• August 5, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

The Paperless Office Nears

What ever happened to the promise of a paperless office? Edocs is making great strides toward that effort with its introduction of a prepackaged offering for financial services. The application, dubbed Focused Solutions, consists of three components: e-Statements for Banking, Customer Self-Service for Credit Cards, and e-Billing for Insurance. The solutions aim to cut the high cost of generating paper. According to Bill Zujewski, senior director of product marketing at edocs, the cost to generate a single paper statement can range from 0.50 cents to $1.25 when factoring in costs such as postage, print, and marketing inserts. Although two thirds of the top 100 U.S. banks still don't offer electronic statements, Zujewski says that 10 percent to 40 percent of online banking customers are willing to abandon paper. "It improves customer satisfaction for those people who want the convenience of receiving electronic statements. Plus, it enables companies to use electronic tools to cross-sell and upsell to customers," he says. "It's a no-brainer return on investment." Solutions like e-Statements for Banking move transactional statements such as checking and savings accounts, trade confirmations, and tax documents online to improve customer access to account information and reduce paper and mailing costs. An example might be posting copies of canceled checks online for customers to view instead of mailing them every month. E-Billing for Insurance enables billing companies to present bills at their own sites and distribute e-bills to online banking sites. Customer Self-Service for Credit Cards aims to deflect customer calls into a contact center to a Web site that provides answers to common customer queries. The average implementation time for Focused Solutions is eight to 12 weeks, says Tim Walsh, director of corporate communications at edocs. The price, which includes the software and integration services, tends to range from $300,000 to $500,000, depending on the solution and amount of users. The solutions are available on a licensed, leased or on a hosted basis. The next set of prepackaged Focused Solutions from edocs will likely offer e-billing and self-service solutions for the energy, utilities, and cable companies, Zujewski says.
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