Electronic Adoption Solutions for the Healthcare Industry

Healthcare companies, in general, are hesitant to alter member, provider, and customer-facing documents and continue to print and mail materials instead. Most of these documents are monochromatic or spot color materials with low or little electronic adoption. Healthcare companies would benefit greatly from offering eDelivery options for their documents. The industry as a whole is at a point of significant change—there are new opportunities are for companies and institutions that are planning to transition away from outdated print systems. The strategic focus should be on the following:

  • Improve the end-customer experience
  • Improve message simplicity
  • Decrease paper, postage, and CSR calls
  • Reduce IT costs and improve document change cycle-times
  • Influence behavior with advanced messaging

Healthcare organizations can reduce administrative costs by using one tool to manage all disparate delivery channels, while having end consumers perceive these changes as momentous service improvements. In addition, eDelivery options will improve customer experience and offer healthcare companies an array of benefits.

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Increased Stamp Price: Another Reason to Adopt eDelivery Solutions

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Starting Sunday, January 26, 2014, the price of stamps rose from 46 cents to 49 cents, representing a 7% increase which is the largest increase in price that the U.S. Postal Service has declared in more than a decade. The reason for the major spike comes from the need to keep up with inflation and recover losses incurred during the Recession, when the volume of snail mail being sent drastically decreased.

Although the Postal Service claims the price increase will only last 2 years, it is unlikely that prices will drop in January 2016, if ever. The need to adjust prices for inflation will remain a problem for the USPS. They plan to appeal the 2 year limitation decision made by the Postal Regulatory Commission, and they want to ask permission for another round of 1-cent increases in 2015 and 2016. This increase will help the USPS after years of multi-billion dollar losses, but will hardly solve the problem associated with a dying industry.

What does this mean for businesses and individuals? For businesses that send out a large volume of print and mail documents, there are electronic options for monthly statements, invoices, and bills. Migrating customers to eDelivery will not only result in decreased print and mail costs, but will also empower businesses to interact directly with customers, offering them personalized, self-service documents.

Read the full article here.

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How Will Banks Spend Their IT Budgets In 2014?

A recent article published by the American Banker gives insight into the top ways that banks will spend their 2014 IT budgets. Here are the top 8 spending categories:

  • Digital banking and mobile payments: According to the article, banks are expected to spend 6.8% more on digital banking in 2014 than they did in 2013. This includes digital wallets, mobile banking, and tablet apps.
  • Marketing analytics, supported by customer data management: Banks plan to spend an average of 5.7% more on data related technologies, such as data mining, data warehousing, and online analytical processing. This will allow banks to get closer to consumers, learn more about them, and reach them more efficiently. The most important thing to note is that banks will be able to use real-time customer and transaction data to create targeted messaging, offers, products, and prices tailored to individuals.
  • The “omnichannel” experience: The term “omnichannel” refers to the seamless, synchronized interaction across all consumer touch points. This is different and arguably more important than multi-channel, which means banks provide outlets through multiple channels. Syncing the experience across all channels will provide better customer satisfaction.
  • Core banking technology: Banks will spend about one-third of their IT budgets on core technology. This is a 4.2% increase compared to 2013. It is expected to continue to increase in the coming years because many banks have legacy core systems that will be more expensive to maintain over time.
  • Private clouds: Banks are beginning to implement software for sharing files across multiple mobile devices. Documents are shared from a central location, avoiding version control issues.
  • Efficiency: The article states: “Already this year, U.S. banks accelerated their adoption of document management, workflow and business process management software to turn time-consuming, paper-bound processes into simpler, web-based tasks.”
  • Security: Security spending will likely increase in the New Year. Banks claim it’s difficult to obtain a direct return on investment, so it’s not always the top priority.
  • Compliance and risk management: Many banks invested heavily in compliance and risk technology in 2011 and 2012. These banks are now spending more money trying to find ways to benefit from these investments.

Read the full article here.

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How Banks, Merchants, and Customers can Benefit from eStatement Advertising

 

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Imagine that you had an amazing meal last night at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. You look at your checking account online this morning, and to your surprise, you find a $10-off coupon for your next visit at Ruth’s Chris. You simply click to redeem your coupon. You do not have to print it out because the restaurant will recognize your debit card and apply the discount the next time you eat there. Does this sound too good to be true?

Many banks are introducing debit rewards programs that do exactly what is described above. It is believed that many more banks will introduce eStatement advertising to their customers because the programs have been so successful. Extremely relevant, targeted ads will be integrated into the list of recent purchases on consumer’s electronic bank statements.

Debit programs have been controversial in the past because of how much transactional and behavioral data the banks know about an individual. This data is used for behavioral marketing, in which personal information is used to target advertising to individuals. Should you be concerned with security of your information? Banks say the software runs on their own servers, so consumers’ personal data do not leave their secure network. Consumers have the option to opt out of the program, but most do not.

