For consumers, managing and properly storing important documents is a real challenge. Don’t make it worse by sending unnecessary envelopes to the same household or forcing customers to access documents via multiple interfaces.
Two solutions to consider for efficient document consolidation and management are householding and providing a unified online customer interface for e-presentment.
Companies know that mailed messages are highly effective engagement vehicles. But if you’re bombarding customers with unnecessary mail, the benefits of printed communications can evaporate.
Householding refers to the practice of combining several accounts into one consolidated statement or mailing separate documents for the same customer in a single envelope. Documents containing sensitive data such as health information can’t always be householded, and some communications need to be delivered as standalone pieces. But many ordinary business documents are prime candidates for a householding strategy.
The most obvious benefit to householding is the savings you’ll realize from printing and mailing fewer pieces. But other advantages should be considered.
In the case of financial information, for example, householding may deliver significant value. Individuals and married couples often hold several financial accounts administered by decentralized departments within a single financial institution. Pooling all their financial transactions and reports into a consolidated statement might suggest solutions that make more financial sense, such as target allocation, capital gains strategies, taxation, or estate planning. This holistic approach to household problem solving makes customer relations stickier and encourages clients to expand their business relationships.
Effective householding requires your databases be appropriately scrubbed and standardized. Statements and other documents can’t be combined or merged unless you can match name and address data. Once your company invokes householding, you will begin acquiring more data. You’ll be able to see household buying patterns or engagement histories with your brand. And don’t forget some demographic data, such as income, is usually collected by household. Your customer profiles and your ability to make judgements about offers can be refined by using household level data.
E-presentment is a well-designed system for making documents easily searchable and accessible on a customer portal, available online in HTML or PDF format. Few things annoy customers more than logging into a portal to access a document and giving up in frustration because the interface is confusing and the information is difficult to retrieve. Consolidating documents in a single interface erases this customer pain point.
An e-presentment platform extends your customer communications management program and gives customers instant and easy access to their documents, often going back several years. Access can extend to a consolidated view of their information and choosing whether they want HTML, PDF, or wish to order paper copies sent to them through the mail.
A sophisticated solution goes beyond the document repository function. It includes a variety or marketing opportunities, payment processing, email notification, and other services.
E-presentment provides seamless integration that ensures brand integrity and a common experience on a 24/7 basis. Customers can log in at their leisure and easily sort through the data and files they need. It also decreases the number of calls to customer service departments and reduces paper and postage costs.
Together, householding and e-presentment strategies help streamline communication and add value to the customer experience. Not every organization can implement these methods on its own. A great way of leveraging these solutions is to partner with a print service provider that takes an integrated and comprehensive approach to your entire customer communications environment. Talk to the Lanvera experts. We can help you consolidate your customer documents and enrich the customer experience.
In an effort to meet the demands of digital-first customers, reduce expenses and improve efficiencies, Bank of America has recently opened three completely automated branches in Colorado and Minnesota. These branches include ATMs, as well as video conferences with employees from other branches, according to Bank of America Spokeswoman, Anne Pace.
“We are literally automating every single thing,” said Dean Athanasia, co-head of consumer banking. “Paper handling in the middle office, we want to take out. We want to streamline the transactions from front to back office – make it completely seamless – and that goes to auto loans, mortgage, credit cards, deposits.”
The banking conglomerate’s move toward a more automated, self-service model is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a more streamlined, cost-effective and digital-first customer experience; and it is the exact path most other financial institutions are following. This will provide most financial institutions with a more cost-effective way of serving customers.
What does this mean for your business?
1.Personalization is Key
62% of millennials report that brand engagement is more likely to make them a loyal customer, according to USC Dornsife. Because the actual in-person element is being eliminated, it is important to consider that each of your customers wants to feel special- which means that blanket messaging will no longer cut it if you want your business to be successful. Instead, customers want an experience that is unique to their individual preferences. The transition to more hi-tech, less touch strategies will force financial institutions to personalize all communications, including electronic and print customer documents. If your documents are consistently formatted and optimized for readability, easily accessible through any platform or channel and personalized to individuals instead of your customer base as a collective group, you will create the memorable and engaging experience customers crave.
