Information brands can’t neglect any part of the customer journey

Relationship between a customer and brand, there are communications whose primary purpose could be considered – for want of a better word – boring. Whether they be account statements, terms and conditions or voucher deliveries, it can be tempting for marketers to treat them in a transactional way, putting minimal effort into crafting them and offering little value beyond the required information. But doing so not only risks customers ignoring important updates, it also misses opportunities to re-engage with them, spark interest in new offerings or identify service issues – all of which could all make a key difference to customer retention and lifetime value.

Amanda Griffiths, head of customer communication planning and insight at Marketreach, believes savvy brands will never pass up the opportunity to impress customers by showing they are valued. Businesses who want to offer the best customer experience need to think about the different customer touchpoints and how key communications can make a positive contribution, she suggests. It might be a beautifully designed welcome pack; or a letter sent to a customer looking like they may lapse, to remind them of what a great service they’ve been receiving and what their options are for renewing or upgrading. It could be a wonderful-looking personalised invitation, or tickets to an event, or perhaps a reminder of an annual check-up or an appointment that is done in a way that shows you truly value that person’s continued loyalty.

How brands can excel, This is the approach TSB took, to make the driest of subjects more engaging. It is obliged to tell customers about changes to terms and conditions, but these letters are not considered even by the bank itself to be particularly interesting. So it designed a booklet that broke down how changes to its terms would make things better for customers, what changes they could expect and other things they should know. It took a neighbourly voice, which invited the customer to make a cup of tea before reading through the updates. The result was that it reimagined an obligatory communication as an engaging pamphlet, which 82% of customers praised for helping them to understand the bank’s new terms and conditions.

Getting customer experience right like this is not only important in boosting loyalty, it also has a direct impact on the bottom line. According to Forrester’s Customer Experience Index, customers are more than four times more willing to pay a price premium if they receive an excellent experience, compared to a poor one. While paperless billing is becoming more common, many people still prefer to receive important documents as physical ‘customer mail’. And these mailings are well positioned to improve their overall experience because they are something tangible in a person’s hand, far more likely to be noticed and interacted with than a message delivered through a digital channel. When created with care, these communications can show the recipient their custom is valued and their needs are understood.