For many years, companies only focused on switching off paper and moving customers to electronic versions of important documents, which were primarily bills and statements. However, these documents never evolved from their original presentation and format. So, what value are customers getting out of them today? How are they making your customers’ lives easier? It’s time to start adding value…
Customers want choice and convenience
Bills and statements are well and truly entrenched in the electronic world, but for many companies, the value that can be derived from sending these documents electronically hasn’t been realized. This includes adding functionality to the document and giving the customer the choice of electronic destination for that document (portal, email, mobile, social sites…)
An enhanced customer experience is crucial in today’s world, where customers switch between devices and make payments on the go. Gone are the days of the once a month sit down at the kitchen table, trawling through bills and preparing checks. Customers want convenience and it’s time you start providing it in their documents and in the way you send them.
If you’re sending your customers their bills and/or statements electronically, consider adding value to these documents in the following ways:
Adding a payment form to the distributed PDF or HTML bill is a no-brainer, as customers are using an electronic medium to view their bill. Giving them the means to pay from within the document will result in faster payments.
50% of customers using this functionality pay within 2 days and we’ve seen Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) reduced by 9 days on average for companies who have included this functionality.
For added convenience, consider allowing your customers to request a payment reminder directly from their bill.
Bills and statements are prime real estate when it comes to marketing, however, by going electronic, these documents have lost this crucial up/ cross-selling opportunity. Adding customized and personalized offers to an electronic document or the email to which it is attached, is essential.
These emails see an incredibly high open rate (70% to 90%) because customers are expecting them, so if you’re not including marketing, it’s a lost opportunity.
Sorting, graphing, dispute resolution and forms
Dynamic functionality like this adds a great amount of value to the end customer, with minimal effort:
- Allowing customers to sort data in their bill (if there’s itemized billing)
- Showing interactive graphs (always useful in the case of a credit card bill to see spend by category)
- Enabling dispute resolution directly from the document or
- Including forms such as update details or contact forms
There’s no time like the present to start making changes to the electronic documents customers receive. They make the world of difference to the customer, resulting in a more positive experience and ultimately, loyalty to your brand.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Electronic Documents – It’s Time to Start Adding Value
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