2.Your Vendor Relationships Matter
According to Biztech, when you choose the right document services vendor, your organization can save up to 30% annually. When it comes to user-friendly digital applications, the best defense is a great offense. Be sure to align yourself with a document services vendor that has a digital roadmap and is heavily invested in technology that can help you address your customers’ digital demands.
Interested in learning how Lanvera can help guide your customer communications in today’s digitally driven world? Contact us today.
We all know marketing communications are going digital. In the rush to embrace new technology, marketers have ignored other, more traditional means of reaching audiences. Transactional documents are one of those channels marketers often overlook. These are important touch points and not leveraging their potential is a missed opportunity.
Thankfully, that’s changing. In recent years transactional documents have revived as effective marketing tools. Driven by new data analysis technology, marketers are leveraging communications via transactional documents to create meaningful customer interactions. Often referred to as transpromo – a combination of transaction and promotional content – documents such as financial statements, invoices, health or insurance statements, and others, are excellent vehicles to upsell, cross sell, and engage.
First, a few basics.
The Benefits of Transpromo
During a time of email backlash, and messages on other platforms that often miss more than hit, transactional documents offer several advantages that make them standout marketing tools. Let’s look at some of them.
A key to triggering the benefits of transactional documents is the ability to mine and manipulate data. Today’s document outsource providers offer data assistance in addition to printing. Ask our experts how you can leverage the power of transactional documents by adding data-driven messaging to material you’re already sending to your customers.
Millennials are flexing their demographic muscle and reshaping customer service in just about every industry. Banking is no exception and today’s financial institutions are employing several strategies to retain the business of this sometime-elusive group.
Millennials’ habits and preferences have been exhaustively detailed. They are difficult to engage, less trusting of traditional institutions, lacking in brand loyalty, favor brands that mirror their values, and are largely open only to marketing messages that speak to their personal experiences.
They are the first digital-native generation. Millennials rely on technology, and particularly their smartphones, to run every aspect of their lives, from car rides, to food, to dating. The first generation to grow up with the internet holds perspectives shaped by their interaction with technology. They expect to manage their banking as easily and conveniently as ordering a ride.
Financial institutions are moving to meet this expectation. After all, millennials, who number about 70 million in the US, are poised to make up 75% of the workforce in the next ten years and to inherit $30 trillion over the next 30 years.
Studies show that that over 80% of millennials own smartphones and more than half prefer a digital relationship with their financial institution to a physical one. Many seldom go into bricks-and-mortar branches and they don’t want to call bank reps or send emails to get the answers they need.
Financial institutions are responding by creating one-stop-shopping mobile apps that consolidate financial needs in one place: tracking spending, transferring money, payment vehicles, loan management, deposits, auto transfers, applying to credit, and so forth.
Banking apps are also offering integrations with peer-to-peer payment platforms like PayPal and Venmo that allow people to split restaurant bills or complete other business purchases. Millennials have readily signed up to use these platforms that compete with traditional banking. several financial institutions have created Zelle, their own proprietary peer-to-peer payment platform, to rival independent third-party options.
Ease and Convenience
Research also shows millennials value innovation and are ready to give their business to brands they perceive as innovators. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed that millennials are 50% more likely to trust non-traditional businesses with a history of innovation.
Banks are creating more engaging mobile experiences and applying proven UX (user experience) principles to make apps simple to navigate and easy to use. They have organized information so it’s easy to find, convenient to interact with, and relevant to the user. For example, instead of providing a dozen credit card options that may send potential clients scrambling to other sites, it’s much more effective to offer three options that match the needs of the users.
Millennials deal with some difficult economic circumstances. They entered the job market during a brutal recession, they face hyper-inflated housing markets, high student-debt loads, and the challenges of the gig economy. Many feel vulnerable. They want financial advice and information from banks, but they also crave relevancy.
Apps and state-of-the-art document generation software make it possible to customize marketing messages and reach users with relevant messages at the relevant time. A 32-year-old struggling to pay student loans needs a different message than a 60-year-old planning for retirement. SMS messages and banner ads are great for delivering personalized prompts for renegotiating a loan, offering new financial planning tools, promoting mortgage rates, and so on.
