Correspondence Management Software: A Scalable Approach to Customer Communication
Ira Brooker September 20th, 2022
In any enterprise organization, a big portion of the workday is dedicated to communicating with customers. Exchanging documents, sending emails, and sending other high-volume communications are the functions that keep a business running, but finding a business correspondence management solution that makes dealing with all of those communications a smooth and simple process is a consistent challenge. That’s why automated customer correspondence management systems can make such a difference in an organization’s day-to-day operations.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What is Customer Correspondence Management?
- What Are the Top Challenges of the Correspondence Management Process?
- Correspondence Management Software Features
- Managing Customer Correspondence Across the Entire Journey
- The Benefits of Using Correspondence Management Solutions
- Explore our Correspondence Management Live Samples
What is Customer Correspondence Management?
Correspondence management as part of a fully integrated customer communications management software solution gives organizations the flexibility to deliver a full range of automated and personal correspondence. A quality solution allows you to create correspondence in-batch, on-demand, or interactively.
Documents are automatically populated using customer data, and can incorporate customers’ individual preferences so that correspondence is received in the preferred format and channel. A software solution also allows you to implement complex review and approval processes, as well as automate legal review, and trigger compliance checks. The organization is in total control of every correspondence.
What Are the Top Challenges of the Correspondence Management Process?
It may seem self-evident that managing high-volume communications without some kind of correspondence software solution presents some major challenges, but it’s still worth taking a look at just how important streamlining those functions can be to a busy organization. Without a reliable, automated customer correspondence system in place, an organization puts itself at risk for:
STRAINED CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
If your customers regularly receive slow responses, incorrect documentation, irrelevant information, or communications that are not personalized to their particular needs, they may seek better service elsewhere. An automated correspondence solution helps to ensure that every valued customer feels seen and understood by your organization.
LACK OF TRANSPARENCY
One of the biggest keys to improving your communications process is having visibility into what does and does not work for your organization. Without a centralized, automated customer correspondence software system, it can be all too easy to mistake or overlook areas where communications slow down or break down all together. More visibility also makes it easier to demonstrate the effectiveness of your processes to customers, helping to establish trust that leads to lasting relationships.
GREATER CHANCE OF ERROR
The more human touch points involved in your correspondence process, the greater the risk of human error. When your organization is dealing with high-volume communications on a daily basis, even seemingly minor errors can result in costly delays. Automating your correspondence management helps to ensure that your communications are handled the right way every time.
To put it bluntly, humans take longer to accomplish tasks than automation. By consolidating your correspondence processes under one management solution rather than keeping them fragmented across multiple departments, you can cut down on the time your teams spend on day-to-day communications and free them up to focus on more pressing tasks.
LACK OF USEFUL INSIGHTS
Data analytics drive nearly every aspect of the modern business process, and that includes customer correspondence. By employing correspondence tracking software, you can generate important insights into the ways you and your customers communicate productively and achieve more measurable results.
Correspondence Management Software Features
Choosing the best correspondence management system for your organization depends largely on your specific needs and preferences, but there are some key features nearly every organization should look for.
If your correspondence management solution cannot easily integrate with your existing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, you will be unable to maximize the benefits of an automated solution.
Being able to accurately capture both digital and paper-based correspondence is an important feature for any organization that deals with paper documentation (which includes most businesses).
Being able to personalize correspondence to match the needs and goals of each individual customer, whether digital or paper-based, is an important part of building and maintaining strong customer relationships.
Storing all required internal and external correspondence securely and in compliance with all applicable regulations and industry standards is crucial to any organization that wants to uphold its reputation and stay compliant in an audit.
Managing Customer Correspondence
Across the Entire Journey
A correspondence management system addresses the communication process for each meaningful point in the customer journey – from contract to invoice and all the way to personalized offers. It also enables companies to manage each step of the customer interaction and get the most out of the customer relationship. Here’s how:
BE MINDFUL OF CUSTOMER ONBOARDING
Every touchpoint is of high importance, but it all hinges on the first one. Understanding the value of a first impression can actually be crucial for more than attracting new customers. Research suggests that a positive onboarding experience is linked to higher retention. Excellent correspondence must be visible from the very start.
Brand presence can be as much a part of the onboarding experience as a phone conversation with the customer. Your customer’s first experience with the brand needs to clearly demonstrate the company’s mission and how its services can benefit the people that need them.
The opening message needs to clearly convey the brand message and provide insight into the company’s expertise. Correspondence management software provides control over essential elements such as the appearance of logos and colors, and the content of customer-facing documents.
KEEP THE CORRESPONDENCE MEANINGFUL
For the following parts of the customer correspondence timeline, every touch point becomes as important as the last. Leverage customer correspondence management software to provide excellent support for customers. Deliver omnichannel digital communications that provide customers with extensive data in formats that make it easy to access and analyze.
