineer a. How much variation do you have in your processes? Where are the dependencies? At what point do latencies occur? Are there unused nodes and queues? 2. Find identical or similar processes as candidates for consolidation a. Look at a side-by-side comparison of item-type/sub-type processes in the content management system. 3. Auto-generate BPMN process maps for existing workflows a. Visualize and understand the current state of workflows. For processes that can be migrated as-is, BPMN models can be imported into a target workflow system (such as Pega, Appian or Camunda) to generate executable code. 4. Compare old and new processes to determine the resulting impact on cost and value a. By using standard rates for touches and tasks, business units can conduct comparisons of processes in both the old and new systems early

in their migrations to assist with multi-year budget forecasting. 5. Accelerate compliance sign-off on migrated processes a. Processes can be compared to standardized “templates” (within a prebuilt library) for conformance. With visual comparisons, compliance departments can more effectively sign-off on migrations. Process Mining Vendors The process mining marketing continues to grow with vendors entering the market from a number of directions. Celonis (Celonis Process Mining) is one of the first vendors to offer process mining and arguably pioneered the entire product category. RPA vendors like UiPath (UiPath Process Mining) have entered the market. Capture vendor ABBYY (Timeline) also has a process mining tool as the capture market and process market continue to slowly come together. Forrester, Gartner and Everest Group each track the market via their respective quadrent, waves and peaks. All of them predict continued growth in the market and business benefits for companies that take advantage of this technology. Don’t Wait – Act For a technology that can deliver such wide-ranging benefits, getting started is fairly simple. Process mining tools sit on top of your existing processes and pull the data into a dashboard for viewing and analysis. Companies already have the data, ready and available to be analyzed. A proof of concept nearly always points the way to process improvements that will improve customer service, save money or reveal other opportunities for more efficient business processes. O

MARTY PAVLIK ( is Practice Lead for Doculabs (www.doculabs. com). He helps clients put in place complex digital business transformation initiatives involving leading technologies. fall.2021






ver the past 18 months, COVID-19 has impacted almost everything we do, from avoiding in-person banking and shopping in retail stores to conducting meetings through Zoom and Teams to doing more transactions electronically. For many organizations, these changes have meant a necessary adoption of mobile and digital interactions with customers, whether related to problem resolution or service changes, onboarding activities or just general customer communications. In the shadow of what we hope is a fading pandemic, one thing we can be sure of — lots of what we do will not return to the way we did things in the past. Consumers have become comfortable doing things digitally that they would never have considered before.



Which means for those of us in customer communications management, the best thing we can do now is to look at how we are communicating with customers and consider how to provide a truly meaningful customer experience across this increasingly digital world. Here are five questions to ask that will get you started: 1. Should you kick personalization up a notch — or two? As document professionals, I don’t have to tell you the benefits of personalization. An interesting study of banking customers by Accenture from December 2020 found that going digital led to a weakened personal and emotional connection with customers. This, in turn, can lead to the commoditization of the services, decreased customer loyalty and increased competition based on price. Certainly, companies that have implemented even

the simplest personalization initiatives have found that doing so can reduce customer churn and deliver stronger connections. With today’s customer expectations around personalization, it is necessary to go beyond using a customer’s name or simply recognizing what they have purchased and on to the next step toward hyper-personalization. This advanced form of one-to-one communication involves leveraging real-time data to create a richer customer experience by using intelligent approaches to authoring and curating relevant content (text, images, offers) to communicate with each customer based on a total view of the relationship. In order to maintain close customer connections and the loyalty that goes along with that, show your customers that you know them and deliver content that is


relevant, personalized and adds value and that goes well beyond a “Dear Jane” or “Dear John.” 2. Do your communications show that you care about your customer? Empathy is essential to establishing a strong human connection with your customers. Especially given the events of the past year, it is important to keep in mind that emotions are running high right now and people can end up with a negative emotional response from both low-intensity and high-intensity communications. This ultimately can weaken their affinity with your organization and dampen loyalty and potential sales. By leveraging AI-based tools to analyze the sentiment of your communications, you can neutralize the effect of negative news and elicit positive reactions by expressing the right sentiment in your messaging, especially in