Research shows that while most customers are wary of institutions that collect data on them, millennials are open to sharing personal information if they perceive it will be used transparently and provides value.
All communications with millennial customers need to take this group’s needs and perspectives into account. Check with the experts at Lanvera to hear how we enable financial institutions to communicate with their customers as individuals.
Tracking letters, transactional documents and other materials throughout the production process and as they move through the USPS mail stream is critical. Most obviously, health agencies, insurance companies, and government bodies that distribute sensitive or confidential information must make sure that data is used correctly and deliveries are made on time.
Such tracking is also becoming more important for marketers, especially in an age of multichannel communications. Direct mail, for example, is an investment that has to deliver the desired ROI. Print/mail service providers must assure them specific pieces will reach the intended recipients at the right time to coincide with digital or other types of messaging. When personalization is factored into a marketing program, tracking is even more imperative.
Mail service providers have enhanced tools to provide just these assurances. During document production, they control creation and assembly with their Automated Document Factory (ADF). Once service providers turn mail over to the postal service, Informed Visibility (IV), a newly enhanced program from the USPS, delivers greater visibility and transparency into the status of mailed pieces.
Automated Document Factory
The first step in producing effective documents is ensuring data is properly managed and deployed. An ADF is a system that verifies the print/mail operation has properly prepared and accounted for every page, document set, and envelope. Equipment-mounted cameras scan documents as they are processed and compare them to data files of expected materials. Any discrepancy, such as a missing or duplicate page, causes the ADF to stop the machines and alert the operators.
Besides managing complex workflows on a piece level, ADF systems also help document operations track and manage jobs. The ADF makes sure the print/mail operation processes all work according to the schedule and serves as an early warning system should a machine show signs of impending failure. The ADF can automatically reprint damaged documents, ensuring every mailpiece is processed and delivered on time to the USPS.
How IV worksUnder the previous tracking system, the USPS scanned individual pieces of mail as they entered a postal facility and moved to various distribution centers. The system worked well for letters, but it often omitted flats—pieces of printed matter such as magazines, newsletters, or catalogs that enter the mailstream already bundled for delivery. This created gaps in the tracking system and prevented real time updates.
With today’s upgraded IV, individual mail still gets scanned as before via the Intelligent Mail barcode, but IV also scans containers or bundles of flats. When a container is scanned, the USPS tracks all pieces associated with that container based on information provided by mail service providers.
The IV process fixes the visibility gap with end-to-end tracking and provides precise estimates for when a piece will drop into a recipient’s mailbox. When a mail carrier arrives in an area to deliver the mail, his or her hand-held device records their location. Since the system knows what documents or products the postal service loads onto each delivery vehicle, IV can generate a near real time estimate for when an item will actually reach the recipient.
Benefits of IV
The benefits of real time tracking with Informed Visibility are many.
Mail service providers now have more tools to manage data and documents more efficiently than ever. For a detailed description of how Lanvera executes and distributes critical business communications securely and accurately through the entire document lifecycle, contact us today.
When they call, customers naturally expect their FI to be able to view any of these documents and answer questions regarding the information they contain. There’s only one problem. A collection of unconnected internal or external systems generate the documents delivered to customers’ homes. Customer service representatives don’t have a complete picture of all the paper and electronic communications sent to a customer on their company’s behalf.
Downgraded Customer Experience
The lack of centralized document repositories that hold all an organization’s paper and electronic documents results in a poor customer experience. Without all the information, customer service representatives can’t answer customer questions immediately. They put calls on hold while they hunt down the information, or they call the customer back. These responses are not acceptable to busy customers who just want an answer about a document from the organization that sent it!
A similar issue exists on the customer’s side. They may be able to access some documents via an online portal, but not all of them. Again, the disparity of document-producing systems makes it nearly impossible for FI’s to collect all the materials in a single place. Customers may have to log into multiple systems or bounce around to different areas of the portal to find the documents they need. In some cases, desired documents may not be available to customers at all.
