Imagine you walk into the office one day and are greeted with chaos- coworkers running around frantically, the phones ringing incessantly. You ask what all the commotion is about, and a colleague turns to you and says: “Our document services provider has sent two members’ personal statements to our ENTIRE LIST OF CUSTOMERS!” As you take a moment to let that sink in, you call your vendor and demand they get to the bottom of this irreversible mistake. The vendor representative on the other end of the phone apologizes profusely, promises LifeLock for the two affected members and swears that this mistake will never happen again.
Fast forward a couple of months. You experience déjà vu as you enter a scene much like the one you did not too long ago. Again, you ask what all the commotion is about, and a colleague turns to you and says: “Our document services provider has sent a business’ statement to OUR ENTIRE LIST OF CUSTOMERS!”
Unfortunately, we have heard this exact horror story, along with many others, about other document services providers’ lack of quality control and standard security checkpoints, resulting in unforeseen costs incurred through data breaches and customer dissatisfaction.
Outsourcing document production and delivery should allow your business to reach the correct customer at the right time, achieve cost savings and streamline processes - all while managing risk.
If you are looking to change document services providers, beware of the fact that many vendors may tell you they offer the whole package, but then end up falling short on their promises after implementation. Here are five questions to ask in the vetting processes that will help you uncover the truth in a vendor's offerings and capabilities:
1. What security certifications/qualifications do they uphold? In order to avoid data breaches, document services providers should be SSAE 16 and SOC II, Type 2 Certified. For the healthcare industry, HIPAA Compliance is also required.
2. Do they offer a comprehensive solution? Utilizing a single partner for the design, composition and multi-channel delivery of all your documents and communications benefits your organization by ensuring consistency throughout all document channels and formats. A comprehensive, single-vendor solution can help you save time and money by increasing eAdoption rates, reducing call center costs, offering solutions to identify new revenue opportunities, and providing you with large volume discounts.
3. Do they have high standards of quality control? Quality control is of utmost importance in the design, processing and delivery of business-critical documents. A vendor that has multiple checkpoints throughout the document lifecycle including mail scanning, 2D barcodes on each page of every document and unique Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB) will ensure each document is sent to the correct recipient at the right time.
4. What kind of support will they provide? The most successful document services providers are consultative in their approach and identify ways to solve complex business problems. Look for a vendor that employs only PMP Certified project managers, as well as seasoned client services managers who can lend industry expertise and best practices.
5. Do they continually invest in the most updated software and equipment? A good document services vendor will not only have the latest print equipment, but will also heavily invest in ongoing technological applications in an effort to strategically align with your business objectives.
Choose the right strategic partner, and you have found the keys to success in business-critical communications!
Interested in learning how Lanvera can help you achieve best-in-class customer communications that streamline processes, increase your bottom line and mitigate risk? Click here to contact us.
In the United States, the beginning of the school year signals a two-and-a-half month sprint to the beginning of the holiday season. Over these next couple of months, you and your team will most likely be reviewing annual budgets, identifying strategic goals and building process improvements.
This time of year should also shift focus to your marketing plan and identifying ways to effectively reach your customer segments during the holidays. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $626.1 billion on holiday gifts in 2015. This solidifies the importance of using your business-critical documents to cross-sell and upsell your services, as well as tap into affiliate advertising. Your customers receive their statements, invoices and bills from you on a regular basis (in most cases, monthly) and using these documents to market to your customer base is an easy way to drive customer action.
Cross-Sell/Upsell: Parents of a young child who receive monetary gifts for Christmas could be persuaded to open a 529 Plan account for college funds. Customers wanting to purchase a car for a child or spouse will be searching for the best auto loan rates. Do you see where we are going with this? Customers will be on the lookout for products and services that best suit their needs and wants. This is a great opportunity for you to reach your customer segments with personalized, dynamic messaging that will drive them to contact you and request additional services.
Affiliate Advertising: The holiday season is a goldmine for B2C businesses. Did you know those businesses are willing to pay you for advertising space in your business-critical documents? Tapping into affiliate advertising will drive customer behavior and put more money in your pocket. It’s a win-win!
How to Cross-Sell/Upsell and Utilize Affiliate Advertising on Customer Documents
Historically, businesses have utilized transpromo marketing and statement stuffers to send blanket messages to their entire customer base, but today’s capabilities will reap benefits and results far greater than these generalized marketing messages of the past.
