Forget about 2020, and even 2021. A recent NY Times op-ed fast forwarded a year and a half from now to imagine a world where COVID is finally behind us. Its conclusion: the pandemic is a defining event that will impact education, politics and business for decades.
Bad news, but there are a few bright notes. For businesses, there are still opportunities for savings and increased revenue. As they revise their sales forecasts downward, organizations will likely turn their focus to improving processes. In the words of Brown University economist Emily Oster: “A downturn is an opportunity to revisit inefficiencies.”
This is especially true in the realm of Customer Communication Management (CCM.) Pre-pandemic, companies had already begun to shift towards digitalizing communications to take advantage of significant cost savings by reducing paper mailings – an estimated $6 per customer per year. Digitalization done right also helps lessen call center costs by as much as 20%.
But with COVID, the push to digital channels is customer driven. In recent months, customers have experienced long call times as companies moved their staff off site. They’ve become wary of opening their mail and stopped visiting physical business locations altogether. The Times article assumes we are going to be in this pandemic for the long haul. If consumers share that assumption, it’s likely now is the time they’ll be open to switching to digital communications.
And COVID is not the only driver of this change. In the past few years, seemingly low-tech consumer services, businesses like pest control and power washing, have successfully adopted digital communications. In the space of five minutes, a homeowner can be sold a service, sign a digital contract, and start receiving text messages on upcoming appointments and emails with additional offers. Customers who are used to this seamless experience will likely expect to engage the same way with their banks, utilities and insurance companies.
Obtaining more value from your existing customer base
Organizations can benefit from digitalizing their communications in other ways. Self-service portals let customers access statements and perform simple account activities, reducing the need for CSR phone support and lessening customer churn. Portals, emails and text messages also offer opportunities to sell additional products in a way that is timely and targeted. CCM solutions like DataOceans display analytics on customer responses to these offers, providing a feedback loop to further optimize sales.
The severity of COVID indicates that, like 9/11, it is a black swan event – exceptionally catastrophic and unpredictable. But it also can strengthen organizations that harness this energy with effective, targeted management of their customer communications. As we think beyond COVID to future disruptions, reaching your customers through multiple digital channels is simply good policy. It expands your opportunities for savings and increased revenue and helps to improve customer trust and loyalty.
The DataOceans Customer Communications Management solution helps companies across multiple industries deliver their communications and billing across print, portal, tablet and SMS. The platform can transform your customer communications in 90 days, without significantly involving IT resources, to offer interactive experiences, personalization, and highly targeted advertising. Request a demo to learn how DataOceans can help your organization decrease costs and increase revenue.