Treating Them Right Means Protecting Their Rights
It was happening before the pandemic. Corporations began putting a squeeze on their customers to accept all electronic communications for billing, invoices, payments, and other interactions.
But during the last 16 months, they have become even more arrogant. Some simply took the option for printed communications away from customers, while others imposed offensive fees on those who continued to resist the move to “e-communications.”
Based on False Assumptions
Just a note on the basic “premise” these companies are using to justify their actions. They claim that electronic communication saves money (theoretically benefitting the customer) and protects the environment. There is plenty of evidence that contradicts both assertions, including the unquestioned renewability and sustainability of paper production.
There is also a question of fairness, as access to the internet is not equally available or affordable to people of all ages, locations, and income brackets.
But today, I’d like to focus on an aspect of this that seldom discussed, but might be even more important to these businesses if they are smart.
Customer Service – or Doing Them a Disservice?
In recent years, we’ve read plenty about the importance of maintaining customer relationships today, and how lifetime customer value is a key indicator of successful marketing. I’d like to suggest that refusing to allow customers to interact with you in print when that is their preference is not a good way to make them ambassadors. It is more likely to make them ex-customers.
And frankly, I think we speak from a position of strength on customer service. We’ve been helping business customers add efficiency for nearly 100 years. And we’ve recently been named Best of Print and Digital for the fifth straight year, based on nothing but the feedback our customers gave to an independent research firm.
What to Do If You Are a Customer Who Prefers Print
An informational site maintained by the KMP (Keep Me Posted) campaign discussed this issue. It provided several options for people who were being pressured (or forced) to relinquish the printed communication methods they preferred, and having electronic formats forced upon them.
It offers a four-step approach to take to oppose the action. In short, they were:
- A letter requesting that the company restore the paper communications option, and discontinue (and refund) any fees attached. (A sample letter is provided.) They report good success with this approach.
- Engage with the company on social media if your direct contact with customer service produces no results. Post on the company’s Facebook or Twitter feed, expressing your frustration. By making the issue somewhat public, it can encourage the company’s social media monitors to escalate the issue to management.
- Reach out to the Better Business Bureau to determine the best way to proceed with a complaint, or provide a review of the company’s services.
- Contact your state’s office of attorney general. As the state’s consumer watchdog, it has the ability to counsel the state’s government and legislature. This can help bring the issue of the right to paper communication to an important audience state-wide.
What to Do If You Are a Business That Prefers Customers
If you are a business owner or manager, the answer to this situation is actually very simple. Provide your customers what they want, with a minimum of expense and inconvenience to you.
This isn’t difficult with a print management partner like Superior.Learn More About The Benefits of Print Management
Our expertise and advanced technologies make it possible for us to incorporate whatever forms of billing and statement processing your customers desire into a seamless, streamlined system.
We can certainly help with digital statement processing as well as paper communications. Furthermore, where desired, we can integrate those systems to provide redundancy. This ensures accuracy and consistency across both formats, in tune with individual customer preferences.
Our vast network of suppliers nationwide (even worldwide) allows us to find the solutions your business requires. Plus, our expertise enables us to work with vendors within your existing supply chain to improve the performance of your systems and processes.
We Solve Your Problems to Shorten Your Day
The bottom line is, we do whatever it takes to maximize your business efficiency and build your sales. Whether it involves print vs. electronic communications or any of a hundred other issues, we have the experience and resources to get you past them. And get you home at a decent hour every day.
Our ISO certification is one indication we know what we are doing. But those “Best of” awards I mentioned are further proof it pays off.
Contact your Superior sales rep using the contact information at the top of this page. Ask for a free consultation on how you can communicate your messages to your customers in exactly the way they want it. That’s the best way to make sure they’ll be saying the right things about your business from now on.