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Have a Last-Minute Message for a Customer? Try This.

It’s all about the data when it comes to customer communication.

Data tells the story of your customers and outlines what information you should be sharing with them. This is particularly important regarding the marketing messages you include with bills and invoices. When contact is frequent, the messages must be timely and relevant.

Data also tells the story of what’s already worked in with your previous messaging. Why send a “Subscribe Today!” message to a customer who just signed up? Why push a product to a people already using it? Analyzing customer trends and history is crucial. You should also be able to make timely updates based on that information.

OSG Campaign Composer is a data-driven application that allows you to segment your customer base. It’s designed so you can filter specific data to send one-to-one marketing messages that make sense. It exists to complement your invoicing or billing packages, to enhance marketing capabilities, to and make communication specific and targeted.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Define the filters.

A filter is set for one or more conditions you apply to your data to identify which accounts will be targeted by a campaign.

  1. Create the campaign.

Build the message that will target those specific customers.

  1. Create the package.

The package selects a segment of your customer base to target. It also specifies which dynamic messages, envelope messages, and inserts that segment should receive.

Another crucial feature: this application is timely. You can update the messaging at any time, ridding invoices and bills of stale, tired content. You can also send an endless variety of messages and cross-sell and up-sell products more effectively.

It’s essential to be using your data in a way that makes sense and brings you the biggest return. Your customers aren’t all the same. Why not try something different with them? Read more here.

 

4 Ways to Create More Effective Communication

Effective communication is about more than a smartly worded subject line or a crackerjack social media strategy. It’s also about more than just talking. Relaying information to clients is the backbone of any successful business, whether it’s through an e-bill, a marketing campaign, or an envelope. Here are four ways to do that more effectively.

  1. Listen first.

Or if no one’s spoken for a while, ask a question. It’s amazing how long someone might deal with something being wrong before speaking up about it. Check in with the client. Check in with staff. You can’t fix anything before knowing it needs repair.

  1. Simplify a complex process.

When we create transactional documents for clients to send their customers, we’re focused on a.) making the client’s cash flow more streamlined, and b.) creating materials that are readable, engaging, and clear. We’ve talked before about the two questions a bill needs to answer right away. You can apply that principle to almost anything communications-related. What are the most essential things that need to be stated? What’s irrelevant? Break down an intricate process into bite-sized pieces of content.

  1. Focus on storytelling.

You hear this a lot now: “Tell your business’s story.” A story has many elements, but they need to be adding up to the bigger picture. Be consistent with your design aesthetic. Share relevant updates. Stay in touch. Tools like OSG’s Letter Composer make it easier to send information and improve customer service while keeping branding consistent.

  1. If necessary, change the conversation.

At OSG, we offer a breadth of communication solutions, because we recognize that there are nuances to every industry and lifecycles that happen within them. Whether it’s a Back to School campaign in the summer or a new billing statement format, we can find something that starts a new conversation with your customers and increases your revenue.

How We Can Help Empower Your Team

We offer technology that improves the customer communication experience. A key component to that improvement, however, is to use technology in a way that empowers your staff and makes their workload more manageable. (Happy employees = happy clients.) An example of a product that offers that mutual benefit is OSG’s CSR eView℠.

CSR eView is a web-based application that allows your customer service representatives to access customers’ invoices or bills quickly in real time to address their concerns and questions. If you’ve ever made a call feeling frustrated or confused by a billing statement, then you realize the value of having an application that would allow your reps to see documents the way customers see them. This makes communication more fluid, of course, but it also reduces the amount of time a CSR spends on the phone altogether.

We also archive PDF images of the invoices or statements for CSR eView users, and maintain a log that records the date, time and activity. This technology will empower your team to:

  • Find answers more quickly in high resolution
  • Give more accurate answers
  • Provide the best customer service possible

Contact us to start improving your team’s workflow today.

How to Write a Letter the OSG Way

To Whom It May Concern:

Hope this post finds you well. We’ll get right to it: It’s time to improve your company’s letter writing process.

OSG Letter Composer℠ is our self-service program that will upgrade your letter writing game while also streamlining and simplifying the process altogether. You can compose and edit customer letters, collection letters, regulatory notices, and any other form of personalized communication.

Why is it worth it?

Writing a letter is about more than just crafting its content—it’s also about style. You can upload your logo and other branding elements right into Letter Composer, avoiding the all-too-common questions that come up in this process: “Where is our letterhead?” “Where is our logo?” “Is this the green we normally use?” Your company will speak in one clear voice.

