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.
Brand consistency is an important factor in the design of your customer communications as well as your company’s identity as a whole. Your brand is who you are: your vision, your mission and your values. Repeatedly displaying a unified and cohesive image is the best way to prove these things to your customers, and build their trust.
Conveying your brand identity in your customer documents is critical. Here are 4 ways document outsourcing can help your brand solidify brand identity:
1. COMPLEX & DYNAMIC BRAND MANAGEMENT
Companies that operate a parent/child structure and manage multiple brands under a singular umbrella may have trouble conveying a unified brand, while still recognizing the individual images of the smaller organizations. Document outsourcing is a great way to streamline processing for these complex business relationships by centralizing data management to provide consistent formatting and branding across all member communications.
People like to feel recognized and known, and personalizing their documents is a great way to let customers know that your business recognizes people, not numbers. Personalization in documents creates a better user experience and is the difference between disruptive marketing content, and useful material. By personalizing your in-document marketing, customers can begin to see your business as someone who helps them by providing valuable information, thus enhancing your brand identity. A good document outsourcing partner will have complex marketing capabilities that allow you to target and segment your customers with automated business rules for more impactful marketing.
3. STANDARDIZED FORMATTING
Keeping a standard format for all same-type documents will ensure that your customers know where to find their information. Consistently formatted documents contribute to a more user-friendly experience and, as an added bonus, will reduce customer service calls. Document outsourcing partners provide design tools and formatting templates so that all your customer communications meet your branding standards.
While the standardized look and feel is important, it’s equally as important to have the ability to easily change documents if needed. Regulations and requirements change rapidly, therefore document reformatting and changes need to have the ability to be easily changed], in bulk or based on specific criteria. An outsourcing partner will provide the software and technology that accommodate fast and easy change management to all your customer documents.
Contact us today to find out all about Lanvera’s marketing capabilities and how we can help your business increase the impact of your branding.
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.
The benefits of using personalized marketing in your customer’s print documents are huge. It offsets production costs, increases value in targeted marketing messages, and creates a better customer experience by delivering content unique to an individual’s specific needs… all at no additional cost to you, as your customer documents are already being delivered.
Did you know that electronic documents offer more significant marketing capabilities than print because they provide added interactivity and instant access? You can make the most of your electronic documents by using them to enhance your marketing and yield bigger benefits than print alone.
Supplement your print document marketing by utilizing the following 3 electronic marketing opportunities:
1. PUSH MARKETING TECHNOLOGY -
Present a marketing page to customers as they sign on to access their home banking account. This can include marketing promotions, inserts or any document you want to ensure the account holder views as they sign in, allowing you to ensure your messages are being seen!
2. DIGITAL ONSERTS -
Utilize workflows and business rules to segment your electronic customers and target groups with particular offers that will be most beneficial to the individual. Digital onserts are clickable, which provides instant access to promotions for the customer, and a faster way to drive customer behavior for your business.
3. MULTICHANNEL EXPANDED HYPERLINKS -
Include links to webpages and offers from directly within eDocuments, and route them to any device: desktop, mobile phone or tablet. The interactive links provide your electronic customers easy and instant access to the promotional content in the messages.
The benefits of personalized marketing in electronic documents are enormous to both customers, and your business. Maximize the capabilities of your document marketing on your electronic platform and you’ll start seeing a significantly improved ROI and higher e-Adoption rates.
Download our document marketing guide today for a more comprehensive view of how you can maximize the potential of your customer documents by turning them into free and personalized marketing.
According to “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner, it can cost approximately 6 times more to attract a new member than to keep an existing one. Furthermore, Bain & Company reports that a 5% increase in member retention can increase profits up to 125%. These numbers alone reveal the necessity of a strong member retention program. Focusing on member retention will provide you with the engagement rates you desire, as well as a more favorable bottom line. Here are some tips to help you get started on increasing member engagement through cross-selling and upselling:
1. Utilize dynamic messaging to align communications with each member’s behaviors, needs and wants.
Dynamic messaging allows you to present strategic, real-time messages to specific target groups within your member base. From there, member-facing marketing space on digital and print statements, letters, notices, etc. is optimized to target account holders with products and services that best fit their needs. There are many ways to incorporate dynamic communications on specific customer criteria, including account balance, zip code, gender, or marital status, to name a few. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in compiling data because you already have it, so why not not use it to increase member retention rates and your bottom line?
