When the two market leaders in an industry simultaneously unveil new brand identities, it is fair to assume that that industry is going through a process of reinvention. This is certainly true of the mailing industry, which
for a number of years has been undergoing fundamental change as organisations increasingly use digital channels as fast, flexible and economical alternatives to postal communications.
Like any great change, digitisation represents both a threat and an opportunity for established suppliers and their customers as they seek to cut costs, increase efficiency and improve communications effectiveness.
As experts in mailing solutions, data accuracy, output management software and document management, Neopost is uniquely well placed to help new and existing customers maximise the benefits of digitisation by streamlining the creation, distribution, processing and storage of digital, as well as printed, documents.
Today, our product portfolio provides businesses of all sizes with everything they need to deliver the right message to the right person via the right medium at the right time – and manage in-bound documents in unified processes regardless of whether they are received electronically or through the post.
Neopost’s new brand identity, unveiled earlier this year, is a clear statement of our capabilities in document creation, distribution and management.
Our new strapline – Send. Receive. Connect. – provides a neat summation of our capabilities, while the new logo offers a link to Neopost’s 90+ year heritage in mailing solutions.
This is an important connection to make, for in this age of electronic communications mail still matters. Mail volumes are predicted to decline at a rate of about 3% per year. However, it remains a trusted, reliable, effective means of communication that is still preferred to digital methods for formal and confidential communications or for conveying emotion.
Neopost’s expertise in mail and digital communications enables customers to develop truly integrated communications strategies that are necessary if they are to maximise communications effectiveness, save money and improve productivity.
As our strapline makes clear, businesses that improve how they send and receive communications, for example by enhancing accuracy, eliminating delays, personalising content or respecting customer preferences, will make a stronger connection and develop closer, longer lasting relationships with customers.
So what are some of the key trends in business communications that we address through our products and services portfolio?
Multi-channel.Businesses no longer rely on just one or two methods of communication. Today, all organisations use a mix of channels to communicate with customers, including the post, email, web links and fixed and mobile telephony. The transition to multichannel communications is being driven by businesses – sometimes as a cost-cutting measure, sometimes to improve business agility – and by their customers who like the immediacy and convenience of text messages and email. However, there is still a place for mail, especially for official or confidential communications and in direct marketing.
Rapid response. Electronic communications and digitisation have transformed people’s expectations. Whether in relation to a query or the initiation of a business process, such as an account opening or loan approval, people want instant results. No business can rely solely on slow paper-based processes and hope to remain competitive.
Personalisation.Businesses can no longer get away with sending the same message to all customers. In order to generate deeper relationships with customers and maximise response rates to marketing campaigns, business have to be more intelligent in their customer interactions. Today, communications is all about personalisation. From salutations in letters or greeting a caller by name to personalised offers that take into account a recipient’s buying history, it is important to show customers that they are valued. This is easier to do with digital communications, but is expected and achievable in print, too.
Customer choice/Flexibility. Personalisation/customisation isn’t a one-way process; today customers have a say, too, particularly around the type of material they wish to receive and how they wish to receive it. People’s preferences vary and it is becoming increasingly important to have the flexibility to enable customers to choose how and when you contact them. This means being able to integrate different communication channels to ensure compliance and to avoid duplication and loss of control.
Compliance. Rising concern over the security of personal data and greater enforcement of data protection laws make it vitally important to handle personal data securely or risk large fines. Confidential data should be protected throughout the whole document process, from creation and processing to distribution and storage.
Businesses should also ensure that they respect the wishes of consumers who have registered with the Telephone Preference Service or Mail Preference Service and only contact them via permitted channels.
These trends raise some interesting questions and challenges for businesses of all sizes at every stage of their digital transformation.
- How do you maintain control and consistency across multiple channels?
- How do you integrate electronic and paper-based communications to eliminate delays and duplication?
- How do you prevent bottlenecks caused by two-paced paper and digital processes?
- How do you capture and maintain accurate contact details (phone, mobile phone, email, social media and mailing) for existing customers and prospects?
- How do you retain visibility of communications via multiple channels?
- How do you treat people as individuals by sending them information relevant to their needs and interests?
- How do you integrate paper and digital workflows and business processes?
- How do you give employees a unified view of all communications so that they can resolve queries quickly?
At the same time as tackling these questions, organisations of all sizes are under pressure to save money, improve productivity and demonstrate communications effectiveness.
These imperatives can work against each other. For example, to save costs several large organisations now charge customers for receiving a paper bill. But what impact might this have on customer satisfaction and loyalty? Likewise, for cost reasons there may be a temptation to switch entirely to e-marketing. Yet, research shows that digital marketing campaigns are more effective if backed up with direct mail.
With expertise in both paperbased and digital communications and a history of helping organisations of all sizes save money and increase productivity through greater use of automated solutions, our consultants are able to propose the optimum solution for each organisation based on their needs (and those of their customers), now and in the future.
To find out more about how Neopost can help you improve your customer communications and business processes, please call us on 08000 855367 or visit www.neopost.co.uk/printitwhere you can find information on our products and download case studies and whitepapers.