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.
Spotify’s multicontinental out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaign rollout this week is both hilarious and creative. The worldwide music services conglomerate utilized aggregate and individual listener data from 2016 to create personalized and segmented messages for display in high traffic areas across the world. Here are a couple of messages that made us laugh:
“Dear 3,949 people who streamed ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know it’ the day of the Brexit vote, hang in there.”
“Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day, What did you do?”
“To the person in NoLIta who started listening to holiday music way back in June, you really jingle all the way, huh?”
According to an interview between Creativity-online.com and Spotify CMO Seth Farbman, the idea for the data-driven campaign originated with 2015’s end-of-the-year “Year in Music” campaign, which revealed that data from listeners in different geographical areas reflected culture through listener behavior.
“There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head,” Farbman said. “For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing.”
While many OOH advertising campaigns are successful in driving new business, they can be pricey. The good news is that you can take a page out of Spotify’s book and combine it with outreach efforts to your current customer base without breaking the bank. The end result? Deeper customer relationships and higher margins.
Enter statement advertising. Customers receive print and/or electronic statements each month, which gives you the chance to connect with them on a whole new level. Based on what we have seen with the quick success of Spotify’s campaign and our own statement advertising expertise, here are a couple of tips to help you effectively advertise on monthly customer statements:
1. Put customer data to use. Sixty-four percent of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success in a hypercompetitive global economy. Spotify did an excellent job of using both aggregate and individual data to create their campaign. Not all customers are created equal, and data will reflect that. You have a much better chance of standing apart from all of the usual communications your customer receives on a daily basis by presenting them with messaging that is targeted specifically to their needs.
2. Be creative. You’ve gotten a customer’s attention- now it’s time to keep it. Spotify combined quick, witty text with colorful billboards. Simple, yet extremely effective. In a statement advertisement, the use of color combined with the right words and a strong call to action can do wonders.
3. Connect with your customers on an emotional level. Spotify definitely hit the nail on the head and mainly focused on humor in their campaign. From a psychological perspective, when humans feel something, they think, “What can I make of this, what can I do about this?” Those responses have dominance and lead us to a certain behavior – like clicking through to a mortgage application or sharing low auto loan rates on social media.
Data-driven communications are the future of advertising and marketing. Like Spotify, if you utilize data to personalize, be creative and connect emotionally, you will forge stronger customer relationships, increase retention rates and improve margins.
Organizations that send transactional and business-critical documents should track their outgoing customer mail to ensure the intended documents reach the mailstream accurately and on time. However, many do not realize their mail is being tracked improperly. Every day mail is improperly tracked, if at all, organizations are risking noncompliance, data breaches and collateral damage.
Government regulatory bodies such as the CFPB and OCC mandate specific times, dates and content for financial communications. Additionally, they require proof of mailing. Failure to comply or be prepared for audits can result in unforeseen regulatory fees.
If your document services vendor is properly tracking your mail, you will be better prepared for compliance audits. Alternatively, if your document services vendor falls short on mail tracking, you will not able to adequately provide information on if and when a customer receives a document, as well as the content of that document. As a result, you would be putting your business at risk for fines, legal fees and customer litigation.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, 40% of identity theft victims cited stolen USPS mail as the source of personal information taken. Thieves and scammers take advantage of an organization’s inability to properly track mail over a length of time, taking possession of personal data and mail offers. One of the most common scams mentioned, change-of-address fraud, involves an identity thief asking a financial institution to send a replacement debit or credit card to a “recently changed” address. What happens next? The customer’s account is depleted by the thief, resulting in an unhappy customer and a hard hit to the organization’s bottom line.
Benefits of Mail Tracking
Mail Tracking serves as the audit point for outgoing business-critical documents.
The Solution: Follow Every Mailpiece from Insertion to Delivery
Lanvera’s Mail Tracking provides visibility into each business-critical mailing as it enters the mail stream.
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.
Documents such as invoices, notices, and statements sent daily represent not only a substantial allocation of funds, but a key vehicle for communicating with customers, and thus one of the most critical components of your business. These documents should not be overlooked as a simple operational formality.
There are 5 facts executives should know about customer documents, and why they comprise one of the most important elements of any business.
Between 50-70% of total indirect spend in the financial service industry is 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 also costly. Additionally, expenses tend to be on the higher end of the overall percentage if all production operations are kept in-house.
Banks will spend more on technology in 2019 than they did in 2018.
Constantly changing customer needs and expectations make continued advancements in technology essential to any industry, particularly in financial services. Because of this, it is predicted that IT spend in financial services globally will exceed $500 billion by 2020. These expenses could include document processing and production equipment, regulation and compliance spend, data security and management, digital and multi-channel delivery vehicles, software, and operational costs as a whole.
The expectation customers have for the functionality and capabilities of their financial service providers are evolving, and the need to allocate sufficient funds to certain areas and reduce costs in others is a pressing concern.
A decline in branch visits and increase in digital and mobile banking has made customer documents a major contributor to the customer experience.
Traditional branch numbers have declined by 9% in just the last 3 years, and 45% of US bankers expect that decline to rise to 25% or more over the next 5 years. This decline doesn’t mean that the traditional branch is going away, but it does imply that financial institutions must adapt the customer experience to account for this drop in face-to-face interaction. Customer documents, both print and electronic, are more important than ever for influencing the customer experience.
