The digital revolution has changed our principal means of communication and affects every business and market in this modern day and age. The print and mailing industry is no exception to this rule. In the past few years, AddComm — and the entire print and mailing industry — has witnessed the steady and inevitable growth of digital communications. With email, SMS, social media, and messaging applications, corporate communications are no longer dominated by print. “Just five years ago, companies would send out printed documentation by default. Nowadays, customers want to decide for themselves when and how they receive their communication,” says Leonie van der Veen, AddComm’s CEO.
The aforementioned changes in business-oriented communication landscapes have led to the rise of omnichannel and multichannel communications, which connect and integrate all communication channels to create a single source of truth. But how can companies improve their client communications quickly to deliver the right message to their customers and meet omnichannel/multichannel demands? For AddComm, this new challenge represents new opportunities. “We want to help our clients change the way they communicate by properly integrating all the communication channels available to them.” AddComm’s software partnership with Flowize sets out to do just that.
Founded 20 years ago as a mail and print provider, AddComm has helped its clients create and send transactional communications, such as paper bills and pension forms. But since client communications have continued to evolve, so too has AddComm’s business. Nowadays, the company also helps to automate customer communications for some of the largest Dutch companies in a variety of industries, including financial services, collections, energy, philanthropy, and local governments. “Typically, we work for the top 500 companies here in the Netherlands.”
The challenge: improving client and multichannel communications
To automate client and multichannel communications, AddComm creates workflows. These workflows generate a sequence of actions to ensure that the end customer always receives the right message through a relevant channel. For example, if a company sends a bill to a customer’s email address but the email bounces, the next step in the workflow would be to mail them a printed invoice.
In AddComm’s previous in-house solution, clients could customize their messages by changing premade templates and updating text. But they couldn’t create workflows themselves. If a client wanted to create an entirely new workflow or add a new communication channel, they had to report back to AddComm.
The approach: workflow automation and software integration
With the proliferation of channels, clients have more options at their disposal to engage with their customers, inspiring AddComm to find a solution that would give clients full control over their automated communications. The goal: finding a single tool that allows clients to experiment with new channels and give them the opportunity to send the appropriate message to the right person at the right time. This approach gives clients significantly more communicative flexibility and facilitates omnichannel and multichannel communications.
This is where Flowize enters the scene. The addition of this sophisticated workflow integration, automation and communication tool has allowed AddComm to quickly set up communication workflows and put the clients in control. And the best thing: all of this can be done on one single platform. The software partnership with Flowize allows AddComm’s clients to freely add new communication channels, such as email, SMS, and voice messages, as well as social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Clients can even write scripts that connect in-house applications to new workflows.
Furthermore, software integration and workflow automation via Flowize enables clients to easily update or create new communication workflows, leading to a dramatic reduction in implementation time. Previously, a team of two developers and a project manager would need two to three weeks to create a simple workflow. Now the same team, minus the project manager, can create the same workflow in just two to three days. With the ability to adapt quickly, clients can test new channels and personalize messaging to see what works best for their specific business. “The number one benefit to clients is flexibility. They can change the process as often as they want to until they have fully perfected it,” says Van der Veen.
As a part of the onboarding process, AddComm sets up the first few communication workflows for clients. This allows the client to get familiar with Flowize and its functionalities before the managers and employees take over. “Our clients are used to sending printed and email communications. However, they often aren’t fully aware of all the other communication channels that are available to them in this digital day and age. Now that we are having those kinds of conversations with our customers, we can advise them on how to improve their modern communication processes and strategies with Flowize. This makes their communication much more customer-centric.”
The software partnership between AddComm and Flowize has already yielded spectacular results. Thanks to Flowize, AddComm has gained access to new markets and attracted new clients. The company has entered the field of marketing development and marketing automation. Furthermore, the addition of Flowize has given AddComm better opportunities to diversify and expand its range of services and generate revenue beyond traditional print and mail services. “Offering print or email services to our clients used to be our core business. Now we can combine new digital channels; additionally, we also have a wider range of products that we can sell to our clients. We are now able to offer a complete communications package,” says Van der Veen.
AddComm is looking to expand into the automotive industry and is also doing more for retail and employment agencies. Overall, the number of opportunities to expand into new markets has significantly increased since the implementation of Flowize. Thanks to the efficiency of workflow automation through Flowize, AddComm can add more clients to grow its existing printing and mailing business, while at the same time leveraging new digital communications. The partnership with Flowize has also allowed AddComm to gain a competitive edge. For large companies, two-way communication is an absolute must: they always combine print and email. Winning the business of these major players often comes down to competing on price. The competition is also fierce because most of the contenders are focused on the same small pool of large companies. Flowize has opened up new opportunities for AddComm while simultaneously reducing competition. AddComm can realize better margins, whilst the tool has also made it a lot easier to get in touch with the chief decision-makers of smaller companies. “The prospect-to-client timeline for a large company may take up to two years — and that’s an optimistic estimate. Since we use Flowize, landing a mid-sized company as a client takes us just one or two months.”
Looking to the Future
With clear success, AddComm continues to leverage Flowize as a key driver for the future of the business. “We expect to introduce many new clients to Flowize, as well as existing ones. Because the workflow is straightforward and easy to explain, the platform makes it way easier to sell what we do at AddComm,” says Leonie van der Veen. “Flowize is the future of AddComm.”