Improve Customer Service and Reduce Paper with Document Management Technology

Improve-Customer-Service-and-Reduce-Paper-with-Document-Management-TechnologyEver anticipate paying full price at the register only to be informed the item is on sale? Ever reached into a cereal box and pull out two prizes instead of one? Making future-proof business decisions isn’t easy. The end-goal is finding at least the one prize you expect. The obvious prize for investing in document management technology is a reduction in paper and associated costs. A plus you may not have considered? Improved customer service. 

U.S. companies labeled as having poor customer service are losing a staggering $41 billion a year, according to new research from cloud contact center vendor NewVoiceMedia. Reasons given for customers jumping ship are lack of appreciation, unhelpful/rude contact center staff, being passed around to multiple agents, agents lacking the knowledge required to answer a query and being kept on hold. Document management technology can improve on all these and then some.

The Paper Problem

It’s easy to see how ridding your company of reams and reams of paper and paper-related supplies will cut costs. In the U.S., companies spend more than $120 billion a year on printed forms, many of which will become outdated within three months, prompting additional costs (this article cites additional costs and statistics related to office paper consumption if you’re interested). O.K. So we’ve covered cost. Where’s the connection to customer service and how can document management technology make customer service improvements? You may be familiar with some of the following apologies:

  • I’m sorry. I forgot to have you sign a form. When can you come back in?
  • I apologize. I know you signed a similar form last week, but this one needs your signature too.
  • Oops, we mailed your package to the old address. The update you gave wasn’t transferred to every system.
  • I’m sorry for putting you on hold so long, I’m having trouble finding the document I need.
  • Yikes, I’m not sure I can help you after all. I’ll need you to hold again while I get the right agent.
  • I know we said the paperwork would be complete on Friday, but the office manager has to sign off and she won’t be back until next week.
  • I hate to tell you this, but we’ve lost your application.

The use of document management technology not only cuts paper and paper-related costs, it improves the effectiveness of customer service agents and systems, and in turn, creates a vastly improved customer experience.

The Electronically-aided Customer Experience

First, forget the apologies. You won’t need to make any as long as everyone does their job right. And, aided by electronic information, it will be easy for them to do just that. What does the electronically-aided customer experience look like as opposed to working from paper or a mix of both?

  • Customer service is more streamlined. The use of paper systems is becoming more and more dated as the world continues to embrace document management technology.  Even if you think your paper systems are solid, you don’t want to appear dated to the consumer. Additionally, more and more businesses and governing entities are foregoing paper systems for data-driven processes. This means that the data-driven businesses they interface with will have a distinct advantage over those who are still limping along the paper trail.
  • Clients can be catered to. Customers are very sensitive to the way they are treated (or perceive they are being treated) and are quick to judge businesses that waste their time, ignore their needs or plain old get things wrong. Document management systems cater to clients in a variety of ways including providing transparency into the process as appropriate, shorter resolution time, digital signature capabilities, paperless confirmation, data safety and integrity and the list goes on.
  • Engagement can be measured. The term “engagement” is very much in vogue with businesses who are busy applying data analytics to each customer interaction with the goal of improving their processes and further personalizing the customer experience to increase engagement. Understanding and reacting to customer behavior by pouring over stacks of paper documents and disconnected systems simply isn’t as accurate (and definitely not as feasible) as it is leveraging document management technology capabilities.

Making good investments often means being on the lookout for hidden prizes you may not even have expected. Cereal box prizes these days? Not so fantastic. Prizes you can claim by taking your business in the direction of document management technology? Tremendous.

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