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  • Correspondence Management: What your parents never told you

Thursday 25 October, 2012 Written byMarketing BloginStories
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You can teach old dogs (or parents) new tricks!

There’s no doubt; the Internet has fundamentally shifted the way we communicate with one another. With the exception of a thank you note, not even my parents write letters any more. They send emails to friends, Skype with their children and are even texting with their grandchildren. Sure it wasn’t for them at easy at first, but in the words of my in-laws, ‘it’s the only way I’ll hear from those kids’. But what was once a choir now is a preference. Why? Because they’re saving on stamps? Not at all. It’s because it’s simpler and has a higher, more immediate response. It offers greater satisfaction and ultimately it brings both sender and recipient closer together. This same principle holds true in business.

Converting Correspondence into Customer Loyalty

The Internet has also shifted customer expectations. They have a hyper-sensitized sense of time, convenience and need for personal attention. Conversely, customers have a much lower tolerance for delay, inconvenience and mistakes. Customer experience extends beyond your products and services to include every exchange with your customer. Fail to meet their expectations and that’s a customer lost.

In the recent report, The Agile Enterprise: Effective Cross-Media Customer Communication, by the research firm InfoTrends, it was  found that consumers’ media preferences are rapidly shifting. And as stated in the report 37% of North American consumers indicated that they plan to increase their use of online bills and statements‘.According to the report, industry-leading companies in every field are succeeding because they have established a strong customer focus, and exploit every interaction to demonstrate their commitment to the customer.  Furthermore, within the best performing corporations, information is being shared between functional areas. Feedback is measured and incorporated into core business strategies. This knowledge is in turn used to enhance all customer touch points, turning static correspondence (bills, statements and notices) into dynamic conversations which are being conducted via multiple media channels.

A measure of this impact, InfoTrends’ study determined that response rates improved by as much as 34% with multi-media engagements.The report is available to OpenText customers here›

Addressing Customer Demand

These ideas are borne out by the Norwegian insurance firm Nordea Liv. Faced with growing competitive and market pressures to grow their business and at the same time, control costs, Nordea turned to StreamServe to get total control of document management. Their goal: more efficiently manage all document processing and output. The company also wanted to improve customer service by delivering consistent, personalized documents, regardless of file format.

Today, 80% of the millions of documents distributed annually by Nordea Liv are now transmitted electronically. Whether via printed or electronic documents or web pages, customers see homogenous documents that present a unified image of the company. Read more about Nordea Liv’s success here›

Increasing Business Effectiveness

A further benefit of this new digital dynamic is that, once businesses establishing this dialogue and rapport, their customers will self-serve.

Electronic forms let customers enter information to generate documents such as quotes, registration and enrollment confirmations, and many other requests that can trigger an automated workflow to enable fast self-service. Customer correspondence management applications, coupled with Business Process Management solutions, make it easy to create forms and workflows to support the variety of correspondence that customers receive in response to self-service requests.

Relearning Old Tricks

Clearly, the Internet has raised our expectations. Businesses that rise to meet them can provide greater customer satisfaction by linking in-bound and out-bound communications into a dialogue that binds customers and companies.

One more lesson from my parents worth considering; with all the electronic exchanges of texting, Skyping and emailing, the impact of a thank you letter, a paper document, is even greater – with the right message, through the right channel, to the right person. It’s really a simple concept!

 Interested in learning more about turning communications into collaborations? Visit makeastatement.opentext.com and try our online ROI calculator. Or contact me directly to discuss how OpenText’s Value Engineering team can conduct an audit of your current processes and future goals.

 

Cheers,

Jonathan Agger

Director, Product Marketing | Customer Communications Management

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