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How to increase the effectiveness of customer communications

News   •   Jul 24, 2013 10:28 BST

Today, businesses can take advantage of a wide range of hardware and software solutions to meet customers' demands for fast, reliable, relevant, secure, eyecatching and personalised communications. In particular they allow businesses to:-

·  Build accurate prospect and customer information

·  Secure confidential customer data

·  Create impactful documents

·  Manage output through a variety of channels

·  Present a professional image

·  Personalise communications

·  Improve internal communications

Build accurate prospect and customer information

The cornerstone of successful customer communications is good address management. Assembling and maintaining an accurate customer database is essential if organisations are to improve the professionalism of mailings; make sure that they reach customers in a timely fashion; manage the complexity of modern marketing methods, such as one-to-one marketing; and comply with privacy rules.

There are a number of tools and mailing practices that can be applied at various stages of the mailing process to help an organisation manage address databases more efficiently. Foremost among them is addressing software that checks addresses against Royal Mail PAF files to correct mis-spellings and add missing details including postcodes. The software also de-duplicates mailing lists to prevent unnecessary and repeat mailings and checks suppression lists to ensure compliance with do-not-mail requirements. In this way, it reduces mailing costs and errors that could tarnish a business's reputation.

Other addressing solutions automate the capture of accurate addresses as part of a customer process or transaction. The ability to auto-fill complete addresses on forms opened in an e-commerce, CRM or other supported application ensures address accuracy at point of capture, saves time and prevents mistakes further down the line.

Businesses can keep customer databases up-to-date by printing an external return address (ERA) on the outside of an envelope. If an ERA is visible, Royal Mail will return undelivered mail to the sender with an explanation of why it has been returned, giving you the chance to update records accordingly.

Offer a choice of communication methods

It is equally important to maintain accurate email and phone records so that you can communicate with customers using a variety of channels. Output management software will enable you to offer a choice of communication methods and meet customers demand for relevant and personalised content.

The best solutions can design documents or marketing materials for clear and impactful communications; manage distribution through mail, email or SMS; add intelligence marks to documents to manage the accurate filling of envelopes with tailored content; and control personalisation of envelopes.

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