“The invoice is one of our most important channels, as it is one of the few interfaces where we can really address customers,” says Anders Elgenberg, Senior Communication & Marketing Specialist at Nordea Finans.
Nordea Finans is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nordea Bank. In addition to its operations in Sweden, the company is also active in Denmark, Finland and Norway. Together, they form northern Europe’s largest provider of financial services, which offers a wide range of products and services. These allow customers to finance their investments and increase cash flow, sales and customer loyalty. The products include leasing, payment in installments, borrowing against invoices, card credit and consumer loans.
Nordea Finans is subject to banking secrecy. That’s why the invoice forms an important channel.
“It is one of the few channels via which we can really address the customer,” says Anders Elgenberg. This is reflected not least in the frequency of openings.
Having the right communication on invoices saves our customer service resources and gives the customer a feeling of added value with our products.
In recent years, Nordea Finans has noticed that more and more customers are making use of digital channels.
“We believe it is important to cater for new needs and communicate on the customer’s terms. This strengthens the relationship with our customers and partners and increases customer satisfaction.”
“We decided to produce an HTML invoice when we noticed that more than half the users were opening invoices as PDFs on their cell phones.”
Anders Elgenberg, Senior Communication & Marketing Specialist at Nordea Finans, Andreas Davidson, Customer Developer at PostNord Strålfors and Hans Astermark, Business Manager at PostNord Strålfors.
Nordea Finans now works in PostNord Strålfors’ Access Interactive solution, in which invoices are created in HTML5 and these are dynamic documents with a responsive design that adapts the viewing to fit all conceivable channels.
We previously had very long lead times. We provide information about the added value of our products, and offers from various partners. This could be discounts on travel or hotels, information about the various benefits and insurance cover provided by credit cards, or frequently asked questions and answers. We previously had to send the documents three weeks before the print file deadline, which made it difficult to provide fresh information and offers.
“That was another important parameter for us in the project, getting a faster process and having a deadline as close to the production date as possible,” says Anders Elgenberg.
“The right communication on the invoice saves resources at our customer service and gives the customer an added value experience with our products,” explains Anders Elgenberg.
Nordea Finans has cooperated with PostNord Strålfors regarding administrative communication for many years.
“Our journey to better customer communication via the invoice started many years ago, with color logos and different types of simple messages. The first step was to create a communication channel, which we succeeded in doing,” says Anders Elgenberg.
A few years ago, we took the next step, with a new layout and even more messages on the paper invoices.
“We have developed an omnichannel solution for Nordea Finans, which helps them to get the right message to the right people in the channels that customers want,” says Hans Astermark, Business Manager at PostNord Strålfors.
“We have worked the whole time in parallel with e-invoicing, mirroring the paper invoice. So we’ve brought a lot of knowledge to this project. But as users have increasingly switched to cell phones, we have now switched from PDF to HTML5,” says Hans Astermark, Business Manager at PostNord Strålfors.
“We have created an omnichannel solution for Nordea Finans. They simply log into our tool via the web and can control the market messages themselves,” says Hans Astermark.
“They have full control over their marketing communications thanks to our solution. In addition, it is possible to take it a step further in the future and let their partners design their own offers and campaigns with a separate login.”
Nordea Finans is the first bank in Sweden to have chosen digital first for its administrative communication. The channels are prioritized, so the document is primarily sent out as an Internet Bank Invoice (IBF) in HTML5 format. If the user has not selected IBF, the document is forwarded to a digital mailbox (Kivra in Sweden). If neither of the above two options are available, or if a payment is overdue, a paper invoice is sent.
Another part of the solution that saves time for customer service is the eArchive. All communication sent to the customer is stored here. It also provides information on where the invoice was sent, where and when it was opened and more, via the Track & Trace service. eArchive is also linked directly to a My Pages solution, which means that customers can log in and view their invoices at any time.
“In addition, our customer service can access the same information and look at exactly the same documents if the customer contacts us with questions. This makes it much easier and saves a lot of time, as we can discuss the document while both we and the customer are viewing it,” says Anders Elgenberg.
“Our hope is that our customers have become more satisfied, because they can easily read their invoices whenever and however they want.”
Combining marketing and transaction-related communications in the same correspondence has many advantages. It means a significantly shorter time to market and easier collaboration with partners.
Anders Elgenberg is pleased with the outcome.
“Our hope is that our customers have become more satisfied, because they can easily read their invoices whenever and however they want. The solution also relieves the load on the business, as the internal processes have been made much simpler.”
“Clearer communication solutions mean fewer calls to customer service, which thus requires fewer resources, and this also saves money,” says Anders Elgenberg.
“And being able to quickly adjust and update our marketing communications is a big advantage.”
“We now have a very good invoicing solution. The next step for us is to properly measure its usage and learn more about our customers.”
The new solution has also saved valuable staff resources in the marketing department at Nordea Finans. In the past, the handling of mailings required quite a lot of manual work.
“Today we can do it with one person, and a little extra help sometimes. This means that my colleagues can focus on other things that also need attention,” says Anders Elgenberg.
Prior to the project, there was talk about the possibilities of monitoring and analyzing the traffic generated by the HTML invoices. What do customers click on, what do they want? This knowledge about customer behavior creates new opportunities.
The next step for Nordea Finans is to start using all the data that the new solution can generate, and to make decisions based on usage patterns.
“If we supplement the data we receive with surveys and questions sent via email and text messages, we will be able to meet our customers’ needs even better in the future,” says Anders Elgenberg:
“We now have a very good invoicing solution. The next step for us is to properly measure its usage and learn more about our customers. Then we can work on improving the solution based on that.”