Investing in Total Customer Experience: The Role of Document Management

5/19/2024 Wylie Blanchard

Investing in Total Customer Experience: The Role of Document Management

In order to address customers’ evolving preferences for digital interaction, more and more companies are seeking a digital-first strategy for document and communication management. With a digital-first approach, companies can offer customers increased speed, added convenience, and a better experience overall. 

However, making the transition to digital is not always easy. In fact, while 87% percent of senior business leaders say digitization is a company priority, only 40% of organizations have actually succeeded in bringing digital initiatives to scale, according to a report by Gartner

Here are the most common barriers faced by companies seeking to make a digital transition:

  • Resistance to change
  • Integration challenges
  • Cost concerns
  • Issues with security and compliance

Document management and personalization

Document management (DM) — the process of capturing, storing, and retrieving digital versions of documents that were previously paper-based — enables organizations to overcome these barriers. 

By utilizing DM tools and systems, companies can manage their digital documents while benefiting from additional security, access control, and centralized storage, plus streamlined search and retrieval options. They help reduce the risk of human error, physical damage to files, retrieval issues, and costs. 

Specifically, a digital-first DM system provides for:

  • Increased engagement — interactive and personalized digital documents drive higher consumer interaction
  • Accessibility — recipients can access documents anytime, anywhere, and on any device
  • Compliance and security — advanced digital platforms offer robust security measures, ensuring data protection and regulatory compliance

DM’s ability to drive consumer interaction via personalization is of particular interest to many organizations, as its value to consumers continues to escalate. Emarketer reports that nearly 90% of consumers now believe the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services, and 73% said they “expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations.” Brands are primarily going to compete on customer experience in the future, and DM systems will have a big role in this.

Cost-effectiveness, consistency, and AI 

Although marketers may have initial cost concerns when making a digital transition, doing so can provide a variety of efficiency advantages. 

Companies can, for example, partner with a print service provider to utilize print-on-demand services, ensuring that only necessary documents are printed. They can implement electronic delivery (eDelivery) systems to cut down on postage and printing costs. They can also consolidate services and partners (both print and digital) to eliminate redundancy and any duplication of composition, storage, and processes.

DM’s additional advantages include:

  • Leveraging automation to reduce manual processes and associated costs
  • Consolidating document production and distribution platforms to streamline operations
  • Utilizing data analytics to optimize printing and mailing for necessary physical communications
  • Ensuring a company can realize consistency across messages while minimizing friction for customers having to provide repeat information

The onset of artificial intelligence (AI) further increases the scope of DM, empowering these new tools to serve up valuable information and insights to an organization. AI can identify document inconsistencies to ensure the data provided to and received from customers is as accurate as possible. It can also streamline information provided to customers more efficiently – building trust and brand loyalty. 

Future-proof your organization 

There’s a growing significance of DM and the urgency for digital transformation for future readiness. According to a DocuSign report, “78% of businesses consider digital transformation of document processes crucial to survival post-COVID-19.” Additionally, RRD’s Print Impact Report shows that 91% of marketers are integrating print and digital channels today, demonstrating the critical need to adapt for future success. 

How should companies ensure that their organization is ready for a digital transformation? Take these steps:

  • Anticipate and adapt to the rapidly changing evolving digital landscape
  • Embrace AI technology to make DMS investments more impactful through better data extraction
  • Invest in scalable and flexible technology platforms that support growth and change
  • Focus on cloud integration and hosting where possible to integrate into other systems 
  • Foster a culture of innovation to continuously enhance the customer experience

Nicholas Michel is Director, Research Strategy & Growth at Precision Dialogue by RRD. Wylie Blanchard is Director, Product Development - Digital Services for RRD Business Communication Solutions.

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