CEDAR CX Technologies: Creating and Managing Engaging Customer Experiences

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John DiMarco, CEO
In today’s market, delivering a personalized, customer-focused experience is not just key to long-term success but an essential ingredient to maintaining loyalty and retention. Given the plethora of customer communication touchpoints, the fragmentation of customer communications management (CCM) is a major challenge to the modern customer experience (CX). Consumer demand for unified, preference-driven experiences is at an all-time high. Offering rapid, on-demand connections to customers is the best way to provide a human touch and enhance customer experiences through digital channels. Financial services providers will find that building in these real-time capabilities is much easier with proper planning and professional support from experienced CCM experts.

Addressing these industry-specific needs and challenges of the financial services sector is CEDAR CX Technologies. Powered by almost 30 years of industry experience, the team at CEDAR CX not only offers an integrated cloud-based CCM platform but also provides expertise to develop comprehensive recommendations for CCM strategy at any stage of a digital transformation.

Delivering an omni-channel experience is a crucial component of customer experience. However, when communication is spread across a myriad of channels (from SMS to mobile push/in-app notifications, to email, documents, and print), it leaves space for cross-channel friction. Typically, omni-channel capabilities are purchased based on specific use-case needs. For example, organizations might have a need for SMS, so the organization will procure and attempt to integrate those services into an already complex environment which causes integration issues. This approach makes one-off point solution purchases hard to maintain and evolve. By bridging the gaps between disparate internal systems and external channels, CEDAR CX’s SaaS platform allows enterprises to deliver a holistic, unified CX.

Often overlooked, data management is a tremendous hurdle when it comes to managing the communication ecosystem. Typically, organizations have disparate data management and workflows for each communication use case. Be it email, SMS, or documents, all have independent data and workflow management processes which add to the complexity. Against this backdrop, CEDAR CX’s robust data and workflow management simplifies the challenge by connecting an enterprise’s business systems into a common data model and workflow engine. CEDAR CX built this data model and workflow engine to optimize the management of enterprise communications for heavily regulated companies. “Once we plug into our clients’ existing data sources, we can rapidly configure our platform to deliver the kind of communication experience they need and provide visibility into the complete communication lifecycle,” adds John DiMarco, CEO, CEDAR CX. He further states that while enterprises place their focus on desired communication type, they lose sight of the delivery information and what happens to the data after the exchange.

CEDAR CX’s platform brings the advantage of communications visibility; every communication on the platform can be tracked and reviewed before and after delivery to ensure it meets the client’s requirements. Another key value proposition of the platform is its ability to facilitate no-code change management. This allows business users to nimbly and quickly change communications on their own timeline without the typical code/release processes that can sometimes take months to implement. With end-to-end visibility, the platform acts as one source of truth, recording all changes and archiving all the as-delivered communications. A recent financial services client saved over $3 million a year on changes that they otherwise couldn’t have afforded to pay or wait for while improving regulatory compliance visibility.

The technology capability is vital, but expertise in implementing and running these services is also fundamental to success. “We also have consulting services that help clients plan and execute an optimal customer experience,” says DiMarco. This sets the stage for the platform implementation phase, where CEDAR CX’s data analysts take the enterprise’s legacy system data as-is and personalize all the communication along their customer’s journey.

A complete CX has to include modern core systems, modern digital platforms, and a unified communications strategy

CEDAR CX’s team also stays proactive in helping clients expand their digital adoption and find cost savings in process improvements. For example, one of their banking clients recently saved $4.7 million annually by reducing change costs and implementing e-delivery, with most updates now being made on demand by the business units at no cost.

While some organizations tackle a CCM transformation as a standalone project, others find CCM opportunities during an upgrade or core business system transformation. Financial Services leaders may be under the misconception that updating to a modern core will also enhance their ability to manage their customer communications and improve the CX, but that is not the case. The data flexibility that comes with the new core does not replace the need for a modern CX platform; the CX platform is what is actually interacting with the customer, not the core.

Another common misstep occurs when organizations try to plug the new core into their existing, legacy CCM technologies. Since these legacy systems are typically purchased or developed in silos, they are neither integrated nor designed to be unified because they are different and outdated point solutions, cobbled together over the years. Organizations often realize too late that integrating a new core with legacy CCM actually undermines the value of the transformation.

“Naturally, a lot of focus is on the core transformation, so the temptation is to limit the scope by using the legacy CCM technology, when in fact it’s the best time to replace it,” adds DiMarco. “A complete CX has to include modern core systems, modern digital platforms, and a unified communications strategy .” As organizations think about the consolidation of these technologies, a lot is on the line.

Jennifer Castanet, CEDAR’s VP of Marketing, highlights, “If ignored, the CX breaks down very quickly as customer communications resulting from these interactions seem old, disjointed, and inconsistent. Ultimately, this affects the brand and loyalty; 63 percent of customers said they would consider switching banks if customer communications don’t meet their expectations.”

For those financial institutions that don’t need to modernize their core system, CEDAR CX’s platform can take the burden off the core banking system, extending its life while also bringing in scalability, cost efficiency, and increased governance and control.

To further exemplify CEDAR CX’s expertise, DiMarco shares a success story of a client that did not need a core banking system replacement: Before partnering with CEDAR CX, the client was leveraging a costly, antiquated system and could not aggregate efficiencies across their different lines of business. “The fragmentation was dramatically undermining their digital strategy and significantly affected costs. Once we implemented our platform, they consolidated five print vendors into one and retired a bunch of systems. This foundation enabled electronic delivery of real-time communications, which vastly improved the CX and saved more than $12 million in the first full year of production,” affirms DiMarco.

With a roster of marquee financial services clients and decades of success with heavily regulated industries, CEDAR CX is poised to continue the CCM revolution in the financial services space. “Our platform roadmap is to always connect more data sources, increase customer self-service and improve consumer CX. We’re constantly looking at expanding the platform so that clients can provide a better, faster, and less expensive Customer Experience. Because when this is done well, communications can really help the business. When done poorly, it hurts it in many ways,” concludes DiMarco.

CEDAR CX Technologies

Atlanta, GA

John DiMarco, CEO

Leading provider of an innovative generation of powerful cloud-based managed services solutions for customer communications management (CCM), and customer experience management (CXM)

CEDAR CX Technologies