2. Paint a picture that emphasizes benefits rather than features.
Consider this: You are planning a trip to a tropical destination and looking for airline travel. Would you rather see messaging about the seat you will be sitting in, the seatbelt and the fact that you can recline during the flight? Or would you rather see messaging about being transported comfortably and safely to your tropical destination where you will be sitting on the beach and soaking up the sun with a beverage in your hand? I’ll take the latter with the benefits, please!
While this is Sales 101, I see credit unions (and other businesses, for that matter) get caught up in the functionality of their products and services rather than painting a picture that communicates the actual benefits to members. When formulating messaging, keep this quote in mind: “People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole,” -Theodore Levitt. Features do have a place in the sales cycle, but need to only be mentioned as differentiators once a member shows interest in a product or service.
For more tips on cross-selling and upselling, call our team at (972) 488-6400 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
For a free consultation, click here.
According to the MBA’s 1st quarterly National Delinquency Survey, foreclosure starts and delinquency rates are at the lowest since Q2 of 2000. "The delinquency rate of 4.77 percent has returned to typical pre-recession levels and is lower than the historical average of 5.4 percent for the time period from 1979 to the first quarter of 2016,”said Marina Walsh, MBA'S Vice President of Industry Analysis.
As the market changes to reflect the decrease in delinquencies and foreclosures, there are a couple of different strategies servicers are using to shift focus in order to maintain profits:
1.Focus on Performing Loans
Some servicers are transitioning to more of a performing loan focus, thereby expanding their portfolios. As departments are thinning, servicers are given the choice of either downsizing or moving employees into different job roles. This is a viable option, requiring servicers to identify adaptable personnel to cross-train them for other positions within the organization.
However, the challenge still lies in the extra costs accrued through increased compliance operations, which, in turn, negatively impact loan margins.
2.Identify New Sources of Revenue
One strong option to the market changes is to identify new ways to generate more profit per loan on existing portfolios. If successful in maintaining or even increasing margins, servicers can place themselves in a better position to keep personnel and cross-train them rather than eliminate jobs. This is where identifying new sources of revenue through transactional document communications such as mortgage statements and letters is the answer. Servicers have the opportunity to utilize transactional documents to cross-sell and upsell services to performing loans, as well as utilize affiliate advertising to create new revenue streams.
To learn more about how transactional document communications can help you net more profit per loan, click here.
Virtually every financial institution loses some customers, but few ever measure or recognize how many of their customers become inactive. High turnover rates often occur when a bank or credit union invests an enormous amount of time, effort and expenses building the initial customer relationship, only to let that relationship go unattended. As a result, the customer becomes disengaged and more likely to walk away, leaving the bank in a position to spend another small fortune to replace them. In fact, according to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
Based on these facts, the easiest way to grow is to focus on retaining current customers while increasing incremental product spend. Once you decrease turnover rates, it’s often possible to significantly increase your growth rate because you’re no longer forced to make up lost ground just to stand still.
Increasing customer retention often starts with consistent communication, branding and personalization.
1. Provide Proactive Support
Usually, customers who have problems with products and services will not communicate the issue. According to Lee Resources International, for every customer who complains about an issue, there are 26 who stay silent. Instead, they take their business elsewhere.
A best practice for “breaking the silence” and providing proactive support is to utilize the space on digital and print documents to request feedback and encourage open dialogue.
2. Value Proposition Reinforcement
Value propositions are a clear statement that should:
3. Add a Personal Touch
As technology continues to evolve, customers are expecting more personalized communications that align with behaviors, needs and wants. According to “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 38% of consumers say personalization is important to the customer experience.
Marketing space on digital and print statements, letters, notices, etc. can be optimized to target customers with products and services that best fit specific needs. A best practice is to utilize existing customer data to identify specific criteria, including account balance, zip code, and spending habits, to name a few. From there, leveraging dynamic communications on all digital and print documents creates a timely, effective customer experience.
While it’s next to impossible to have a 100% retention rate, financial institutions can drastically decrease turnover by proactively approaching and maintaining current customer relationships.
To learn more about customer retention through transactional documents, contact us at email@example.com or click here.