Convert More Customers to Paperless

Ask anyone on the street – they’ll probably tell you paperless digital communications are a good thing. So how do you convince more customers to receive paperless digital communications from your company? And why?

It’s complicated.

Originally introduced as an environmental saviour, on account of their supposed tree-saving electronic nature, adoption of paperless solutions as a “green” solution has largely stalled in spurring customer adoption of secure digital communication – with some even suggesting green nudges are no more effective than generic messaging.

A ‘nudge’ experiment to file taxes online had little impact, partly because its environmental messaging fell on deaf ears. – Canada  Revenue Agency

More digital channels lead to more digital customers

According to Deloitte, more than 60 per cent of customers are classified as ‘omnichannel.’ Omnichannel customers employ multiple touchpoints along their consumer journey when interacting with organizations, from how they buy to how they prefer to be billed.

When converting more customers to paperless communications, organizations must have an arsenal of omnichannel touchpoints. These multiple digital and physical channels should complement one another, as opposed to compete, says Deloitte. For secure digital delivery, this suggests a need for multiple flexible ways to send – and to receive.

Deloitte: The Digital Transformation of Customer Services

In other words: Offering more paperless options to customers means you are offering more digital customer journeys for them to follow. This can be done in tandem with offline hardcopies – at least until you can wean them into the digital world.

Some industries are more digital than others

Like its offline counterpart, the digital market mosaic is composed of different industries and organizations catering to an infinitely unique consumer appetite. And, from healthcare to insurance to banking, these different industry segments are subject to different data, different regulations and different customer attitudes. As such, careful consideration to where an organization fits in this digital world must be considered when attempting to convert more customers to paperless solutions.

In healthcare, for example, an industry notorious for dragging its feet through reams of red tape when it comes to protecting consumer confidentiality, hospitals, clinics and other medical providers need to pay careful consideration to balancing seamless billing experiences with regulatory compliance. The consequences of failing to do so can be considerable, especially when preparing for future generations of users – with 66 per cent of American adults aged 18 to 24 indicating on a recent Cedar survey that they are frustrated with their healthcare provider’s digital services – with one in five reporting they’d consider switching healthcare providers on account of a poor digital experience. And yet, the same survey reports that 74 per cent of Americans are still receiving their healthcare bills via snail mail.

There is much to gain – and much to save

An estimated 500 billion bills are sent every year, according to Billentis – a figure five to 15 times higher when you account for ‘invoice-like documents and messages. In addition to containing the personal information of customers, which must be protected under stringent privacy laws like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a significant amount of these bills and ‘invoice-like’ documents are sent as hardcopies via snail mail.

So what does this have to do with your organization?

By adopting paperless solutions, like with the Echoworx encryption platform, an organization can increase the digital delivery of secure documents by 10 per cent – increasing business ROI. Assuming, for example, an average $1 per page cost of sending a document via traditional post, a typical enterprise-level organization can save about $1.5M over a three-year period by going digital, according to a recent Forrester Research study.

Over three quarters of customers leave brands who breach

Did you know approximately 4.1 billion records were breached in the first six months of 2019 alone? And most digital attacks originate via insecure communications – with phishing attacks, for example, accounting for 67 per cent of breaches overall. And, as more organizations continue their digital business accelerations, these attacks continue to increase exponentially as defenses fail to keep pace.

“Criminals are ultimately lazy in their approaches and, faced with a larger attack surface than usual during the pandemic, there has been no need to invent new attack strategies to achieve their goals.” – Alex Pinto, COVID-19 Data Breach Landscape

So how do you convince more customers to switch to paperless options? Easy! You protect them.

While customers are partially to blame for their lack of disclosure when it comes to assessing the safety of an email – it’s ultimately a brand’s responsibility to protect them. Did you know, for example, that of the 45 per cent of people who have sent personal information by email, 79 per cent take just 30 seconds to evaluate the safety of an email before they respond? 24 per cent report having their information stolen as a result. Considering 80 per cent of customers consider leaving brands after a breach, these numbers need to improve before digital options can be adopted.

To truly convert customers to digital communications solutions, you need to assure them that you can be trusted to protect their information – without impacting their customer-centric user experience. All this can be achieved by adopting comprehensive email data protection solutions flexible enough to address your real business cases.