Thinking of Going Digital? Your Customers May Not Come Along.

The phrase “paper or plastic” has become an iconic cliché of modern society, and the staple of commercials and stand-up comedy routines. Grocery stores normally offer a choice, because different customers make different choices. And each can present a solid case supporting his or her point of view. I think there’s an important lesson here for the invoice and statement processing services your business offers your customers. Are you asking them “print or digital?”

Chances are, your customers are a diverse group. And to be sure, some of them may be just fine with receiving invoices and statements in digital form only. But research shows that group is not as large as you think. So frankly, you are making a mistake if you don’t continue to offer customers a choice of receiving those documents in printed form if they prefer it. The fact is, many of them will. And that’s not a partisan guess. It’s a fact proven by research.

Digital NOT in the Driver’s Seat

In June 2017, independent research company Toluna conducted a survey of over 10,000 consumers. They were selected from ten countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. More than 2,000 of them were in the United States. The study was commissioned by Two Sides North America, which issued a report containing the results, which surprised even us.

Findings indicate that digital communications cause fatigue and generate security and privacy concerns for many consumers. Those consumers say they enjoy accessing information in printed form. In addition, they trust it more and get a better understanding of the information when they access it that way.

Consumers Want the Option

Several things struck me as important, but none more than this one. Ninety percent of U.S. consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications from financial organizations and service providers.

  “90% of U.S. consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications from financial organizations and service providers.”

Further, 89% of adult Americans believe that forcing customers into online-only documents is unfair, putting groups such as the elderly, disabled, low-income and poorly educated at a disadvantage. It’s certainly worth thinking about before going “all digital” with your invoice and statement processing. It may be a “trendy” decision, but don’t assume it will be a very popular one with a large segment of your customers.

For Statement Processing Services, Most Prefer Print

Consumers are wary of being forced into a “digital-only” statement processing situation. In fact,57% said they would consider switching to an alternative financial institution or service provider if forced into a “paperless” arrangement. Why do they feel so strongly? The research gives us strong clues:

  • 76% of the respondents are concerned that personal information in electronic form is susceptible to being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged
  • 78% keep hard copies of important documents filed at home, believing it is the safest and most secure method
  • 68% say they find it easier to track their expenses and manage their finances when printed on paper

It’s clear that the great “digital transformation” isn’t so great in the eyes of many of your customers. And by the way, that’s not just for statement processing. In upcoming posts, I’ll be talking about several other areas in which print will boost your business by grabbing and keeping your customers’ attention and loyalty.

How to MAKE a Statement by Sending One

We understand business is a challenge today, and you look for ways to do things as efficiently and economically as possible. So how do you walk that fine line between the digital invoice and statement processing that many companies are adopting, and the printed documents that so many customers want (or even demand)?

The answer is choosing a partner that knows the territory and can help you set up the proper system to solve this dilemma. Superior is just such a partner. We will help you maximize electronic efficiency, while offering customers the printed option so many prefer for financial records and transactions.

We’ve been helping businesses for nearly 100 years increase efficiencies and effectiveness. Our ISO certification is evidence that our processes and practices are designed to do just that in every client relationship. We know a thing or two about satisfying customers, too. Our customers chose us for the Best of Print and Digital award for the second consecutive year.

Contact Superior today. We’ll help you develop invoice and statement processing services meet the needs of both your business and your customers.

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