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The Customer Journey, Part 2: Acquire

Customer Journey, Acquisition

Acquiring a new prospect is no easy task, making this stage one of the trickiest (and most pivotal) in the customer journey. Once you acquire–and then, hopefully, convert–the customer, they become familiar with your brand and products, gaining trust in you as the relationship progresses. But at this stage, in the customer’s mind, you’re on the same playing field as all of your competitors. And you can’t beat your competitor if you’re sitting on the sidelines.

Once a customer is aware of their pain points, they start doing their research. The process of narrowing down choices can be lengthy depending on the product being considered and the requirements of the customer. Although not every customer will have a formalized process for selecting a brand, at some level each one compares and contrasts options before selecting the right brand for them.

While it may seem like this phase solely relies on the customer and their ability to research, it is up to you to get your product or service in front of the customer. Introducing yourself and beginning some form of customer engagement increases your chances of becoming that customer’s brand of choice. Using tools such as online display ad and digital media buying allows you to get your products in front of the right customers, starting the conversation.

Unfortunately, you aren’t the only brand trying to get the customer to notice your products and services. It is in this stage that brands need to differentiate in order to extricate themselves from the hordes of competitors vying to gain your customer’s attention. OSG’s Integrated Solutions work with your brand to heighten the customer experience and make your product or service stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s in-app payments or an email marketing campaign, we work around your specific needs to create strategic, targeted customer communications designed to help you leverage the engagement and customer experience at each touchpoint.

Ready to expand your customer base and acquire new prospects? Let us help you get there.

If You Build It, Millennials Will Come

millennials

It seems like millennials have been analyzed and reported on more than any other generation. From their purchasing habits to their motivations, we simply can’t say enough. The perennial question behind this generational analysis seems to be: How can we capture real and significant market share of this generation? We’ve put together a list to help you win over this elusive generation and increase your millennial customer base.

  1. Make it convenient

Millennials are all about convenience. Instead of waiting for a taxi, they download a rideshare app; instead of going out and renting a DVD, they stream their favorite shows and movies. For brands, this translates to offering services that make it easier and more convenient to do business with you – or, more simply put, offering services that allow millennials to conduct their business without physically going to your business. Whether it is a mobile app to check billing history or payment capabilities on your website, offering a more convenient solution will win the hearts of millennials everywhere.

  1. Relate it back

Understanding millennials and their motivations is the key to gaining their trust and their business. Millennials in today’s market look to connect with a brand based on their values and beliefs. While in the past brands have relied heavily on marketing their latest products or services to win customers, it is now up to companies to showcase their brand holistically and connect personally with Millennial consumers. According to Forbes: “We found that 60% of millennials tend to gravitate toward purchases that are an expression of their personality — the brand must speak to them at this level and make them feel good.”

  1. Keep the communication open

You can’t win over a customer and build a lasting relationship if you aren’t communicating with that customer – and choosing the right channel of communication has a lot to do with it. While you may be used to sending out direct mailers, many of your millennial customers are communicating digitally, via email, social media and mobile apps. Including these channels in your omnichannel communication strategy ensures your message is always reaching your customer.

Like generations before them, millennials’ needs and expectations when interacting with brands are vast and varied. Understanding exactly how to target this generation is the key to increasing your millennial customer base.

Not sure how to initiate a campaign targeting millennials? Let our Account Executives get you started.

Does Your Company Have the CX Factor?

Companies are no longer fighting to prove they have the latest product or most advanced system—instead, they are fighting to prove they can create the best customer experience (CX). According to Forbes, “Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010.” This shift comes directly from the customers and their heightened expectations.

Customers are now forming opinions of companies based primarily on the experience they have with that specific company. If a customer has a negative interaction with your company, they are much more likely to abandon ship and find a new company that can give them the CX they seek. This is so important, in fact, that Forbes states, “Consumers are willing to spend up to 16% more on products and services with companies that offer a better experience, and they’re more loyal.”

Creating a positive customer experience can involve a multitude of things, but it essentially breaks down to ensuring that each interaction your customer has with your company is positive and relevant. This can entail anything from personalized messages on their bills to creating an omnichannel communication strategy that allows a customer to reach you through whichever channel they choose. Whatever form it takes, it is critical for companies to make the customer central in the decision-making process.

Contact us to talk about taking your CX model to the next level.

How to Gain Control in a Hectic 24/7 Business Environment

A nine to five strategy doesn’t work in a 24/7 business climate. From a company perspective, having access to your transactional document information any time of day isn’t a luxury—it’s essential.

