The pandemic accelerated the migration of financial communications from paper to digital. Now, months after we have designed a WhatsApp delivery strategy for our clients, Eduardo Moschini – software engineer at :hiperstream – writes about this experience and demonstrates a traceability matrix for the digital channels. To read the previous article published by Moschini, visit “Sending emails: How it works in practice”.
Early when social distancing measures were adopted, :hiperstream worked in record time to design a contingency plan and redundancy procedure to deliver financial communications. Although many consumers still prefer paper bills and statements, there’s an alternative communication channel with greater acceptance: WhatsApp.
This migration was crucial to guarantee the deliveries, reducing the impact on late payments and overloaded customer service channels. Now, months after putting this into practice, I suggest an analysis of WhatsApp’s effectiveness to measure how interactions happen at each point along the customer's financial journey – either as a priority channel or as a contingency plan.
Digital Message Traceability Matrix
Sending an SMS or an email? An attached file or a short link for the customer to download the document from a landing page? Decisions vary from company to company according to their goals, but each choice means a different level of control and understanding of the financial journey.
With the traceability matrix below, I propose a visual demonstration of how traceability changes according to channel and document format. The further to the right on the columns, the more details we can get from the consumer behavior:
Digital Message Traceability Matrix: WhatsApp messages linking to a landing page (last row) is the only combination that allows tracing all of the customer checkpoints (columns), from send to identity validation
Considering this perspective, using short links in WhatsApp messages enables tracking customers’ touch points more accurately. Choosing this instead of an attached file seems like a common dilemma. But from a technical standpoint, the attachment doesn’t allow you to be sure that the user has downloaded the file.
As a plus, the short link can also work as an additional validation step. Explaining: a customer who completes the full circle in the financial journey has consequently validated its cell phone number, contributing to an updated database. It means the user received the message, clicked on the link and answered the password correctly – which can be the first digits of his ID number, for example –, to download the transactional document.
Six reasons why customers don’t complete a download
When we think about sending transactional documents via WhatsApp, the download is the main conversion goal. A “download rate” that is considered "successful" can vary, but there are some presumptions that help understanding users’ behavior, thus driving better results.
Even if customers have agreed to receive messages on WhatsApp (opt-in), why not all of them complete the download?
1) Incorrect or deactivated phone number
That’s the first thing that comes to mind, since an outdated customer database is quite usual – and is related to the importance of relying on data validation tools, like DVA (Data Validation Automation).
2) Customer has already received the document through a different channel
Especially when there’s a contingency delivery plan in place, part of the customers may have already received the paper document or downloaded it from another channel, such as the company's website or app.
3) Customer unhappy with the digital channel
We can also consider that the digital migration wasn’t a choice for part of the customers, who aren’t comfortable with this delivery channel.
4) Security concerns
Concerns related to online security can be an issue no matter the format chosen to deliver the financial document – short link or PDF. The point here is to reinforce the trust around the channel itself. On WhatsApp Business, getting the green "tick'' guarantees the account is real and verified.
5) Defaulting customers
If the customer doesn’t intend to pay that month's invoice (or at least not on time), he may not open the message and/or even forget to do so.
6) Automatic payments
The best of all scenarios must also be considered. The customer can set an automatic payment directly with his bank or credit provider and choose not to open the message or download the digital invoice.
Do you see how different factors could impact the success of a delivery strategy? At :hiperstream, we understand ourselves as business enablers – and we want to support your company's communication and relationship challenges as well. Let’s talk about it.