1 Solutions for Enabling Lifetime Customer Relationships The Actionable Barcode How organizations have turned a new postal mandate into much-needed customer insight WHITE PAPER: CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT Kevin Ricks Principal Product Manager Pitney Bowes Software
2 WHITE PAPER: CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT The Actionable Barcode How organizations have turned a new postal mandate into much-needed customer insight 2 ABSTRACT THERE S NO SHORTAGE OF CUSTOMER DATA, SO ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO HOME IN ON INFORMATION THAT S ACTIONABLE DATA THAT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN DAY-TO-DAY RESULTS. IDC FORECASTS THAT INVESTMENTS IN BIG DATA TECHNOLOGIES AND SERVICES WILL GROW TO NEARLY $10 BILLION IN 2013; WHILE ANALYTICS AND BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE RANKS AS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY AMONG CIOS. 1 THIS FOCUS IS NOT SURPRISING, AS EXECUTIVES FROM ALL DISCIPLINES MARKETING, FINANCE, OPERATIONS, AND CUSTOMER CARE ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO ENHANCE THE OVERALL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE. WITH ACTIONABLE DATA AND ANALYTICS, DEPARTMENTS CAN UNDERSTAND CUSTOMER NEEDS, PREDICT BEHAVIORS, TAKE MORE PROACTIVE ACTION AND ENGAGE CUSTOMERS MORE EFFECTIVELY. TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THE SHORT RUN, ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LOW HANGING FRUIT: THOSE SPECIFIC AREAS WHERE CUSTOMER DATA CAN BE READILY CAPTURED, ANALYZED AND INTEGRATED INTO EXISTING BUSINESS APPLICATIONS. ONE SUCH AREA INVOLVES A NEW CLASS OF POSTAL DATA, A BARCODE THAT HELPS ORGANIZATIONS DERIVE INSIGHTS BY TRACKING ALL INCOMING AND OUTGOING MAIL. WHILE REQUIRED FOR POSTAL DISCOUNTS, THE INSIGHTS DRIVEN FROM THIS NEW INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODE ARE ALREADY MAKING A SIGNIFICANT BOTTOM-LINE IMPACT ACROSS MANY ORGANIZATIONS. 1 Gartner Executive Program Survey, January
3 THE INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODE, MAKES IT EASY TO MONITOR AND TRACK THE FLOW OF MAIL The critical nature of mail-based intelligence. 3 With the adoption of digital channels, mail is no longer the only means to connect with customers. At the same time, mail remains an essential channel in customer engagement. The 160 billion mail pieces delivered each year include the communications most critical to a company s bottom line: applications, invoices, remittance payments, contacts, plastics, notifications, welcome kits, compliance disclosures and responses to marketing efforts. The Intelligent Mail barcode makes it easy to monitor and track the flow of mail as it goes from companies to customers, and from customers to companies. This visibility provides near real-time data that specifies the location of each communication that s in the postal mail stream. While most business managers spend little time thinking about mail production, the value of this new mail-based intelligence has already attracted hundreds of top corporations who have adopted the Intelligent Mail barcode early in order to drive incremental revenue, reduce business expenses, streamline processes and engage with customers. By finding ways to integrate mail-based data into business processes, and in some cases, automate decisions with on-demand business analytics, these organizations can: increase response to marketing efforts provide accurate, timely customer service expedite cash flow and reduce the cost of funds eliminate waste and redundancies retain the best customers New tools include event-driven data platforms that capture business events in real time, aggregate intelligence, apply rules and can even trigger queries when predefined thresholds have been reached.
4 WHITE PAPER: CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT The Actionable Barcode How organizations have turned a new postal mandate into much-needed customer insight The Mailroom Perspective 4 Use of Full-Service Intelligent Mail will be required as of January 26, 2014 in order to qualify for the lowest postal rates. While mail production teams will be focused on how to minimize postage costs and comply with all USPS rules, a well-managed implementation could also have significant business benefits: Postage savings. Organizations who do not comply with the new Intelligent Mail requirements will no longer be able to earn automation-rate discounts. For some companies, this translates into millions of dollars. Save big on returned mail. In many companies, returned mail is considered a cost of doing business. But the true cost is far greater than many executives care to admit. When you add up the print and mail costs for the initial mailer, increased call volumes, added handling, and the subsequent r , costs could run between $3.00 and $11.00 per piece. With Intelligent Mail, services organizations can capture the data needed to update addresses and reduce Undeliverable-as-Addressed mail. One insurance company decreased the total number of returned mail pieces by nearly 40%, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. Generate low-cost proof of mailings. To safeguard delivery, many companies spend thousands of dollars on Certified Mail and Delivery Confirmation. Now, the verifiable data generated as part of the Intelligent Mail tracking can quickly resolve a wide range of disputes. Information can be archived and shared with internal constituents, service bureaus, regulators, senior management and others to verify compliance and streamline service-level agreement management. In addition, USPS performance can also be validated to help identify lapses in service delivery. For one company, delivery status costs on cancellation notices dropped from $0.30 per piece to $0.015 per piece, generating $285,000 in savings, month after month. Improve deliverability. Every year, over 40 million Americans move to a new residence and many make no effort to let you know. While the Postal Service TM will forward some of those communications (possibly delaying the overall call to action), it is important to identify those communications that are simply destroyed by the Postal Service TM. By knowing what mail is undeliverable, organizations can engage those customers through alternate channels and obtain address corrections, making it easier for to reach more customers, more often. In simplest terms, this data connects companies with their customers creating an automated, two-way dialog that can feed essential data on customer engagements to marketing, customer care, billing and finance. Organizations can monitor and track customer interactions automatically, including confirmation of all incoming and outgoing communications. Plus, they can get immediate feedback when customers move to a new address or other changes that could negatively impact one s ability to communicate with them in a timely manner.