Deliver communications when, where, and how the customers choose. Enable them to select the best channels for them. Using integrated CCM software makes this easy because the content and data for the documents and how they are sent is informed directly by the customer correspondence management database.
Then, via document assembly, company communications amass customer data as well as branding elements for that specific document type (logos, brand messages, etc.). The result is a document tailored to the customer’s preferences that encompasses the full amount of required data, and REMAINS in line with the company’s brand identity.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO INITIATE THE NEXT STEPS
Correspondence management software enables organizations to satisfy the needs and preferences of your entire customer range. For each of your customers, you can develop complex profiles to get a broader view of their needs. That allows you to predict what customers want before they ask for it.
Aside from simply reacting to customer activity, companies can actually see where the need is based on a customer journey map. This maps their entire experience with the brand, outlining the pressure points they encounter along the way. This information is crucial to building an in-depth profile for each customer.
Based on this, companies can make personalized offers based on the customer’s purchase patterns. Customer needs can be anticipated and, most importantly, changes can be made to eliminate the problem areas along the customer journey. The result is a superior service to the customer and increased revenue for the company.
The Benefits of Using
Correspondence Management Solutions
Customer correspondence management software enables companies of all sizes to meet the needs of their customers. The communication generation process is optimized to create and send out perfectly targeted correspondence. Pleasing the individual customer, playing to their convenience with the right data and delivery methods, can boost retention, increase sales, and raise brand notoriety in the long term. Find out more about the many benefits that come with correspondence automation:
An Economical Alternative to Legacy Systems
Some companies house different communications solutions from various providers. They manage customer data, document production, design, and delivery all as individual tools, together in a legacy system, where the IT department is tasked with ensuring the pieces run together smoothly. The bottom line is that maintaining these systems is complicated.
Even the highest-functioning legacy system poses some financial and operational risk to internal activity. When solutions come from different places, the integrity of the system is staggered. The risk is for one or more of these solutions to become permanently out of service (depending on how old it is, it could crash or the provider might no longer provide support), in which case the company must spend valuable time and funds reworking the entire system to keep correspondence afloat.
The longer the legacy system is in use, the more likely this is to happen. While funds can be allocated to replace the solution, once it is running again, the company is just as vulnerable as it was before. Correspondence management software frees organization from this because it covers the full range of solutions, from data management to document assembly and digital delivery. It eliminates the need for individual solutions that are compatible with the system and the costly implementation process that follows.
Improved Workflow Management
One of the most valuable gains that come with implementing correspondence management software is time. The resources poured into managing complex legacy systems are better spent elsewhere, as demonstrated by big businesses that have already managed to upgrade.
Document generation and other communications activity is no longer restricted to technical personnel. It’s a much easier environment to navigate, giving anyone on the team – content writers, graphic designers, managers – the ability to apply their expertise to the correspondence creation process. Now the IT department can devote more energy to ensuring that customer data and communications are secure and running smoothly, without having to dabble in non-technical areas.
Collaboration is an important benefit of correspondence management solutions, but along with that comes the ability for managers to oversee the operations with greater ease. While each contributor to the correspondence creation process works their magic, managers can exercise their roles in overseeing each step in the procedure to completion. Whatever the phase, executives and project coordinators can keep a close watch over progress to make sure tasks are being completed to their fullest potential.
Customer Correspondence at Scale
Correspondence management software allows companies of all sizes to produce documents twice as fast as a legacy system, for however many customers they want to reach. Organizations can choose whether to implement the system in the cloud or on-premise, whichever is best suited to their infrastructure. Mission-critical documents can then be securely stored in the cloud or on the company’s servers.
With the system in place, companies can send perfectly targeted correspondence to every customer. Via omnichannel delivery, documents can be sent out by SMS, email, print, and more, while legacy systems might employ separate solutions for each delivery method. With correspondence management, organizations can engage each customer on the channels they prefer, and their correspondence can further adapt to their needs as the customer relationship progresses.
Companies will have the ability to deliver customer data in new, interesting ways. They can provide customers with interactive documents containing graphics and tables and even deliver promotional content for other services relevant to their needs along with their correspondence. All of these elements would be based on customer demographics or on what customers have made clear in their preferences. The longer the relationship with the customer, the more data the company obtains and the more precise their correspondence have the potential to be.
Discover our Correspondence Management
See correspondence management in action by exploring these samples. Click to see how new-age technology can take correspondence to an entirely new level! If you want to see more examples, visit our sample library!
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In a modern enterprise setting, handling your all-important customer correspondence functions via outdated and inefficient processes is a surefire recipe for confusion and broken customer relationships. MHC provides automated customer correspondence solutions that save time, create deeper visibility, and keep correspondence meaningful for all parties involved. Contact us today to schedule a demonstration of the many ways MHC solutions can keep your organization communicating the way your customers demand.