Denise McCauley, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, WoodmenLife
Today’s customer demands relevant, personal and timely communications brought to them via their preferred channels. Delivering this type of communication is key to engaging customers and building loyalty.
Achieving this level of communication has proven to be a challenge in the insurance industry due to legacy systems created in the 1950’s with the purpose of storing data, rather than making it accessible to use to effectively communicate with customers. However, developments in technology and transformations in managed print solutions are allowing insurers to move beyond legacy systems to communicate with customers more effectively.
In order to be successful in engaging with their customers, organizations today need to adopt an omni-channel communications strategy. Doing so allows them to seamlessly guide acquisition, fulfillment and retention across multiple channels; enable pro-active, personalized and timely communication; influence customer behavior through data analytics; and ultimately enhance the customer experience. Upgrading technology to enable this type of strategy is a daunting and expensive proposition. By partnering with companies specializing in customer communication management, businesses are able to embrace changes to their communication without making significant investments in existing technology.
Traditionally, communication from insurance agencies has consisted of text-only letters which are impersonal and difficult to read and understand. Today, partnerships with outside vendors allow for the reimagining of customer correspondence. Communication can now be personalized and can include color, graphics, special messaging, and more. Customer communications can be delivered electronically or in the manner preferred by the recipient. This ultimately enhances the customer experience and improves read rates.
Working with an outside vendor also allows for significant cost savings by offering omni-channel solutions without requiring capital investment. Companies can take advantage of vendor expertise and technology, allowing them to evolve capabilities over time without continual upfront investment. In addition, they can enjoy economies of scale to lower costs on pre-sort, postage and paper.
WoodmenLife has taken advantage of third-party vendor expertise to move towards vastly improved customer communication. As the initial starting point, we have migrated our legacy files to our vendor, enabling us to automate functions. Additionally, working with a third-party vendor has allowed us to move away from manual inserting. Ultimately, this allows us to save on replacement of printers at the end of their lifespan and to avoid making continued upgrades in hardware. This positions us for better print and mail pricing.
As we redesign our documents and transition to omni-channel solutions, we are able to provide improved, personalized communications which can be customized through data analytics. In addition, we have simplified communications using plain language in order to rebuild our communications in line with our brand. We will be able to have fully integrated documents that include in-line printing of checks and marketing materials.
As an organization, our strategy is to focus on our core competencies. We want to invest our resources in ensuring that we are helping to secure our customers’ financial futures and strengthen their communities. Partnering with vendors that are best-in-breed in the industry allows us to keep our focus on our mission. We are able to take advantage of leading edge technology without making large financial investments.
In today’s business climate, it is imperative that organizations offer customer-focused solutions and competitively priced products. Partnering with an expert customer communication management vendor is one way to help achieve those business goals.