Creating a Document Center of Excellence, Part I: Strategic Awareness

Month after month, insurers continue to print and mail a host of communications that miss an opportunity to function as powerful touch points that improve the customer experience and strengthen brand loyalty.

(Image credit: Dollar Photo Club.)

In today’s competitive environment, insurance companies can no longer afford to develop, manage and deploy customer-facing documents in isolation from their broader business and technology strategy. Considering the investments insurers make to reach new markets and attract new customers, it doesn’t make sense to risk losing loyalty as a result of tired, clumsy-looking documents. These not only fail to grab the customer’s attention, but can even erode loyalty. Yet month after month, insurers continue to print and mail a host of communications, including letters, statements and disclosures, that miss an opportunity to function as powerful touch points that improve the customer experience and strengthen brand loyalty.

The following questions can help to identify whether your insurance organization could benefit by taking a closer look at document management processes:

  • Do the various stakeholders and business units involved in the communications process work in isolation from each other?
  • How well do your current document systems work to contain cost? Are they part of the problem, instead of part of the solution?
  • Do you have difficulty managing and optimizing the many legacy applications and systems that create your documents? Does a simple change take weeks or months to administer?
  • Is it difficult to respond to demands for timely communications based on regulatory requirements, customer needs and market competition?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is “yes,” your organization might want to consider implementing a more holistic approach to customer communication management.

Insurers face increasing pressure to contain costs while finding new and more profitable ways to reach and retain customers. Meeting this challenge can be difficult without document strategies designed to maximize efficiency and ensure a superior customer experience.

One way to achieve a holistic approach to customer communications is to establish a document center of excellence (DCOE) to apply the same high level of strategic attention and alignment to documents and customer communications management given to other critical activities of the business, such as technology, finance, marketing and compliance.

What is a DCOE?

A DCOE is an enabling body that allows the organization to develop and efficiently implement specific communications projects with high ROI, balancing longer-term strategic considerations with the realities of day-to-day document management operations. Put another way, the charter of the DCOE is to gain efficiency in document systems while deploying advanced customer communications capabilities aimed at a superior, revenue-generating customer experience.

A DCOE is intended to bring the right stakeholders, resources and process owners together in a forum that allows for greater control and governance over documents and communications. It helps the organization cost-effectively balance document design and delivery, ensuring that communications are readable, understandable and inspire the desired response to a call to action.

The potential for a DCOE to improve customer communications, save money and insure a meaningful return on investment is great. How each of these benefits can be achieved with a DCOE will be discussed in part three of this series. Next, in part two of this series, I will discuss some best practices you can implement when setting up a DCOE.

Nick Romano // Nick Romano is co-founder and CEO of  Messagepoint, provider a cloud-based Customer Communications Management (CCM) platform. Romano is an expert in the CCM space and on the design, successful implementation and management of high-volume, enterprise-class customer touchpoint messaging strategies. Over the years, Romano has helped many Fortune 1000 companies transform the way they communicate with their customers.

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