A new year means new trends. 2019 is in full swing and the eBilling growth we saw in the past year is not slowing down. From mobile connectivity to employee experience, we’ve gathered the top six major trends we expect to shape (or reshape) the eBilling landscape.
- Mobile Mobility
Your customers are on the move and they expect the companies they do business with to be moving with them. According to Statista, “The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019, with smartphone penetration rates increasing as well.” With the number of smartphone users growing exponentially by the day, it comes as no surprise that the mobile experience is one that is here to stay. OSG’s Mobile App enhances your billing and payment process by putting everything your customer needs in the palm of their hand. It’s time to stay connected with your customers – wherever they go.
- All About AI
The old mantra “artificial intelligence will take over the world” can still be heard ringing out from old movies and TV shows. But in 2019, gone are the fears of an AI takeover, and in its place stands a widespread acceptance and onboarding of AI in companies spanning all industries. AI has grown to manage tasks ranging from customer interaction to data analysis and interpretation. By integrating AI capabilities, companies gain insight and accessibility to real time improvements in processes across departments. 2019 is just the beginning for artificial intelligence and the roles it can take on.
2018 saw the beginnings of this trend as companies fought to differentiate their content and capture their customers’ ever-wandering attention. No longer are customers inundated with mass emails promoting a blanket product or service. In fact, according to the Marketing Insider Group, “78% of U.S. Internet users said personally relevant content from brands increases their purchase intent.” In keeping up with this customer expectation, brands now use customer data to specifically target their habits and preferences, making each engagement relevant to their lives. OSG Campaign Composer uses customer data to target your critical communications and create a hyper-personalized experience for each customer.
- Employee Experience Builds Customer Experience
Customer experience has been a hot topic for years now. Companies have long focused on what it takes to keep a customer happy and how to create a positive experience at each touchpoint. But in reality, happy customers come from happy employees. Essentially utilizing the trickledown effect, employee experience focuses on creating a positive culture and employee journey to create a positive customer experience down the line. After all, you can’t offer service with a smile if your employees aren’t smiling.
- Data-Driven Everything
In today’s technology-laden world, data drives everything. Whether it is relaying how a customer wants to receive their bills or highlighting which products your customers would most likely want to take advantage of, data is being used to create seamless experiences and improved products and services. Using data to drive each and every decision ensures your brand is making the smart choices that will benefit your company and keep your customers satisfied.
- Customers Take the Wheel
It’s no secret that customer expectations have shifted drastically in the last few years. With such a wide variety of companies and products for customers to choose from, brands have lost the upper hand. Customers have sensed the shift and now view themselves as partners in the process and aim to be treated as such. With this move in customer perspective, brands have been forced to redesign how they interact and communicate with their customers. In looking ahead, it will be up to the brands to keep growing positive customer relationships by listening to the needs and expectations of their customers in order to provide the quality interactions customers crave. It’s all about knowing your people and providing what they need.
Predicting the future of eBilling is a task for only the clearest of crystal balls, but these trends are sure to influence how the next year takes shape – and OSG is ready.
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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
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.
As an omnichannel communications company, we recognize the importance of providing digital and print solutions that move with customers as their ways of communicating evolve. That’s easy enough to say, but here are some stats we culled that illustrate the importance of providing this omnichannel experience from both the consumer and marketer perspectives.
–98% of Americans switch between devices in the same day. (Source: 2016 Google Research report)
-75% of consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person). (Source: 2016 State of the Connected Consumer Report)
–Companies with strong omnichannel strategies can expect to retain an average of 89% of their customers. (Source: Aberdeen Group, Inc.)
-86% of senior-level marketers agree that it’s important to create a cohesive customer journey across all touch points and channels. (Source: Salesforce)
We’ve had quite a year at OSG, between growing our company and expanding our services to create a more omni-channel model. We try to give our blog a mix of technology and design insights, as well as timely updates that pertain to our industry and the postal service. Here are our five most-viewed blog posts of 2017.
For the first time in several years, the USPS requested rate increases for both its competitive (packages and overnight shipments) and market dominant products (letters and flats).
Inquiring minds wanted to know, so we told them. (And we also included a bonus explanation of statements.)
In which our Production Graphics Manager gave us a look at her day-to-day responsibilities and nailed a just-for-fun lightning round.
Spoiler: One benefit is an increase in web traffic.
Our tracking application taps into USPS barcode technology to track your inbound and outbound mail. It’s a game changer.
As 2017 winds down, it’s a good time to think about the small marketing messages you can send to customers that will help you finish the year strong and begin the next one on the right foot. Start with something simple: Happy New Year.
We realize you might not want to send out a separate card or write a clever note. That’s not necessary—just use your envelope. Our Full Color Envelope Messaging℠ allows you to print a full color New Year’s message right on the outer envelope of your invoice or statement package. You can even add an image for more impact. Since research shows that customers are more likely to open an envelope with color on it than one without, you get the benefit of knowing they’re nearly guaranteed to see both the greeting and the invoice or bill.
OSG’s Dynamic Messaging is another way of reinforcing your brand and messaging on the invoice itself. We’ve gone over the many benefits of that before, but as January approaches, consider how we can help you use it effectively throughout the next year.
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.