Articles

5 Steps to Consolidate CCM Across Your Insurance Organization

Last updated: May 21, 2020 | 4 min read

As the global pandemic continues to impact financial well-being and customer retention for many North American insurance carriers, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity is expected to surge. This will likely be due to a rise in new and appealing opportunities resulting from record-low interest rates, market volatility, and the economic downturn.

 

Many insurers who grow using the M&A strategy face the challenge of maintaining several customer communications management (CCM) systems across the siloed organization. But it’s not only these carriers who are having to contend with disparate CCM systems. Many US insurers who’ve grown substantially have come to recognize the challenge of different departments using different CCM systems.

 

Relying on several CCM systems across an organization often results in unnecessary costs, operational inefficiencies, inconsistent communications and customer experiences, lower productivity, and higher compliance risk.

 

As the importance of efficiency, cost savings, and excellent customer experiences increases in the current insurance landscape, many insurers are beginning to consider consolidating their CCM to a single centralized system. To achieve this, consider the following steps.

1. Analyze

To start your CCM consolidation project, you first need to understand your organization’s current technology, processes, and requirements. Start with an audit to determine which CCM systems are used by which teams and departments, and for what purpose. Be sure to record the integrations of each CCM system too. This will provide an overall picture of your current technology stack.

Next, conduct a needs analysis. Work with executive leadership and key stakeholders across the organization to determine the capabilities that are must-haves, nice-to-haves, and unnecessary. Consider consulting all roles during this process, including users, reviewers, approvers, and collaborators, which could mean legal, compliance, leadership, business users, and IT users. 

At this stage, it’s also crucial to get buy-in from all department leaders. This will help ensure everyone understands the benefits, their roles, and the impact on their teams, as well as ensure that they are all working towards the same goal and timeline. Consider including these leaders in the beginning assessment and planning meetings to ensure all departments are engaged and driving project success.

 

2. Strategize

Multiple CCM systems usually come with an abundance of staff resources, manual processes, and legacy technology. Creating a strategy that offers a centralized CCM solution and aligns with your goals while solving those challenges is essential.

Many insurers with several CCM solutions have separate design teams, authoring teams, development teams and so on. Use this time to plan a consolidation strategy for support and user roles. With a role-based, centralized CCM system designed for all types of users, you can reduce the number of resources producing and managing communications. Many insurers even create a single CCM team that works with departments to automate, create, test, deliver, and manage communications.

In this phase, it’s important to build a comprehensive migration plan. When building this plan, ask yourself:

  • Which templates and communications need to be migrated? Which are obsolete?
  • Which CCM solution is best for our organization?
  • What systems will we need to integrate?
  • What risks are involved?
  • What is our timeline?
  • What is the total cost of migration?
  • What are our goals and needs?
  • What processes will need to be updated or created?
  • Who is responsible for each task in the migration plan?

Consider selecting a CCM vendor who will facilitate this process with implementation and consulting services to allow you to focus on your day-to-day business. Additionally, look for a CCM solution that is easy to implement, maintain, and use for a successful migration and adoption.

 

3. Set Guidelines

Once you have a strategy in place, it’s time to set guidelines and keep everyone updated. This will not only facilitate your consolidation but will also allow you to sunset legacy systems faster, providing quicker time-to-value.

Use your analysis and strategy to set detailed guidelines on content and template redesign, determining which templates and content need to be migrated or rebuilt, who is responsible for which templates, and who can approve changes to this plan.

It’s important to understand that many insurers will have a long-term plan for template and content conversion and redesign. Analyzing your use of internal resources combined with vendor services will help you create a goal. For instance, you could plan to transition 25% of forms and documents to the new platform, creating a four-year plan. When using this strategy, remember to work with key stakeholders to prioritize which content will be completed when. You’ll want to have an approval and notice process in place for any changes to this plan.

 

4. Implement

Now that your assessment, strategy, and guidelines are in place, you’re ready to consolidate to a centralized CCM solution. Leverage the modern CCM system and services to simplify and automate the migration. You might also want to consider third-party service providers to save internal resources and accelerate your implementation.

Remember to integrate your CCM solution with all core systems such as claims, policy, and billing, as well as other business-critical applications.

Consider following this proven four-step implementation process:

  • Create a personalized project plan to determine document requirements and deadlines, analyze documents, determine workflow, data extract, and channel delivery options.
  • Connect data sources, create customized workflows, convert or rebuild templates and content, create outbound channel rules, and implement archiving rules.
  • Meet all system requirements by conducting business cycle testing, volume testing, and acceptance testing.
  • Start delivering better communications to customers for an engaging experience.

 

5. Train

While you’re implementing your new CCM solution, it is a great time to train employees on how to use the new system and follow the new or updated processes. Find a vendor who provides interactive, thorough, free, and flexible training to ensure each team member understands their role and how to use the features that are relevant to them. 

Some vendors provide in-person, online, and on-demand training and education for flexible learning. You’ll want a vendor who teaches using customized, real-life scenarios to ensure the sessions are effective.

 

Ready to take the next step?

Consolidating CCM solutions can be challenging, but it is well worth it. And finding the right technology and the right partner is key to facilitating and ensuring project success. 

To get help building your consolidation plan and evaluating CCM vendors, or if you would simply like to learn more, one of our insurance CCM experts would be happy to help.

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