We developed OSG Insight with that around-the-clock necessity in mind. This tool gives you a real-time snapshot into your business with us any time of day. Once you log into your account through our website, you can oversee all of your billing and invoicing jobs. Need to check the status of a file at 9 p.m.? Do it. We designed Insight to give you more control but also to increase the level of transparency with us as your billing partner. In short, you get insight into what we’re doing on our end.

You can also opt for even more control when you begin working with OSG. When we do your onboarding process, we can set your account for client review and release. You are the one who clicks Release This File to send the job off after a final review.

Additionally, you can manage the marketing component of your transactional documents through the portal. Your custom library—housed on the site—stores any marketing messages you create or upload. It also houses custom images specific to your company’s brand. Update your messaging, then edit and delete as you go.

Other Insight-ful things:

-Upload files to the OSG site for processing

-Run accounting reports based on OSG invoices

-See the status of past jobs as well as current ones

-Keep track of available insert inventory

-Run postage reports as far back as a year

Added bonus: You don’t need any special software for Insight. We host it.

Contact us for more details.

 

3 Ways to Create a Better Customer Experience

Working with clients on their critical communication needs means we get insight into how different types of companies transmit information and which methods prove most effective for them. Here are some general observations that apply to anyone trying to create a better customer experience.

  1. Pretend you’re the customer.

Obvious, right? But really consider it from their end. The thing about billing is that we all deal with it, so what are the ways to make the experience less annoying and more fluid? What are some offers or messaging that would have an impact and not just take up space?
A point that comes up again and again is the issue of clarity. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: poorly designed bills and invoices will slow down your revenue stream. If they can’t understand the bill, they certainly won’t pay it on time. Once we achieve clarity, we can work on messaging that reinforces your brand and drives new business.

  1. Don’t be so quick to declare that paper is dead.

The funeral for paper has been scheduled and cancelled dozens of times. It’s true that as many companies have made the promise to be eco-friendlier and offer payment options more in line with the modern world, the need for electronic billing services has become more prominent. But that need isn’t universal. Many people still rely on paper when it comes to bills, whether for security reasons or plain ol’ habit (yes, even millennials). Listening to that need and being flexible is critical.

  1. Think about the industry.

One thing we pride ourselves on is not being a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to communication services, particularly since we work with clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Thinking about the needs of specific industries, and how their customers interact with them, is central to our work.

On the Importance of Customer Feedback

Here at OSG, we’ve just completed our annual customer survey. Though we love hearing the praise (shout out to Account Management for scoring more than nine out of 10), the constructive feedback is what keeps the trains moving. Maybe there’s a way to make a process run more smoothly. Maybe a client is interested in a new service of ours. Maybe there’s one simple change that would make the company’s overall experience with us that much better. Because that’s what we’re delivering—an experience, not a product.

Every single year, we read each comment, cull the best suggestions, and incorporate changes into our business where it makes sense. It’s crucial to live up to the kind of partnership we promise. The questions vary in scope and topic (customer service, products, management), but they boil down to this essential query: How are we doing?

We value this input so much, in fact, that we offer customer survey inserts as an option for our clients to send to their customers. It makes sense to use an invoice package as an opportunity to ask the questions that often go unasked amid the day-to-day tasks that keep us all bogged down.  

Not everyone is going to speak up without prompting. Open a new line of communication. You might find insight that improves specific relationships and moves you closer to the bigger picture goals of your company.  

Let the Madness Inspire You

This weekend is Selection Sunday. You know what that means! Tourney Time is upon us. What that also means is that employers can expect to see a slight dip in productivity this month. According to a study by employment consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas, nearly 2.5 million people devote over an hour of each workday to following the NCAA Tournament. So that’s an hour you’re not actually spending on work. To help your productivity we’ve pulled together three easy ways for you to maximize the effectiveness of your invoice or statement package.

  1. Add an insert to your next invoice or statement package mailing. They fit easily into your mailing and provide cost-effective one-to-one marketing to your customer base. Don’t have one? Not to worry, the OSG Creative Studio can design one for you.
  2. Add a Full Color Dynamic Message to your invoice or statement. Your readers are already looking at your invoice statement. Why not add a message unique to them on the invoice as well? A recent Pitney Bowes study found that color increases reader’s attention by 82 percent.
  3. The invoice isn’t the only colorful part of your invoice or statement package. Are you taking advantage of Full Color Envelope Messaging? That same Pitney Bowes study found that 69 percent of the study participants were more likely to open an envelope with color or graphics on the front than those without. Take a look at your envelopes and see if they could use a splash of color.

By implementing some or all of these ideas you can end up being the winning team and enjoy a championship season.

 

 

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