Customers expect their banks to know them. They also expect their banks will engage with them through their preferred channels with easy to understand and relevant communications. To effectively address these expectations, banks must leverage tools such as integrated databases, variable data, cross-channel messaging, and preference management. Using these tools in concert enables banks to create truly valuable, cost-efficient customer experiences that optimize the effectiveness of every communication.
Creating A Single View of Each Customer
A single, comprehensive view of all customer accounts, interaction and transaction preferences, and how they respond to offers can help optimize all customer communications. This single view can enable banks to consolidate and personalize statements. It can also help ensure that all communications consistently address customer preferences and needs. By building a global customer management repository, banks can now gain and maintain this single customer view and easily apply it to create highly relevant, personalized documents. They can also consolidate all account information to help ensure that customer service representatives can have dialogues reflecting customers’ preferences and needs. This introduces operational efficiencies even as it improves the customer experience.
Better Data; Better Results
No matter how banks choose to interact with their customers—and customers choose to interact with their banks—the quality of customer data is integral to the quality of the interaction. To develop and refine their understanding of their customers, and help ensure the quality of their communications, banks should integrate ongoing data quality and analytics measures. With improved data quality and analytics, their single customer view can more accurately reflect ongoing customer inputs, actions and transactions, address changes and life-event triggers. It can also help reflect changes in transaction patterns that can indicate potential identity theft or fraud.
Coordinating Data, Digital and Print
Banks today must also ask themselves how to get more out of both their digital and print communications. InfoTrends reports that within two years, financial services’ spending on online/web communications will become roughly equal to what they spend on print. They also report that mobile is the fastest growing channel in terms of communication spend. In building for the future, banks must establish a multi-channel customer communication strategy that reflects individual customer channel preferences and optimizes communication format and content for each delivery channel–whether printed and mailed, online/web or mobile. This requires a variable-data approach.
Today, both digital and print channels can be 100-percent personalized using variable data. With this flexibility, banks can apply a comprehensive, single customer view to craft highly relevant communications. These communications can blend customer insights with messaging that fits each customer’s needs—and optimize those communications for right-channel delivery.
Using variable data to drive communications can also improve customer service. Banks can gather useful input during a customer call, tailor a communication in real-time that reflects the dialogue with that customer, and immediately push that communication out to the customer through his or her preferred channel. The result demonstrates real responsiveness to customer needs while it reduces the number of steps—and the costs to the bank—of responding.
Delivering Brand Consistency and Effective Messaging
The combination of a single customer view and variable data communications can help banks reduce the number of communications sent and reduce their costs. Most importantly, it will also drive a better customer experience through:
Consolidation: While customers often hold more than one type of account, they prefer the simplicity of a single statement. Smartly designed consolidated statements add customer convenience, while reducing statement production and mailing costs. They can also reduce call center volume and enable customer service representatives to respond more quickly to the inquiries they do receive.
Targeting: Today’s consumers are deluged with communications through every channel. By targeting only those customers for whom a message is relevant and important, banks can communicate more effectively and enjoy higher returns on their communications efforts—while their customers gain a stronger sense that their bank really knows them.
In today’s climate of over-communication, having a focused, relevant and timely customer communication strategy is critical to success. By bringing together a single customer view, 100 percent variable data communications capabilities, analytics and data quality, banks have the opportunity to improve their customer experience while increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.
Grant Miller is vice president, global strategic product management, Document Messaging Technologies at Pitney Bowes.