those high intensity communications. You can’t always make every message positive, but by adjusting negative sentiment to be neutral, and being careful not to blame the customer, you better communicate your message and strengthen your brand. 3. Are you creating communications that people understand? It is important to review the specific language in all your communications: print and digital. Writing at a fifth-grade educational level will help you ensure clarity and understanding for the vast majority of the U.S. population. While many organizations have a goal to write for an eighthgrade level, most of their content is at a twelfth grade or higher level. Readability analysis can help point out these issues and help you to improve the quality of your content. Avoid technical jargon and try to reign in the legalese in regulated communications to ensure they are clear and easy to understand. Using shorter words and clear, concise language will build trust with your customers. 4. Are your communications consistent? Many marketers challenge the notion of consistency because they want to test messaging, layout and other variations to drive higher responses. This has some merit of course, but a lack of consistency can come at a significant cost if you are reflecting a different brand personality in your layouts, tone and sending conflicting messages into the market. When considering servicing communications, consistency is essential as it sets expectations and builds trust with your customers. Part of consistency involves branding, the visual identity of your communications: the colors, the fonts, images and layouts. It is important to drive consistency within individual touchpoints across channels, but also across your various customer touchpoints. Equally important to your visual identity is driving consistency in the information that goes into those communications and materials so customers feel they can trust the communications they’re receiving. For many organizations, consistency is challenging because there are different teams responsible for different touchpoints or even channels. Centralizing content into a single hub that feeds all your various communications across print, email, SMS,

chatbots and websites can go a long way to standardizing the look, feel and content that goes into your communications. This helps to drive a more consistent customer experience, one that your customers can come to rely on and trust. 5. Have you addressed the need for speed? Thanks to some awesome notable brands that understand customer service, customers today expect fast responses and access to information. Borrowing the words of my friend, Jay Baer, “Speed shows you care,” so you also need to ensure you have the systems that enable customer-facing teams to respond quickly, with the right communication that is personalized and expresses the appropriate sentiment. When leveraging legacy CCM systems or when IT or a service provider is in control of your content, this can be difficult to accomplish, particularly if these systems require programming to make any changes. A more efficient way is to allow business users to make the change needed and self-validate it across specific delivery channels to make sure it looks correct in their output. They can then sign off or route the communication to an approval process before it gets moved into production. We’ve seen companies reduce processes from 12 weeks down to one hour by empowering business users to author and manage content. So, let’s recap: Aim for hyper-personalization and relevancy, optimize the clarity and sentiment in your communications, provide uniformity and consistency and speed up the process you’re using to create those communications. From there, I predict a more meaningful customer experience is in your future. O

PATRICK KEHOE is Executive Vice President of Product Management for Messagepoint, Inc. an AI-powered customer communications management solution that automates and simplifies the process of migrating, optimizing, authoring, and managing complex customer communications for non-technical (business) users. Patrick has more than 25 years of experience delivering business solutions for document processing, customer communications, and content management. fall.2021


By Gautam Jit Kanwar

A PATH TO INTEGRATING SYSTEMS AFTER A MERGER How a company handles these differences can have a direct effect on whether a merger or acquisition is successful 20




ergers and acquisitions have been the cornerstone of business growth for many industries over the past decade. Considered one of the fastest ways to grow business, increase a talent pool and improve market share, mergers and acquisitions can be a real boon to a business. However, not all mergers are successful. During the vetting process, it is common procedure for companies to review financials, staffing, equipment and overall integration of a company’s systems. One area that is often overlooked during this process for those involved with producing critical documents is how to track, develop and deploy projects into production. With mergers come multiple software systems, processes and terminologies. How a company handles these differences and integrates systems can have a direct effect on whether a merger or acquisition is successful. Organizations that produce transactional communications have evolved their capabilities over the years with the many CCM platforms that have entered the market, as well as multiple ways to track and deploy these solutions. Even within the same platforms, companies can face a multitude of issues, such as versioning differences, deployment challenges and homegrown processes that have been built into the company culture for many years. In these situations, to overcome the challenges of complexity and multiple, unintegrated frameworks, many merged companies are bringing on consultants specializing in CCM to provide value. They typically have experience working with a variety of CCM platforms and they know the best practices needed to optimize the inherited platforms and can help move the new entity forward. Sorting through the complexity One important question to ask during

this process is what type of tools will be utilized to manage projects and merge the systems together to better leverage resources. With the variety of platforms in the market, no two systems are configured the same way. It is here where a change in mindset is needed. The merged teams need to begin to function as one team once the system to be used is selected. Adding to the complexity of getting comfortable with the system and a new team, many CCM platforms have changed names and offerings, and some changed ownership. It is not uncommon to find version 9.0 of a software still in use when the current version is now up to 16.0. If the features and workarounds for 9.0 have been working, there is no compelling reason to upgrade — until two companies combine and there is no choice.

