The Key Players in Client Communication Document Design

We’re at a pivotal transformational moment in transactional customer communication—those communications used to welcome, inform, bill, collect from and notify customers. Successful companies are transforming their customer communication by including a variety of information related to services, brand and education along with the standard transactional information. There a several trends driving this transformation:

  • Customer demand to be communicated with in a personal relevant manner, not a mass communication manner
  • Greater company emphasis on retaining existing customers
  • The ever rising cost of postage and the need to get more out of that expense
  • Emerging eDeployment and mobile solutions, and the opportunities for customer dialogue that come with that technology
  • New software and digital print innovations that allow the processing and deployment of complex data-driven communication

Given the tremendous opportunities now available with transactional communications, successful companies are using a team approach to communication design and content that cuts across several departments. Gone are the days when companies can rely solely on a group of graphic designers and operations personnel to design a customer communication. Those roles remain important but are now part of a much larger team effort. In this blog I’ll identify the groups companies should involve during discussions about designing or re-designing a customer communication to ensure a successful campaign.

1. Marketing and Communications – In some companies these groups are organized as a single department, and in others as two. The key contributions these groups offer include bringing these unique perspectives:

  • What is the overall customer communication strategy? Your strategy should make its way into your transactional communication, not just your traditional marketing communication.
  • What are the design standards that need to be incorporated into a communication design to ensure the company brand and look is adhered to?

2. Operations – This is the group who oversees the day-to-day, week-to-week operation of getting customer communication out the door, which often includes external outsourcing vendors. Traditionally, this is the group that has led communication design and needs to remain in the picture, but shouldn’t necessarily be the sole arbitrator of design and content.

3. Data/I.T. – So much of the current transformation in transactional communication centers on data and the desire to make communication as close to one-to-one as possible. This group is key to determining what data is available and how easily it can be obtained for use in the communication.

4. Compliance – Given the large patchwork of government regulations that govern transactional communication today, this group needs to evaluate the appropriateness of any change in communication to ensure overall compliance.

5. Executive – Typically this group is the top stakeholder in customer communication, as well as the source of funding for any changes. They need to be brought along with any planning and given an opportunity to weigh in.

6. Procurement – Historically, transactional communication has been cost driven; that is, the lower the better. With the transformation of transactional communication into a
data-driven personal communication vehicle often used for customer retention, there are now several other value drivers than just cost. Those drivers must be shared with the procurement department as they assist in procurement research and decisions.

7. Deployment Partner – As you plan a new communication or a re-work of a current one, your deployment partner can provide helpful information about current and future technologies that can influence and improve your plans. Often there are new technologies either being put into place or just around the corner that can provide added dimension to your communication strategy.

By including these seven groups in your customer communication design or re-design planning, you’ll be able to achieve your objectives and ensure you’re meeting the ever-changing demands of your customers. To learn more about customer communication design or how a partner can add value to your overall strategy, visit venturesolutions.com.

About the author

Solutions Architect

Mark has 25 years of experience in the areas of business development, data solutions, database development, document composition and programming. Mark joined Venture Solutions in 2005 as business development director. In his current role as solution architect, Mark works closely with Venture’s relationship managers during the early stages of the sales process. His role is to listen to, learn about and define the needs and requirements of the clients within the larger context of their business planning and goals. He then develops a proposal that aligns those needs and requirements with Venture’s standard services. In addition to Mark’s experience, he is also involved with Xplor International, a non-profit association promoting the use and advancement of data-driven document composition, programming and deployment for critical customer communications.