Utilise Digital Channels to Personalise Physical Communications
By Kevin Ricks, Director of Product Management, Pitney Bowes
Despite a recent push toward paperless billing, a whopping 75 per cent of consumers continue to receive printed bills and statements via physical mail. Physical communications are regular ongoing touchpoints with customers, where you can engage with them and make meaningful interactions.
If you’re sending out monthly invoices, that means you only have 12 touchpoints per year, so you need to make sure you’re making the most of these interactions. Using digital channels can help you extend that interaction, further engage with the customer and provide them with an interactive, relevant experience.
Customers want to see relevant, personalised information in the communications they receive. My mother recently received an informational message from her bank, describing how they were applying deposits and withdrawals to her account. But, because the bank used standard, generalised data, my mother struggled to understand the explanation. Had they referenced items that were more pertinent to her account, like vendors that she has used for past purchases, she would have had an easier time understanding, leading to a deeper, more engaging relationship with the bank.
By personalising each piece of mail, you can enhance customer experience, improve client satisfaction, reduce costs and boost ROI. Here are couple ways to optimise your print communications by creating personalised, digital experiences.
Interactive Personalised Videos
Leverage customer data and predictive analytics to create interactive personalised videos. Videos are a great tool for delivering data and context, especially for complex documents, and help you forge a personal connection with your customer. For example, in my mother’s case, the bank could have pulled data from her account to make an interactive video. Then, the video could connect her directly to a call centre or knowledge portal if she’s confused about anything.
QR codes are being used more and more in conjunction with print, for good reason. QR codes eliminate the need to manually enter a URL, so taking the next action is easier for the customer. Interactive videos can be delivered via QR codes, where a customer is provided with a bill explainer and connected with customer service representatives. Or, QR codes can direct customers to a call centre and put them in a select queue, so they receive high quality, efficient service.
Online experiences can also be created through augmented reality (AR) tools, which merge mail with mobile technology. When a customer uses their phone to hover over an image on the mailpiece, they are taken to a mobile interaction or experience. For example, many banks leverage AR to provide customers with directions to the nearest ATM.
Whether it’s how to experience a new device you have to offer or how to configure a new product, AR brings a mailing to the next level. Think of the possibilities: With the use of AR, one standard envelope could hold include an entire product catalogue or 3D demo. Not only is this engaging for the customer, using AR to display a catalogue reduces costs, since you can avoid hefty mailings.
Adding pURLs (personal URLs) to printed comms helps drive an online experience by directing recipients to a customised web page. These highly personalised pages can collate all of a customer’s relevant information and make everything available to them.
And last but not least, make sure your physical communications are readable and impactful. Adding colour in the right places can help draw the customer’s attention to noteworthy information like payment amount or due date. Highlighting a payment due date may motivate customers who are typically slower to pay bills on time, and calling attention to the payment amount helps ensure that payments are made in full.
Pitney Bowes is on the cutting edge of customer engagement marketing solutions designed to deliver relevant and engaging interactions across the customer life cycle, build brand loyalty, gain valuable insight and deliver the exceptional customer experience needed to secure a customer for life.
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