well-designed customer communications

In transactional customer communications, you don’t have to stick with the ordinary communications channels. After all, you want these mailings to drive engagement and action. It’s hard to do that without any consideration of the design.

By applying proven design principles that resonate with recipients, you can turn drab and dull documents into something much more vibrant. Let’s dive into what constitutes well-designed and the benefits you can realize.

What Does Well-Designed Mean?

In the context of customer communications channels, well-designed correlates to how easy the content is to consume and if it has an impact on the person. To achieve that, we recommend some design best practices to our customers, including:

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Simple is better; organization and white space are essential

While you may think that design generally means throwing together lots of components and elements, simple is better when it comes to these documents. You don’t want to overwhelm your customers. Much of that comes down to how you organize information. It’s best to do this as a hierarchy with the most important at the top. That could be details about the account for invoice design or key messages to display in collection letters.

Next is balancing visuals and white space. You should consider using full color on your communications that align with your branding to emphasize certain content or graphics. However, you’ll want to make sure there is plenty of white space between sections, so each one is self-contained with the necessary information.

Using boxes or other dividers between messaging helps as well. It allows the mind to move from subject to subject and better comprehend and, therefore, recall.

Finally, keep the font simple. In most cases, you should use your brand’s fonts the same way you do for any company document. If your font family includes those that are bolder and harder to read, nix those for these pieces.

Consistency in design builds brand recognition

The biggest brands in the world never stray from their core design elements, regardless of the medium. It’s a rule worth holding to in customer communication. As noted, you should use color, but it should be your brand’s palette. Consistency with fonts, icons, or other elements is a best practice, too. When you create this ecosystem, your customers can easily identify your company and avoid confusion.

Visuals are great but don’t go over the top

Keep that motto of simple when it comes to any visual appeal for your customers. Make sure these have an impact or help you tell the story. For example, utility companies often include graphs that map past and current usage. This data visualization explains much better than just some numbers. If they see usage is up, it may prompt them to look into programs you have around conservation or energy efficiency.

Another great visual component relates to invoice design. For example, you could use branded icons to explain different types of charges. That could be very beneficial to customers and could curtail customer service inquiries.

There are many options. When designing statements or letters, be purposeful with images. Don’t just insert something because you have the space. It could turn into a distraction.

By adhering to these standards, your customer communications can deliver many benefits.

customer communication engagementThe Benefits of Good Design: Engagement and Action

The whole point of customer communication strategy is to capture attention and to increase response times to prompt the customer to act (i.e., make a payment, update an account, add services, etc.). You can meet these objectives by being strategic with design to drive engagement and action. Here are some things you can expect.

Increase customer engagement and comprehension

Good design holds attention and delivers content in a frictionless way. Plus, the messages are directly on the invoice, statement, or letter versus an insert. Customers are going to take the time to look over these communications. The clearer and easier to understand they are, the more likely they are to absorb all the information and follow the CTA (call-to-action).

Because you’re organizing messages starting with the most important, there’s no ambiguity about what they need to know. As a result, the readability of the document improves substantially. You may be thinking, how can you measure this? It depends on your goal and could include:

  • QR codes for easy payment, which are trackable.
  • Unique URLs, email addresses, or phone numbers tied to upsell or cross-sell offers.
  • Evaluating if a new design impacted on-time payments.
  • Watching to see if certain types of customer inquiries decline.

Create buzz around services and products

Upselling and cross-selling can easily integrate into customer communications and create a better customer relationship and customer engagement. If you’re a telecom, financial institution, insurer, or any other business with multiple lines of business, you’re always trying to get current customers to subscribe to more. You likely do this in many channels, mostly digital, but your statements and letters are also a great space.

You can also customize those offers based on what you know about your customer. Executing this on high-volume transactional mail may seem impossible, but it’s far from it. Advanced technology enables dynamic data printing on each document. With this ability, your messaging is more targeted, which can lead to more conversions.

Improve your reputation

You may not realize it, but your customers are judging your communications. If they receive something that looks unprofessional or generic, it could impact how they feel about your company and if they decide to remain with you. With an elevated design, you can make a better impression and improve your customer communication.

Reduce costs with all content on one document

As mentioned, being able to print everything on a statement or letter reduces the need for inserts. That’s a substantial cost saving for you regarding materials and printing. It can also decrease postage costs because the letter weighs less. You’ll be improving the quality of your communications but saving money!

Redesigning Your Customer Communications with PCI Group

As a leader in mission-critical communications, we do more than just print and mail. We also offer document design services. We use what we know about transactional mail along with our technological capabilities to deliver designs that engage and drive action.

Learn more about our document design services today.