Documents are the past. Digital experiences are the future.
In the realm of customer communications, documents are no longer documents – at least not in the traditional sense.
Until recently, documents were simple, static records. They might include complex information, but their structure was intrinsically simple. These documents were produced by people, despatched manually and archived in a filing system. Documents were dumb, disconnected and unchanging.
But technology – and specifically customer communications management (CCM) – has transformed the humble document.
Documents are now digital experiences
Modern documents are interactive, connected, dynamic artefacts that respond to their audience and their environment.
Let’s consider some of the ways that documents have evolved.
Dynamic documentation – In the past, companies might send a few variations of letters to customers, depending on a few criteria. Or they might simply do a split A/B test to see which document got a better response. Today, documents can be composed by software that selects elements according to the customer’s unique profile. Using business rules, software can compose personalised messages that make the customer feel valued and understood.
Driving processes – Modern customer communications don’t just play a part in completing business processes; they can be the medium through which the process takes place. In the past, onboarding a customer and verifying their identity might have been impossible without face-to-face contact. But today, companies can send interactive emails that use a smartphone camera to capture proof of ID, and a touchscreen to collect a signature. This ability can eliminate countless steps and reduce the number of customers that fall through the cracks during onboarding.
Responsive – Thanks to customer communications management (CCM) software, it’s easy to give customers the message they want, on the platform they prefer. Messages can easily adapt to different environments – so the same message reaches the customer regardless of whether they’re using their phone, tablet or laptop – of switching between a mixture of devices.
Interactive – When a customer gets your document by email or text, they can click buttons, respond with feedback, receive attachments, upload pictures or complete a survey. Digital documents create new opportunities for marketers and communications professionals.
Management information – In years gone by, the only way to gauge the effectiveness of a communication was to count the responses – an approach that, of course, depended on customers responding. No response used to mean no data. Today, it’s easy to see how many messages are opened as well as how many get a response. Modern digital documents provide a wealth of information, giving managers unparalleled insights into customer attitudes, behaviours and preferences. Armed with this data, customer communications professionals can design ever-smarter documents.
The experience expectation
The trouble with the future is that there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The gradual evolution of technology is the same. Tech evolves, leading companies take advantage of it, and then all your customers expect it.
The danger for companies that lag behind is that their interactions feel like chores. Instead of delighting customers, you’re frustrating them, and wasting their time. And your customers know that there’s a better way to do things, because they’ve had better experiences when interacting with your commercial peers.
Digital documents create new opportunities
Yes, your customers expect fast, easy experiences when they interact with your brand, but that’s not the main reason to develop a smarter customer communications practice. Of course, improving the customer experience is a huge benefit that can help you win and retain customers, but there are other benefits:
Up-sell and cross-sell. Your modern CCM solution makes it easy to create targeted offers, so your customers are more likely to upgrade, try new services and take advantage of everything you have to offer.
Smarter marketing. Every document you send can be customised to each customer’s circumstances, past orders, preferences and location. And this customisation doesn’t require thousands of hours of effort. Your team just needs to define the rules; the software does the rest.
Efficiency. Technology makes our work easier. It now takes less time to create, edit, review and despatch your customer communications. With a modern CCM platform, you can manage all of your customer communications on a single platform – even if they’re for different communications channels.
Conversion. Customised messages. Smart documents. Interactive messages. All of these features are about one thing: improving conversion rates. More processes completed. More customers onboarded. More orders. Every small improvement to your conversion rates delivers a boost to your income.
Learn and grow. With alerts, notifications and customisable reports, the modern document creates opportunities to learn from experience and gradually refine the content, format and channels that your brand uses for customer communications.
Compliance. Documents are no longer stored in five different places, compiled using opaque processes or processed by third parties. Digital CCM solutions give you control over your own content, so that every message complies with applicable laws and company branding policies.
Respond to issues. Before documents became integrated with our digital systems, composing, reviewing and sending a message might take weeks. Tangled workflows and reliance on third-parties usually meant that even urgent messages would take longer than a carrier pigeon. But thanks to digital documents, organisations can respond to issues, opportunities and threats with remarkable speed. And even these rushed communications can remain on-brand and fully compliant.
Want to turn your customer communications into remarkable experiences?
The team at DocCentrics can help. We offer a powerful customer communications management (CCM) platform that can help you reach your customers with timely messages across all devices. With DocCentrics, you can spend less time managing your communications and more time delighting your customers. Contact DocCentrics