The COVID‑19 era has taught us there are still situations when the good old 'snail mail' is required. In fact, we advise businesses to keep physical print options available, not only to provide customers with choice, but also out of necessity.
Take voting, for example. In March 2020, we assisted the local government in a major European city to conduct postal voting because local COVID‑19 restrictions prevented them from conducting physical polling in their municipality.
The same applies for businesses receiving communications from customers. Some customers still prefer to submit physical documents, either due to lack of comfort or knowledge around digital, or because they don't have access to technology to complete and submit an online application and attach documentation.
But how do you post documents to customers or receive incoming mail from customers in a situation where remote working is in place? This is a problem faced by many of our clients – one with no clear end in sight.
Bridging the divide
This challenge has led to a rise in hybrid services that bridge the divide between digital and traditional mail, helping fill the void of staff in physical locations and keep businesses running smoothly.
One such service is Hybrid Mail, which allows employees to send outbound mail jobs to our print queue where our machines print, envelope and send on their behalf. This allows businesses to continue to print ad-hoc customer communications, such as application forms and confirmation letters, in situations where staff don't have ready access to printers or office facilities.
On the incoming side, Digital Mailroom allows physical mail to be scanned by our systems and securely emailed a nominated recipient. This keeps your mailroom functioning without physical interaction by staff.
These hybrid solutions allow companies to easily adhere to social distancing regulations, action workflows and respond to customers seamlessly while operating in a post-COVID world.
There's a place for digital and physical communications in BCP
The bottom line is to be agile. To continue engaging customers in a rapidly changing environment, it's not a case of choosing between digital and physical communication; you need fluid movement between both forms. We cannot deny that the world is rapidly moving to a digital-only landscape, but there are still regulatory requirements, customer experience considerations and unpredictable situations that require businesses to remain flexible in how we deliver a communications experience that customers desire.
If you would like advice on adopting digital communications in your business or improving your existing communications to deliver a better customer experience, Computershare's commsx consulting team is ready to help.