A recent study by InfoTrends indicates that 66% of all household bills and statements in the U.S are still produced in a printed form and mailed to the consumer. At Conduent, we're not content with this status quo statistic — and neither are the businesses we serve.
As a digital interactions company, we’re helping further advance the transition from paper to digital — turning traditional, paper-based transactions and communications into digital interactions. We’re applying technology innovations across our business and ushering in a new era of digitally powered customer experiences — helping our clients realize and benefit from the vast opportunities before them.
Key factors behind the shift to digital
For companies, the first and most obvious factor driving the push to digital is cost. Digital channels are now widely accepted by most industries and regulators, and actively in use by most customers, so moving away from traditional (and costly) printing and mailing methods is paramount for most organizations.
Another perhaps less obvious benefit is increased and more immediate visibility. For example, many states require that certain kinds of notifications be sent via mail (e.g. notices or information from banks, insurers, state agencies, telecom providers, etc.). But with mail comes intrinsic uncertainty: Was the letter actually received by the intended recipient? And if so, was it opened and read? Organizations may never know, and the cost of tracking can be prohibitive.
As we all become more accustomed to communicating by email, text and other forms of digital communication, physical, unidirectional communications already feel outdated. We all know there is a better way.
What about instantaneous, personalized, sharable and secure interactions that are also transparent and traceable? These are among the many advantages of digital interactions. The challenge, for those of us embracing it, is helping our stakeholders make a smooth transition into this digital world and embrace it along the way.
The “future” — in which linear, one-directional communications are replaced by intelligent two-way digital interactions guided by AI and analytics — is already here.
Take one of our most recent test projects at Conduent: a digital interaction assistant. With the digital assistant, consumers could both keep track of their bills and expenditures, and also proactively resolve problems or disputes. For instance, a consumer might ask the digital assistant, "How does this month's electric bill compare with my average monthly bill?" the digital assistant reports that this month's bill is significantly higher than average. In that case, the consumer could have it reach out to customer service and set up an appointment to look into and resolve the issue.
That's pretty exciting – but the digital assistant test project is just a teaser to the portfolio of digital interaction-enabling solutions we’re developing — combining AI and voice recognition technologies such as Alexa, Siri, and OK Google. And, if you saw Google's recent demo of its new AI assistant Duplex, you know there are a lot of exciting possibilities on the horizon.
The customer experience differentiator
Customer experience is increasingly a critical differentiator for consumers choosing between products and services. With this, the demand for more engaging, relevant, personalized digital experiences is growing.
According to Gartner, more than two-thirds of marketers say their companies compete mostly on the basis of customer experience, and that percentage is expected to climb to 81% in the next two years. This tells you a lot about how quickly the digital landscape is driving change. Over the next 3-5 years, companies will be investing heavily in advanced omnichannel customer experience and communications technologies to support this rapid shift to “on-demand” digital servicing interactions.
Companies that not only embrace digital, but go beyond it to make their customer experiences more immediate, more intelligent and individual will be the ones best equipped to lead the way into the future.