will review how projects are currently managed and make recommendations on streamlining processes and identifying necessary training to improve the workflow and communication between departments. The value in getting support CCM platform evaluation also includes reviewing omnichannel communication strategies in the vertical markets served. Questions to consider here are: What types of communications are currently being deployed by the systems? What future needs or services will need to be offered? What are the trends within the markets being served? As the consulting partner reviews these requirements, additional modules may be suggested to automate workflow, improve customer communications and expedite the proofing process. Mergers and acquisitions can be a phenomenal way to increase business and expand resources and offerings to clients. Once the negotiations are done, it is too late to discover costly process and systems issues. When considering hiring a customer communications consultant, it is important to find one with experience in your industry as they will have a better understanding of the types of communications that must be sent out to customers. It will also give you peace of mind that the solutions to challenges of the new entity are in motion to expedite the processes needed to achieve excellence in service and realizing goals for top-line revenue growth and ultimate investment success. O

With the variety of platforms in the market, no two systems are configured the same way. For example, company A may be utilizing a platform on version 9.0, while company B may be on 16.1. What will the cost be to migrate the existing work to the latest supported version? In the case of more than one platform, this needs to be evaluated and a plan created for which platform or platforms will provide the best functionality. Costs associated with switching, upgrading and migrating will need to be taken into consideration. Here is where a knowledgeable consulting partner can evaluate workflows and provide best practice solutions, as well as determine effort required to make recommended changes to hit the ground running and get your new CCM strategy operational. A CCM consultant

GAUTAM JIT KANWAR is president of BelWo, Inc., a global provider of managed services specializing in customer communications management (CCM) consulting and delivery solutions that help companies meet strategic CCM goals. fall.2021




cknowledged or not, customer communication happens all the time in a business. It covers a variety of linguistic means, ranging from speaking and listening to writing and responding to images. In any form of communication — message and the way it is expressed — both are important. A polite thank you and a formal thank you generate different emotions in people. In writing, all-caps is considered yelling and bold letters indicate importance. Large sentences are



avoided for being complex, and simple words are chosen for clarity. Behind all these linguistic considerations, the idea is to create an impact. But who determines this impact? And most importantly, what should be an ideal impact? Is it even possible to monitor the communication across departments to create a unified experience for the customers? These are simple questions yet difficult to answer, and only leadership teams could answer them properly. Most leaders take the following steps to create impactful communication

Linguistic considerations when planning customer communications By Suyash Kaushik

and monitor the conversations across departments and channels. Humanistic Conversation Some leaders take formal communication too far in an attempt to make a professional impression. Although it is an acceptable practice when interacting with millennials, Gen Z wants to be engaged in a less rigid manner. The problem is that what is professional for millennials is traditional for Gen Z. A common ground is that people from both the generations hate to engage with bots, be it chatbots or


Choosing tone and style of communication must be relatable to customers and should reflect the brand.

and should reflect the brand. For instance, linguistic considerations for selling an insurance policy are different for the sales of garments.

automated voice response systems. What lacks in bot-communication are compassion, empathy and trust. No template-based content could create the same level of empathy as a human conversation could. However, that’s not the end of bot communication. In an answer to such problems, companies are building platforms for human-like voice interactions. Channel-Appropriate Message A message must be channel-appropriate and so does its linguistic consideration. On-call conversations are usually a little less formal, while written messages exude professionalism. Face-to-face conversations, especially at the client location, must be friendly, presentable and accessible to back-office teams. Channel selection is more often a concern with whom the interaction is going to occur. For instance, “digital natives” — those born after 1997 — prefer social media, chat, text and in-app communications that are less intrusive and short and crisp. Choosing tone and style of communication must be relatable to customers

Analyzing the Impact The ideal impact of a message should be an expected response. Whether it is a promotional mailer sent to a client or a message to make the payment, the ideal response should match the purpose of delivering the message. For instance, promotional mailers must generate interest in clients, whereas messages for the payment push them to make the payment quickly, on-time. How can an expected response from a message be achieved? A message stands on three pillars: 1. Targeted audience: Identify target audience. Who are they, what do they do? When do they read messages? These are a few questions that must be answered. 2. Objective: What is the objective of the message? Why is it being sent? What should be accomplished from the message? 3. Content: Is the message clear? What language do they prefer? Is the message contextual? Do words, language, tone and style clearly reflect intentions? Conversations are like bridges. And any rude or inappropriate words can burn the bridges. Keeping this in mind, organizations should plan communication training and make use of predetermined templates to make it easy for their employees.

