9 Reasons email is best for the delivery of confidential customer documents

Blog post   •   Jul 18, 2012 16:02 BST

I don’t need to preach the advantages of email, but it seems many of its clear advantages are not being utilized when it comes to communicating with customers on confidential matters – such as sending them a statement or insurance contract document. The confidential nature of these documents has previously prevented them from being emailed over the “public” internet. 

Customer experience drives adoption
The current process is that these documents are housed on a secure website and an email notification is sent to customers to login (or even register first) to retrieve them. This is not a great experience for customers who then quickly opt to receive paper documents again. 

The solution to this problem is to send the secure document by email , but to protect the confidential information by encrypting the document and applying a password to open it. 

This immediately takes the pain away from the customer, allowing them to replace the opening of an envelope with clicking on an attachment directly from the email - so much easier than having to visit a website and login. It also plays to the strengths of email. 

Here are nine reasons why email is king for delivering secure documents

Customer adoptionDue to the nature of email, it’s so much easier to get customers to opt-in to receive documents via email, compared to asking them to register and then visit a portal. Registration is a barrier, as it requires the customer to remember yet another username and password.
Reduce phishing concernsSince you’re not asking customers to visit a website from the email, the phishing concerns are significantly reduced. The document is attached and the email contains authentication information on each customer.
Ease of useIt’s easy for the customer to open and save these documents. No registration is required, instead the document password is a “Shared Secret” which is a mixture of known information about the customer (birth date and postal code as an example). Coupled with password protection to your inbox, this provides adequate security of the documents.
Reduce payment timeEmail bills arrive quickly and most often sooner than the paper. In our experience we’ve found that more than 50% of customers pay within two days of receiving the email bill, which is a significant improvement on paper processes.
Increase self serviceAdvanced functionality can be included in the attachment, such as payment calculators, change of address forms, call-back request forms, cross-selling tools and basic dispute resolution.
Archiving & ControlThe customer can quickly and easily save their document to their own PC and back them up without reliance on third parties.
Reduce operational costsThe solution significantly reduces paper, printing and postage costs by substituting email for paper delivery.
SecurityAn email bill is totally secure, using the latest encryption technology and remains encrypted when not in use, protecting confidentiality.
MarketingPersonalized and relevant marketing can be included to cross-sell and up-sell to customers, a touch-point that is often missed in a notification.
It’s never too late to make the switch
Remember to always think about the user experience. And don’t forget to leverage all the benefits of using email as a medium (automated triggers, relevant marketing included, etc). Then look at the various types of documents that you want to convert to email and establish what level of security needs to be applied to each one, as they won’t all carry the same amount of confidential information. 

If you have the documents, but not the solution, then reach out to a specialist this field. Call us for a free consultation 

This blog post first appeared on the Email Vendor Selection site. To read the full version, click here