Everywhere you look we hear about companies that are seeking ways to improve the customer experience. Unfortunately, when it comes to customer communications, they’ve spent decades focused on driving costs out of customer messaging. That often meant sacrificing the personal approach for factory-like mass production and streamlined distribution.
Documents play an important role in determining customer satisfaction. Marketing, regulatory, and transactional messaging are as much part of the customer experience as customer service calls and interactive web sites. Unless customers initiate contact for some other reason, documents they receive may represent the only chance to affect the customer experience.
Organizations recognizing the benefit of conducting more personal conversations with customers through their printed and digital documents face a challenge though. How do they support corporate objectives for improved customer experience without giving back all the production and distribution savings they have worked so hard to achieve?
Replace One-Size-Fits-All Documents
One great way to improve experiences for customers is to avoid confusing them with standard terms and conditions designed to fit every possible customer circumstance. In the past companies would buy paper stock with the legal language pre-printed on the back – in 8 point greyscale font. This made production easy and saved digital printing costs. Unfortunately, customers find this content so hard to understand they don’t even try and usually ignore it. Misunderstandings about customer and company responsibilities can lead to negative customer perception and expensive interactions with customer service.
Fixing this point of irritation is fairly easy. Moving from a static set of terms and conditions to dynamically generated paragraphs based on customer data and selection variables is a task modern document composition systems can handle. The resulting language will be shorter and won’t include all the irrelevant text that overwhelms customers today.
Why Are You Ignoring My Preference?
Honoring customer communication preferences is another way companies can enhance their customer relationships. Some customers may want paper but others will prefer an email or text as notification to pick up their documents at the company web portal. Others want secure PDF documents delivered via email. Some may want to opt out of certain communications entirely (when allowed by law).
Customers may wonder why they can’t get their brokerage statements on paper, for instance, and savings account statements as PDF’s. The more flexible a company can be in how it delivers information to its customers, the better the experience. Some forward thinking companies have also implemented a best practice off tracking digital document activity. If a customer fails to access an important message within a prescribed time limit, a trigger should generate the document delivered through a secondary channel, such as print.
Companies can implement dozens of strategies designed to enhance customer experiences through their documents. It is useful to view the collection of messages as a whole, rather than distinct communication lanes organized by business line or function. That is, after all, the way customers see the communications.
The capabilities of today’s software tools, like Xpertdoc, and highly flexible imaging engines allow companies to create personalized and relevant messages delivered through any number of channels. Production and distribution costs for a redesigned messaging strategy are frequently lower than for the ineffective set of documents that are replaced.
Extremely efficient customer experience does exist!