What Is Customer Communication Management? 5 CCM Strategies

Updated April 4, 2023

An employee sitting in front of a computer speaks on the phone using a headset.

Companies consider and improve the customer experience to enhance marketing and increase sales. Many organizations use a standardized approach to engaging with their customers to help create a positive and consistent brand experience. If you're a marketing or branding specialist, learning more about customer communication management can help you develop a brand's publicity and ensure positive interactions at each stage of the customer journey.

In this article, we explain what customer communication management (CCM) is, list strategies you can use for CCM and review the benefits of implementing an effective CCM strategy.

What is customer communication management?

Customer communication management (CCM) is the strategy of improving all client interactions, including any customer-facing team within the organization. CCM is how businesses create and maintain customer interactions, including those with a representative, with company web pages and with salespeople.

Companies often use tools that localize conversations into a central location so the organization can share knowledge and business departments can work collaboratively. Results and insights are gained from marketing and sales. CCM is usually through live interactions, such as an in-person conversation or phone call, or digital interactions such as live chat or email.

Related: Client Communication: Its Elements and 5 Ways To Improve It

5 strategies for conducting customer communication management

To help conduct effective customer communications management methods, consider some of the following strategies:

1. Build customer profile strategies

Allowing customers to build and use personal profiles can help improve their experience. Online profiles can help create a convenient customer experience regardless of location.

For example, customer profiles can offer point systems through purchases or website visits. Integrating customer profiles with in-store visits, such as through tablets on location or profile reward programs, can help create a consistent customer experience.

Related: How To Create a Customer Profile (With Template and Example)

2. Invest in omnichannel communication

Omnichannel communication ensures customers can choose how they want to communicate with the company. Using live engagement tools rather than automated responses may help improve customer retention. These are some channels you can offer:

  • Call centers: A call center is a facility that houses product experts who can answer calls and help customers find solutions to the problems they experience with a product or service. 

  • Co-browsing and video chatting: Video chatting or co-browsing may allow a representative to provide a visual aid when helping a customer through a product problem.

  • Live chatting: Live chatting is similar to when a customer uses a call center, but the representative sends them messages instead.

  • Automatic chatting: Automated live chat tools and CCM software can support customers 24/7 and answer simple questions quickly. Though automated chat responses can be helpful, they require thorough planning to ensure they can address a wide range of customer needs.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Working in a Call Center

3. Gather customer feedback

Gathering customer feedback can help build and improve a CCM strategy. A feedback delivery system can help you understand how customers feel about brand and service systems. It can also help locate parts of a strategy that customers enjoy or services that they don't use. Gathering feedback through rewards programs or email requests prompts more conversation between company members and customers, helping develop long-term relationships.

Requesting feedback shows customers that a business cares about their opinions, which can help a company build customer trust. Some of the ways you can gather customer feedback through customer communications management strategies include:

Recording conversations

All customer interactions can describe a client's preferences, including live engagement via phone calls, video calls, browser sharing and text conversations. Consider recording all customer interactions with your response teams by documenting sessions. Asking customers about their experience after each session ends may help identify what elements they liked or disliked.

Related: How To Gather Customer Feedback (And Tips To Improve It)

Requesting surveys

Another way to gather customer feedback for improving CCM is by asking for it through surveys. Consider sending survey request emails to new customers, or offering rewards for participation.

Social media can also help collect survey results. Some platforms allow users to create small polls for followers. Consider asking key questions to keep the experience short and best understand what CCM tactics help customers the most.

Related: Guide to User Feedback and Why It's Important (With Tips)

4. Allow customers to self-select

Depending on the customer base, interactions between automatic and live engagement tools can differ. Consider learning which customer service methods clients prefer by evaluating interaction data. Comparison data may be more effective if you present each method option next to another. For example, a company could merge all of its customer service options to a single selection page.

After using the same page for a year, they discover twice as many customers use the customer service phone number instead of the automated chat. Use feedback and insights to provide customers with the option to self-service. This can include them accessing education and tools like FAQs, tutorials or how-to guides. 

5. Review customer communication skills

Another way to improve a business's CCM is by ensuring customer service members understand good communication delivery. Employees that use good communication skills when interacting with customers may help improve customer retention. Consider offering staff training in communication skills like:

  • Active listening: Active listening involves allowing a customer to explain their situation fully before offering solutions. Using active listening can help service members understand customers more easily, and may help encourage resolutions quickly.

  • Personal response: Personal response involves using positive or polite words during customer interaction. Using a customer's first name or being friendly can help improve their experience.

  • Simple terminology: Using simple terminology to explain complex processes can help a customer better understand during a call or text conversation. Helping customers by using terms everyone can understand may improve a company's reputation.

  • Organization: CCM often uses an organizational system to track and sort customer conversations and data. Representatives can use organizational skills to locate and access the information they can use to improve customer interactions in the future.

Related: 21 Important Customer Service Skills (With Resume Example)

Benefits of customer communication management

Some of the benefits of CCM include:

Improved customer experience

Improving and learning more about your CCM can help improve the customer experience. Some ways include:

  • Convenience improvement: CCM can enable you to get the right message to your customers faster. Using the data you already hold for existing customers can also help them interact with you more seamlessly, for example, using pre-populated forms to help them fulfill their purchases more efficiently. 

  • Greater visibility: Sharing data and insights across departments helps give all employees greater visibility of a customer's interactions to better service a customer, as opposed to working with limited information, which may result in poor customer service.

  • Greater consistency: Consistent messaging and experiences can help to build trust with customers and improve their experience, leading to retention and loyalty that positively impact revenue over time.

Communication tracking

Using CCM gives the entire business a full view of all communications, allowing business departments such as marketing, sales and compliance to analyze what customers see and which formats they encounter, including apps, email and paper. Visibility provides greater control for tracking, managing, auditing and improving communications.Using CCM allows businesses to create relevant and highly personalized communications using various channels. In addition to personalizing messages so a customer feels heard and valued, it also means engaging with customers via their channel of choice and making it easy to interact with your brand.

Improved efficiencies

Understanding CCM creates an enhanced experience for both clients and customer service employees. Organizing customer data like conversations, preferences and troubleshooting history helps keep useful data ready for employee use. Document organization through CCM may help overall internal management. Exploring different organizational methods may help create higher accessibility standards throughout the entire company.Practicing good CCM can help increase employee correspondence speed. If employees organize customer conversations according to subject, it may be easier to create new action plans for CCM improvements. Employees who organize customer documents can help gather and present data to other employees more easily.

Competitive advantage

Improving CCM can help businesses gain an advantage over other similar companies. For experienced clients, choosing between similar services may depend on the customer options they have. Because improving CCM may also enhance a customer's experience with a company, practicing good client interaction methods may help businesses gain more new customers.

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