Financial institutions face the challenge of managing the cost of customer communications. One way to do cut cost is to “go paperless,” but the truth is that most member and customer communications remain on paper. As a result, most banks and credit unions look to save money by pitting print service providers against each other, first in the RFP process and then in the vendor selection process, to drive lower and lower price-points-per-page. But with the advent of cloud-based customer communications management even more savings can be found along with increased control over the messaging, the content and the delivery of your most critical communications.
Financial services executives responsible for operations, finance and marketing should take a fresh look at their current vendor relationships printing and mailing activities associated with statements, notices, inserts, marketing and other outbound communications. For most firms today, printing and mailing remains one of the largest operating expense items. Ironically, it is one of the least thought of areas when it comes to strategic planning — but it should be; the cost related to the paper, postage and handling of a single customer or member statement is approximately $1.20 per statement. Multiply that across every customer or every member, every month, and it is clear that customer communications management stands out as an important financial and strategic consideration for any firm.
Many institutions engage multiple print and communication providers for work that could be consolidated. It is not uncommon to use one provider for customer statements and notices, another for onboarding communications, and yet another for direct mail campaign initiatives. Each individual area of printing is siloed, often intent to bring about the lowest price provider, but this fragmentation ultimately drives up vendor management costs, inhibits your ability to leverage bulk rates across multiple pieces and groups, and clouds customer engagement across the board.
Cloud Based CCM
Banks, credit unions and other financial institutions can get a grip on their customer communications by using cloud-based customer communications management to consolidate print, get better bulk rates, and increase control over their brand and messaging. Cloud CCM works to take advantage of the ability to communicate with your end customers anywhere and everywhere and allows companies to take content and context that might have gone on a printed piece and deliver that where your customers are most engaged. That engagement might indeed be in the form of print and in the mail, or it might just as easily be presented online or via social media. In any case, cloud CCM is a platform to form the construction of the messaging and then drive the print and mail to the best provider or partner in the supply chain.
Benefits of CCM
The benefits of customer communications management help financial institutions in two important ways. First, to consolidate vendors to a single source for statements, notices and tax forms, as well as for other marketing communications and onboarding documents. This provides an increased ability to leverage bulk rates based on combined volumes for print and mail while opening the visibility needed for more meaningful strategies to reduce paper via online adoption. Second is the ability to provide the same documents and the same experience across all multiple communication channels. Mobile, online and social media extend the value and ROI by aggregating all your member and customer communications within a single delivery point.
How can you move forward? The good news is that cloud-based multi-channel communications tools like 366° Degrees℠ by OMI provides a single platform to manage all of your customer communications no matter what form they take. By consolidating communications in CCM financial institutions can truly manage the customer experience and drive deeper levels of customer engagement via transactional, marketing, and social communications. Embracing CCM will not come without challenges, but the right mix of technological tools and thoughtful strategies will lead banks, credit unions and other financial service institutions to a new generation of success.