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.
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.
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.
Financial Institutions often accomplish customer communication with a disjointed collection of software, systems, measurement schemes, and data sources. Frequently, FIs purchase or develop these communication systems at different times and by various groups across the enterprise. Predictably, the result is a mixed bag of offerings that may do the job individually but fall short of omni-channel customer relationship goals.
What FIs need is a single plug-in that can access all their systems and provide a modern and easily navigated customer interface. The source of the documents should not matter.
In many banks and credit unions, customers may encounter branding inconsistencies or cumbersome integration as they try to locate information or access documents associated with their accounts. As customers interact with the various systems, they will notice the differences. Customer experience improvements may require heavy IT support, causing organizations to find themselves behind the times and slow to react to new products, new technology, or brand refreshes.
The customer experience is even more confusing when inconsistencies occur among communication channels. For some FIs, identical information they deliver via the web, mobile apps, or on paper may vary in appearance and functionality.
Digital Document Access
One particularly challenging area is digital document access. Customers attempting to view their transactional documents or correspondence frequently access the data via a document archiving system. While highly efficient at storing and indexing large volumes of documents, the creators of these systems don’t always optimize them for end-user operation. Customers may face retrieval roadblocks when archive systems do not generate user-oriented indexes or they restrict selection and sorting criteria. Also, archiving systems don’t always capture important communication components such as regulatory notices or marketing information companies insert into envelopes when they deliver the original documents on paper.
Third party documents just add to the ePresentment challenges. When customers must access a third party website to retrieve certain documents, the original company loses control over branding and presentation. Sending customers to another domain is risky. Customers may fail to return.
Difficulty with online document access dampens customer enthusiasm for eAdoption. Organizations have learned they must offer added functions and relevancy to wean customers away from paper documents. Hard to find PDF versions of printed pages served up by document archive software deliver little added value and so offer no incentive to turn off paper.
Plugging into All Systems
Fully featured ePresentment goes beyond the basic functionality provided by common document repositories. Whether documents are generated by a core application for billing and statements, correspondence applications, or a CRM, the customer experience should be the same. Comprehensive solutions like Lanvera’s ePresentment platform deliver these capabilities and more.
In the Lanvera ePresentment system, document retrieval and viewing methods are consistent across all devices, using a mobile-first approach. Filtering and downloading processes are easy and familiar, removing the confusion and frustration a patchwork collection of applications sometimes forces upon end-user customers. Customers may view even third party documents via the Lanvera platform, keeping the original organization in full control of the customer experience.
With built-in integration, companies can manage the ePresentment customer interface themselves, without relying on their vendors to make changes associated with branding or regulatory requirements.
Building customer communications integrated with all enterprise systems from scratch is a huge project. Electronic presentment solutions with plug-in capabilities allow companies to provide their customers with a rich customer experience without re-designing every system that generates customer-facing documents.
With the continued emergence of fintech, the competitive pressures innately forced upon businesses to improve the online customer experience continue to grow rapidly. By 2020, it’s estimated that your customer will manage 85% of their relationship with your business without human interaction, according to Walker Information.
Many businesses have adopted a self-service online model, giving customers more control over their accounts and transactions. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, where many fall short is the “set it and forget it” mentality. The result? Potentially frustrated customers, increased customer service calls, decreased retention rates, and lost sales opportunities.
Thankfully, there are solutions on the market geared toward improving an organization’s online UX. Electronic Presentment (ePresentment), for example, is an application that can help you satisfy today’s needs with the capabilities of facing tomorrow’s challenges. Here are some tips to ensure your ePresentment is cutting it in today's technology driven world:
1. Personalize. Studies show that customers react positively to personalization. Why? Because they like to feel valued as individuals rather than just numbers.
2. Utilize Dynamic Messaging. You have so much customer data at your fingertips- now it’s time to put it to good use! Age, income, geographic location, and marital status can help you deduct if your customers are eligible for your other services. From there, you can display messages and ads that are relevant to each customer.
