According to IDC research conducted with Quadient customers, examining the U.S. print market recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19, print volumes dropped in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. In addition, it found that 28 percent of Quadient customers expect to migrate more paper-based processes to digital workflows on an ad-hoc basis, while 35 percent anticipate establishing specific corporate policies for migrating to paperless in a more aggressive manner across the organisation.

The research also discovered that a slight majority (53 percent) of organisations anticipate further print reduction in the future. Nevertheless, print remains an integral business function, with essential and mission-critical printing continuing to take place. The question is, why does print remain vital in the digital workplace?

Here are just some of the reasons why print still has a place in workplaces today:

  1. Customer preference

In some cases, these customer preferences are easily identified based on client type. For example, institutional clients almost always receive electronic billing, whereas individual clients prefer paper, as they are traditionally more comfortable receiving a printed document. Private clients are simply more paper heavy, meaning that these channels have remained more relevant for those types of clients.

It is also important to consider the generational tendencies in play, with age being a major factor. Generally speaking, younger clients are more comfortable with electronic communication, preferring to communicate in this way. In contrast, older clients would prefer to see and hold a printed piece of paper, due to comfort and familiarity. Attempting to communicate with older clients via email could result in missed communication, as they may not check their inbox all that often. Not only is it an issue of customer preference, but it is also about ensuring clients get the required content. As such, solutions must be tailored to customers accordingly.

  1. Compliance

There are a number of regulations that organisations must comply with to necessitate print. Settlement checks have to be sent by certified mail, meaning they need to be printed, while legal forms must be printed and delivered in physical form in order for clients to be able to sign agreements and settlement releases.

Further to this, there are regulatory compliance issues with groups, such as Medicare, which require certain documents to be printed on paper. Regulatory issues remain a big factor in determining what channels and processes to use for the documents distributed to customers.

  1. Digital fatigue

Customers are beginning to feel ‘digital fatigue,’ which has no doubt been amplified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, customers are looking for offline experiences due to so much of what we do today being dominated by the online experience.

Print and paper mail can offer the offline experience that some customers not only prefer, but also trust. It puts customers in a comfortable mindset, allowing them to communicate via their preferred medium.

  1. Print stands out

In an era of information overload, it is vital to stand out and differentiate yourself from competitors. Print is capable of standing out in the digital world. Indeed, print is sticky, staying at the forefront of customers’ minds. It can bring up certain emotions that can stir ‘calls to action’ in ways that digital is sometimes incapable. This is particularly the case when it comes to billing and improving debtor days.

As such, it can be seen that printed mail is an important part of organisations modernisation strategies. It is not only relevant, but it’s also a necessary and integral business function. To find out how your company can continue to reap the rewards of effective printed communications, take a look at our mail related solutions.

Anthony Coo

Anthony Coo

Head of Product Marketing, UK & Ireland

Anthony manages the product marketing division in the UK and Ireland. He has over 13 years’ experience of successfully launching and managing solutions in life. His teams’ product portfolio helps organisations manage their communications both physical and digital, streamline complex processes, and ensure the inbound and outbound solution meets market needs of now and the future.

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