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 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.
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.
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.
The United States Postal Service recently released their 2016 Household Diary Study, which, since 1987, has set out to collect data on household use of mail and how that use evolves over time. The survey culls information on “demographics, lifestyle, attitudes toward mail and advertising, bill payment behavior, and use of the Internet and other information technologies.” It’s a long, comprehensive, and interesting (really!) document. We pulled three facts worth noting about transactions mail.
- The share of bills payed electronically has increased—significantly.
Not too surprising, right? In 2006, 62 percent of households paid their bills by mail. In 2016, that number dropped to 27 percent. Conversely, the percentage of households paying electronically has jumped from 32 percent to 70 percent in those ten years. The study attributes this to “electronic diversion” which is another way of saying Internet access. A smaller percentage of households pay their bills in person, but that number also declined in the 10-year span from 6 percent to 3 percent.
- BUT the shift to bills received electronically hasn’t happened as quickly as you might think.
Though the Internet has dramatically affected the number of payments made by mail, the percentage of households receiving bills electronically hasn’t followed the same pattern with an increase from 4 percent to 23 percent. Why? The study attributes this to a correlation of household Internet access with income and education.
- Electric bills experienced the largest decline in payment by mail.
From 2011 to 2016, the percentage of households paying electric bills by mail dropped from 46 percent to 33 percent. The next largest decrease was with medical bills, with a drop from 41 percent in 2011 to 32 percent in 2016.
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.