The Color of CRM (628 words)
InterWest Bank, based in Seattle, has grown rapidly, and it has recently acquired five banks. The bank was building relationships with these new customers by providing them with detailed information on changes to their current accounts. "We needed a way to communicate these changes to a large number of customers in a very personal way," says Susan Sandberg, advertising and direct response manager at InterWest.
The bank found a solution through K&H Integrated Print Solutions in Washington. Using high-speed digital color presses, and working off of InterWest's database, K&H produced fully personalized color booklets that outline changes in individual customer accounts, terms and fees, and disclosure information required by law. The InterWest booklets also incorporated full-color photography and graphics setting them apart from typical statements.
K&H printed these eight- to 12-page booklets on a Xeikon high-speed digital color press. "Our Xeikon DCP/50D Digital Color Press produces offset-quality at very high speeds—6,000 full color pages per hour," says Jay Ackley, executive vice president and general manager of K&H. "The digital process is also completely flexible, allowing for variable information printing from complex databases. It's the ideal solution for applications like the InterWest booklet, because we're able to use data beyond name, address, and ZIP code."
Because customer account information changes frequently, turnaround time was a vital factor to the project. After the database and booklet format were worked out, K&H was able to print the booklets digitally in less than a week.
"Traditionally we would mail out a large booklet outlining changes in products and brands," says Sandberg. "But, with disclosure information, and explanations of every type of account, such a document can be overwhelming. With the digital color booklets the customer only sees the information on accounts that he or she holds. It saves time and gets them off on the right foot building a relationship with us."
Using K&H's proprietary data-mining software, InterWest's database is sorted and linked to individual digital documents that vary in length and layout accordingly. An array of data elements is used, including type of account, account numbers, required disclosure information and number of account holders per household.
Building Trust with Technology
Ackley points out that personalization, if not executed correctly, is a double-edged sword. "If incorrect or mismatched information appears in a document, it dramatically erodes confidence in the bank," he says. "The Xeikon digital color press reduces the chances of such an error to a minimum, because it pulls information directly from our software. Each complete document is printed in collated order, one after another. Prior to digital technology you couldn't dream of printing this kind of personalized data without a great deal of confusion and expense."
The Xeikon further reduces chances of error with One-Pass-Duplex (the ability to print both sides of the page in one pass). "Other systems require you to turn the paper over and run it through again. That isn't acceptable for work that involves sensitive personal data," says Ackley.
The rebranding campaign has been a success for InterWest. Using the personalized strategy, InterWest has rebranded accounts and services for the customers of the subsidiary banks it acquired. InterWest has already sent out 30,000 booklets and plans to utilize K&H's digital technology for a larger rebranding campaign that will entail printing 80,000 booklets next year.
James Krouse is an account executive at A.B. Isacson & Associates. Contact him by e-mail at email@example.com.