Both banks and advertisers alike can profit from a debit rewards program. So far, advertisers receive an average sales bump of $5.49 for each dollar spent on marketing to current customers according to a Washington Post article. Companies can promote loyalty among current customers because they already know the customer’s individual interests. The checking account ads also offer banks an alternate way to make money off debit cards; the discounts are paid for by the merchants, rather than the banks, in exchange for the ability to narrowly target who receives them. Banks see these ads as a potential substitute for popular rewards programs because most consumers would prefer to receive larger discounts on relevant spending than small percentages of cash back.

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Electronic Adoption Solutions for the Banking Industry

recent article from American Banker acknowledges that customers are reluctant to completely switch from paper to electronic statements. Some will receive the statement electronically but also request that they receive a paper statement as well for their records. Research from Forrester Research Inc. shows that the trend to receive electronic statements is in fact increasing, but eAdoption remains under 50% for each of the following bank products: checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and home equity lines of credit.

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According to the article the top three reasons people give for not switching to bank statement eDelivery are:

  1. “I want the paper version for my records.”
  2. “I’m used to paper and see no reason to change.”
  3. “My provider doesn’t require me to switch.”

The article outlines the reasons that banks should spend more time convincing people to adopt electronic statements. There are obvious reasons that will benefit banks, such as a clear ROI on electronic statements. With high regulatory compliance costs and low interest rates, banks are struggling to make money, and delivery of electronic statements will help them save costs.

But, what’s in it for the customer? The key to customer eAdoption is creating value for them rather than focusing on what’s in it for the banks.

Here are some ideas for getting the customer to see value in switching to eDelivery:

  • New, improved personalized statement design
  • Archival of and access to past statements
  • Mobile and email alerts when a payment is due
  • eDelivery instead of retrieving statement from portal

DataOceans specializes in statement redesign and electronic delivery and collaborates with clients to effectively communicate the value of eDelivery to their customers.

 

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5 Ways to Embrace Marketing Orchestration in the Post-Campaign Era of Marketing

As marketers, we want to achieve both deep relationships with our customers and massive scale for our promotions. This is not always an easy task, especially since our customers are demanding personalization, choice, and value. How can we provide personalization, choice, and value to all of our customers?

In the past, companies were only able to achieve one aspect at a time: either scale or relationship. In the Customer Era, marketers knew their customers on a deep, personal level, but they were not able to achieve scale. Because of this, customers also didn’t have many choices. Next came the Campaign Era, and the opposite outcomes occurred. There were mass communications, and more companies were spending money on non-personal marketing to achieve massive scale. Customers were faced with a lot of choices, but not a way to realize value through deep relationships.

Now, we are in the Post-Campaign Era, or Relationship Era, in which there is finally an opportunity for all parties to be satisfied. Companies can develop and maintain personal relationships on a massive scale; customers get personalization, choice, and value.

How can your company make a smooth transition into the Post-Campaign Era? Marketing Orchestration is key for success in this field.

Here are 5 ways to embrace Marketing Orchestration:

  1. Personalization: Companies have the ability to provide versatile solutions for targeted messaging on high-volume documents. These solutions enable the dynamic placement of micro-targeted messages and advertisements on outbound printed and electronic documents as well as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems and Customer Service Representative (CSR) popup message prompts.
  2. Choice: Consumers are demanding to choose when, where, and how they receive important documents from their providers. Preference Management tools allow companies to provide consumers with these important options.
  3. Value: Most companies are focused on extracting value vs. creating value for the customer. When companies begin to focus on ease of use, convenience, and simplicity for their customers, they will improve customer experience. Special offers, loyalty programs, and promotions are examples of Value-Adds for customers.
  4. Scale: Companies must provide the above three elements on high volume, print and electronic interactions such as monthly statements, invoices, and bills. Electronic versions of documents, such as interactive PDFs (iPDFs), simplify and streamline interactions with customers while simultaneously creating a platform for targeted offers and self-help functionality.
  5. Relationship: If companies are able to provide personalization, choice, and value, they will experience greater ROI and loyalty among customers, thus reaping the rewards of the Relationship Era.

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5 Ways to Improve Customer Engagement

Customer satisfaction alone does not cut it anymore. Satisfaction is a given. So, what’s the next step to really create value and thereby increase customer loyalty? Customerengagement.

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Here are the top five ways to engage your customers on a deep, personal level:

1)  Improve the customer experience at every possible touch point. Some customers will begin a buying process by researching on their mobile phones, move to their desktop computer to read reviews, visit a product in stores, and then finally make a purchase on their tablet. It’s crucial to keep them engaged at every channel in a seamless way.

 

2)  All departments throughout your organization should be on the same page. Consistency is key for customers, and engagement must be provided throughout the life cycle. This isn’t just a marketing campaign; engagement should be integrated throughout the company so that the customer trusts your brand. Also, systems for gathering metrics should be implemented and understood throughout your organization. In this case, customer engagement, satisfaction, and retention are more important metrics than measuring revenue.

