20 years ago, the average consumer used two touchpoints when buying an item and only 7% regularly used more than four. Today consumers use an average of almost six touchpoints with nearly 50% regularly using more than four. (Marketing Week) And that’s not including the after purchase touchpoints including, invoicing, billing, shipping, service and support, and feedback.
With constantly changing customer experience expectations, it is necessary to put customers at the center of a multichannel strategy rather than letting each line of business (LOB) in an organization decide the communication touchpoint and channel. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great, holistic customer experience, and the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay. (PwC) The opposite is also true. In another survey of 15,000 consumers, it was found that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 93% would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. (PwC)
A hurdle that organizations face, especially for marketing leaders, sales experts, customer care service representatives and IT system architects is the amount, type and age of business systems and applications used to serve customer communication touchpoints and channels. Many of these systems were architected in the early 1990’s and are still in use today. These systems are the back-office backbone and can’t simply be ripped-out and replaced with the latest SaaS offering and Smartphone application. To overcome these challenges, organizations need to:
1. Manage and output communications by customer preference: offer customers an easy and consistent way to customize their preferred communication channel:
- Electronic delivery (eDelivery), via email, text, self-service web portal.
- Accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- Traditional print, braille, and mail.
2. Integrate customer communications at the content level: use REST API Web Services to integrate business systems and applications used to create and output customer communications at the content level.
3. Centralize the orchestration of customer communications: establish a customer communication operation center to orchestrate the production, management and output of customer communications in all formats.
4. Design and configure customer communications once: fully visualize how digital output, including PDF, Accessible PDF, and HTML5 will appear across multiple communication channels.
5. Transform and reuse existing print-ready customer communications: normalize, optimize, enhance, and transform source files into mobile-ready and accessible PDF or HTML5 formats for distribution to all preferred digital channels without altering existing up-stream production processes.
The benefits to this approach are endless. The biggest benefits are increasing customer retention, reducing customer churn and growing corporate profits. According to research (Forbes):
- The probability of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than the probability of selling to a new customer.
- Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, compared to new customers.
- Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
To learn how this approach can help you and your organization, read the white paper Transforming Print-Ready Documents into Preferred Customer Communications for Multichannel Digital Output and eDelivery