Business as a Listener An obvious fact is communication is a two-way process. Most times, while companies are equipped to deliver a message, they are not equally equipped to receive the message from their customers. Sometimes it is the problem with the team, and the other time it is the lack of listening installation within the company. Bad listening practices means poor responses from the company side, leading to loss of trust in customers. An effective way to deal with the challenge is to set up standard practices to deliver responses and make use of template-based content that cover a wide range of customer communication. In an extension to the templates, use digital tools to capture interactions with customers on various touchpoints, and then review and analyze it for optimization. Going Forward While templates are temporary solutions to implement standard practices in customer communication, companies must take significant steps to train their staff for an effective and impactful delivery of messages. O

SUYASH KAUSHIK is a customer experience manager at FieldCircle, a field service technology company. A writer by heart, he loves to spread the word around how customers interact with business across channels and the role of next-generation technology in customer experience and business success. fall.2021





Holding SaaS C C M t o yo u r budget


Today, stakeholders make the business case for SaaS CCM by modeling implementation and ongoing communication costs without understanding the potential impacts of surcharges for exceeding file size limitations. Unfortunately, they often make longterm projections based on the small sample of content of limited pilot programs in which all variables are controlled. As time passes, businesses discover hidden upcharges that quickly burn through planned communication budgets, sometimes going through an entire year’s budget in as little as four months.


loud is quickly becoming the preferred solution for modern customer communications and as legislation clarifies how customer data privacy, data storage and data sharing are handled in the cloud, enterprises are considering moving higher value customer communications to SaaS CCM solutions. When they do, they expect to realize reduced infrastructure costs, easier procurement cycles, increased agility and faster digital transformation.

well-intentioned designers, business users and customer-facing employees can inadvertently incur upcharges that turn into unexpected invoices. Designers Designers are critical to great communication, but they are not typically trained on the terms and conditions of your vendor contracts. When prompted for an image, they choose one meant to engage and then move onto the next task. Let’s see what their choice can do to your CCM costs. Each of the images in Figure 1 is acceptable for inclusion in a print, email, web or mobile message. Just double check that they are email-appropriate quality. If your SaaS CCM offering is priced per communication, either of these images will do just fine, as the communication will cost the same. However, if your vendor places surcharges on file size, the image on the right costs 18X more than the image on the left. While this may be a fraction of a cent each time, this 18X upcharge could be charged millions of times. This upcharge is incurred by a designer with no approval process or warning about the impact their choice will have in many offerings. Additionally, designers may include pre-approved custom fonts to maintain brand standards. Those custom fonts add 100kb to 500kb to total file size, incurring upcharges for each and every communication sent. This is another situation where a designer multiplies the communication costs without any awareness or approval.

Designers may include pre-approved custom fonts to maintain brand standards. Those custom fonts add 100kb to 500kb to total file size, incurring upcharges for each and every communication sent. In most SaaS CCM implementation, designers, business users and customer-facing employees have the power to personalize communications with relevant images, inserted documents and text changes. Unfortunately, they also have the power to shatter the planned budget by making small changes that have major cost implications — without any warning, approval or accountability checks. Let’s explore how fall.2021



Figure 1: Each of these images is acceptable for inclusion in a print, email, web or mobile message, but the image on the right costs 18X more than the image on the left.

Business users Business users are the heart and soul of your CCM applications. They promote your products, create content and ensure regulatory compliance before they test and deploy omnichannel communications. They know why you say what you are saying and how to say it in your voice. Like designers, they are blissfully unaware of the terms and conditions of a SaaS CCM contract. They don’t think about file size because they are thinking about getting the message to the customer. Did you know that when a business user adds a table, chart or infographic for clarity, you may incur a file size upcharge? Or that when your legal team adds a page of disclaimer text, you might add an additional page charge? When the product expert includes more images, this triggers surprisingly large upcharges with some SaaS contracts. Each of these conditions, when unmanaged, creates opportunities for upcharges. These situations are notoriously hard to discover in advance, making them nearly impossible to manage. Customer-facing employees Your customer-facing employees may send omnichannel communications and quotes, proposals, correspondence and other documents. In the age of omnichannel customer experience,



