How to Implement Transactional Communications Best Practices with Automation

Gina Armada and Ira Brooker    January 31st, 2024

Transactional Communications Best Practices

It might be easy to assume that transactional communications are basically math — just an exchange of numbers on invoices, purchase orders and receipts. In truth, though, having clear and engaging messaging is just as important in transactional communication as in any other external communications. Making sure that transactional documents are accurate, consistent, and informative is good business. By taking care to create documents that contribute to an overall positive experience rather than just serving their basic function, you can build stronger, more trusting customer relationships.

What Are Transactional Communications?

Transactional communications are any documents that help to finalize a transaction between a business and a customer. These documents usually include sensitive financial data and personally identifiable information, which makes them especially sensitive. Transactional communications are often subject to data privacy regulations such as the European Union’s GDPR.

Key Examples of Transactional Communications

Transactional communication covers a lot of ground, and the required documents may vary widely depending on your industry, location, and customers. This list includes many of the most frequently used transactional documents across all organizations.

  • Documents specific to your industry — for example, manufacturing labels, healthcare labels, customer welcome kits, wealth management documents, lab documents, or prescription information
  • Documents requiring e-signatures — for example, contracts, customer quotes, and onboarding documents
  • Documents of payment, such as invoices, billing statements, and dunning notices
  • Customer statements and other documents including customer data
  • Interactive web forms, such as service center and self-service forms
  • Documents related to compliance and regulations
  • Product manuals that match customer selections
  • Any global communications that involve multiple platforms

10 Transactional Communications Best Practices and How to Implement them with CCM

Making sure that your messaging includes all of the necessary elements of transactional communications is not always an easy task. Different industries will follow different regulations and standards, and each customer will have their individual preferences. Even so, there are a number of best practices that any organization can follow to make the transactional communication process run as smoothly as possible.

1. Personalization Goes a Long Way in Transactional Communications

Too many businesses make the mistake of thinking that the only purpose of transactional documents is completing a transaction. By personalizing transactional documents just like your other business communications, you can build stronger, more lasting connections with customers.

Touches like addressing customers by name, acknowledging their purchase histories, and using the tone and language that best connects with them, you show that you value each customer’s individual needs and preferences. That builds the kind of trust necessary to a long-lasting business relationship.

MHC makes it easy to personalize transactional communications based on relevant data and analytics specific to each customer. Personalize messages based on demographics, purchase history, spend, account age, account activity, and other key factors.

2. Create Transactional Documents Quickly and Efficiently

Speed matters when it comes to distributing transactional communications. Making sure that your communications are delivered in a timely fashion boosts confidence in your overall efficiency. For example, customers appreciate an order confirmation that hits their inbox before they’ve even navigated away from your website.

Of course, speed and accuracy do not always go hand-in-hand. Speedy creation and delivery of transactional documents is not a benefit if the information contained is incorrect. Any software solution needs to be able to strike a balance between creating documents quickly and maintaining accuracy and compliance.

MHC offers automated document solutions that give you access to a deep library of templates, reusable content fragments, and brand assets that make document creation faster and more efficient.

3. Integrate Data From An Array of Sources

Assembling a transactional document usually involves pulling data from a variety of sources and platforms. If your solution does not integrate smoothly with any of those data sources, it can slow down document creation considerably.

Best practices for building transactional communications require a system that can pull relevant data smoothly from websites, cloud databases, PDFs, xml, Word documents and other sources. That data can then be integrated directly into your reports and documents.

MHC solutions are designed for seamless integration with virtually any data source, making it easy to pull information from any platform and import it to your communications with minimal human touch points.

4. Deliver Transactional Documents Omnichannel

Just as transactional communications require pulling data from multiple sources, those communications also need to be distributed via a variety of channels. By giving customers options to receive documents and updates via the channel they prefer, you can continue building trust and loyalty.

Omnichannel delivery also allows you to choose how specific messages get communicated. For example, a time-sensitive document like a delivery notification may be better suited for an SMS message, while more detailed or data-heavy documents such as invoices or receipts may be more appropriate as email attachments or paper documents.

MHC automation systems create a consistent transactional communication experience across multiple channels, allowing you to communicate with customers the way they prefer, even when they move between channels.

5. Prioritize Regulatory Compliance

Compliance is a key consideration for transactional communications because they frequently involve sensitive financial information and personally identifiable customer data. Those materials are subject to a wide range of regulations, including the European Union’s GDPR.

Not only does an emphasis on compliance help your organization avoid the fines, penalties, and reputational damage that comes with a compliance violation, it also strengthens customer relationships. In an era of rampant cybercrime and data theft, a system that values security and compliance gives customers more peace of mind.

