Companies have been trying to persuade customers to opt for electronic billing and communication for decades, and yet the rate of adoption has remained relatively stagnant. While it varies by industry, most consumers still opt for paper. Only 34% of bills and statements are paperless, according to the 2017 survey of North American businesses by Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, which tracks the trend annually. The research company forecasts that total market adoption is even less (27%-29%).
In an age where so many people are plugged in, why do they still need paper communication as their main source of information? We’ve heard the following reasons from consumers:
- The paper statement is my physical reminder to pay my bill.
- I don’t want to go to 10 different websites to get my statements when they can be in a nice stack on my kitchen counter.
- I don’t want to lose the documents and like to keep a paper copy for my records.
“What all of these reasons have in common is that consumers are still looking for ease of use. They don’t care whether their statement is physical or digital, as long as it’s a good experience,” says Cynthia Bajana, vice president of sales for RRD’s Business Communications Solutions.
Rather than simply pushing electronic communication, brands need to step back and examine how to improve the customer experience. As Steve Jobs said, “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward to the technology.” Here’s how brands can evolve their communication strategy to increase adoption of electronic communications.