Customers today are drowning in a sea of unrelated marketing campaigns, while scams and spam do little to create an environment of trust. Every day, companies invest in new communication initiatives and alternative channels, trying to break through the clutter and attract new business.
Since the turn of the century, we have heard about the drive to personalize customer communications. Yet, it has only been within the last couple years that we have started to see this customized approach in our statements and bills. For instance, tourism clients who book a trip with global travel company Thomas Cook receive customized booklets containing address labels, rail and airline vouchers, flight vouchers or alternative flight coupons, hotel vouchers, as well as gift vouchers. The documents are sorted by itinerary and are individually detachable for the various services.
Today’s leaders, including Thomas Cook in the UK and EPOS Card—a division of Japan’s 13th largest department store chain Marui Group—are taking steps to make customer messages personal, timely and relevant. Advances in data quality, data analytics and customer communication management solutions are finally making this evolution possible. By leveraging communications more intelligently, companies can realize higher cross-sell and up-sell success rates with personalized marketing materials, claims documentation, renewal letters, bills and payment notifications.
An effective TransPromo strategy incorporates all facets of communication intelligence: an understanding of customer needs, an ability to cost-efficiently produce personalized communications, and the know-how to manage and distribute these communications across multiple channels.
Here are seven tips for executing a successful TransPromo strategy that turns transactional documents into powerful strategic assets:
1. Redefine your communication objectives.
Before investing in a fleet of color printers and diving headfirst into a new TransPromo customer communications initiative, you should determine a plan for who you will target, what you will offer and when you will communicate.
2. Build upon your greatest existing asset—customer data.
The necessary customer data already exists, but for most companies this information is stored in disparate systems using inconsistent formats—and that makes it unwieldy if not impossible to get the answers you need. Ensure that you have a customer data integration (CDI) tool that can link all the information—even when it is stored in multiple databases—to provide a single comprehensive view of each customer. Only then, can you turn disparate data into actionable information.
3. Leverage database and marketing analytics.
To create a simple segmentation strategy to help you pinpoint high-potential opportunities, identify one factor that may lead to a difference in customers’ needs. For example, in auto leasing, that may be time left on a lease: you can create distinct messages for those who are new, at mid-term or near the end of their lease. On-demand customer analytics provide for real-time segmentation, so business units can identify and target customers more effectively, with no need for ongoing IT support.
4. Be consistent in messaging across channels.
While much of the focus of TransPromo is centered on printed statements—the power of TransPromo is in the ability to integrate communications across channels and create a mutually managed customer experience across multiple touchpoints, including print (traditional postal mail and e-mail), online and call centers.
EPOS Card provides their credit card members with personalized, full-color marketing messages and cross-sell promotions on their monthly statements using a TransPromo solution. In addition, EPOS stores all customer communications centrally and provides online statement access, which has also improved customer service by providing CSRs with fast access to customer information—including exact replicas of TransPromo statements with consistent messaging across both printed and online statements correspondence.
5. Consider using color to get your message across.
While color is not required for TransPromo, it can create a stronger impact. Studies show that the effective use of color and personalization outsells traditional black and white messaging by up to 80 percent or more.
Thomas Cook has merged personalized up-sell and information messages based on travel details and demographics—integrating communications across statements, luggage tags, resort guides and check-in slips—all in high-quality color. By offering customized travel booklets, Thomas Cook customers have all their important travel information handy at a glance. In addition, it allows the Company to speak to customers individually and significantly improve customer communication.
6. Integrate real-time feedback on customer activity across all channels.
Tracking customer feedback will provide valuable intelligence on what products and services customers may need, opening up cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and enabling better customer service at lower costs. Make statements more relevant and purposeful by leveraging existing intelligence about a customer’s buying patterns.
7. Document your success with cross-channel reporting and metrics.
Companies realizing the greatest success through TransPromo have been able to build momentum throughout their organization by documenting success. Establishing
measurable objectives and then tracking results over time will provide you with the feedback you need to make adjustments and fine-tune your approach. This requires an
ability to provide consistent messages across channels—and monitor customer activity whether they respond via mail, online, over the phone or in person.