Andy Moy, director of customer engagement management at Pitney Bowes Software, explains how making small changes to your business can yield big results.
In the course of running a business it can be easy to focus on the activities that seem more likely to yield immediate results, inadvertently letting background processes get out of control. But businesses that take some time to spring clean those processes can achieve significant cost savings and even increase turnover.
These five key functions are ripe for improvement in most businesses and even small changes can yield immediate results.
- Cleanse data
Data informs business intelligence dashboards which are, in turn, used to make decisions. Bad data can lead to bad decisions. Bad data also carries tangible costs. For example, return-to-sender mail and higher delivery costs if the addresses are incorrect or do not include destination point identification coding.
Good data includes matching customer details when a customer has multiple lines of business with the same organisation. This eliminates the costs that occur when the same material is sent to the customer’s address multiple times.
- Manage documents automatically
Businesses communicate with customers regularly. Sometimes the documents are standard forms but, just as often, the letters are created on an ad hoc basis. Dynamic document templates can dramatically reduce the amount of time these documents take. They use a wizard to generate the right content for any given situation, dropping in pre-worded paragraphs chosen based on the answers given in the wizard’s question-and-answer process. This saves time and ensures that the important boiler plate content is locked down and brand integrity is retained.
- Use CRM to ensure the potential customer pipeline is right
It’s not true that any customer is a good customer. Some customers are highly valuable but some actually cost the business money. Organisations are best served by attracting more valuable customers and minimising the less valuable ones. To do this it’s important to employ different strategies for different types of customers. With quality information and accessible customer analytics business can begin to really understand their customers and what they want. Businesses no longer have to pay consultants to figure out their strategy because they can do it themselves. This facilitates a more flexible, nimble approach to strategy, which can lead to increased profits.
- Use location intelligence for a competitive edge
By plotting a customer’s home address, work address and most-frequented locations on a map, it is possible to clearly see ‘spatial’ information such as where customers reside and work, in connection to geodemographic information in their area. This could be their household income and expenditure, their risk profile for insurance purposes and a wealth of other demographic information. This Location Intelligence can then be used to make location-related decisions, like marketing specific products to people in those locations or adjusting insurance premiums according to risk profiles of the location.
- Have higher-value conversations with customers
By changing the technology used in customer engagements, businesses can gain and deliver more value. Take best next action technology: Customer service, sales and retention prompts remind the customer service representative to speak with the customer about topics specifically relevant to them. This technology takes everything a business knows about an individual customer and supports engagement by prompting only information that would be deemed most valuable to that customer. For example, unpaid premiums, new information sources, returned mail, or claim status.
Andy Moy is the director of customer engagement management at Pitney Bowes Software. Across a range of industry verticals, including financial services, telecommunications, retail, automotive and public sector.