OCR, better known as Optical Character Recognition, is a rather unsung hero of the online business market. The power of extracting text from a paper and importing it to the digital world can work wonders about which many are unmindful. OCR was first used in the early 1920s when Emanuel Goldberg developed an electronic system for document retrieval. Traditional OCR solutions required long hours of training image characters for recognition which spanned over days.
According to a study by PriceWaterCoopers, it takes organizations an average of $20 to file a single record document against each customer, a $120 cost for tracing down a misplaced document, and a total of $220 to reproduce a lost document. Modern OCR solutions can provide effective means of user document creation, fast and easy retrieval of records, and recreating lost files from backup databases.
Why is OCR Important for Online Businesses?
Gone are the days when enterprises required lengthy paperwork and documentation before establishing links with their customers. Today, many industries including online businesses are employing high-end OCR solutions to take care of their customer onboarding and verification procedures. Digitizing records and texts into a presentable form relatively improves customer experience and helps save on business operating expenses. With improved accuracy rates and distributed data retrieval, managing customer profiles are as easy as taking a photo from your mobile phone camera.
How OCR Improves Customer Experience
The recent advances in OCR make online businesses easily acquire customer data while maintaining reasonable accuracy standards. Below are a few points on how OCR optimizes customer experience:
Quicker Data Acquisition
Unstructured content is a challenging problem when it comes to retrieving data records for clients. The absence of a system to practically save customer data in digital form and organize multiple files in a database makes data organization a hassle. Optical Character Recognition is the ultimate solution to all possible problems emerging as a result of poorly managed files and formats. They not only allow experts to save time spent on manual structuring of content but also increasing their productivity by making data acquisition quicker, reliable, and accurate. Modern OCRs provide better data acquisition prospects by scanning through a well-structured hierarchy of operations.
When it comes to customer experience, accuracy and error-free data generation are as significant as the readability. The words generated in digital form could be readable but not having substance makes them meaningless. For instance, in the phrase, “Today is a synnu day” the word ‘synnu’ is not semantically correct which adds to lesser accuracy. Moreover, if the software is only able to read a few words, the possibility of inaccurate client search results increases. A comprehensive OCR tool overcomes this likelihood of error.
Improved Services and Offers
With OCR technology, online businesses could provide their customers with services best aligned with their interests. Using OCR-based solutions, it is possible to come up with customer-oriented content by structuring user data into organized folders and specific formats. Since OCR improves data readability, it is easier to extract personally identifiable information from identity documents. This helps in the completion of early stages involved in the customer onboarding process and provides an effortless experience for the customers.
OCR Advantages and Applications
OCR software has a number of solutions in a wide range of industries including the medical sector, FinTech enterprises, e-gaming, and online banking, and e-commerce, and retail. A few of the use cases of OCR are below:
Optical Character Recognition can be used to maintain digital records for patients in the healthcare industry. OCR software is currently used by medical institutes to easily retrieve patient data to better diagnose underlying medical conditions. Details such as past illness history, hospital or clinic visits, and previous treatments could be readily accessed by authorized personnel or medical practitioners.
Online Identity Verification
OCR is used by online identity verification vendors which cover a wide range of industries including e-gaming, the Fintech circle, e-commerce, and retail, etc. These online businesses are required to verify their customer during onboarding by practising an international set of procedures and policies such as Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) to prevent identity theft fraud.
OCR helps in fast and accurate data extraction from documents which are a good means of validating customer identity. This not only provides a secure means to enrol genuine users to a business but also makes the overall customer experience seamless.
Simplified Utility Meter Reporting
With OCR solutions, utility companies need not come to the consumer’s house to take the reading and manually record it. This is more inconvenient for the user as he has to adjust his work schedule according to the arrival of the technician. With modern OCR solutions, it is now possible for consumers to scan the meter readings from their smartphones and send the OCR generated results over to the utility department.
Self Check-Ins at Hotels
This contactless method of checking in to hotels is a new innovation to the table. The hotel management uses your original documents such as a passport or ID card to record your identity using OCR technology in a matter of minutes. Mobile OCR takes one step ahead and allows the users to scan their documents using their own smartphones with remarkable accuracy. Mobile OCR is emerging in the market as they offer better verification solutions and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Current Trends in OCR
Today, where traditional OCRs fail to provide document format and semantic analysis of characters, modern AI-powered OCR solutions fuse document authenticity checks with Intelligent Character Recognition also known as ICR. This improved means of performing OCRs creates better opportunities for online businesses to excel.