Tag Archives: multi channel services

Multichannel services

How to save costs with multi channel services

The sole purpose of offering multi channel services is to provide multi channel servicescustomers with options for how they would like to be communicated with whether it is a bill, statement, customer letter or being given a means by which they can make a complaint.

These documents are a critical part of the business process both a legal obligation and commercial necessity all of which can have an impact on your bottomline.

Thirty years ago the business communications landscape was very different.

Letters, statements, invoices, offers, contractual agreements and the myriad of other business documents were sent via post.

cellphonesThe 80’s saw the evolution of fax technology and businesses were able to send documents and the process of business transactions quickened.

In the 90’s, the emergence of email changed the business landscape forever. Businesses, brands, companies were able to communicate messages instantaneously.

The 00’s served to speed up the business document process farther by the rapid evolvement of smartphones and social media.

Businesses were having to evolve and adapt to ensure they were able to give customers the choice on which channels to communicate on.

Customers demanded choice it wasn’t good enough just to be able iStock_000014348375Smallto receive email or paper.

They want to receive information both in paper and electronic format and they also want to choose when they get it and where they view it – smartphone, tablet, mobile, PC, laptop.

multi channel services

multi channel services

Today many of us communicate with customers, suppliers, colleagues and associates using different platforms that include fax, email, SMS, social media and web portals.

Physical print and mail remains an effective means of communication but it isn’t always quick and organisations have to include digital alternatives at the same time not losing sight of the customers wishes.

Im my post Keep Me Posted – why multichannel works best I put it to you that customers should have the choice in how they are communicated too.

Digital communications do save time and money – there’s no paper, toner, postage and lower human resource costs, moreover they help companies respond quickly and to be more in tune with their customers needs.

Whilst paper still retains it’s place in the business landscape customers are driving how they want to be communicated with and the adoption of electronic or digital methods of communication have been deployed by organisations so they can deliver immediate information and stimulate interaction with the customer.

How do you manage multi channel services?

When organisations deliver multi channel services they are moving into a complex and bewildering world of communications with the customer.

How do you decide what you will send by email, print and post?

How do you understand what your customers preferences are?

How do you integrate paper and digital business processes?

How do you ensure that the document flow is secure and how do you store documents so that the organisation and the customer has a record of both paper and digital if needed?

Ensuring accuracy, quality and on-time delivery of these business critical documents is crucial. Get it wrong and the business doesn’t get paid.

Customers expect to be able to engage on the channels of their choosing, SMS, mobile/smartphone, call centres, post, email, web.

The challenge for organisations is deciding what to adopt.

Switching off offline communications and implementing solely online is a surefire way of alienating a sizeable proportion of your customer base.

65% of customers who prefer paper bills and statements would consider defecting to a competitor or would leave straightaway if a company removes that choice. 29% of customers who prefer to receive information electronically would consider moving if the option to receive paper statements was removed.

How do multi channel services save cost?

New technology means that transactional documents can be delivered offline and online to meet different customer preferences just from one data file.

  • There is greater flexibility in page formats from A4 to A5 or smaller if required.
  • High quality colour printing means shorter runs that can targeted and relevant for offline communications
  • Highly personalised transpromo messages embedded into online and offline communications

Why are multi channel services important?

Organisations can communicate and deliver their messages on different platforms.

In a digital world your customers want to access your information, marketing messages and offers anytime, anywhere and on multiple devices.

For companies, this gives the benefit of being able to provide a good service to individual customers efficiently which increases customer satisfaction and retention.

By providing choice also differentiates the company from the competition and ensures customer longevity.

How does a multi channel service work?

Please watch the video below and this should give you a better understanding as to how payslips, letters, statements can be delivered both online and offline.





Why smartphones lead the way for a multi channel service

In my last post I emphasised the importance of giving your customers the choice between choosing paper and viewing documents online or what I call a multi channel service.multichannel services

More than 42 years have passed since the first mobile phone call was made by a motorola employee, Martin Cooper in the USA.

Since then, the sale of smartphones has reached dizzying heights and has become the staple business tool for many of us.

Connecting and transacting business on a daily basis is now commonplace from emails, shopping, banking online; it would be hard to imagine a life without a smartphone.

72% of us own a smartphone.

Generation Y those aged between 25-30 are the most likely to own a mobile phone (89%) and Generation Z, 16-24 year olds follow closely with smartphone ownership at 85%.

This group are most happy to use apps for shopping online. 54% of 54-65 year olds own a smartphone.

Mobile websites and having the ability to interact and communicate important information to your customers via mobile is increasingly important.

Offering a multichannel service to deliver and communicate with your customers is key to customer retention.

Mobile technology is rapidly becoming the most popular channel for people to be able to access information and being able to adapt your delivery processes to ensure that customers have access to the information online, on mobile and in paper format is crucial to ensuring customer longevity.

By providing a seamless experience to the customer irrespective of the channel they choose – telephone, online, mobile phone, they are made to feel like they are dealing with one company.

How they receive and interact with the information is important for long term customer relationships.

Multichannel servicesIt is no longer about sending paper communications, customers need to have the choice how they interact with the information they receive from you and as the above statistics show mobile adaptation for businesses must be considered part of the marketing process.

