Customer communications and the cost of ignoring paper [INFOGRAPHIC]

By: In: Information Management On: Apr 03, 2014
Customer communications and the cost of ignoring paper [INFOGRAPHIC]

0002 IM_Manufacturing_Infographic_1_4When dealing with customer service departments, the top gripe for one in five UK consumers is having to explain the same problem to different people. One in two say they dislike having to chase up a written request by phone. These two findings, taken from our latest European study, suggest businesses may be struggling to integrate paper records effectively into their customer management systems.

The study results are set out here in this infographic. They show that, even in today’s digital age, more than half of companies (56 per cent) still receive the majority of their customer enquiries on paper. Yet many are struggling to cope with the volume. Close to three in five (59 per cent) organisations don’t have a process for dealing with incoming paper, and 66 per cent can’t store incoming enquiries from multiple channels including online, phone, social media and paper, in a single customer profile.

Iron Mountain’s findings reveal that more than half (57 per cent) of firms wait for customers to follow up paper correspondence by phone before taking any action. Many (39 per cent) are unsure what to do with the written enquiry and so simply file it. Close to two in three organisations (63 per cent) manually enter the data into automated customer relationship management systems, a resource-intensive and error-prone approach. And nearly a third of businesses (31 per cent) actively discourage people from sending them letters.

People still like to communicate on paper. So businesses that fail to integrate paper into their customer relationship management systems are going to lose out.

Customers expect the company they’re doing business with to have instant access to a single, comprehensive view of their history with the firm. We recommend that companies embrace a paper light approach, where inbound customer documents are automatically scanned and the relevant data extracted, validated and entered into the customer service process. Older or less essential documents can be indexed and archived for easy retrieval if required. A paper light approach ensures that customers get the quality service they expect, no matter how they choose to get in touch.

Find out more about how to go paper light.

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About the author

Charlotte Marshall Joined Iron Mountain in November 2013 as Managing Director for Iron Mountain UK, Ireland and Norway. Prior to this appointment, she had a successful career at Rentokil Initial Facilities, where she was Managing Director of the Initial Facilities, Healthcare Group, a role in which she was responsible for leading a 3000-strong team to deliver Integrated Facilities Management solutions to customers across Europe, including 35 NHS Trusts in the UK. Charlotte has also held senior Operational and Commercial roles with Sodexo, Patientline and Clinovia.