By outsourcing to the right document services partner, you can help improve your document marketing by making it:
1. Personalized: Face-to -face interaction continues to decline as customers are now able to do everything from transferring money to opening new accounts remotely via mobile apps and home banking. Statements, letters and notices are becoming a primary platform for businesses to engage with and cross-sell/upsell to their customers, but it is important that those messages be personalized and targeted to the individual rather than your entire customer base.
A good document outsourcing partner will implement business rules to target specific customers with personalized marketing messages, increasing the quality of marketing content and driving customer engagement.
2. Dynamic: The key to dynamic messaging is having the ability to change and update document marketing content at your own discretion and designate which customer segments will receive them. With this capability, you can create and change dynamic marketing messages when necessary and at no additional cost.
3. Multi-Channel: In order to effectively market to your customer segments, multi-channel delivery is of utmost importance. Digital delivery such as SMS, email and ePresentment allows your customers to view their statements, notices, etc. in a timely manner, meaning your marketing messages are being seen more quickly than traditional mail. Additionally, digital delivery gives you the option to enable clickable advertisements that drive immediate customer interaction.
When you couple digital delivery with print and mail, the marketing opportunities are limitless. You can either implement the same messaging to one customer segment across all document delivery platforms, or you can vary messaging so each customer sees different communications on their electronic documents versus what they see on their print documents. This can especially come in handy when you come across customers who fall under multiple segments.
Get back to school and have some fun with your document marketing so you can put more money in your pocket while making your customers happy! Contact us today for a comprehensive consultation on how you can maximize the potential of your business-critical documents.
Michael Phelps is nothing short of a household name. As the most decorated Olympian ever (he raked in eight gold medals in his first games alone), he has yet again surpassed the public’s expectations by qualifying for his 5th round of Olympic Games hosted in Rio, Brazil over the next two weeks. Although Phelps is not a corporation, he is certainly a brand. His tenacity, hard work and perseverance yield many lessons the business world can glean from. That said, here are three ways Michael Phelps can teach you to strengthen your brand through business-critical communications:
Side Note: Speaking of #PhelpsFace memes, here is one that was recently posted by the CUNA Advocacy Group on Twitter:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published a 900-page final rule on mortgage servicing. The final rule, otherwise known as “Amendments to the 2013 Mortgage Rules under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (Regulation X) and the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z),” has raised concerns in the industry for “unintended consequences.” For example, the National Association of Federal Credit Union (NAFCU) is already pointing out flaws in the final rule, according to HousingWire. To see what NAFCU’s Director of Regulatory Affairs said about the new regulatory changes, click here.
According to the CFPB’s press release issued August 4, 2016, the rule establishes new protections for consumers, including:
Requiring servicers to provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan:
Under the CFPB’s existing rules, a mortgage servicer must give borrowers certain foreclosure protections, including the right to be evaluated under the CFPB’s requirements for options to avoid foreclosure, only once during the life of the loan. Today’s final rule will require that servicers give those protections again for borrowers who have brought their loans current at any time since submitting the prior complete loss mitigation application.
This change will be particularly helpful for borrowers who obtain a permanent loan modification and later suffer an unrelated hardship, such as the loss of a job or the death of a family member, that could otherwise cause them to face foreclosure, the CFPB stated.
Expanding consumer protections to surviving family members and other homeowners:
If a borrower dies, existing CFPB rules require that servicers have policies and procedures in place to promptly identify and communicate with family members, heirs, or other parties, known as successors in interest, who have a legal interest in the home. Today’s final rule establishes a broad definition of successor in interest that generally includes persons who receive property upon the death of a relative or joint tenant; as a result of a divorce or legal separation; through certain trusts; or from a spouse or parent.
The final rule ensures that those confirmed as successors in interest will generally receive the same protections under the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules as the original borrower.
Providing more information to borrowers in bankruptcy:
Under the CFPB’s existing mortgage rules, servicers do not have to provide periodic statements or early intervention loss mitigation information to borrowers in bankruptcy. Today’s final rule generally requires, subject to certain exemptions, that servicers provide those borrowers periodic statements with specific information tailored for bankruptcy, as well as a modified written early intervention notice to let those borrowers know about loss mitigation options.
