It’s no longer just teenagers attached to their phones 24/7. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a phone in their hand or an arm’s length away. According to Pew Research in 2017, “About three-quarters of U.S. adults (77%) say they own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011, making the smartphone one of the most quickly adopted consumer technologies in recent history.” With the number of smartphone users increasing indefinitely, reaching your customer base should be as easy as downloading an app.
Your customers have apps for social media, gaming and more. Statista forecasts that, “In 2022, this figure is projected to grow to 258.2 billion app downloads.” With so many apps, how can you make yourself stand out and get your message in the hands of your customers? Ensuring a consistent and easy user experience is the key to keeping your customers happy and making the most of your mobile interactions. Providing customers with a true omnichannel experiences means they should be able to start their journey on your website, receive a physical copy of their bill and end by making a payment on your app – seamlessly moving from one touchpoint to the next without interference or difficulty.
By adding a mobile app into your omnichannel communication strategy, you increase the reach of your brand and offer customers a new way to interact and engage, improving your brands visibility and your customers’ experience. The OSG Mobile App is a custom branded app offering your customers the ability to view and pay their bill or invoice with a click of a button. From actively engaging customers to driving brand loyalty, the mobile app improves customer interaction and grows your competitive advantage.
It’s time to mobilize your message and make your critical customer communications more App-ealing.
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.
Imagine opening an email from your favorite brand offering you 50 percent off to sign up for a product you already have. Chances are you would immediately delete the email or contact the company to inquire why you’re paying more than a new customer.
The need to personalize each of your critical customer communications is no secret. Customers are bogged down with countless promotional emails and direct mailers they receive daily – meaning they simply don’t have the time to waste reading a communication that doesn’t pertain to their needs. Personalizing your critical customer communications shows your customer you pay attention to their specific journey with your company. According to Accenture, “75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, OR knows their purchase history.”
Personalizing your critical customer communications means going beyond merely addressing your customer by name – it means understanding your customer and what they need from your company and your products or services. Using data to formulate a 360-degree picture of your customer allows you to target your customers based on their buying habits, interests, needs and more. This deep level of knowledge about your customer allows you to offer discounts or suggest products that will be useful to your customer and keep them loyal to your brand.
Tools like OSG’s Dynamic Messaging and Campaign Composer allow you to create targeted messages designed specifically with your customers in mind. Using Campaign Composer, you can quickly and easily segment your customer base and send targeted one-to-one marketing messages. Dynamically targeting messages to suit your customers’ needs increases the effectiveness of your campaigns and keeps your customer active and engaged.
It’s time to take your critical customer communications to the next level—personal.
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.
If your company’s goal is to move customers from paper bills to electronic, we understand why. Electronic bill payment and presentment (EBPP) is cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, and customer-centric. But now you have to convince them of that.
Because of the perpetual digital revolution we live in, it seems like customer migration to a digital platform would be simple. What many customers really want, though, is the option to move freely between channels without any disruption of their experience. And some don’t want to give up print mail at all.
Our OSG eAdoption program guides you through the electronic adoption process. When you’re pushing electronic billing, it’s important to focus on working smartly and in stages. Not everyone is going to bite right away. Conduct surveys, communicate frequently, and spread your paperless messages through multiple channels—eblasts, postcards, inserts, and invoice and envelope messaging. Here are some of our other recommendations.
- Run marketing campaigns—multiple campaigns.
Marketing is a crucial element here. If Marjorie Duncan has been receiving a paper bill from you for 30 years, she’ll likely need more than a one-time suggestion to go paperless. Introduce, explain, and then start again from a different angle.
Simply put, the best way to get someone to do something is to give them a great reason to do it. Consider offering electronic billing as part of a discounted service plan. Tell customers you’ll donate to an environmental cause. Be creative.
- Manage the customer experience.
Once the customer migration begins, make it worth it to them! Your EBPP system should be easy to navigate. Customers should feel a sense of control, whether through notifications of invoice availability or through SMS text-to-pay options.
In the end, it’s crucial to be consistent with education, awareness, and incentives. We can help create an adoption plan that works.