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The Credit Services Association (CSA)
Blog: Are you Mailmark ready?
John Ricketts is Vice President of the Credit Services Association (CSA), the UK trade body for the debt collection sector.
Royal Mail’s new Mailmark barcode technology brings mail and business information together, providing organisations who mail out high volumes (millions of letters) with powerful analytics on exactly what happens to each letter from the moment it leaves them to the moment it arrives at the recipient’s door, and beyond.
The detailed online reporting covers everything from predicted delivery times to errors on individual items. When integrated with other business intelligence tools, this allows us to measure the performance of customer mail in a way that was never previously possible.
As a sector that relies heavily on postal communications to make vital contact with customers, new technology that will allow us to better understand what happens to our mail once it is dispatched will be of huge benefit to both the industry and consumers. Here’s three reasons why:
Weeding out the wrong data
The quality of customer data has a direct impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of debt collection. Mailmark will improve the debt collection process for both collectors and customers by increasing address quality and weeding out incorrect data more quickly. Previously, Royal Mail carried out a manual sample of an organisation’s mail and added surcharges to the whole mailing for noncompliant items. Now, each and every item will be checked (with only incorrect items being surcharged) so that incorrect information can be identified and removed from the outset.
Getting the timing of follow up communications right
The ability to track delivery speeds and confirmations will give debt collection agencies the ability to time follow-up communications such as phone calls more effectively before letters are mistakenly thrown away or customers are given cause for concern. It will also mean that customers do not receive calls before receiving the corresponding mail, saving time and confusion. This not only gives the collector more control but takes the onus off the customer, taking the hassle out of following things up off their hands and making sure that all the communications they receive are streamlined and predictable.
Understanding the customer journey
Overall, the detailed analytics provided by Mailmark will give us a much greater insight into the customer journey, allowing collectors to adapt their approach according to the information that the customer has/hasn’t already received. This will make us more agile as an industry and able to make better business decisions based on the confidence of knowing what has happened to our mail. We will be able to provide clients and stakeholders with better information on how we are engaging with customers and more effectively selfregulate the impact of our communications on customers.