5 GAINING THE INTELLIGENCE TO TRACE DELIVERY FROM BEGINNING TO END OFFERS COMPANIES A POWERFUL TOOL Seven ways to improve the Customer Experience. 5 Given the focus on revenue growth, managers in all departments have been tasked to create a superior, simple, engaging customer experience eliminating the hurdles that make it difficult to do business. One of the reasons why Intelligent Mail applications are so attractive is that the data is based on actual customer transactions; information that most customers expect you to have available at your fingertips. By managing this single source of data better, improvements can be made across dozens of key customer touchpoints, including billing, automated response units, customer care, collections and online account management. A small sampling of Intelligent Mail applications include: 1. Reduce cancellations When you don t receive payment, you have every right to cancel service. But every week, utilities, telcos and other companies spend thousands of dollars disconnecting service only to reinstate these customers a few days later when payment is received. In regulated industries, such as insurance, the cost to cancel and re-issue policies is even greater as multiple communications are required. These costs, including the corresponding strain on customer relationships, can be avoided in many cases by incorporating mail-based intelligence into your operations. Barcoding remittance coupons, for example, provides notification of incoming payments up to three or more days in advance, giving you the insights you need to make smarter business decisions. 2. Manage risks and decrease fraud When high-value mail such as checks and credit cards do not reach their intended destination, that could signal an instance of theft or potential fraud. Items can be taken from the production floor of a third-party mail shop or lost in transit. It is even possible that communications and payments can be redirected to a new address by the named recipient in an attempt to disguise their home location. Gaining the intelligence to trace delivery from beginning to end offers companies a powerful tool that can help manage risk and identify potential issues before they become a liability. 3. Collect more effectively With precise knowledge of when customer remittances enter the postal system, you can eliminate excuses ( the check is in the mail ) and prioritize who and who not to contact saving in excess of $5.00 for every call you can avert. You can also suppress production of unnecessary dunning notices, which leads to big savings in both printing and postage costs. At one leading credit card company, Intelligent Mail proved far more profitable than the power of persuasion. Verifiable tracking data on payments entering the USPS slashed outbound call volume by 18% and generated annual savings in the millions, with no reduction in collection efficiency. 4. Optimize call center staffing Across the country, telemarketing teams are waiting for customers to pick up the phone and respond. Each call is important because it represents a possible new order. And when it comes to call center staffing, timing is everything. With too few agents, calls go unanswered; having more agents than needed adds a tremendous cost. As so much direct mail is sent standard class with delivery times ranging from two days to two weeks being able to pinpoint delivery dates with precision allows marketers to optimize call center staffing, ensuring the right number of agents, no more, no less, are ready to take new orders on any given day.
6 WHITE PAPER: CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT The Actionable Barcode How organizations have turned a new postal mandate into much-needed customer insight 6 5. Target in-home windows. The ability to track and monitor mail delivery across the country also provides marketers with a competitive edge: the ability to plan communications so that they arrive at precisely the right time. Whether it s the opening of a new bank branch, a special sale for a retailer or an invitation to an exclusive customer event, the ability to design a marketing campaign so that it reaches its target audience on a certain date can increase response and avoid the embarrassment (and wasted expense) of mailings that arrive too late. Such tracking also makes it easier to deliver a true multichannel experience, as marketers can now better synchronize mail, and social media engagements.more days in advance, giving you the insights you need to make smarter business decisions. 6. Create more efficient call center experiences In many call centers, a high percentage of calls are related to mail communications confirming whether parcels, payments and orders have been sent or received. With Intelligent Mail barcodes, exact delivery status can be tracked from your production floor right through to delivery; and you can make that information available to customers through AVR and web-based portals, eliminating follow-up calls and inquiries. The ability to monitor and track the status of mail-based communications including check disbursement, fulfillment kits, statements and compliance notifications also arms representatives with the facts they need to respond to customer inquiries with speed and accuracy. 7. Make better fee-waiver decisions If there s any confusion as to when a bill was received or when the payment was sent, many companies will forego legitimate late fee charges in the interest of customer service. Armed with precise information, however, customer service reps will have the confidence they need to make smarter decisions. At one leading financial services firm, intelligent tracking proved far more profitable than the benefit of the doubt. Verifiable tracking data on payments entering the USPS resulted in fewer late-fee waivers, generating $15 million in additional revenue.
7 MANY COMPANIES HAVE ALREADY INTEGRATED DATA DERIVED FROM THE INTELLIGENT MAIL BARCODE INTO CRITICAL BUSINESS PROCESSES The Intelligent Mail barcode: Turning insight into action 7 Organizations looking to demonstrate a return on investments in data and analytics have taken steps to realize maximize value from a new postal requirement, the Intelligent Mail barcode. With the right tools, you organizations can boost customer engagement and ROI enterprise-wide with insights and intelligence you gain from your mail. Required in order to realize postal discounts, many companies have already integrated data derived from the Intelligent Mail barcode into critical business processes. With solutions from Pitney Bowes Software, these organizations are turning a postal mandate into customer insight that informs customer interactions across every channel providing for generous financial gains. To learn more, call or visit
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