CONTRIBUTOR
Chief Marketing Officer,
EngageSmart

Using insights distilled from consumer data to personalize customer experience and optimize product development is not a new phenomenon. From the most fundamental—remembering a client’s name or how they take their coffee—to the most advanced predictive models of purchasing history, merchants and service providers are broadly in the habit of altering business experiences to fit different customers.

Research has shown that we all love to hear our own names, but any marketer worth their salt could have told you that was true years before this study was published. That’s because many facets of personalization are common sense: Listen empathetically, respond with concrete action and tailored solutions, and always be on the lookout for ways to make your customer’s journey smoother.

In our info-rich, tech-driven modern age, we now have the data to tell us what we’ve always known: Personalization works. In one study, 73% of customers said they expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. With today’s technology, we can cater our companies’ offerings and experiences more specifically to each customer than ever before.

Modern Methods of Personalization in the Billing Space

Customer experience in the billing and payments sector can be complicated. Most people don’t enjoy administrative tasks like paying bills, and want to get it done as quickly and painlessly as possible. For our customers, working to make the payer experience not only painless, but delightful, can be a challenge. In my experience with InvoiceCloud, an EngageSmart solution with a focus on serving public utilities and municipalities looking for the most streamlined way to manage billing for their customers or constituents, personalization has proven to be a key tool.

At InvoiceCloud, we work with our customers to gain insights from payer behavior—not just for personalization basics like demographic information, but more actionable details about their payers’ behaviors. We work to understand what kinds of pain points payers are encountering, and in turn what the impacts were on our customers, the billers.

We find that the adoption of options like self-service troubleshooting for basic issues, paperless statements to reduce paper use, auto-pay instead of manual payments, and e-payments as opposed to mailed-in checks or in-person payments, can have a significant impact on the customer experience, and thus on how a biller is able to allocate their resources.

When adoption rates for these kinds of programs are low, billers often find themselves dedicating disproportionate time to things like customer service for basic issues, and spending an excessive amount of budget and resources on mailing out paper bills and chasing down late payments.

These issues are frustrating for all stakeholders. With these insights in mind, we are able to craft resources specifically targeted at helping our customers address these dynamics with their clients to create a more positive customer experience through personalization.

Creating Tailored Resources

Building an easily accessible library of information for your customers is a great way of demonstrating your investment in their success, even though you’re not directly in contact at every moment.

Gathering data about your customer’s need allows you to continually work on education and offer timely and continuously updated resources like seminars and e-books on key topics. This kind of proactivity not only gives customers what they need, but demonstrates your engagement and active partnership, reminding them that they are supported.

At InvoiceCloud, this means creating resources tailored to the pain points our customers have around payer behavior. By analyzing the overall rates of use for options like self-service troubleshooting, paperless billing, auto-pay and e-payments, and then collecting specific data from each organization, we were able to see whether a specific biller was struggling with below-average adoption.

This gives us the opportunity to build a tool that billers can utilize to address that discrepancy and bring up those numbers, or direct them to one that already exists. For example, templated marketing resources and pre-built campaigns that encourage payers to consider using specific tools can be incredibly helpful for our smaller customers who don’t have robust marketing capabilities.

This level of personalization allows us to avoid investing too much time, energy, and funds in creating guides or tools that our clients don’t need and won’t use. It also helps us put the right resources in front of the right organizations, so that they can serve their payers more efficiently.

At the end of the day, modern personalization is all about helping you discern unique and innovative opportunities for connection with your customer.

Modernizing Digital Banking Services

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