3. Be consistent in design. Your ePresentment design should look just like it is part of your home banking site, giving the customer peace in familiarity.
4. Provide interactivity. Including interactive marketing messages and direct check view access are both capabilities that are enhanced through ePresentment. Marketing messages that can be clicked on for immediate access to offers are extremely beneficial and allow for a more pleasant UX.
By implementing the above tips, you can enhance the user experience and keep your customers coming back for more. To learn more about ePresentment and how it can help your organization, click here.
It is no secret that self-service is today’s preferred method of problem solving. In fact, Fast Company reports that 70% of consumers expect a company website to include a self-service tool.
While self-service applications are expected on all consumer-facing digital platforms, they are equally as necessary for your business’ use. Third party vendors with self-service portals can help you streamline routine tasks by giving you more control and drastically decreasing interaction with a representative.
A self-service customer communications portal will provide you with the opportunity to personalize marketing, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and be prepared for emergencies.
Gone are the days of mass marketing! According to a recent report from Accenture, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases and/or knows their purchase history.
An intuitive self-service customer communications portal allows you the flexibility to utilize customer data for personalized and dynamic one-to-one marketing messages. As a result, you will increase customer buy-in on relevant additional products and services.
Reduce Costs and Increase Efficiency
With 24/7 remote access, you can make changes to your customer communications at any time and on your own timeline. Additionally, the ability to make turnkey changes on your own without all the red tape of having to communicate back and forth with your vendor (submitting a ticket, clarify necessary changes, etc.) will save you headaches, time and extra expenses.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Unfortunately, we do not usually know ahead of time when an emergency will occur such as a natural disaster or power outage. A user friendly, self-service portal will give you remote access to quickly and easily upload and import customer files and messages to your digital platforms in order to keep customer communications intact.
A self-service customer communications portal can change your communications strategy from reactive to proactive by providing you the ability to change messaging at any time, on your own timeline and from anywhere.
Contact us today to learn more about how Lanvera’s self-service customer communications portal can help you streamline efficiencies.
Fiscal budgeting is upon us, and it's time to look into 2019 to plan new projects. For most, customer engagement and experience is top of mind, and a huge player in that space is around communications and specifically targeting clients via the medium they choose.
While there may be some uncertainty on what 2019 holds for regulations and market behavior, one thing remains the same- you still have to communicate with customers, whether in the form of a statement, letter or marketing campaign. That said, here are some communications trends and predictions to keep in mind while looking for ways to utilize and leverage business-critical data delivery to drive incremental revenue and strengthen customer relationships:
1. Social messaging is taking over
Sixty-two percent of millennials are more loyal to brands that engage them via Over-the-Top (OTT) and SMS messaging. Millennials, as well as other generations, want and expect the personal touch and collaboration that one-on-one communication allows.
Many businesses are already placing ads on social media networks and other websites, allowing users to click and instantaneously be directed to a chat window with the brand. Using business-critical communications, such as statements, notices and letters, you can implement a few strategies to capitalize on this movement, such as live chat features between customers and your organization, as well as providing direct links to popular social media platforms to enable quick sharing of information.
2. Mobile functionality is required
Mobile functionality is no longer optional in today’s world as consumers use smartphones for shopping and online research. This means mobile responsive websites and communications are necessary in order to meet consumer expectations.
Leading organizations have already implemented location-based offers and sales messaging through mobile devices. Take advantage of this trend by targeting specific offers based on credit, via printed documents or through your ePresentment platform. If your customer communications vendor is up-to-date on the latest technology, they can help you implement these important location-based offers and sales messaging to your customer base.
3. Customization and personalization are expected
Seventy-three percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to make their experiences more relevant, according to Digital Trends. When done correctly, using personalized marketing in digital and print business-critical documents can help you effectively reach your customers and yield a high ROI. In addition to revenue opportunities, personalized document marketing can help create a better customer experience by delivering content unique to an individual’s specific needs. The best part? There are no additional costs because your customer documents are already being delivered.
