With typical cost savings of 50%-60% over paper statements, it is no surprise that most financial institutions have a strategy in place for eStatements and have either implemented stages of that strategy or plan to move forward. If you find yourself in the former camp, there may be aspects of your eStatement offering that you would prefer to tweak. If in the latter camp, you may be wondering what you can learn from the earlier adopters. I'll be focusing on the former situation in this post.
If you have implemented eStatements over the past few years, by now you understand your adoption rates, customer perception, workflow, and your current marketing capabilities. The question you may be asking once the dust has settled, and you are looking at your current status is, what’s next? If you reside in the operations or IT world, that is quickly followed by asking, "how do I get more people to sign up and how do I get the workflow more stable and streamlined?" If you are in the retail or marketing worlds, you are probably wanting to know how you can use this new tool to drive and expand your customer relationships with targeted touches and generate new interest in your brand.
Let’s start with the adoption question. Chances are you personally do most of your business electronically and that led to thinking that most people are like you and therefore will sign up for eStatements. After all, that is how I am, and certainly at least 50% of your customers are like that right? Not typically. The typical financial institution will see less than 30% adoption, three years after adopting eStatements.
Early adopters who have had an opportunity to address their eStatement adoption have found success using some surprisingly simple strategies. First off, train your branch staff to educate new customers that certain checking accounts come with the benefit of eStatements. Make new customers specifically ask for paper statements before you give it to them. Plus, you will find they are willing to forgo a financial incentive and even pay for the paper statement. Also educate your teller staff to suggest this option to customers who they come into contact with. Provide them with simple instructions to give customers with a ‘cheat sheet’ of the benefits that customers see when they sign up. Next, make it easy to sign up! This really brings us into our next point and that is workflow.
eStatement workflow starts at the point of enrollment and continues through the final archive of the statements. Ask yourself, what steps do our customers need to take in order to sign up for eStatements? How can we reduce those steps? How can we help them through the remaining steps? Study your workflow and make sure you make it easy for the highest number of customers to sign up. Ask yourself, could my parents do this? What about my crazy aunt? If the answer is yes, then move on to your internal workflow.
Internally, ask yourself what steps do we need to take in order to make that eStatement available to customers and send them the e-mail notification? Which of these steps can I automate? What back up procedures do we need? What is my disaster recovery plan?