This issue is becoming critical as more customers migrate to mobile or electronic banking. Paperless customers rely on online document archives when they need to research information about their accounts. Information must be available when customers need it.
Complete Communications Access
Fortunately, Lanvera has a solution. Customers of FI’s serviced by Lanvera can access all their documents, even those not created by Lanvera, in a single online repository. Our clients deliver superior customer experiences and they save time and money by handling customer calls more efficiently.
This is a revolutionary leap in customer communications management. Most document service providers don’t offer this functionality. They focus only on document operations. At Lanvera we view ourselves as a technology company first. Yes, we handle customer communications tasks for our clients, but we’re mostly focused on solving problems for them. Lack of a centralized document repository was one of those problems we wanted to tackle.
To learn more about how we can build document archives, including access to documents we don’t even produce, contact us. We’ll be happy to show you. Omni-channel document access will change the way you think about customer communications.
Data security for organizations that handle sensitive information for their clients is extremely important. Reports of privacy violations resulting from misuse of data, unauthorized employee access, and loss or theft of devices containing unencrypted data can cause big problems and public embarrassment.
Data protection safeguards can be separated into three categories: administrative, technical, and physical.
Administrative safeguards are company policies and practices such as employee background checks, data security training programs, and procedures regarding data access requests and approvals.
Technical safeguards are controls that prevent unauthorized data access. User authentication, encryption, and automatic lockout after unsuccessful login attempts are examples of technical safeguards.
Don’t Forget About Physical Security
People often concentrate on technical aspects of data security as they seek to prevent hacking attacks, but physical security is just as important. Businesses where employees, vendors, and suppliers travel in and out of production areas and buildings should not overlook physical security. Safeguards protect devices and work areas where companies collect, store, or process data.
Physical security begins with building access. Companies issue employee security cards to pass through doors and employees must admit visitors to a reception area and greet them. Visitors sign in and wait for escorts before proceeding into the facility.
One common physical security measure companies implement is the concept of multiple security checkpoints. Individuals may enter a room containing network servers, for example, only by passing through areas staffed by security, administrative, or IT workers. Employees are required to stop and question anyone attempting to enter a secured area of the building without authorization.
Documentation systems also play a part in physical security. By comparing computing system activity logs to physical access records, companies can spot discrepancies and initiate investigations into suspicious activities.
Emergency exits typically have no handles from the outside. Employees can open them only from the inside, often sounding an alarm when in use.
Surveillance cameras in key areas dissuade employees from ignoring security procedures or attempting to view or acquire data for personal use. Cameras are especially useful in large production areas, such as Lanvera’s document production facility.
For Lanvera and others in the physical document production and distribution business, physical security extends to the paper documents with which we work. A privacy violation can occur if a machine inserts pages from two accounts into a single envelope. Double-stuffing mistakes are now rare occurrences thanks to modern technology. Clients expect 100% accuracy and we designed our document production workflow to deliver the highest level of integrity.
At Lanvera, we take all necessary precautions to ensure we handle our client’s documents accurately. We outfit our production equipment with cameras at critical points in the document workflow to capture information from pages as they pass. In the mail insertion process, for example, one of our cameras inspects pages as they enter the machine and another camera scans and records finished envelopes as they exit the inserting system. Any discrepancies cause the machine to stop and issue an operator alert.
Our automated systems compare data captured by these high speed scans to control files of expected materials. Should a page be missing, damaged, or out of order, our machines automatically notice the anomaly, reject the pages, and schedule the account for reprinting.
Lanvera’s Secure Facility
We take client data and document security seriously, merging administrative, technical, and physical security safeguards into a cohesive system designed to protect client information. We encrypt the data when in transit and at rest, only keeping data as long as necessary to do the tasks we’ve agreed to perform. Once data is no longer needed we delete it from our systems.
No organization can be entirely immune from malicious attacks. We’ve all read the reports of large entities targeted by criminals and falling prey to their illegal acts. However, we at Lanvera take every precaution to prevent or discover intrusion attempts as we process important work for our clients. If you’d like to learn more about the security measures Lanvera uses to protect data and documents, please contact us.