4. Self-service is necessary
Organizations should ensure that customers are able to find answers to their questions using an assortment of self-service options, as fifty percent of customers think it is important to solve product or service issues themselves and 70% expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. Make the most of your customer communications by adding self-service website links to both print and electronic customer facing documents. This will not remove the need for a call center, but it will reduce call volumes AND help to create a more self-service customer experience.
Interested in learning more about how to maximize your business-critical communications in 2019? Click here to contact us.
HURRICANE FLORENCE: 3 DISASTER RECOVERY ESSENTIALS TO KEEP YOU IN BUSINESS DURING A NATURAL DISASTER
September is National Preparedness Month, and is a great time to review processes and plans in case of an unforeseen disaster.
Businesses are temporarily closing on the East Coast in preparation for Hurricane Florence and many expect to be without power for many days. Even in the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, business owners are responsible for ensuring their businesses will stay as close to 100 percent as possible.
Natural disasters can happen anywhere, from tornadoes, to wildfires, and most recently, to hurricanes , disaster planning and recovery is top of mind. Regardless of the natural disaster, it’s crucial for any company to take steps to minimize disruption in services and communications with employees and customers.
The Disaster Recovery Journal estimates that as many as 80% of all U.S. companies don't have an effective DR plan. This does not bode well for the majority of American business’ systems and data, and ultimately, their future survival.
Below are three disaster recovery essentials to keep you in business by safeguarding your customer data and communications- and confirming that your business services vendors do the same- during future emergencies:
1. BUSINESS CONTINUITY MANAGEMENT
Business Continuity Management (BCM) is defined as a management process that identifies potential threats to an organization and the impacts to business operations those threats might cause. BCM provides a framework for building organizational resilience with the capability of an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand, and value-creating activities. Although this term is used interchangeably with DR, business continuity addresses more comprehensive planning that focuses on long term or chronic challenges to organizational success. Potential business continuity problems may include the illness or departure of key team members, supply chain breakdowns, catastrophic failures or critical malware infections.
Should a natural disaster or unexpected power outage occur, data must be accessible from a remote backup facility. Data must be comprehensively backed up at a secure location that features total redundancy of all online systems, databases, communications, power, form inventories, and print and mail facilities.
2. DATA SECURITY AND ARCHIVING
Data security, of course, is extremely important at all times. According to the Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council’s Annual Report, 60% of companies that experience mass data loss will shut down within six months of a disaster.
As business-critical data continues to grow at an exponential rate, and universal regulations such as HIPAA and the Patriot Act compel organizations to store data longer, archiving is an essential element to a DR plan. For customer data and business-critical communications such as statements, letters and notices, it is recommended that ePresentment is utilized.
3. MULTI-CHANNEL COMMUNICATION
In the event of a natural disaster, alternate forms of communication are crucial. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, USPS mail service was suspended for weeks across several states. It is important for businesses to reach their customers and deliver business-critical communications, no matter the circumstances. It is recommended that businesses not only incorporate messages on their own websites and ePresentment into their DR plan, but also email, SMS and social media.
·Email: Sending emails during emergency situations as a valid method of communication. Email servers are located globally, and it’s unlikely they will all be dead at the same time. But where do you get Internet access if cell phone service is dead? Oftentimes, WiFi service will still be up and running, since the cables used for hard wired Internet operate on different networks than cell phones. For most WiFi, you don’t even need to be in the building to access the service.
·Text: Text messages require far less bandwidth than phone calls, and even when the ominous “all circuits are busy” recording comes on, texts will still work as they operate on a parallel network to cell phones.
·Social Media: Social media is similar to email in that it is hosted on a network of global servers, providing redundancy and fault tolerance. Because your customers are all unique in their social media preferences, the more social media outlets you communicate on, the better.
When it comes to your business and natural disasters, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Ensuring your business, as well as your vendors, have strong DR plans will give you and your customers peace of mind in knowing you have them covered.
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.