The best way to keep your customer happy is through constant, clear communications. One of the ways to reach customers is with transaction-related documents - which are the most opened and read communications consumers receive. Plain and simple - people open statements that are related to where their money is going. So how can you maximize on this opportunity? Here are five things the modern consumer expects in a statement:

  • Electronic Presentment or eStatements

Most banks, credit unions and utility companies have some sort of “eStatement” already in place, so why bother mentioning this? I put “eStatement” in quotation marks because simply presenting information electronically doesn’t equate to a solution. eStatements should consist of more than just a PDF. To simplify the process for your customer, your eStatement should match the printed version. You can start by offering an opt-in to electronic-only communications on the printed piece, which in the long run, will save you money. A robust eStatement solution involves a web hub where the user can not only view the statement, but also make payments, access past statements and usage information, but also serve as a portal to other offers, account information and partner companies.

  • Relevant offers that save them money

Variable-data printing can turn your regular statement output into a marketing tool. For banks, this can come in the form of auto and home refinance opportunities, and for utilities, cost-savings tips and partner offers. People like to save money, and by utilizing the monthly statement as a means to relay a special offer that will save them money, it helps your relationship become stickier. Customers end up bundling more services, while achieving lower monthly payments.

  • Clear, concise and easy-to-read information

The number one complaint that most people have about their bill or statement is that the important information is difficult to find. If the bill is difficult to read, or lacking color to highlight the crucial information, it makes receiving a statement a frustrating process. “Where do I go online? How much do I owe and why? Where is the customer service number?” It is worth a statement redesign if you even thinkthe customer is asking these questions.

  • Streamlined remittance

Frankly nobody ENJOYS parting with their hard-earned money, so it lies with the biller to make the remittance portion of the process as convenient as possible. If I’ve sent my payment in (maybe just a couple days late…) I would find it frustrating to get a call from customer service. If the check really is “in the mail,” I’ve held up my end of the bargain. I’m sure the provider would like to save a little money on managing inbound cash receipts, and mail tracking makes this all possible.

  • Mobile and text offerings

I am an avid user of my smartphone for any and all activities related to my banks and utilities. However, it is not always as easy to remember payments, due dates, or statements being ready.  A simple text reminder can work wonders in paying all of my bills on time. This combined with my eStatement makes for much less time on the phone with customer service. Mobile payment options make my relationship with my bank and utility even stronger, especially if they are friendly with my iPhone.

Your customers expect more in their statements. Are you giving them what they expect?