3)  Your relationship with a customer should be high quality from beginning to end. Wooing people into buying your product or service shouldn’t end at the point of sale. Continuously impressing them and engaging them will keep them on board for the long-run.

4)  Customer engagement should be driven by customers’ individual preferences. This includes the actual message, timing, and frequency of contact. Multi-channel integration without preferences is multi-channel irritation. Figuring out a way to tell your customers you are listening, and then using that information in the right way, will provide you with solid, long-lasting relationships. Knowing your customers’ preferences leads to better personalization.

5)  Provide tangible and obvious personalization to your customers. True personalization is critical. Demographics only tell you what a customer might be interested, whereas behavior tells you what a customer is interested in. Personalization should be a service, not a sales tool, and it should allow you to provide more value to your customers.

It is more important than ever to listen to what your customers have to say. You may think you know exactly what they want, but you won’t truly know until you ask them. Customers expect that they need to provide personal information to companies to reap the benefits of personalization, and the majority of consumers are willing to do that. The more personally engaging and trustworthy your brand is, the more critical information your customers will be willing to provide you and the more value you will provide to them.

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How to Influence Customer Behavior via Monthly Statement

In the B2C world, customer communications are a critical part of maintaining a happy, satisfied customer.  In industries like broadband, water, gas, electric, cellular, and other utilities, the monthly statement is the primary point of contact each month.  Companies bill the customer for services rendered, and if the services have been acceptable, the customer pays the bill.  In general, these bills 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.

Traditionally, monthly statements are generated from large mainframe computers.  Changing the statement messaging or design is difficult and expensive.  Placing pictures, using full color, providing personalization or variable messaging on these platforms is impractical for companies to do alone.  However, most companies in most industries would like to influence their customers’ behavior and provide an improved customer experience.  If the primary point of contact is the statement and the statement is difficult to change, then influencing the behavior of their customer is difficult.

Computer Technology continues to change rapidly.  The proliferation of high speed internet connections coupled with business portals, video messaging, the introduction of tablets and smart phones, social media, augmented reality, and the widespread use of SMS messaging is changing the options for companies to communicate with their customers.  Most companies are struggling to keep up with and exploit the use of these mediums in their businesses.

The challenge is emerging – how can companies use their monthly statement as the medium to provide new and additional messaging to their customers and influence their behaviors in ways that are important to them?  The problem is more complicated because consumers are bombarded with messaging everywhere today.  The solution will be found over time in platforms that employ powerful business intelligence.  The monthly statement is the vehicle for improved customer contact, convenience, and experience.  Mining data and using advanced analytics will allow companies to provide relevant and targeted messaging that will delight the consumer.  Relevant offers and loyalty program messaging will provide value for the consumer that does not exist today.  Providing the consumer with preference management gives them flexibility and control over how, what, and when they are communicated with will further enhance the customer experience.  Companies that can provide these solutions on customer statements will influence customer behavior and thrive in their market places in the upcoming years.

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Proactive Communications Influence Customer Satisfaction


Despite increases in extended outages in the past year, overall customer satisfaction with electric utilities actually increased. How can this be? A recent study conducted by J.D. Power attributes this improvement to more effective customer communications. Proactive communications that build awareness and communicate current status are the most important kinds in raising customer satisfaction. According to many studies, the most widely viewed information by utility customers is the monthly bill. However, making this document (paper or electronic) more effective at building awareness requires more than merely a few sentences or a glossy insert.
The J.D. Power 2013 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey and the J.D. Power 2013 Electric Utility Consumer Engagement Study measured the level of United States’ and Canada’s customer engagement with their electric utility’s programs, products, and services. Aside from the program-specific satisfaction results, J.D. Power & Associates found that overall satisfaction and engagement came from billing and payment options offered to customers. Jeff Conklin, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power noted, “With such a dramatic increase in billing and payment satisfaction in the 2013 study, it’s clear that the electric utilities have listened to the Voice of the Customer by providing them with many choices to receive and pay their bill and with improved information on their billing statements.”

Providing relevant and timely information on billing statements by taking advantage of advanced billing and payment technology can not only lead to improvements in customer satisfaction, but higher adoption rates of specific programs, such as eDelivery. When products or services are introduced in the context of a customer’s transaction (checking their balance, paying a bill, etc.) they are much more open to offers and suggestions. Additionally, according to the same J. D. Power’s study, customers opting for eDelivery of their bills are more satisfied than customers receiving paper bills.

Many companies aren’t proactively building awareness of products and are therefore putting customer engagement and higher satisfaction rates at risk. For companies that are burdened with legacy billing systems, there is an opportunity to personalize customer communications on the fly and drive electronic adoption to further improve customer satisfaction. Giving customers the option to choose which channel they would like to receive their documents gives them the power to make payments more quickly and efficiently. In addition to improving the customers’ satisfaction, eDelivery cuts costs for the company as well. How does your company intend to deliver the best communications to your customers?:

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