There’s no special software required, and there’s no lost time waiting for approvals.

With this tool, anyone in your office can make a letter look more composed.

It makes a difference.

Write back when you can.

Best,

OSG

The Envelope…Please!

Envelopes are marketing opportunities. When a customer sifts through an uninspiring sea of plain white envelopes, yours should float to the top. A smartly-designed envelope can be the difference between an immediate open or a toss into the deal-with-it-later pile. In fact, per a recent Xerox Color Study, people are 55 percent more likely to pick up a full-color piece of mail first.

We take that intel seriously. OSG Envelope Messaging is a key part of our communications strategy for your mailed transactional pieces. Color is important, but we also work with you to design something that communicates timely, relevant information to your customers right away.

Aside from encouraging recipients to tear into your envelope first, these are a few other benefits of using OSG Envelope Messaging:

  1. Brand familiarity. Let them know it’s you.
  2. Increased up-selling and cross-selling potential.
  3. Have a great offer inside? Tease it on the front.
  4. Educate and alert. Important dates need reinforcing.

Go here to learn more about how this might work for your business.

Are the Bills and Invoices You Send Readable? (Spoiler: They Might Not Be)

There’s a reason major companies like UPS and DirectTV devote pages on their website to topics like “A Simple Guide to Understanding Your Bill” or “How to Read Your Bill.” They’re anticipating an all-too-common issue: Bills are hard to read.

In fact, the most common cause of late payments is that people have trouble reading their bills. Poor organization and confusing design can slow down a person’s quick scan to see what’s owed and when. It’s a strange phenomenon given that these organizational choices will also slow down a revenue stream for the company issuing the bill. And since paying bills isn’t an activity typically linked to pleasure in the first place, the easier clients make it for customers, the better. Because what’s a common reaction to stress and confusion? Avoidance.

Two Things to Consider:

  1. Composition is an essential element of a bill’s design.

Beyond logos and color scheme, the placement of a bill’s key components is crucial. The total amount due, the due date and the summary of charges need to be nicely organized and obvious. This isn’t the time for bold artistic expression. Keep it clean.

  1. Every element of the bill/invoice should also be working to that same end.

If you’re incorporating dynamic messaging into your billing (which we highly recommend!), use that marketing as an opportunity to get a customer’s attention. Make it eye-catching and smart, but don’t overwhelm the space and add an additional layer of confusion.

Tips to Design a Full Color Dynamic Message for Your Invoice

By Guest Author, Ashley Sherrow, OSG Manager of Production Graphics

Did you know that a dynamic message on an invoice or statement is a designated area that allows you connect directly with your audience?  It’s your monthly opportunity to relay a specific message to your customer. And since research tells us that invoices are opened 97 percent of the time, you are virtually guaranteed of having your message read.

Using a little bit of creativity you can create a message that is eye-catching, colorful and informative. The OSG data-driven application, Campaign Composer, gives you full transpromotional marketing capabilities that compliment your statement or invoice package.

So what do you need to do?

First you’ll want to compose your message.

    1. You can do this using design programs such as InDesign or Illustrator. Designing your message in one of these programs makes the design process easy. Also, since these are the same programs we use in the OSG Creative Studio, should you need help, we can guide you through either of these programs to help you get the message you need created.
      • Tip: If you are designing multiple messages within an area, it is a good idea to separate the messages with a thin line between each message, or a border around each message.
    2. This space provides a great opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell your services or even your customer’s services. Not sure what to feature? Think about deals, sales, promotions or even important messages you want to share with your customers.

Next, as long as you’re designing a bill or invoice, why not create a whole invoice package? You can coordinate by utilizing other OSG communications tools such as Envelope Messaging, Additional Message Page and OSG Inserts.

You’ll want to be sure you’re designing your message to its full potential. To ensure this, here are some things to pay attention to:

    1. Is the message sized correctly so that it will fit into the message space on the bill?
    2. How will your message look on the invoice/statement? Make sure your messages blend in with the colors and style of your invoice/statement.
    3. Have you used imagery and colors to your advantage?
      • Choose bright colored images and text that will stand out and grab your audience’s attention.
      • Remember, less is more – you don’t need to plaster the message area with tons information. Short and sweet. Then direct the customer to a website for them to gather more information.
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