As a leading statement solutions vendor, we’ve had the opportunity to talk to hundreds of credit unions like yours as they prepare to embark on statement redesign projects. These organizations have recognized that they need to get their statements working for them by transforming them from lifeless transactional documents into personalized touchpoints complete with 1:1 messaging about everything from the next best offer to educational opportunities to local branch hours. Their next step is to assemble a team and start planning for a successful redesign process.
These days, statement redesign projects require a cross-functional team to plan and execute, because the statement design process (and the positive effects of a redesign) will benefit multiple departments. To help you get ready for those all-important first discussions about your statements, we’ve drawn on our expertise to identify 4 key players who will likely be at the table, and the questions they are dying to ask. Read on and get ready for a successful statement redesign kickoff!
For a project like statement redesign to go well, you need the buy-in of a senior leader who will champion the project, communicate the benefits to other executives, and remove roadblocks to success. Redesign champions can be found across your C-Suite; your CMO is a natural choice, but don’t overlook the possibility that a CEO focused on retention and engagement might also want involvement.
Once identified, executive sponsors usually focus on big-picture, forward-looking questions, like:
- How do we meet increasing member expectations for personalized communications, not mass marketing? How does this imperative relate to transactional communication?
- How can best-in-class statements be leveraged as part of our member retention strategy?
- How do we move more members to cost-effective e-statements, and encourage them to turn off the paper?
- How do we get the most out of paper statements, to offset the rising cost of postage?
- If members continue to move towards reviewing the statements online and on mobile devices, how must we adjust our statement design to offer the best experience through these channels?
Your marketing team is sure to be excited about your statement redesign project, and ready to champion it. After all, how often is this team handed a communication vehicle with an 85% open rate?
Some questions that will likely be top of mind for marketing include:
- How can redesigned statements with 1:1 marketing zones be incorporated into our broader customer outreach strategy?
- What branding elements should be reflected in the new statements? Should we consider a logo refresh in conjunction with our statement update, and if so, where else will we need to roll out those changes?
- How can we test and refine our statement marketing messages to ensure the highest conversion rates?
- What sorts of non-sales campaigns can we run to drive loyalty and engagement? Invitations to local events? Opportunities to participate in charitable causes? Contests?
- Will the new statement cater to all channel preferences, including paper, computer, mobile? Will each version require additional investment to support and manage?
Your operations team has historically been responsible for ensuring that statements make it out the door on the appropriate schedule, with a high degree of accuracy, every time.
They may well have managed the relationship with your statements partner in the past, and will likely still be a key player today, event though the responsibility for customer communications and document design and delivery is now shared across multiple departments.
Operations departments often engage in statement redesign projects with the following questions:
- What’s the maximum printing capacity of the proposed statement partner? If we grow, perhaps through a merger, will they still be able to support our statement needs?
- How will our statement provider ensure that e-notifications about statements reach our members consistently?
- What kinds of security and disaster recovery processes are in place at the vendor? How will they protect our sensitive statement data?
- Can we make “on-the-fly” changes to statements if needed? How does this look?
- What kinds of reporting can we expect from the vendor throughout the statement process? How can we keep a finger on the pulse of composition and fulfillment activities?
Information Technology (IT)
If your goal is to make your statements more than a transactional record, you’ll need to funnel more than transactional data to your statement provider. That’s where IT comes in – identifying what data will make 1:1 statement marketing possible, and how to get it where it needs to go.
Your IT department is therefore likely to bring data-centric questions to the table during the statement redesign planning process:
- What data sources will need to be provided to the statement services vendor? Transactional data? CRM data?
- If I use the same vendor for statements and CRM, will it streamline the process of identifying the right offer and getting personalized 1:1 messages onto the statements?
- What pre-existing integrations does the vendor have to simplify data integration?
- What experience does the vendor have in custom-building data integrations? What does the timeline and project management process look like on these?
- How clean is the data we are trying to provide to our statement partner? Will it cause problems?
- How will the vendor ensure the safety and security of our data throughout the statement generation process?
Don’t Go It Alone!
You’ve put in the work to bring the right internal resources together to discuss your statements, and you’ve prepared yourself for the questions they are likely to ask. But don’t forget there’s a role here to be played by your statement partner or prospective partner. Here’s what an experienced vendor can bring to your meetings:
The broader perspective of an an outside document solutions expert
An experienced vendor has seen many projects like yours through to completion, and is familiar with common roadblocks and how to avoid them.
Guidance on success criteria, project plan, and priorities
A vendor familiar with the credit union system can even put you in touch with clients whose circumstances mirrored yours, so they can share their success stories with you and provide some “been there, done that” advice.
Insights into current and future customer communications technologies
A document solutions provider that continuously invests in the latest technology will be happy to share best practices for statement design, and help you predict where member expectations are headed next. Nobody wants to come to the end of a statement redesign to find their new documents already becoming dated!
With the right mix of expertise, foresight, and technology, you can both achieve your immediate objectives and set yourself up with flexible statement solutions to meet the ever-changing needs of your members. And it all starts with those first planning meetings, where your vision of member engagement is synthesized with the technical realities of statement design and delivery.