it is common for communications to include customer-specific images. For example, auto claim correspondence may include a photo of the damaged vehicle, a scan of a damage report and a map to the approved repair facility. These three items can easily add 5mb to a communication. If the billing unit is 50kb, this addition could multiply the cost of the single communication by 100X. This one communication is potentially sent out via multiple channels and with additional attachments, without any warning that it is radically exceeding the estimated communication costs budgeted when the system’s cost modeling was created. How to avoid the upcharges The first thing to do is to refamiliarize yourself with the terms and conditions for any SaaS CCM solution you have or plan to implement. Before your next renewal, understand the charging mechanisms in detail. Next, look at the system to see who has the right to approve significant deviations that create additional charges. Currently, no SaaS CCM user interface that bills on file size has a mechanism that proactively warns designers, business users or customer-facing employees of potential cost implications, which makes it easy for you to incur upcharges — and difficult for you to prevent them.

Work with your vendor or prospective vendor to ensure you have a real-time view into your current usage, remaining allotment and reports that help you break down usage by application, project and department, so you are not surprised with an unexpected five, six or even seven figure invoice that’s net 30. Lastly, look at the market’s full range of business models to find one that best aligns with your usage of the technology. Today, various offerings charge by file size, page (surface area), “virtual page,” individual communication (regardless of size) or combinations of these. All vendors incur CPU costs, but their individual efficiencies drive them toward models that match their technology. Choose the model that’s most aligned with your ROI calculations, so you don’t die a death by a million upcharges. O

SCOTT DRAEGER, CCXP, M-EDP, is Vice President of Customer Transformation at Quadient. He joined the digital document industry in 1997, after graduating from UNLV. He started as a document designer using a collection of hardware and software technologies, before moving to the software side of the industry. His broad experience includes helping clients improve customer communications in over 20 countries. He earned his MBA in 2007 from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.


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MEET THE DOCUMENT STRATEGY ADVISORY BOARD Pat McGrew Pat McGrew helps companies perform better in the print hardware, software and printing services industries. Her experience spans all customer communication channels and segments including transaction print, data-driven and static marketing, packaging and label print, textiles, and production commercial print using offset, inkjet, and toner. An experienced professional speaker and coauthor of 8 industry books, editor of “A Guide to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge,” and regular writer in the industry trade press, Pat won the 2014 #GirlsWhoPrint Girlie Award for dedication to education and communication in the industry, and the 2016 Brian Platte Lifetime Achievement Award from Xplor International. She is certified as a Master Electronic Document Professional by Xplor International, with lifetime status, and as a Color Management Professional by IDEAlliance.


Bob Larrivee

Will Morgan

Inducted into the AIIM Company of Fellows in 2019, Bob Larrivee is a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement to solve business problems and enhance business operations. In his career, Bob is a contributing writer for DOCUMENT Strategy, has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, industry reports, blogs, articles, and infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest subject matter expert on a wide variety of webinars, podcasts, virtual event, and lectured at in-person universities, seminars and conferences around the globe.

Will Morgan is an experienced industry analyst with expertise in the Customer Communications Services market. As Aspire’s Senior Research Analyst, he works alongside a growing team to provide advice, insight, and vital intelligence to the company’s expanding customer base throughout Europe and North America. Before joining Aspire, Will worked with Keypoint IntelligenceInfoTrends’ Customer Communications and Business Development Advisory Services.


Paul Abdool Paul Abdool is currently doing Fractional Business Development for multiple firms in the Customer Communications Management arena. He uses his 20+ years of regulatory communications industry experience to help customers develop and optimize their customer communication strategies with process automation, workflow solutions and professional services. Recently, he was the Vice President of Sales for Doxim Inc. and Vice President of Enterprise Solutions for Solimar Systems, Inc.. Prior to that, he served as Director of Production Workflow Automation at Ricoh. His experience includes positions with IKON, KUBRA, Pitney Bowes and National Paper Goods.


Think About It / PATRICK KEHOE /






The Institute of Finance and Management (IOFM) has estimated it costs an average of $11.76 to process a single invoice, and 70-80% of invoices in the United States are still paper based. Those that switch from paper to digital invoices save $5.46 per invoice.

Bad listening practices means poor responses from the company side, leading to loss of trust in customers. An effective way to deal with the challenge is to set up standard practices to deliver responses and make use of templatebased content that cover a wide range of customer communication.


One survey found that even though the youngest consumers were the most likely to take steps toward digitization in the wake of initial COVID-19 outbreak, they were the least pleased with their digital experience and the least likely to report that they plan to continue communicating with their providers this way in the future.



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