4 minute read

There’s no shortage of reasons to focus on great customer experience (CX) in 2020. Statistics show customer experience improves customer retention, satisfaction and revenue. Plus, a recent study suggests CX could now be the key differentiator: ahead of product and price.*

But, within all the noise about customer experience, are there actionable insights? Can you find ideas that deliver quick wins for you and your customers?

Here, we focus on one aspect of customer experience: outbound customer communications. The regular communications with customers you issue through your customer service, finance and operations team for example. We look at 5 ways of improving your document production and distribution. All ideas you can put in place in weeks without capital investment. And, ideas that deliver results customers’ desire: through personal, simple and fast communications.

1 – Step up personalisation to drive customer engagement

For some organisations, systems provide in-depth customer data and insights. Making personalisation and great customer experience a breeze.

Elsewhere, a simple field change (to add personalisation to a system form) can be a complex IT request! If you relate to this, you may think a new customer communications management (CCM) system is your only answer. But, you don’t need a new system to deliver personalisation.

A document automation partner can take data from your CCM or other business systems. They then turn it in to personalised content in the exact format you need for your customers. Pages can contain individual or many data fields and contextual data: all personalised. Rules can also make sure extra documents are only added where relevant. Customers have a limited time to read your communications. So, you improve the customer experience when your content is personal and easy to digest.

2 – Deliver a consistent tone of voice to customers

Customer communication is more effective if you humanise your brand. To do this well, you need to use the right tone of voice on your outbound customer communications.

If sending documents generated by a system, adapting content to reflect your tone of voice could be difficult. And voice consistency is also hard on customer documents output by many teams.

Document automation solutions can collate data from many systems (or people). This is then presented consistently out to the customer. This can have many benefits. You can improve brand consistency and tone of voice. But remove some of the most basic customer service wastage. Most of us have received more than one letter from the same company on the same day! Automation can put all the letters for one customer together.

3 – Process customer documents on-demand

In many customer service teams today, live chat bots give instant answers to customer queries. The expectation level is then set that other communications will happen as efficiently.

Customers wanting printed documents and information online expect it quickly. They don’t care about peak periods in your workflows that slow distribution down. To build customer trust, your back-office document processing must be agile. It needs to cope whether distributing one customer document or a million.

Creating this level of flexibility is hard to achieve with in-house document processing. At best, you can specify resources on ‘average demand’. But this gives periods when equipment (and teams) are over or under used: wasting resources.

Streamlining your document processing with a third-party partner gives flexibility without waste. Partners with time-critical processing facilities can take data and despatch it the same day. So, customers receive information online in minutes and in the post within hours. This efficient service means you:

  • reduce the time it takes to respond to customers
  • free up time for your customer service teams to focus on new calls
4 – Deliver documents fast, but don’t compromise quality

The pace of customer communications should be fast, but not compromise document accuracy. Making sure you have strong quality controls in place is essential.

A good example of this is Aceni – Datagraphic’s document automation solution. In a recent sample of 4.5 million customer documents (sent by clients for processing) Aceni rejected 10%.

The documents failed to meet each client’s business standards. In reality this means 450,000 documents Aceni stopped reaching customers. Documents with incorrect values, address details or missing information.

Consider your own document workflows and the controls you have in place. If documents need to be reissued the cost is more than the price of a stamp. Accurate interactions with customers make a positive impression. When it goes wrong your customer experience scores suffer.

If you have concerns about document accuracy and poor communication with customers don’t ignore it. Consider adding automation solutions to your existing workflows. They will help you improve accuracy without employing more people or investing in equipment.

5 – Multi-channel customer experience should be your goal

Is the focus on digital delivery and ‘mobile-first’ experiences compromising CX? It shouldn’t. But before going all in with digital investments, consider your customer profile. What channels do they use and need? If print is still part of the mix today it’s likely it will be tomorrow: all be it in lower numbers. So don’t discount this channel.

Consider your customer experience across print, web, email, text and the other channels you use. Will you find success forcing customers to follow one channel? Or is the better solution to deliver a consistent experience via the channel of their choice?

If delivering multi-channel communications is difficult, team up with a partner(s). A document automation partner can deliver communications via your customers’ channels of choice. This is possible without changing systems. It just needs a partner with the automation solutions to compliment what you do.

Make it personal, easy, fast and accurate

Good communication with customers isn’t a dark art and it doesn’t need significant financial investment to work well. To improve CX through the communications you send, the winning formula is personal + ease of reading + speed + channels of choice. Get this right with a document automation partner and you’ll free resource to take on the next step in customer experience.

* Customers 2020 – Walker Report from 2013 predicting customer experience trends in 2020.