April 26, 2017

Are Your Documents Helping or Hurting the Customer Experience?

computer monitor in digital world

An often untapped area for document re-engineering is the concept of modifying documents to support an organization’s customer experience (CX) objectives. Though not always recognized as such, the documents organizations use to communicate with their customers have a big influence on the customer experience.

Customer-facing documents can help companies achieve their CX goals; but only if organizations put forth a conscious effort to do so. Re-engineering is often the quickest and least-expensive path to improved customer relationships through documents.

Most companies have specific challenges that drive their investments in document re-engineering software like Crawford Technologies’ Operations Express. They need to generate barcodes for their inserting equipment, create index files for archiving, or generate the control data used for document production tracking. Other customers see value in changing document layouts or adding color elements.

There are scores of cosmetic and operational adjustments that document-producers can accomplish by manipulating print files instead of changing program source code. Document re-engineering is a great tool to have in the arsenal; especially for print/mail service providers whose only data sources may be the print files.

Documents: An Important CX Factor

While customers may visit a website, use a mobile app, or call customer service occasionally, they are repeatedly exposed to printed and digital documents such as bills, statements, and notices. These consistently pushed communications are instrumental in how customers perceive the organizations with which they do business.

The same document re-engineering software that creates mailing machine barcodes can make those customer communications more relevant, personalized, and useful. Important transactional communications like monthly bills and statements get plenty of attention from customers. They represent an ideal, but seldom appreciated, opportunity to boost customer relationships.

  • One way to improve the customer experience is anticipating customer questions and answering them right on the document, or directing customers to online resources that can help them. If a biller notices a spike in customer service calls whenever they bill for annual credit card fees, for instance, they can insert explanatory text on those bills that include such a fee.
  • Document producers can also address other frequently asked questions in this way, such as instructions for setting up automated payments or links to online tools to help customers decide about switching cell phone plans.
  • With access to historical data, billers can display maintenance suggestions timed to a prior product purchase or replenishment reminders for supplies based on past usage. A utility might include seasonal messages, such as changing the furnace filters or insulating water heaters, depending on local weather conditions.
  • If customers are not taking advantage of special programs such as discounts for paying early, document re-engineering software can reposition the text, add color, or include eye-catching graphics to call attention to the helpful messages.
  • Businesses with physical sites can print maps showing customers the nearest store location, or companies can use graphics to highlight important deadlines like renewal dates, or draw the eye to special offers included in bills and statements.

Many companies rely on legacy systems to create customer-facing documents. Document re-engineering software like Operations Express can improve those documents despite the limitations of aging document composition systems. Unlike many CX improvement projects, document producers can change documents quickly through re-engineering. Companies can realize the benefits of improved customer experiences sooner. There is no process disruption and document operations can make the improvements themselves, without requiring IT resources.

Companies using document re-engineering for operational improvements already have a tool to improve the customer experience. Small changes in the documents can have a big impact on customer relationships.