Much of the focus on business today is on acquiring new customers, but did you know that it costs six to seven times more to land a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one? Your current customers are more profitable too; a repeat customer spends over two-thirds more than a new one, and nearly all customers who have had a great service experience will buy from you again. Clearly, it makes good business sense to keep your existing customers engaged and coming back for more.

Keep Customers Coming Back for More

How can you get your current customers to spend more while increasing their loyalty?  One way is by leveraging the convergence of ECM technologies and approaches to bring about more powerful customer engagement. Most applications of ECM have traditionally been limited to rather isolated and process-specific applications. But today, organizations are finding new advantages and benefits by expanding their use of ECM tools and techniques beyond the confines of process-specific application; specifically with the aim to improve customer engagement and experience.

Tools for Superior Engagement

Advancements in ECM techniques like data capture, case management and digital content management are all tools that can be used to boost customer engagement. The opportunity comes when companies replicate the capabilities and techniques found to be effective in one area to include other important applications within the enterprise. And since developers and providers are shifting their focus to offer less costly and less complex platforms, organizations of all sizes and from all industries can benefit from next-generation ECM approaches in new and more profitable ways. Here are a few of the important capabilities to consider:

Advanced Capture – By now, the ability to scan a paper document and capture a digital image is a common business practice. Advanced capture takes the idea a step further with the ability to also capture important bits of information from that form or document and automatically digitize and upload that data as well. Distributed (with multifunction printers and copiers) and mobile capture (using smartphones and tablets) extends the power and versatility of advanced capture even further by taking advanced capture capabilities beyond the confines of the organization to be deployed in branch offices, in the field, and even in customers’ homes.

Content Management – The notion of enterprise content management has been most commonly associated with privacy, regulatory compliance and risk avoidance. But a more expansive approach is emerging that broadens implications and benefits; especially when you consider the capabilities from a revenue generation and customer experience point of view. Next generation ECM solutions provide a dynamic platform to combine content, security and storage with ready-to-use workflow and process management capabilities that speed the pace of business and provide a superior customer experience.

Case Management – To provide a great customer experience, you must manage the process to ensure that each customer interaction has a positive outcome. AIIM President John Mancini points to Case Management as one of the top trends in ECM today because it brings technology and data together in a way that leads to more valuable outcomes for both businesses and customers. “At the heart of making information useful is looking closely at the intersection of people, processes and information,” says Mancini. “That’s what Case Management is ultimately all about; it’s about the dynamic business flows that link together people, processes and information in new, dynamic, and much more agile ways.”

Viewing and Redaction – Managing content for better case outcomes and customer experience ultimately comes down to the ability to share information in dynamic and intelligent ways that bring about better decisions and service. One way to do that is with more flexible sharing and viewing of information by the people who need to see it, when they need to see it, and without losing control over privacy and security. Since not everyone needs to see every bit of information contained in a document repository, automated redaction features keep sensitive data hidden while otherwise providing more agile information access overall.

Moving Forward

Sustaining a successful enterprise requires more than just new customers, it requires loyal ones as well. Through the integrated features of advanced capture, content management, viewing and redaction, and case management, next-generation ECM solutions provide a platform for consistent and superior customer engagement. What are the next best steps forward? As you design your strategies, look for solutions and partners that provide the right mixture of experience, vision, and advanced capabilities that leverage the full value of ECM technology to boost customer engagement.

Kevin Craine
Kevin Craine

is a guest contributor and the author of the book Designing a Document Strategy and a respected authority on document management and process improvement. He is the managing director of Craine Communications Group. For more information visit CraineGroup.com.