Financial institutions (FI’s) may find it challenging to attract and retain millennial customers. This group views their relationships with FI’s much differently than earlier generations. The methods FI’s have traditionally relied upon may not be effective with this demographic age group, now the largest segment of the population, bypassing the baby boomers.
Financial institutions that resist communicating in personal and relevant ways or do not direct interactions through preferred communication channels will find it more difficult to attract and keep millennial customers. When faced with messaging FI’s typically produce, millennials won’t perceive a difference between banking institutions and loyalty will erode.
Is it Only About Technology?
Of course technology plays a big part in decisions about where millennials bank and the customer experience they expect. FI’s that don’t keep up with technological developments risk losing the attention of the customers they want to attract, regardless of messaging relevance and quality.
Millennials rely on their phones as integral tools for conducting business. 47% of millennials use mobile banking, so a well-designed mobile banking app is essential, but so is performance. Millennials seeking hassle-free banking are quick to make a change if processes are complicated or transactions take too long to complete. 38% say they’ve abandoned mobile banking activities that took too long. For millennials, the customer experience supersedes many factors FI’s traditionally use to retain customers.
When they switch, millennials may choose non-traditional companies that lack lengthy financial service pedigrees. New players are competing for millennial business and social media is a powerful influence in directing them towards alternative service providers. Millennials aren’t shy about moving their accounts to untraditional institutions they’ve heard about through friends, influencers, and contacts. Millennials are 2.5 times more likely to switch FI’s than baby boomers. It pays to listen and engage via social media.
What Else is Important?
The focus on technology and usability don’t completely erase the value of traditional FI offerings. The millennial generation carries a lot of debt, much of it from student loans. Higher saving account interest rates or fewer fees still matter to this group that needs to stretch their paychecks as far as possible. Personal service continues to play a part also, with two-thirds of millennials reporting visits to a physical branch within the last six months.
Branch visits aren’t the same for millennials as they have been for older generations. Millennials value their experiences. They document ordinary events and share with friends and followers. FI’s may need to re-think the branch environment from a millennial point of view and introduce features and incentives to get their target customers into the buildings.
Interactive and personalized educational programs might be a worthwhile approach. 92% of millennials believe they don’t have the financial knowledge necessary to deal with upcoming life events such as buying a car or a house. Sponsored social gatherings coupled with educational opportunities can allow FI’s to connect with this audience in person.
Dealing with millennial customers can require FI strategy changes. They will need to partner with organizations that understand the trends and have invested in the technology to carry out a program catering to this group. Lack of loyalty is a double-edge sword. Keeping current customers can be a challenge, but wooing others away from FI’s that are not satisfying millennial needs is an opportunity for organizations willing to invest in a communications infrastructure that supports the necessary functionality.
Most companies regard transactional documents and other communications mailed to their customers as a necessary evil. They are focused on how to get this task accomplished at low cost, not on why they are doing it or how those documents support their organization’s overall goals. Most print and mail service providers are similarly oriented as they tout their technology to drive down costs.
Technology like modern inkjet printers and intelligent inserters help print/mail vendors produce and distribute printed documents accurately and efficiently, but most print service providers aren't looking at the broader view of solving their clients’ business challenges. Their focus is limited to the production of printed and electronic documents.
A Different Approach
Lanvera is a technology company. We use print and mail as one part of a complete solution for our clients, and we have invested in hardware and software to handle the task. But our approach differs from our competitors. Our initial discussions with new clients may not even mention printing and mailing. We’re more interested in what your financial services, insurance, healthcare, or other organization wants to accomplish. We will address the physical document production component, but only as it affects your customer experience strategy.
Let’s take monthly financial statements as an example. All financial institutions generate statements for their customers and members. These communications are important customer touch points. They are produced consistently, welcomed by the customers, and are opened and read by over 90% of the recipients.
When working with Lanvera, you can expect us to strategize with you about these transactional documents.
Questions like these aren’t centered on the mechanics of sending statements to your customers. You’ll notice they didn’t cover traditional topics like page counts, cost savings, or lowering postage costs. Those are important points to cover and we always do that, but at Lanvera we think solving your business problems and helping you achieve your mission statement goals are priority issues. Concentrating on what you print is more important than how we print it.
