With the launch of our Customer Communications Channels & Trends advisory service last month, we published a blog post that provided perspective from some of the channel players on what they foresee to be the most exciting event for their services in 2014. Another set of key influencers in the customer communications market are the outsourcing service bureaus. These are the companies that businesses have long enlisted to print their bills, statements, notices, and other critical communications. As the market has evolved to embrace multi-channel delivery, so too have the service bureaus supporting the market. We checked in with several of them regarding their thoughts for 2014.
Here are their responses to the question “How have you prepared to address the multi-channel delivery and payment needs of your clients in 2014?”
“In addition to paper statement delivery methods, we have spent the last twelve months expanding the ways in which our clients can deliver statements to their patients and facilitate payment. We added significant new enhancements to our own e-presentment and e-payment portal; we built integration points and implemented a customer into digital file cabinet provider doxo; we rolled out QR code symbology onto our statements driving patients to newly developed mobile web screens; and we expanded our SSO capabilities into leading patient portals—quite a year! In 2014, we plan to implement SMS/Text messaging in February and then focus on building relationships and integration points with mobile banking providers.” – Patrick Maurer, President, Apex Information Technologies
“Customer-centric communications are the future of multi-channel delivery and payment. We have prepared for this growing demand by integrating data, content, and channels to deliver personalized, responsive communications that anticipate what the consumer wants and needs to know—all according to customer preferences, behaviors and interests.” – Mike Miller, Vice President Enterprise Architecture, DST Output
“FSSI is excited to be going live with the mobile mail app provided by Bell & Howell. In addition, as a standard, all of our new application development is designed with multiple output routing in mind.” – Jon Dietz, CEO, FSSI
“We already offer integrated multi-channel deployment—print/mail, as well as e-channels, such as email, SMS, and self-service web portals. Deployment is only part of the equation, in our opinion. Just as critical and of interest to the clients is single database content management and business rules management. The clients job is much more difficult—and the potential for errors much higher—if the client needs to manage changing regulatory content and business rules across multiple vendors to deploy through multiple channels.” – Mark Wilkes, Vice President of Strategic Business Development, Venture Solutions
Collectively, they also noted excitement over improved production workflows, advancements in paper statement printing and design, data analytics tools, as well as a focus on preference management services in 2014.These providers—and other service bureaus—are uniquely positioned to support clients’ expanding customer communications needs, but some will be battling a client perception of “print vendor” as they strive to be seen as more than print and mailing support.
InfoTrends is seeing outsourcing clients and prospects focused on gaining access to new channels and technologies, improved workflows, cost reduction, and compliance measures, as well as reducing the number of vendors they work with. As a result, we anticipate that 2014 will be a great year for outsourcing service bureaus supporting the customer communications market.