In his ‘Customer Experience’ blog post, my colleague Brian Melter highlighted the importance of communicating to customers via channels that are meaningful to them. Today’s investor expects and demands service through whatever method happens to be the most comfortable and convenient at the time. It’s our job to provide a seamless experience, regardless of which channel they choose. Let me share our experience and lessons learned about using different options for communication and response management, based on a fairly recent challenge faced by our industry, state inactivity.
As states became more aggressive about enforcing inactivity regulations, the industry needed a comprehensive outreach program in order to establish contact and safeguard assets from escheatment. As part of our Unclaimed Property Administration solution, Boston Financial’s Event Center offered a Notification and Solicitation service for clients to promote the response needed from their brokers and investors. To be successful, we knew we had to accommodate different demographics and support multiple communication methods, including:
- Automated ‘integrated’ voice response (IVR)
- Traditional mail
- Call center representatives
How did we do?
By providing multiple channels for communication and response management, allowing investors to choose the platforms they preferred to use, 90% of the assets and 85% of the accounts included in the outreach program were safeguarded from escheatment.
- Many customers will choose the self-serve options. Nearly half of the investors used IVR or Web to respond to our inactivity outreach.
- High net worth investors trended toward the self-service options, while the lowest net worth investors responded most often via mail.
- The majority of investors, however, did turn to the IVR or Web to perform their due diligence and obtain additional information, even if they chose to ultimately respond through a more traditional channel.
- Regardless of assets, only 12% of investors made contact by calling to speak with a live rep. The good news here for our industry is that the majority of customers will utilize the lower cost communication channels.
I recognize that over time the old “tried and true” communication methods will diminish, but we need to manage today’s customer experience across all of the current channels to be successful with customer engagement. Reaching investors through their preferred communication methods gives you a more cost effective communication strategy and provides them with a better experience, increasing loyalty to your brand.