Customer communications need to be timely, because time is money. There’s urgency even in the minor transmissions, which is why it’s a no-brainer to seek assurances that production of these communications is quick, fluid, and uneventful. There must be options and back-up plans in place. With key business matters, more of the same is better.
OSG now has 630,000 square feet of space in nine strategic locations across the country. This is advantageous for several key reasons, and part of a longterm business continuity strategy that offers greater guarantees to our customers.
- Quick Turnaround Time
With nine production facilities that operate on a 24/7/365 production cycle, we can guarantee a 24-hour turnaround time.
- Disaster Recovery Options
This is a rare instance where redundancy is a good thing. Imagine a power outage or internet issues. The redundant configuration of our production systems and the identical, standardized processes throughout each facility ensures that your data is secure and your service is not disrupted in these instances.
- Postal Optimization
We offer mail delivery anywhere in the country within 1.5 to 3 days by mailing out of multiple facilities. We also have on-site postal coordination across companies.
We’ve built a cross-country framework that has the speed and protections that are non-negotiable when dealing with transactional communications. As they say: location, location, location (times three).
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.
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.
Imagine this: Madeline Frasier, a longtime subscriber to your magazine, has just sent you a check. She’s a few days late with her payment, but it’s on its way. No one knows that, though, and because the account is still listed as outstanding in your database, a collection letter is sent to her house. Your company has now spent money to collect money that’s already in transit. If only there was a way to see that Madeline had mailed her check.
OSG MailTrekˢᴹ is the way.
This tracking application taps into USPS barcode technology to track your inbound and outbound mail. An Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) is printed on each piece of outgoing mail, which gives the USPS the data it needs to get your mail delivered to the right address on time. You can also include this barcode on the return or remittance envelope to see the status of incoming payments in real-time. This, in turn, will help suppress collection letters to customers.
For some of our customers, we have been able to achieve suppression of 4 to 5 percent of their production volume, while others have achieved as high as 12 percent suppression.
With MailTrek, you’ll improve the efficiency of your collection efforts by reducing the number and frequency of your mailings, and you’ll also improve your customers’ experience. Who wants to get a letter when they’ve already paid? Your company saves money on another letter, and Madeline isn’t annoyed.
As more and more companies transition to electronic billing, it’s important to remember that digital solutions can also improve print and mail services. Paper can be optimized. MailTrekˢᴹ, OSG’s tracking application, combines the latest United States Postal Service (USPS) technologies with our own software to track your outbound and inbound mail in real-time. Here are five ways this can improve your business.
- More efficient mail delivery means more control.
An obvious point, but nonetheless worth emphasizing: You’ll know when your invoices are sent out and when they reach their destinations. Each piece of outgoing mail gets an Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) specific to its envelope, which allows it to be tracked (or “trekked” if you will). In your OSG InSight client portal, you can see when the envelopes are scanned and know the delivery status.
- Tracking outbound mail can help with staffing.
Since you know the status of your mailed invoices and statements, you can better predict the staffing needs at call centers. When the customer calls spike in volume, you’ll be ready.
- You can verify a customer’s check is in the mail.
That IMb code? You can also add it to the return or remittance envelope. There’s no guesswork—the check is on its way or it isn’t. Which brings us to the next point.
- You’ll have better insight into cash flow.
Because the inbound mail has the IMb codes, managing cash flow becomes much easier and much more efficient.
- You’ll likely reduce the number of mailings while improving customer relations.
MailTrekˢᴹ isn’t just a tracking application; it’s a line of communication. By opening this channel, you’ll have a better understanding of your customers’ payments and contact them less frequently. Increased efficiency for all.
In conclusion, as your company evolves its invoicing practices, it makes sense to maximize the digital potential of whatever system you’re currently using—even print.
In business, the idea of a failing customer communications program can be frightening. In today’s fast-paced world, you only have a moment to get your customer’s attention and multiple mailings can be costly and end up turning customers off.
Research shows that regular and consistent customer communication programs help build loyalty and trust. But in a world of seemingly infinite information, how can you create an effective program using integrated communications that engages customers along several key touchpoints? Here are few options to ensure your program is comprehensive enough to meet your customer communication goals:
- Dynamic Full Color Messaging. Enhancing invoices with targeted, customized messaging can transform them into powerful marketing and communications tools during every billing cycle. Up-sell and cross-sell products and services using the valuable real estate already available on your monthly invoices.
- Envelope Messaging. Making a good first impression is one of the most important aspects of any communications campaign. Immediately engage and capture your customer’s attention with full color messages on the outer envelope that will highlight and reinforce the messaging inside.
- Electronic Messaging. Creating branded email blasts and newsletters will help you utilize the customer data you already have and turn them into a powerful marketing tool. Additionally, an online, dynamic electronic billing portal gives you the opportunity to engage your customers where they likely spend a majority of their time: online.
- Lifecycle Marketing. Implementing programs like welcome, win-back and new member programs, calendar inserts and other types of promotional programs are turn-key solutions that help you improve customer retention and take advantage of events throughout the year.
So, have no fear. Dynamic, integrated and creative customer communications programs are easier to implement than you think. Working with the an experienced provider, you can seamlessly integrate your billing processing into a communications program that helps capture attention, drive revenue, create customer loyalty and increase brand awareness.
Do you know how much returned mail is costing your company? It’s probably more than you think. Every piece of undeliverable mail — whether it be an important financial notice or monthly statement — causes financial strains on your company, can impact your relationship with customers, and ultimately affect your bottom line.
Four point two percent of mail is returned
When we consider that 4.2 percent of mail is returned, the effects can be a financial burden on your company in many ways. Returned mail reduces cash flow that is essential to maintaining an efficient billing process and streamlined customer communication. Many companies resend information to a single undeliverable address multiple times until it catches the attention of someone in the mailing department. Repeating this costly cycle ultimately leads to a reduction in profit.
Returned mail impacts more than just external cash flow. Consider the internal labor costs associated with opening, processing, and disposing of each piece of returned mail. If your staff is spending valuable time handling returned mail, causing other important tasks to be neglected, returned mailed is ultimately draining your most needed resources. There are also material and mailing costs to consider — including paper, envelopes, and perhaps the costliest expense: postage.
Lost business relationships
Customer satisfaction and a professional reputation are core principals of a successful business. If statements and important financial notices are being returned as undeliverable, it means these documents are never reaching the intended recipient. Customers who incur late fees due to incorrect addresses may abandon their relationship with the company. People move at the rate of 12 to 17 percent per year and only 60 percent of them update their new address with the United States Postal Service in a timely manner, creating the opportunity for future error.
So how can you prevent these issues and ensure you don’t lose money, time and relationships because of returned mail? The best strategy is to track the number of undeliverable items, discover which customers are receiving multiple undeliverable pieces and take action. OSG’s Optimized Mail Services can help improve the efficiency of your mailings. Maintaining a high quality mailing list by removing bad addresses is essential to ensuring future mail is sent to the correct address.