Servicers also currently do not have to provide early intervention loss mitigation information to borrowers who have told the servicer to stop contacting them under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Today’s final rule generally requires servicers to provide modified written early intervention notices to let those borrowers also know about loss mitigation options.
Requiring servicers to notify borrowers when loss mitigation applications are complete:
Whether a borrower is entitled to key foreclosure protections depends in part on the date a borrower completes a loss mitigation application. If consumers do not know the status of their application, they cannot know the status of those foreclosure protections. Today’s final rule requires servicers to notify borrowers promptly and in writing that the application is complete, so that borrowers know the status of the application and have more information about their protections.
Protecting struggling borrowers during servicing transfers:
When mortgages are transferred from one servicer to another, borrowers who had applied to the prior servicer for loss mitigation may not know where they stand with the new servicer. Today’s final rule clarifies that generally the new servicer must comply with the loss mitigation requirements within the same timeframes that applied to the transferor servicer, but provides limited extensions to these timeframes under certain circumstances.
If a borrower submits an application shortly before transfer, the new servicer must send an acknowledgment notice within 10 business days of the transfer date. If the borrower’s application was complete prior to transfer, the new servicer must evaluate it within 30 days of the transfer date. If the new servicer needs more information to evaluate the application, the borrower would retain some foreclosure protections in the meantime. If the borrower submits an appeal, the new servicer has 30 days to make a determination on the appeal.
Clarifying servicers’ obligations to avoid dual-tracking and prevent wrongful foreclosures:
The CFPB’s existing rules prohibit servicers from taking certain actions in foreclosure once they receive a complete loss mitigation application from a borrower more than 37 days prior to a scheduled sale. However, in some cases, borrowers are not receiving this protection, and servicers’ foreclosure counsel may not be taking adequate steps to delay foreclosure proceedings or sales.
The CFPB’s new rule clarifies that, if a servicer has already made the first foreclosure notice or filing and receives a timely complete application, servicers and their foreclosure counsel must not move for a foreclosure judgment or order of sale, or conduct a foreclosure sale, even if a third party conducts the sale proceedings, unless the borrower’s loss mitigation application is properly denied, withdrawn, or the borrower fails to perform on a loss mitigation agreement.
The clarifications will aid servicers in complying with, and assist courts in applying, the dual-tracking prohibitions in foreclosure proceedings to prevent wrongful foreclosures.
Clarifying when a borrower becomes delinquent:
Several of the consumer protections under the CFPB’s existing rules depend upon how long a consumer has been delinquent on a mortgage. Today’s final rule clarifies that delinquency, for purposes of the servicing rules, begins on the date a borrower’s periodic payment becomes due and unpaid. When a borrower misses a periodic payment but later makes it up, if the servicer applies that payment to the oldest outstanding periodic payment, the date the borrower’s delinquency began advances.
The final rule also allows servicers the discretion, under certain circumstances, to consider a borrower as having made a timely payment even if the borrower’s payment falls short of a full periodic payment.
Mortgage servicers have been and will continue to struggle with loan margins as the regulatory environment continues to iron itself out. Should you have any questions on how to improve loan margins while satisfying compliance, click here to contact Lanvera, the industry’s leading transactional document services provider.
Like presidential candidates, statements are often viewed as a necessary evil. As a result, many financial institutions dump data straight from their cores onto paper without much regard for the layout, and then mail them to the intended recipients. Yes, by doing this, you have checked the compliance box. But consider this: You may be throwing away valuable engagement opportunities, spending extended time with members who don’t understand their statements and in turn, BURNING TIME AND MONEY.
According to a recent creditcards.com survey, 62% of respondents say they review their monthly statements via mail, online or both. I think this warrants a large flashing neon sign saying “OPPORTUNITY” with an arrow pointing to print mail and electronic design and delivery of statements.
Before we get into what can be done to MAKE MEMBER STATEMENTS GREAT AGAIN, let’s talk about what’s holding them back from greatness. You may need to re-evaluate your statement design and delivery if your statements are:
1. Stagnant with no clear calls to action
2. Only black and white
3. Filled with unnecessary white space
4. Not giving members the option to receive digital delivery
5. Occupied with pre-printed inserts
6. Lacking personalized messaging
Now that we’ve established the signs of needing a statement face lift, let’s address some of the remedies... Click here to read the rest of Lanvera's article on CUInsight