Consumers are bombarded with messaging everywhere. Fortunately, for industries like broadband, water, gas, electric, cellular and other utilities, a monthly statement is a dependable point of customer contact every month. In general, these statements are the same today as they were 30 years ago. Perhaps there is the use of spot color for a logo or to highlight the amount due; otherwise, they are unchanged.
That’s because typically monthly statements are generated from batch jobs running on mainframe computers. The technology hasn’t changed much in decades. With these systems, changing the statement messaging or design is difficult, and therefore, expensive. It’s impractical for most organizations to rebuild these systems to allow them to place imagery, use full color, or provide variable messaging on their statements. That’s unfortunate, because a monthly statement is an excellent platform for companies to influence customers’ behavior, upsell their products and services, and simply provide a better customer experience. If the statement is difficult to change, then using it to influence customer behavior is also going to be a challenge.
How can companies leverage their monthly statement to provide new and additional messaging to their customers and influence their behaviors? Technology continues to change rapidly and offer new opportunities to do this. The proliferation of high-speed internet, customer portals, tablets and smart phones, social media, augmented reality and text messaging has expanded the options for companies to get in front of their customers. For those that are struggling to keep up with these channels in their businesses, a robust customer communications management solution can help in many ways.
A personalized monthly statement is a vehicle for improved customer contact, convenience, and experience. According to research from Salesforce, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Customers used to Amazon and Netflix value the customized recommendations these platforms provide. A study by Accenture found that a full 91% of consumers want to buy from brands like these that provide them with relevant offers and recommendations.
Providing the consumer with preference management gives them flexibility and control over how, what, and when they are communicated with. It further enhances the customer experience and provides more opportunities for touchpoints with customers.
New Products and Services
Today’s consumers are used to seeing new functionality in the products they use. In fact, 63% of customers expect companies to provide new products and services more frequently than ever before. If you are not informing customers of your new offerings with each statement, you are lessening chances for their adoption. You may also be unintentionally giving customers the impression that your products and services are not up to date. This is at the same time that your competitors are likely using digital advertising to promote themselves to your customers.
Moving customers to digital statements and payments is a prime way to save on print and mailing costs and reduce Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). While there is a generational divide in digital payments, with baby boomers still trailing younger generations, the impact of Covid has sped digital adoption and may be closing up this gap quickly.
Mining data and using advanced analytics enables companies to provide relevant and targeted messaging that delights their customers. Analytics can reveal opportunities for relevant offers and loyalty program messaging will provide value for the consumer. If a statement has an offer that is compelling – or conversely, has content that is confusing to customers and results in customer service calls – analytics will reveal this.
Customer communications are a critical part of maintaining a happy and loyal customer. Companies that continue to generate static, boilerplate messaging on their monthly statements are leaving behind a potent tool for selling their products and services and for improving customer experience and loyalty. Those that can provide these solutions on customer statements will influence customer behavior and thrive in their marketplaces in the upcoming years.
At DataOceans, we have years of experience helping our customers deliver compelling monthly statements, both digital and printed. Talk to us about how we can improve your statements to increase wallet share and reduce customer churn.