Why Your Customer Communications Program Needs a Disciplined Process
Business moves faster and is more complex than ever. Technology and regulations are constantly changing. Remaining competitive and improving ROI on top of these changes are challenging. To stay abreast and meet the needs of the customer, a disciplined process can help manage your customer communications more effectively with a positive bottom line impact. The disciplined process should include three key steps that work in concert – Optimization, Composition and Presentation.
Optimizing input data is the foundation for ensuring a fully optimized program. Without this step, the program will not be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. Using data management, analytics, merge/purge, postal optimization, CASS and NCOA can deliver the optimized results your business needs. Examples of optimization include:
- Use a multi-level merge/purge strategy to deploy only necessary communications while precisely adhering to business rules
- Determine the correct mix of First vs. Standard Class and pre-sort vs. commingling, local vs. regional delivery to minimize USPS postal charges
Creating an excellent customer experience is a significant competitive advantage and effective communications are an important part of the relationship. Although simple in concept, clear communications can be challenging to fully achieve. Working with composition and programming teams to develop your communications and complex programming helps to ensure clarity, compliance and production efficiencies. Suggestions to enhance your communications include:
- Develop a multi-channel composition strategy ensuring documents are read well in print and mobile channels
- Use color to highlight focus areas and communicate similarly grouped data
- Use data-driven messaging to target offers and customer-specific communication
Mail, email and self-service online portals are three types of deployment prominent in customer communication. With eSolutions more in demand and increasing use of mobile devices, it is necessary to make customer communications mobile optimized with a consistent user experience across all channels. Keep in mind the following strategies in deploying customer communications:
- Manage programs through a single source of deployment to save time, money and improve risk mitigation
- Use email and SMS text to facilitate deployment and drive changes to the channel mix and capture these changes through a preference center
- Design customer communication programs with a mobile first strategy
To fully realize the positive impacts of this disciplined process, however, there is one additional key step to enhance it to the full extent – Connection. Staying connected to your vendor in the customer communication deployment process is essential. Collaboration through regular meetings facilitates better program management and provides a venue for discussing future opportunities for improving the customer experience and meeting new program objectives. Staying current with customer communication and industry best practices will support future plans and enhance your conversations with your communication deployment vendor.
Even with a disciplined process like the one outlined above, program optimization is never complete. As with your constantly evolving business, programs must cycle through the customer communication process again (and again) to identify additional efficiency's and opportunities for further optimization. Venture has the expertise and experience to help you navigate and implement such a process. We call our process The Venture Advantage, a four-step process to fully optimize customer communication programs with the objective of helping businesses achieve compliant, efficient and integrated communications.