Businesses need to embrace mobile technology and adapt their services to fit with the needs of their customers.

Presenting documents online can be costly and time consuming firstly there is the need for:-

  • a website
  • emails
  • developing an app(s)
  • web portal

They also need to be mobile responsive which means that the document needs to emulate the layout and content of the paper document and respond to the size of screen it is viewed on.

Multichannel communication is about presenting documents online so that customers can view information anytime and anywhere.

Part of the multichannel service experience is about driving up customer engagement and organisations need to understand how customers use mobile technology in their personal lives – for shopping, banking and connecting on social media driven to use their smartphones more readily to access their documents when they are on the move.

Viewing customer information is not solely for the smartphone, it needs to be viewable on PC’s, laptops, tablets and in paper format.

A multichannel service allows your customers to choose how they prefer to view the information you send them without forcing them to take up an option they are not happy with.

For more information about multichannel distribution of electronic documents and online viewing. Please feel free to call us here.

The impact of digital on mail and email

Those of you who have been kind enough to show up regularly know iStock_000026350319Smallthat I have each foot in the digital and print camp.

Digital media has had a huge impact on our lives making content accessible anytime, anywhere day or night.

And yet print is still holding it’s own.

Marketing departments are realising that print and digital work in harmony to ensure audiences are targeted with their brand messages.

Consumers like to receive email and mail each have different qualities and as audiences move between online and offline, mail and email help drive the consumer toward purchasing.

In 2007 the Royal Mail commissioned some research which showed that having 1 to 1 conversations with your customer required both mail and email and should be used in conjunction with each other.

Smartphones and tablets have made us truly mobile so obtaining information on the go is easier, it also means that marketers can deliver their brand message into our inbox when we are mobile.

In a recent report conducted by the Royal Mail, a survey showed that whilst email is on the decline it still works effectively with print marketing.

I’ve taken the most relevant information from the report and created an infographic and included it in this post. It makes interesting reading.

You might think that after reading this post and viewing the infograhic below that we are more digital than mail.

But, mail is redefining and aligning itself alongside emails and the physical channels such as direct mail, leaflet drops and physical advertising are holding their own.

In my follow up post I’ll go over why print and email work well when you employ an effective multi-channel marketing strategy.

See what you think.




Multi channel services. Should we give up paper and go digital?

It is the perennial question I’m asked.English Bulldog

Caroline, we want to give up paper what can we do?

We use shed loads of paper and we want to go paperless?

Where  do we start?

In my last two posts I discussed how to work multi channel marketing into your content delivery to develop customer engagement and help customers along the buying journey.

I’ve placed greater emphasis on multi-channel services and marketing in my earlier posts because it has to be part of an organisation’s strategy to deliver targeted buying messages to its audience or deliver transactional information in the way of a payslip, bill or statement.

How does a multi channel service work ?

Ask yourself what do you prefer paper or digital?

What are your motives for wanting to go paperless?

Is paper needed?

There are those who want to promote the continued existence of paper, whilst others spit in the face of it claiming that digital is the only way, digital or no way.

Each have their merits in the hierarchy but ask yourself this, why not use both?  News just in, you can.

iStock_000034282008SmallMulti channel utopia. Multi channel engagement with customers and employees.

In my last two posts – multi channel marketing for success and how it fits into our digital world paper forms a strategic part of multi channel engagement with the customer.

The internet has changed the way we access and view information from payslips, invoices, statements and marketing content.

We rely on the internet to access information, to seek and retrieve, we shop for our favourite brands, we listen to music and watch films.

Consumers are putting businesses under pressure to provide multi channel services for the distribution of documents in both paper and digital versions.

Consumers are dictating where and when they want to view content, on and off line. Digital media usage will be dictated largely by the consumer’s behaviour.

The growth in the use of mobile internet and social media represents a great opportunity for information to be highly relevant and specific to the reader.

At the same time paper continues to be used in businesses everyday.

Paper documentation gives the added reassurance that the document is real and authentic, it can also be used as a physical reference rather than its electronic counterpart.

Should we give up paper distribution?paper stack

Answer: No!

You can use both and that way you are not alienating customers that want paper and at the same time embracing those customers  that wish to be totally digital.

There is room for both versions to co-exist.

Instead of online documents why not supply both a printed version and a digital one?

You are giving the customer the option to choose which solution they prefer by giving them a multi channel engagement option.

Allowing your customer to make their own choice means they retain control ensuring that all your customers are left feeling valued and important.

This is known as offering a multi channel service.

The option to distribute both paper and digital content which includes marketing messages, payslips, invoices, and statements to the end user.

Whether you are delivering payslips to your employees, bills to your customers or content marketing to your prospects the ability to provide this information using a multi channel service is key to making sure the ‘customer’ experience is meaningful and relevant.

Companies that don’t provide multi channel services are disengaging their customers and employees.

We live in a multi-media world and it is a short sighted strategy whereby a company delivers information on a single platform.

Consumers are digesting information from several media channels simultaneously including paper and print.

Making information available in digital, mobile and paper format will be challenging for organisations.

In a multi-device world, the main objective is to engage with the customer.

An organisation that is responsive to customers needs and gives access to a variety of channels can differentiate itself and set itself apart from its competitors.