Many organizations offer electronic statements, bills, renewals, notices and paperless correspondence to their customers. But despite advances in online technology, and in the face of popular sentiment to “be green,” most continue to struggle with increasing paperless adoption. The aim is to save trees, save money, and improve customer communications; but the key to success is getting customers to opt-in to the idea of going paperless.
Are you still printing and mailing thousands of pages of customer correspondence every month despite having an electronic solution? Without a well-defined strategy to drive paperless adoption, you may find that you continue to struggle with managing the burden of paper-bound communications.
How can you encourage your customers to go paperless? Here are some strategies and best practices you can use to increase adoption rates, improve communications, and maximize the value of your communication strategy.
It makes sense to start a paperless initiative with all your new accounts. Since you’re starting a new customer relationship, now is the time to set the expectation of a paperless standard. Flag all new accounts and set the default in your system for only electronic communications. Remember, while you’re encouraging customers to go paperless, be sure to provide an option to go back to paper correspondence if they wish. In this case, you may want to consider charging a fee for the paper. You may also consider designing new products that minimize or eliminate fees by virtue of going paperless.
The gentlest approach for existing accounts is voluntary opt-in. But, asking customers to proactively choose paperless requires proactive marketing on your part. This strategy starts with a thoughtful effort to build awareness. Are your customers even aware they have an option to opt-out of paper in favor of an electronic alternative? What kind of incentives are they given to do so? Does the customer experience, both online and in person, encourage them to go online instead of in the mail?
Make Enrollment Easy
It is important to make it easy for your customers to enroll in a paperless alternative. Statement2web™ by OMI provides a single sign-on and seamless integration to billing and transaction platforms. But best of all, it’s a simple enrollment process, and easy for customers who want to go paperless, to do so, with just one click. For organizations, managing enrollment through this automated feature has the added benefit of providing a quick and easy way to track the effectiveness of paperless initiatives.
Unlike the voluntary method, reverse opt-in is a hard line approach to raise electronic adoption. Turning off printed statements, bills, renewals, and notices at a pre-defined future date, for example, is an effective, but potentially risky strategy. It’s important to work diligently to communicate to all your customers, well in advance, so they are aware of the pending change. It is also important to provide a way to opt back-in to receive printed communications, but you may want to consider charging a fee for the service.