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The alphabet soup of CCM (customer communications management) and ECM (enterprise content management) along with CRM, EBPP, BPM, and a host of others aren’t topics that are likely to grab the attention of senior executives. They usually are considered areas that someone else needs to manage–to keep the space required for filing cabinets from expanding yet again, to curtail the annoying errors that customers continue to find in their bills or to keep up with regulations. This limiting perspective stifles a real appreciation for how important CCM and ECM are to enabling premium growth and improving the bottom line.

Are any insurers making strategic moves to leverage CCM and ECM solutions to increase retention, cross-sell, and up-sell, while at the same time doing a better job managing the huge quantity and complicated variety of all the content that is strewn across the enterprise? The answer is yes–and no–depending on whom you talk to and how you look at the true scope of what is being done. To investigate in more depth, SMA conducted a research project on 3CM, “Customer Communications and Content Management in Insurance.” Of the more than 200 insurance company respondents, 80 percent report they consider 3CM important or highly strategic. But this statistic requires further insight.

SMA believes how you communicate with customers and what you use to communicate are intricately linked. An insurer can have state-of-the-art, real-time, integrated processes that keep front-line employees fully informed about all relevant conversations and events, but if any of the supporting documents, e-mail, bills, or other communications are incorrect or inconsistent, the interactions with customers and prospects suffer. A poor interaction with a prospect usually means lost business. A poor interaction with a customer usually means the cross-sell opportunity is lost–or worse yet–the customer is lost.

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