The invoices, notices, statements and other business-critical documents your organization sends represent not only a substantial allocation of funds, but also a key vehicle for communicating with your customers, and thus one of the most critical components of your business. That said, these documents should not be overlooked as a simple operational formality.
There are four important facts every executive should know about customer documents and why they are one of the most important elements of any business:
1. Between 50-70% of total indirect spend in the financial services industry is on I.T. and technology infrastructure. Part of this percentage includes the equipment, software and maintenance costs necessary for document processing and production, as well as costs needed to ensure compliance with changing regulations, data security and management and overall operational improvements. Having the infrastructure necessary to keep up with demands is essential, but it is costly. Additionally, expenses tend to be on the higher end of the overall percentage if all production operations are kept in-house.
2. A decline in branch visits and increase in digital and mobile banking has made business-critical documents a major contributor to the customer experience. Last year saw the highest level of bank and credit union branch closures in U.S. history, according to FDIC data. This solidifies the fact that financial institutions must improve the customer experience in other ways to account for this drop in face-to-face interaction. Customer documents, both print and electronic, are more important than ever for enhancing the customer experience and driving behavior.
Here are ways you can use transactional documents to enhance the customer experience:
-Offer user-friendly eStatement hosting on your Home Banking
-Utilize mobile applications that provide capabilities such as opening a new account, fund transfers and direct check deposit
-Print documents that are designed and optimized to be easily understood, personalized and fully branded
3. Documents can serve as a Powerful Marketing Tool. Given the drop in branch visits, both print and electronic customer documents can supplement for the loss of face-to-face interaction and serve as an essential and profitable marketing tool. Access to transactional data gives the financial industry the unique ability to personalize documents and provide their customers with timely, applicable marketing messages through transpromo marketing in the form of personalized affiliate ads, as well as cross selling and upselling.
4. Document outsourcing is the best way to simplify processes, reduce costs and manage risk while increasing value. While the need to reduce costs and conserve resources is a prominent one, it’s important to remember to cut the RIGHT costs and allocate your expenses to elements that will work tangent to your business goals while increasing overall efficiency. Document outsourcing is an excellent way to mitigate some of the IT spend while continuing to achieve the technological advancements that customers require.
A great document outsourcing partner will serve as a single-source extension of your business, offering a comprehensive combination of equipment, security, delivery vehicles and software. In addition to controlling operational costs and reducing capital expenditure needs, outsourcing can provide added value through enhanced marketing opportunities and assured quality control, which ultimately allows you to devote your time to your core competency.
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