How to choose the right communications partner for your business

February 16, 2024

The third and final part of our ongoing series sponsored by FIS® looks at how smart technological investments and a digital culture can help businesses reduce costs while improving their customer communications experience. This time, we’ll review the most important attributes communications buyers should consider when searching for a provider to partner with in their digital transformation.

And many are looking for just such a partner.

Over 80% of the enterprises responding to Aspire’s global 2022 survey have planned or initiated a transformation program designed to migrate legacy customer communications to a modern platform. Only 23% said that they will try to modernize their customer communications management (CCM) by themselves. Nearly three-quarters will outsource this transformation entirely or modernize with help from a technology vendor or service provider.

Figure 1 – Businesses are modernizing, and most rely on partners

Source: State of the CCM-to-CXM Transformation, Aspire, 2022

When looking for an outsourcing provider, particularly in times of economic uncertainty, businesses should select those who have earned their clients’ confidence. Data and communications management have become more complex, while the penalties for failure can quickly drive organizations out of business. Therefore, it’s no surprise that adequate security topped the list of qualifications service providers must meet, with 86% of enterprise respondents citing it as crucial to their considerations

Regulatory compliance remains a top communications concern for nearly one-third of businesses worldwide, particularly for those still in the early stages of their customer communications-to-customer experience evolution. As we’ve established, when organizations mature, they place increasing focus on utilizing superior communications experience as a means of driving better business outcomes. Nevertheless, even at this more advanced stage, reliable data security and consistent compliance remain essential elements of long-term success or even survival.

Business continuity planning is also an important consideration. Many disaster recovery plans failed during the pandemic, so enterprises should carefully consider the strength of any potential provider’s contingencies.

Perhaps even more importantly, communications buyers should search for a provider who can be a true partner in their digital transformation and customer experience management (CXM) evolution.

These forward-looking partners will:

  • Have extensive knowledge and subject matter expertise. Superior partners should have a solid handle on trends shaping the customer communications market, as well as an understanding of how they can employ the latest innovations to help clients meet the unique needs of end customers in specific vertical industries.
  • Offer flexible and customizable solutions to ensure clients can adapt to a rapidly changing market and ever-evolving customer needs. For example, look for a partner who can accommodate deployment flexibility, allowing you to switch between licensing on-prem or in the cloud and a hosted solution without having to migrate the work you’ve already done.
  • Offer quick access to a breadth of solutions across the CX landscape. By enlisting the help of a service provider, organizations can secure advanced CCM/CXM capabilities much more rapidly than they could purchase and integrate individual point solutions on their own – and even test drive new capabilities before purchasing enterprisewide solutions. Businesses that team up with an innovative partner can quickly utilize interactive technologies on emerging channels, enabling them to shorten their time to value by granting them a competitive edge that will set them apart in the eyes of demanding consumers.
  • Help businesses achieve their digital goals and support their journey across the CX spectrum. A true partner – and certainly one interested in both its own long-term success and that of its clients – will support and enable an organization’s digital transformation and evolutionary progress toward CXM rather than simply focusing on the transitory and short-term rewards of perpetuating static print work that is disconnected from a larger communications strategy.

Investing in CCM is not just about staying afloat, but also about finding ways to thrive. But choosing the right communications partner is key. You need one that’s not just knowledgeable, but also a perfect fit for your unique needs.

Read more from this three-part series:

Part 1 – Doubling down on the customer communications market: A vital investment in uncertain times

Part 2 – How savvy investments in communications can boost customer retention

About the Author
Will Morgan, Senior Research Analyst, Aspire
Will MorganSenior Research Analyst, Aspire

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