Reinventing paperwork as a revenue generation tool: 5 steps that work
IT leaders striving to create new revenue streams should consider these foundational changes to how they build, deploy and optimize unavoidable paperwork
Everybody hates paperwork. It is a mundane, time-consuming task that creates a lot of frustration.
But in some industries, such as insurance, banking, financial services, or real estate, paperwork is an absolute necessity that cannot be avoided. As a result, these companies routinely frustrate their existing and potential clients by making them sign tons of paperwork in inefficient and clunky ways, losing customers in the process.
For decades, paperwork has been treated as a necessary evil. It is something that everyone has to deal with, and nothing can be done to improve the experience.
But technology is not standing still. Finally, solutions are available that are capable of transforming paperwork into digital journeys that can be effective in boosting revenues, cutting costs and improving the bottom line.
Signing paperwork on a PDF is still far from a great experience
Transforming paper forms into PDFs is a step in the right direction. However, PDFs usability leaves much to be desired, especially on mobile devices. PDFs are holding back true digital transformation, as they do not enable enterprises to take full advantage of the digital medium.
PDFs are still clunky and are not far removed from the experience of actual paperwork. Apart from a clunky experience, there is no personalization, no responsiveness and zero optimization.
What’s worse is some companies still require their customers to print, hand-sign, and scan their forms to kickstart workflows such as new customer onboarding, policy change, or claims administration.
Today, digital-first newcomers are entering the market at an unprecedented pace, and companies that rely on inefficient paper-pushing must adapt and do so quickly.
Making the shift from digital-laggard to innovator and revenue generator is no simple task. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to address this challenge. Still, there are foundational changes every CIO can make to start delivering digital transformation and creating new revenue streams.
Coded processes are slow to build and impossible to optimize
One solution to completely reshape customer experience around data collection is by custom-coding digital journeys. This is a great alternative to traditional paperwork, and many insurers and financial service enterprises are taking advantage of it to improve their core processes.
However, there are a lot of issues with relying on custom-coding solutions to solve paperwork problems.
Problem 1: There are just too many journeys to build
An average insurance company or a major bank will have hundreds of thousands of types of forms that they need to digitize. A traditional development project for a single digital journey takes anywhere from 5-12 months, depending on the complexity of internal workflows, integrations required, and extra features that the customer journey requires.
This slow pace is simply no longer feasible in the digital economy of today.
Problem 2: Change management at scale is difficult
When we deal with a large volume of form types, applying changes as requested by sales, marketing, compliance, or customer service departments becomes a protracted process, resulting in an ever-growing backlog on the internal IT teams.
As a result, precious IT department time is wasted on minor adjustments to digital forms, instead of concentrating on more impactful projects such as modernizing legacy systems or improving IT infrastructures.
Problem 3: Data-driven optimization is nearly impossible
Probably the biggest problem with digitizing paperwork with code is that it is virtually impossible to build an ongoing optimization strategy based on customer behavior.
The insights for the data are being lost and are not acted upon. This means that companies are routinely missing out on tremendous revenue growth opportunities.
Turning paperwork into a revenue growth machine with a no-code platform
For years, companies have settled for making their paperwork as painless as possible. However, what if I told you that we could take it a step further and transform paperwork into a revenue growth engine?
This is how digital transformation leaders can create more digital customers in 2020 and drive revenue growth through optimizing paperwork.
Step 1: Embrace no-Code for agile development
When it takes months to develop a single process, adapting quickly to customer behavior is impossible. The very first step is to slash the time it takes to build and release a digital journey.
Coded solutions are great for one-off projects that require a lot of customized features. However, when we are talking about paperwork, we are dealing with multiple processes that are very similar to each other.
That is why scaling up development by using a no-code platform is the first step in transforming paperwork from a cost into a revenue-driven machine.
Step 2: Add advanced personalization and make use of your data
When it comes to conversion rate optimization, personalization is the name of the game.
We all know that consumers respond best to messages and visuals that are tailored specially to them. Consumers are also expecting companies to use the data they already collected to improve their experience. Asking an existing customer for their phone number when you already have it in your system only adds friction and frustration to the process.
Now, imagine what would happen if paperwork could automatically adapt to customer inputs, or other parameters such as age, gender or location.
By tailoring customer journeys to each customer, you can significantly boost conversion rates of critical processes, such as customer onboarding, policy updates, or even upsell your customers as they are filing your paperwork.
Step 3: Unified management and data analytics dashboards
One problem with custom-coded solutions is that analyzing the data requires a complex setup and a dedicated BI (Business Intelligence) department to make heads or tails of the data those processes collect.
Business users are often left in the dark, even if the data is collected and available somewhere in the enterprise systems.
By pulling all the data into one centralized and easy-to-understand dashboard, it is a sure way to improve the outcomes by giving business users the insights they need.
Step 4: Focus on the customer, not the process
The Design Value Index (DMI) shows that – over a ten-year period – design-driven companies surpassed the S&P by more than 200 percent.
Instead of treating paperwork as something that is a necessary evil, enterprises must instead embrace the design thinking approach and transform paperwork into a new medium – responsive digital journeys.
By focusing on a human-centric design, enterprises can develop rapid prototypes and transform paperwork from an obstacle to a solution, significantly improving business outcomes.
Step 5: A/B testing and ongoing optimization
AB testing is so commonplace in the digital world that it is shocking that this simple technique is not applied to paperwork.
While many times the questions you are required to ask is limited by compliance and legal considerations, the design of the workflow, the order of questions or even simply the font size can have a tremendous impact on the completion rates.
By routinely conducting AB tests on forms, enterprises can significantly improve outcomes in terms of revenue generation from each process.
True digital transformation is within reach
There has been some move into the right direction with increased adoption of eSignatures and growing digitization of paperwork. But in most cases, the true nature of paperwork didn’t change – it remains a clunky and frustrating process, albeit handled by digital means.
You can’t avoid paperwork. But you can transform it into a revenue generation engine! You can build engagement opportunities around any business process that involves customer data collection.