The holidays are behind us, the kids are back in school, and it is time to embrace 2013. As we move forward into the New Year we can be certain of one thing. Change!
One change that is a concern for our industry is the pending increase in postage costs (effective January 28). While the United States Post Office continues to struggle financially, we should anticipate that service levels will diminish and that postage will continue to rise. This underscores the need to make sure you are mailing to the best address. Employing data scrubs prior to mailing will improve right-party contact on the first mailing attempt and reduce the waste associated with return mail. Pre-mailing data scrubs should include the use of National Change of Address (NCOA) service and Address Element Correction (AEC) to ensure you have the most current and best address possible before sending your billing correspondences or collection notices. Long term, though, ARM companies should be looking at other strategies to reduce their reliance on traditional print and mail.
RevSpring helps several of our clients integrate email-based solutions and text-based notifications to help drive savings and improve consumer convenience for a wide variety of correspondences. Two fundamental requirements for initiating the use of electronic communications are:
- Have a comprehensive “opt-in” process to gain consent for email/text based communication from the consumer
- Deliver the communications in a secure manner
When gaining opt-in from the consumer you should get consent in writing; at the very least, you’ll need to record their verbal consent using call session recording technology. You should be using multiple options for delivering email and SMS text communications using industry best practices for maintaining security and managing the message delivery time to adhere to compliance requirements. It should be noted that in addition to providing significant cost savings the convenience of communicating by email or text message is often preferred by the consumer and can help speed the collection process.
As it relates to service levels, most of the cost-cutting measures discussed at the USPS involve facility closures or diminishing service levels. With these proposed changes, having strategies to help move the mail quickly are more important than ever before. You should consider providers that offer multiple strategically located production facilities across the United States. Not only does this strengthen disaster recovery and business continuity plans but it allows you to utilize distributive processing to optimize mail delivery times. By printing and mailing from multiple regional production centers you can minimize the handling and logistics of the mail while in the USPS custody. In many cases this can save a day or more off of the delivery times.