MHC offers a centralized template control dashboard that makes it quick and easy to make updates and adjustments that flow across all of your communications, allowing you to adapt to changes in regulations.

6. Accurate Translations Keep the Conversation Flowing

No matter your location or industry, the chances are good that your customer base includes people who speak a variety of languages. Being able to communicate with customers in the language they prefer not only builds trust, but also helps you avoid confusion and errors.

In many cases, an incomplete or inaccurate translation may actually be more damaging than no translation at all. A solution that can adapt to a wide range of languages while keeping your transactional communications on-brand and your information correct helps ensure that you’re serving as wide an audience as possible.

Implement it with Automated Translations

Automating transactional communications with MHC allows you to use a single template to create and reuse transactional messaging for a wide range of audiences across the world.

7. Make Transactional Documents Smart

Transactional communications are a natural fit for interactivity. A software solution that makes it easy to create smart documents allows you to include fillable form fields, video and audio files, hyperlinks, clickable buttons, photo galleries, and downloadable PDF forms.

Expanding the range of assets available in a transactional document not only creates a more engaging and interactive experience for customers, it can also be a valuable source of customer data that provides deeper insights into which elements of your transactional communications are working well and which areas can use improvement.

Creating smart documents with MHC software provides a self-service experience that empowers customers and provides available-anywhere visibility into valuable real-time data.

8. Time Your Communications Right

While speed is an important consideration for transactional communications, it is not the only time factor that you need to keep in mind. Timing your messages strategically can be an excellent advantage for keeping customers engaged and aware.

For example, sending out a payment reminder too soon after an order has been made can come across as impatient or pushy, while sending too many communications in too short a time can annoy customers. Scheduling messages to be distributed only when they make strategic sense is a much more useful approach.

Discover the 6 Benefits of Automated Communications for Business

MHC solutions make scheduling communications a snap with intuitive, easy-to-use tools that allow you to define participants and configure workflow processes without getting the IT department involved.

9. Understand the Customer Journey

Knowing how customers really interact with your organization is an invaluable tool for creating more efficient processes and more effective transactional communications. Mapping customer journeys is the surest way to understand the way customers receive your messaging, and what you can do to improve it.

A strong customer journey map tracks how customers first discover your business, how they navigate your processes, what challenges and problems they encounter, how they decide whether or not to make a purchase, and many other valuable insights into how well your organization is meeting customers’ needs.

Automatically mapping your customer journeys with MHC software makes it simple to generate insights, track data, and make adjustments that help you solidify customer relationships and communicate more efficiently.

10. Keep Branding Up to Date on Transactional Documents

Maintaining consistency across all communications can be a challenge, especially for businesses dealing in high volumes of documents or a wide range of audiences. If branding, logos, or other assets vary from message to message, customers can get the impression that your business does not hold itself to strict enough quality standards.

A scalable solution that ensures consistent branding across all transactional communications regardless of document volume helps to keep your brand front and center while also communicating an attention to detail and consistency that will resonate well with customers.

MHC offers a deep library of customizable templates that allow you to personalize messaging for a wide range of customers while keeping your branding and business assets consistent.

Streamline Transactional Communications with MHC

Following these best practices is an excellent move toward changing the way your organization approaches transactional communication. Engaging, personalized messaging moves transactional documents from a bland necessity to a vital tool that helps you build customer loyalty and reinforce your brand.

Ready to get a first-hand look at the transactional communication possibilities offered by MHC? Contact us today to schedule a free demonstration from one of our in-house experts. We’ll create a demonstration tailored to your organization’s specific needs and show you how MHC can create a consistent customer communication experience that keeps your messaging clear, personalized, and relevant to your audience.

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Gina Armada

Gina Armada is the Chief Executive Officer for MHC, offering over 24 years of experience leveraging technology to deliver business solutions and generate value for customers. Gina leads MHC in consistently delivering intelligent workflow and content automation solutions that organizations can rely upon to streamline their operations, optimize productivity, and increase engagement with customers. Gina worked at Accenture until she joined MHC in 2008, serving in multiple roles until she was named CEO in 2019. When Gina isn’t piloting the growth of MHC’s solutions and services, she is active in coaching youth sports and loves spending free time with family and friends.

Ira Brooker

Ira Brooker is a freelance writer and editor based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been writing blogs and copy about software-as-a-service solutions for most of the past decade. Before exploring accounts payable and workflow solutions with MHC, he wrote about fields including cybersecurity, workforce management, online accessibility, audiology, retail sales, and much more. When he’s not doing business writing, he also indulges in writing fiction, journalism, arts criticism, and bar trivia.

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