For the past decade, moving to paperless communications has been at the forefront of most organizations’ minds. Not only is electronic delivery a customer expectation, it also benefits your business’ bottom line. In fact, a recent study estimates that moving from paper to electronic delivery of certain documents could reduce costs of producing communications by 36 percent. While it is not a new concept, the challenge still exists in accelerating eAdoption. Here are three secrets to driving paperless customer communications:
1.Provide Consistency in Electronic Document Formatting
Many third party software packages generally provide a rudimentary print layout of a document for use electronic use, thus creating a stale, unfriendly document that does not match the printed, often legal, version. This creates customer reluctance in moving to electronic delivery because the same document presented in different formats for print and electronic can be confusing.
A successful electronic conversion includes providing an exact replica electronically that is offered in print and mail. A very important reason to offer online statements in the same format as printed is to provide the institution’s customers with a true legal document online rather than a home banking transaction printout. Because most customers require a legal version of their documents in the event of a loan application or tax audit, offering the statement in the same format will encourage eAdoption.
2.Rethink Print Default
Many organizations still have print documents as the default option on new accounts. When customers are not made aware that they can make the switch to paperless, they assume print and mail is what will serve them best. For statements and other documents that aren’t necessarily required to be sent via snail mail, a good option is to set electronic delivery as the default option on new accounts.
“When we switched cores in 2009, we made a big push toward eAdoption on new accounts opened by setting the default statement option to electronic,” said Sandy Gaskamp, Operations Support Manager at University Federal Credit Union. “We now have an 86% eAdoption rate with over 205,000 members, and they all seem to be enjoying the advantages of going paperless.” This not only enhances the customer experience, but also saves on print production and postage costs. In order to meet regulatory stands, be sure to communicate the default option with new account holders so they can verify it as the option they desire.
3.Offer More Outside of Online Banking
Online banking has been widely implemented in financial institutions to provide customers with easier access to accounts in order to alleviate traditional in-person transactions and decrease print and mail costs. However, due to the lack of eAdoption, the ROI on online banking platforms alone has not been as high as originally anticipated. Typically, it is difficult to convert non-transactional customers to electronic documents due to the perception that they do not need to access online banking to manage a daily balance or transfer money. Translation: One cannot live by online banking alone.
Your business’ website coupled with a mobile-responsive ePresentment platform can work wonders for eAdoption rates. If an electronic document can be accessed and viewed securely from your website without going through online banking, the potential audience for eStatements and other electronic documents increases beyond online banking users because customers then do not have to remember a login or sign up for online banking in order to switch to digital document delivery. By providing a direct access point to electronic documents, the overall customer experience is heightened. Additionally, if you are being charged by your provider for each online banking user, the users who opt out of paper documents through ePresentment are less costly.
Customers also desire a central location to access all account documents including notices, loan coupons and tax forms. If your business can support electronic documents, including eStatements, eNotices, eLoan Coupons and eTax Forms, your customer has the option to receive all communications electronically, which is a win-win scenario.
By giving your customers the opportunity to access more of their documents online, you can begin the conversion toward providing total comprehensive electronic services. It is important to remember that the customer is looking for at least as much value as they receive from a printed document.
To read more strategies on driving paperless communication, access our white paper.