3 (Big) Ways to Use Big Data for Your Critical Customer Communications
When it comes to data in the 21st century, it’s time to think big—literally. Big Data is collected constantly at ever-increasing speeds from smart phones, computers and a variety of other touch points. With so many metrics and data points, it can be intimidating to know where and how to start leveraging them. Luckily, there are a few easy and very effective ways to use data to increase the impact of your critical customer communications.
- Understanding Your Customer
One of the first—and, in all actuality, the most crucial—things you can gain from data is a true understanding of your customer: how they act, what motivates them, what they like to purchase and why. A true insight into each of your customers is a veritable gold mine of information. Understanding your customer means understanding how to communicate with them and, ultimately, how to keep them from abandoning your brand for another.
Personalization and data go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s an obvious pairing, because data allows you to gain the insight you need to make each customer’s communication a personalized experience. Once you understand a customer, the next step is to begin targeting messages to their specific needs. Tools like OSG Dynamic Messaging allow you to send customers specified messages that speak directly to them. After all, customers want to feel unique and understood, and what better way to do that than by sending them customer specific communications?
For most companies it is a difficult feat to attempt to send out personalized messages to each individual customer, that’s where segmentation comes in. Grouping customers into segments based on similar qualities such as purchase frequency, products purchased, purchasing motivation and more allows you to send a message that targets your customer without needing to send individualized messages. With OSG Campaign Composer you can filter your audience using specific data and send targeted, one-to-one messages to any segment of your customer base. These targeted communications make your customers feel more understood, which in turn means they are more likely to engage with your message.
Learning how to utilize data in each message you send out allows you to more accurately and efficiently communicate with your customers. Contact us to learn how to begin using data in your critical customer communications.
The term channel surfing brings to mind images of lazy teenagers flipping from one TV station to another, halfheartedly looking for a show to pique their interest. When it comes to customer communication however, channel surfing takes on a whole new meaning.
Choosing Your Channel
Your customers no longer solely rely on one source for their entire catalogue of communication needs. Instead, they navigate between channels to receive their information and relevant news. With clients perpetually changing devices, it is more important than ever for businesses to offer multiple forms of communication. Only utilizing one or two channels means you end up ignoring huge chunks of your customer base and losing out on building lasting relationships with those customers. According to Aberdeen Group, Inc., “Companies with strong omni-channel strategies can expect to retain an average of 89% of their customers.” Be it print or digital, communicating with your customers where they are most comfortable means you are guaranteeing you remain connected.
Different Channel, Same Message
The variety of communication channels can bring about a significant issue for companies—unifying the message. Although print and digital may seem like two completely different worlds, it is crucial for every channel – be it online or off – to have a consistent voice. If a customer chooses to receive email notifications instead of a printed bill, they shouldn’t be receiving a completely different message. Aligning cross-channel communication means you create a unified voice for your company and a better overall experience for your customer.
Whatever channel your customers pick, it’s up to you to ensure your message is received.
When you’re trying to reach customers with an important message, time is of the essence. A self-service program that simplifies the process is key to streamlining communication. OSG Letter Composer is just that.
Using an online composition tool, you can customize and edit customer letters, regulatory notices, collection letters, and other personalized communications. Because you’re in control and driving the process, you don’t have to wait for approvals. Upload the content into the program yourself and go from there.
While content is king, design is crucial to effective communication. Letter Composer allows you upload your logo and other branding elements to create consistency in messaging, the thing for which every company should be striving. Anyone in your office can use the program, and it will make your company’s brand and messaging look more composed.
Make the letter creation process easier, and deliver customer communications more effectively. Contact us for more information.
Outsourcing your transactional communications can have a powerful effect on your business and its bottom line, whether you opt for an EBPP solution or traditional print and mail. Here are three specific reasons to do it.
- Free up your employees’ time.
Billing can be a complex process. Using a single-source provider for all your billing and communication needs eliminates the internal day-to-day tasks that bog down employees. They can use their productivity and passion in different ways while we streamline this process.
- Benefit from the latest technologies and operational experience.
Digital, print and mail, mobile: Offering those channels isn’t enough; they must be optimized. At OSG, we use programs like MailTrek to monitor inbound and outbound mail, which improves the efficiency of your collection efforts (and ultimately saves you money). We offer dynamic messaging, which turns invoices into marketing tools and engages customers month to month.