Home banking systems that allow offer electronic document presentment and accommodate a user-friendly experience, mobile applications that provide capabilities such as opening a new account, fund transfers and direct check deposit, and printed documents that are designed and optimized to be customer friendly, easily understood, personalized, and fully branded are all ways to create unique and memorable customer experiences, despite the decrease in branches and branch visits.
Documents can Serve as a Powerful Marketing Tool.
Given the drop in branch visits, 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 every financial institution the unique ability to personalize documents and provide customers with timely, applicable messages through marketing in the form of personalized ads, or cross selling and upselling.
For more information on how you can utilize document and communication marketing, check out our previous posts: 2019 Communication Trends, Personalize and Enhance Electronic Marketing, Cross-Selling and Upselling Techniques to Increase Engagement.
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 expenses to elements that will work in concert with business goals and increase overall efficiency. Document outsourcing is an excellent way to mitigate some of this 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, and your outsourced partner to focus on helping you achieve the full potential of your customer communications.
Contact Us today to find out how a partnership with Lanvera can help your business simplify processes and maximize IT spending.
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.
Every organization, no matter the industry, has one common goal:
Make an impression on the customer.
It’s the only way to maintain profitability, stay in business and stand out from competitors. Businesses that utilize high volumes of customer communications are at a unique advantage and can leverage business critical documents to connect with and make a positive impression on their customers… But it’s not always easy.
To really take advantage of this platform and set your business apart through your communications alone, it’s essential to give your customers the information they want, when they want it, the way they want it. Here are the top 5 things customers really want from their communications:
Omni Channel Document Delivery
Customer communications and document delivery have shifted dramatically towards a digital experience. To remain competitive, financial institutions must present data in multiple ways, including mobile, text, PC and print delivery.
To make the customer experience truly exceptional, make things as easy as possible. Your electronic presentment option should be full service, easy and functional, with all documents available through a single platform, easily logged into from any interface.
It’s pretty well known that people in general are typically reluctant to accept change. This is especially true in the way they receive their financial communications and documents. When they view information, they want it to be the same as it was last time, and the same as it will be next time, so they aren’t constantly searching for the information they’re looking for.
To accomplish this, format your documents using a template that includes designated space for branding, summary tables and transactional information. Documents with consistent formatting not only increase readability, by placing logos and branding in the same area will increase brand recognition.
Customers want an experience that is unique to him or her as an individual. 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 that customers crave.
Solutions greater than sales pitches
What customers want is solutions to their problems. It’s the driving force that has made Google into what it is today: The #1 search engine for people looking for answers to anything and everything. Providing solutions in transactional documents and customer communications is actually much easier than it sounds!
Using transactional data to target customers with specific offers and services similar or compatible with services they already utilize. Sending specific marketing (in the form of cross-selling and upselling) to individuals who, based on previous habits, will have an interest in or need for that particular service provides them with answers to their questions, and solutions to their problems.
More efficiency, Less communication!
The final thing that your customers want from their documents is LESS OF THEM. It’s redundant and unnecessary to receive several pieces of mail every day from one organization: Consolidation is key.
Make the most of your customer communications by consolidating and combining so you can send out fewer documents as a whole. Your customers can be assured that should they need access to their information and documents at any time, it’s always available online. Your documents become more effective and useful, you save money on print and postage, and your customer’s are happier because they aren’t bombarded with document overload.
Dallas, TX, July 2018 - Ser Technology (Ser Tech) and Lanvera announced a strategic partnership that will combine service offerings in a single package for financial institutions. Banks and Credit Unions will now be able to integrate Ser Tech Flitter and Fetch content into any document delivered by Lanvera. This partnership means that more consumers now have easy access to current FICO® scores, financial education and targeted pre-approved loan offers based on analysis of an individual’s credit file.
Flitter is a platform that delivers FICO® Scores and credit education to consumers in multiple delivery channels, such as online banking, mobile banking, and statements. Ser Tech works closely with the financial institution and FICO to support and certify compliance with the FICO® Score Open Access program. The Fetch Marketing platform analyzes consumer credit history to target pre-approved credit offers to a financial institution’s customers. Coupled with Lanvera’s delivery of business-critical documents, the partnership will increase visibility and read rates by incorporating FICO® Scores and pre-approved loan offers directly into consumer monthly statements, letters and notices.
“We have a unique opportunity to provide data driven credit tools to clients, driving education and convenience. Our partnership with Lanvera allows us to reach a broader audience and increase offer views, all while delivering via a brand the consumer knows.” said Shana Richardson, Ser Technology Corporation CEO.
Consumers demand real information to make financial decisions. By providing the authentic FICO® scores (used in determining loan terms) and pre-approved offers on their bank statements and other documents, financial institutions benefit from increased brand familiarity, loyalty and action. Consumers benefit from access to critical credit information and immediate access to capital.
Michael Scheevel, VP of Sales and Marketing at Lanvera was quoted “we feel this partnership is a really positive step in increasing our offering solutions that strengthen our clients’ relationships with their customers.”
Lanvera is a leading national outsource provider specializing in technology that drives customer communications in both electronic and print formats. Focusing on a digital document strategy, Lanvera’s software solutions allow clients to improve customer experiences, drive electronic communications and enable effective targeted marketing.
About Ser Technology
Ser Technology Corporation (Ser Tech) is a financial technology services company that leverages credit data to help clients target consumers to generate new loans, provide actual FICO® Scores and credit education for consumers, and identify, measure and manage portfolio risk and opportunity through comprehensive loan management. Ser Tech is headquartered in Dallas, serving more than 3,000 credit unions since 1994.