A Big Picture Focus
Because we’re a technology company that also prints and mails, we avoid difficulties typically faced by competitors that view themselves solely as print and mail vendors. Print/mail service providers are involved at the end of a complex process of transactional interactions and data interpretation. A big challenge is fitting the data their clients provide them into an efficient document production workflow. Because Lanvera is working with our clients far “upstream”, we are well acquainted with the data used to generate the printed or electronic documents. The process flows easily, allowing us to offer the benefits of our well-established white paper workflow to all our clients. Even companies with smaller volumes that may not qualify for discounts with a typical print/mail service provider can take advantage of our highly efficient processes.
The Lanvera approach is unique. We’ve built a state-of-the-art document processing facility but we’re not interested in being just another print/mail service provider. Instead, we look at our clients’ overall objectives and then offer them technology solutions that impact the customer experience at many critical points in the customer journey.
Many financial institutions struggle to integrate customer-facing applications. Program administration often resides in separate business units with little synchronization between them. Coordinated customer experience (CX) is difficult to achieve when the applications are running under separate software and accessing independent databases.
This situation came about as financial institutions (FI’s) scurried to meet rapid implementation targets demanded by top management and FI customers. To respond, information technology groups, and sometimes business units themselves, deployed standalone solutions that met marketplace requirements but resulted in a convoluted collection of uncoordinated systems.
As mobile communications became must-have’s in the FI marketplace, business units within FI’s contracted with outside development firms specializing in mobile apps. Time to market was the driving motivation. Now, application disconnections contribute to inconsistent branding images and customer experiences.
Making matters worse, some legacy FI systems are increasingly difficult to maintain. When regulatory changes or competitive pressures mandate new features, IT must find resources with the knowledge necessary to code and test the modifications. Given the maintenance headaches, IT might prefer to re-write the old code modules in a modern language, but there’s never enough time or budget. Patches and workarounds proliferate.
A CX Overhaul
FI’s need is a comprehensive overhaul that consolidates all the functionality in a single customer communications system. In many financial services organizations, customer communication frameworks can barely handle the communications challenges of today. Original programmers did not build dynamic on-statement messaging and channel preference, for example, into legacy document applications still generating transactional documents. Future communication technology developments are likely to present an even greater management issue for these aging computer programs.
A new comprehensive system for customer communications can generate plenty of benefits for FI’s. Unburdened by old technology, organizations can concentrate on what they want to communicate to customers instead of worrying about how to do it. Redesigned communications composed with modern software can allow FI’s to include interactive charts, add color, or enhance documents with details that improve comprehension and reduce call center traffic. Marketing teams can target their messages, test multiple versions, track results, and respond to rapidly changing conditions without waiting weeks for their turn on the IT priority list. New customer communication systems can deliver documents via the customer’s mobile device or other channels while maintaining consistent branding and functionality. Customers can start a process in one channel and finish in another while navigating within a contiguous environment.
Customers Demand More
Consumers expect companies to know their interests and anticipate their needs. Companies like Amazon and Netflix communicate with them on a personal level and they expect similar treatment from the companies that handle personal details like their finances. Financial institutions must step up their efforts in this area to gain customer loyalty.
Most FI’s, particularly small to medium size organizations, realize creating a modern, omni-channel customer communications system from scratch is a huge undertaking. They don’t have the internal IT resources to build, test, and integrate all the components. Outsourcing their customer-facing communications to a partner with brandable solutions already in place is often the only path that yields positive results within a reasonable timeframe.
Lanvera is a world-class provider of end-to-end outsourcing solutions for transactional and business-critical communications. We couple cutting edge technology solutions with industry expertise to solve the complex business challenges facing customer-critical document delivery. Lanvera lets clients provide data in any format while delivering documents via any channel, including print, mobile, web and ePresentment.
Our consultative approach, ongoing technological investments, and custom solutions provides FI clients with answers that satisfy their business challenges. We have been specializing in creating customized solutions for the creation and delivery of business-critical data on any digital platform and print for over 30 years.