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ECM – nothing can do it better (part 2)

July 7, 2010

In the last post, I suggested that ECM is in a distinctive position to help organizations reduce costs while also improving how they do business. Let’s pick up where we left off: considering some specific ways ECM could help health payers address marketing and communication (MarCom), customer service, and the sales proposal process as they prepare for 2014.

To begin with, ECM would view MarCom as the core of a value chain that touches the other two activities: the content authored as part of MarCom feeds both sales proposals as well as customer service operations.

So step one is to improve how MarCom manages its content, emphasizing its ability to share it with downstream activities. In this way, we get gains in MarCom as well as in customer service and sales proposals – not the extreme gains we might get from slashing 10% of the FTEs in MarCom, but we also don’t compromise operations in the process.

Step two is to find ways that downstream activities can be improved by adopting better content management practices in general:

  • Do CSRs have trouble finding desktop aids and SOPs they need to handle customer calls?
  • Are CSRs spending time solving problems that could be solved through self-service channels?
  • Does the sales proposal team repeatedly ask for the same information from the same SMEs?
  • Is the sales proposal process overly manual – Word and Excel, shared drives, C drives, and email?
  • Etc.

We then work backwards and look for ways that MarCom either can (i) contribute to downstream improvements or (ii) reap benefits from downstream improvements.

For example, during the sales proposal process, a lot of MarCom content is used to assemble proposals – what if that content could be updated based on the results of the proposal process (from simple proofreading to more substantial content development)? And how about the net new content the sales proposal team generates – what if that could be fed into the MarCom development process?

Or think of the customer service team: they’re on the front lines with customers, witnessing first hand how well or poorly MarCom’s content functions out in the world – what if that content could be updated based on calls coming into customer service? What if MarCom could use intel from customer service to determine good candidates for self-service or alternate channel delivery?

The final word

Given today’s economic climate (and the extended duration of the recession), organizations across all verticals are struggling to find ways to continue to reduce costs. In this context, I think ECM is distinctively placed to offer tremendous benefits to organizations both in terms of bottom line savings and top line revenue…all while contributing to the transformation of the organization for the better.

I’d love to hear from folks out there who’ve been involved in this struggle first hand – what are some of the challenges you’re seeing and some of the strategies organizations are using to meet them…let’s get the conversation started!

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