5 Things Executives Should Know About Their Customer Documents

The invoices, notices, statements and other customer documents and communications your organization sends out daily represent not only a substantial allocation of funds, but a key vehicle for communicating with your 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 their customer documents, and why they comprise one of the most important elements of your business.

  1. 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 costly. Additionally, expenses tend to be on the higher end of the overall percentage if all production operations are kept in-house.

2. Technology expenditures by FIs are on track for a yearly upward trend

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 $600 billion. Again, these expenses could include document processing and production equipment, regulation and compliance spend, data security and management, digital and multichannel delivery vehicles, software, and operational costs.

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.

  1. 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 eStatement hosting 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.

4. Documents can unleash new frontiers in marketing.

Given the drop in branch visits,  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, or cross-selling and upselling.

  1. 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 in concert with your 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.

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