Recently Crawford Technologies, in partnership with AIIM, the global community for information professionals, conducted a market survey into customer communications archiving practices. The survey had 226 respondents from North America and Western Europe from a range of sectors including government, banking, insurance, telco/media/utilities and healthcare. Essentially, the survey provides an insight into the trends affecting customer communication archiving.
One of the key findings of the report is that only 39% of organizations archive outbound correspondence. More than one third selectively archive, whilst 9% do not archive at all. Drilling down into these figures in more detail it is interesting to note that 37% of respondents indicate selective archival. When we started thinking about this at Crawford it made perfect sense because whilst some customer communications are relatively simple others contain personal data and may be subject to compliance. For example, insurance policy correspondence is regulated and needs to be retained for at least three years after the policy expires. Whereas marketing literature and newsletters are not subject to these rules.
Across the industries that we work our customers archive correspondence for compliance reasons. For example, the Financial Services Authority Insurance Conduct of Business Guidelines (FSA ICOB) in the United Kingdom govern this for UK insurers. The reach of these regulations can be interesting; whilst working with Centrica/British Gas in the UK we found that despite being a utility company they were also subject to insurance regulations because their maintenance contracts were considered an insurance policy.
As regulation and compliance across industries increases we expected to see a continued and growing need for customer communications.
AIIM’s report is a great place to look at the trends associated with customer correspondence archiving and can be downloaded here.
And look out for our next blog in the “Trends in Customer Communications Archiving” series.
If you haven't read the previous blogs in this series I invite you to read them here: