Maximize Paperless Adoption – Customer Choice Is Key!

July 27, 2015

Not every customer will react in the same way to a company’s preferred paperless route.

Recently, we came across a utility company that asked customers to switch paper off and tracked responses from the email request to the final registration. What they found was that there was an 85% drop off rate from the initial email click to when they registered. Why were the results so poor?

The answer is pretty simple: you cannot give customers the same option over and over again and expect to receive a different result. That is the definition of insanity.

This utility was only providing customers with the option to PULL (fetch) their documents from the web portal each month. Many of these customers had already registered for the portal, but chose not to go paperless in this channel. Why? Customers prefer other channels as options to receive their bills, statements and the like.

The reason: several of these other channels mimic the reactive nature of the letter in the mail process versus the proactive nature of fetching it from a service provider, which is the same as pulling it from a web portal. Asking customers three more times to choose the portal will not get them to go paperless.

The multi-channel gap is a real and pressing issue

The Multi Channel Gap

Traditional portal presentment has done its job of getting those customers who prefer the web portal channel to go paperless. This group of customers however, only represents 15-20% of a total customer base. As a result, we have a gap in the number of customers who will go paperless.

If companies are consistently working towards enhancing the customer experience while keeping costs low, why are they still only offering one channel for customers to go paperless? What are they doing for the 70% who would potentially go paperless if presented with another channel?

Close the gap by offering additional paperless channels

Stop and analyze your customer base. How are they interacting with you now? What channels do they use to interact with other companies? Think about where customers spend their time. Are you considering those channels as a means to offer an enhanced paperless experience?

Just take a moment and think to yourself, what is the first thing you do after waking up in the morning? Most people will say they check their smartphones for email and texts. Why not use this knowledge to enhance the paperless choices you give customers?

Channels to consider:

  • Email: send attached bills, statements, and other critical documents directly to your customers’ email
  • Mobile app: if you have an app, can customers easily opt-in to paperless and view their documents via the app?
  • Social media: have you considered sending documents to social media apps like Facebook?
  • Text/SMS: text to view and pay bills is popular around the world. Why not consider this?

Customers want choices, so if you want more customers to switch off paper, then you have to provide them with these choices.

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