Our solutions are also practical. With production facilities across the country, our distributive print process guarantees a quick turnaround time.
- Move into the future with us.
As technology continues to evolve, customers are going to expect an omni-channel experience—an unbroken stream of access to their information. Through new acquisitions, more robust printing processes, and additional digital solutions (i.e. OSG Letter Composer), we’ve positioned ourselves to move with customers as they engage with the world. Because this is ultimately about more than billing—it’s about communication.
It’s almost a new year. Let’s talk strategy.
As the end of 2017 races by and 2018 sharpens into focus, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished as a company this year. Each move propelled us toward a common goal: to build upon our transactional and customer communication solutions and to offer best-in-class service. Here’s how we did it.
- We enhanced our printing technology.
We added another Ricoh Pro VC60000 next-generation continuous feed inkjet platform to our production line. What does that mean? It means we’re an even better position to meet customer demand for high-quality, high-volume transactional documents. Fun fact: OSG was the first American company to implement the VC60000.
- We grew our family of companies.
In October, we acquired Microdynamics Group, a provider of integrated, multichannel transactional print and electronic solutions, headquartered in Naperville, IL. This acquisition not only expands our services nationally, but also strengthens our presence in the financial services market.
In December, we acquired Diamond Communications Solutions, a full-service provider of data-driven customer communications, headquartered in Carol Stream, IL. This positions OSG as a leader in the healthcare market, and propels us further in the financial services market.
- We introduced OSG’s CallVista Customer Contact Center.
To expand our omni-channel customer communications solutions, we officially launched our CallVista Customer Contact Center. This fully-staffed center offers full inbound and outbound solutions, comprehensive program management and reporting, and on-site QA and IT support. (Call us!)
- We added another signature solution to our digital communications offerings.
To put it simply, OSG Letter Composer streamlines the letter creation process, which makes communicating with customers much easier. It allows you to upload all your branding elements to one self-service program, so anyone in your company can create customer letters, regulatory notices, collection letters, and so on. No special software required.
- We made strides for even greater quality control in production.
To ensure we have consistency across facilities, Our Enterprise Quality Control Group is developing a standard systematic approach in monitoring each step of print production. This process will be essential as we continue to grow.
Checking the mail nowadays really means checking for what you’re going to keep and what you’re going to toss without opening. In that competitive atmosphere—fighting for a customer’s attention over Bed Bath & Beyond coupons and pre-approved credit cards—sending multiple mailings a month is overkill.
OSG’s Additional Messaging Page is designed to let you communicate more with less.
The AMP makes it easy to turn a transactional document you’re already sending into a multipurpose document. It’s a supplemental page that prints seamlessly alongside the invoice or statement. (In other words, they can’t just throw it away.) This also saves you money on printing, postage, and administration costs.
The specifics of the message are in your hands. It could be a welcome letter, a monthly promotion, or, yes, an incentive to try online billing. It can be single or double-sided, full-color, and targeted. It uses OSG Campaign Composer to segment your customer base so people aren’t receiving redundant or irrelevant messages.
The options are endless, but the pieces of paper won’t be.
Any marketing initiative has buzzwords, and sometimes those words can seem at best vague and at worst empty. Multi-channel and omni-channel are two common terms you’ll hear floating around in discussions on customer communications. To cut to the chase: There is a difference, and the difference is important.
Multichannel communication refers to the use of different types of channels with your brand or product at the center of this communication. These channels include mail, email, websites, phone calls, social media—any means of connection between you and your customers. A multichannel approach gives the customer a choice in how to reach your company or product. Each of these channels is distinct and (hopefully) strong, but they working toward the same end—you.
Omnichannel communication is about creating a fluid customer experience across these channels. It’s common now for a modern consumer to switch frequently between channels. (Think of how often you are on your laptop and then look down at your phone.) An omnichannel approach aims to make that switch seem natural and consistent. In other words, the customer’s view and experience are central to the process, and data is used to make that experience integrated and remove the “feeling” of channels.
If multichannel is more about availability, then omnichannel is more about consistency. While multichannel centers your brand or product, omnichannel centers the customer.