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The stepping-stones to digital transformation – two real-life projects

Digital transformation needn’t mean a top-to-toe reinvention. In most cases, digital transformation begins with solving smaller tactical business problems which, once implemented and proven, lead to further opportunities to digitalise legacy processes. To illustrate this point, we’ve described two digital transformation projects that our experts have recently supported clients with. Both projects are relatively small in scale. But in each case, the introduction of digital processes is driving significant cost and efficiency gains, addressing regulatory obligations, as well as delivering a tangible boost to the end-customer experience.

Reinventing a mission-critical regulatory requirement for a major financial services provider

Our client approached us to help them find a digital solution to a regulatory requirement that had resulted from a change in business strategy.

Not only was the client tasked with sending communications informing customers of the change in strategy, they also had a regulatory obligation to provide each customer with the facility to view all previous transactions over the last five years.

Initially, the client opted to send these documents by post. However, with a significant number of customers affected by the change, the client was understandably reluctant to distribute all account summaries in this manner. At a postage cost of around 35p per document, plus all pack prices, the costs would quickly escalate. This was especially true when the costs for some of the larger documents were taken into consideration. In many cases, these documents consisted of so many pages that our client was considering distributing them by courier at a cost of almost £6 per document. These bulkier documents accounted for around 50% of total customer volume, resulting in a potential cost of almost £500k to dispatch. Clearly, there was an opportunity to realise huge cost-savings by doing things differently.

The brief to our digital transformation experts was clear. Our client wanted to create a digital journey that would give every customer access to their five-year summary document online. This wasn’t merely a cost-saving exercise. The ambition was to enhance the customer experience, making this interaction swift and effortless. The solution also had to be quick to implement, highly secure, cost-effective and light on effort from our client’s own IT team.

Creating the online journey

Our solution provided the customer with authenticated access to a web portal containing their unique five-year summary document. The portal sits on our client’s web domain so it is immediately recognisable and trusted by any customer accessing it.

Access is provided via a QR code or short URL, with customers authenticating using a unique ID and a pin number - sent via the post in two separate letters. Our client wanted these authentication details sent by post rather than SMS or email because their customers trust postal communications, meaning they were more likely to respond to the call to action. The portal itself is highly intuitive, providing users with quick access to the relevant document and with the ability to download it as required.

Collaborate and co-construct

Development was managed collaboratively at every stage of the process. Our experts built an agile solution in accordance with the project brief, working in sprints of development and adapting and refining the project as it developed. As an example, we consulted with our client’s project managers to define the user experience and the required look and feel of the user journey. We then created the relevant customer-facing screens, presenting them back for approval and validation of the functionality.

This agile, co-construction approach is extremely productive and accelerates the speed of change. Plans change quickly and ideas are tested, eventually leading to a solution that is perfectly tailored to the client’s requirements. It can take just 1-2 weeks to build the user experience and user journey. Once this functional specification is in place, the technical specification is built using a low-code approach. The solution is cloud-based, robustly secure, fully audited by the client’s InfoSec team, and contains a great deal of clever encryption embedded in the platform. The entire project - from discovery to go live - took just eight weeks.

Facilitating digital response capture for a leading financial services provider

A leading financial services provider was making compliance-driven changes to its default fund management process. The provider needed to contact over 140k customers to inform them of the changes and to ask whether those customers wanted to opt-in or opt-out of the new structure.

The provider set out its requirements in an RFP: they wanted to create a solution that captured customer responses digitally, with the ability to capture hard-copy responses they may also receive. They needed a partner with the ability to send out personalised letters based on variable content blocks (at volume) and with the expertise to also set up a microsite that could enable authenticated customers to interact online. The microsite would enable customers to complete a short questionnaire, capture the responses and then trigger the next set of actions based on the customer’s answers. The provider also needed its chosen partner to offer a robust inbound scanning solution to capture hard-copy feedback for those customers that preferred not to engage through the online channel.

We were selected to meet these requirements because of our technical capabilities and ability to manage every aspect of the project. The client also noted our ability to work in an agile fashion, to personalise the solution to an individual level and to deliver with speed. The project deadline meant the solution had to be up and running in just two months.

Personalised pages

Our digital transformation experts looked at the microsite element of the project and suggested a fresh approach. Microsites can be limited in terms of delivering the functionality required to truly personalise the user experience to an individual level. Instead, our team suggested a hosted application which delivers personalised pages triggered by flags in each person’s authentication data (such as date of birth, account number, etc.). Thus, each page is pre-populated with an individual’s data, resulting in a smoother, more efficient user experience.

Our digital transformation tools enable us to streamline numerous processes. We have componentised solutions ready to plug in – such as a database, a processing engine, digital journey templates and a cloud-based front-end. We can then engineer the client’s data so that it fits into this plug-and-play platform, ingesting the data in the right format, and building logic into the solution to deliver the necessary personalisation.

In just two months, we’ve been able to replace a very outdated paper process with a solution that digitally streamlines the fund management journey for customers. The process is also more cost-effective through the elimination of a large percentage of postage costs. The client anticipates 90% customer adoption for this new digital service.

Taking the first step

These are just two examples of current digital transformation projects that we have driven and co-constructed with our clients. These examples demonstrate that digital transformation is not necessarily about making sweeping changes across the business. Rather, digital advantages can be introduced to solve immediate challenges where elements of an operation are unwieldy and outdated. In our experience, once digital alternatives are introduced and are proving successful, the number of advocates supporting these alternatives within each business increases significantly.

The first step is often the hardest. Taking that first step with an experienced partner will ensure your business quickly navigates a path through legacy transformation.

Both of these projects are enabled through Quadient’s digitalNOW! platform. Our partnership with CX technology specialist Quadient enables us to work with clients to design improved digital customer experiences as part of the transformation of their customer communications.

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