In the past few years, AddComm — and the entire print and mailing industry — has witnessed the inevitable growth of digital communications. With email, SMS, social media and messaging applications, corporate communications are no longer dominated by print.
“If you look at 5 years ago a company decided we have to send out documentation. Nowadays customers want to decide for themselves when and how they receive their communication.” said Leonie van der Veen, AddComm’s CEO.
Originally founded 20 years ago as a mail and print provider, AddComm has helped its clients create and send transactional communications like paper bills and pension forms. But as communication have continued to evolve so too has AddComm’s business.
Now the company helps automate customer communications for top Dutch companies in a variety of industries including financial services, collections, energy, philanthropy, along with local governments.
As customers expect to be engaged through multiple channels, how can companies adapt their communications quickly to get the right message to their customers? For AddComm, this new challenge represents new opportunities.
To automate communications, AddComm creates workflows that create a sequence of actions that ensure the end customer receives the right message. 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 had the ability to customize their messages by changing premade templates and updating text. But they couldn’t make their own workflows. If a client wanted to create an entirely new workflow or add a new communication channel they had to go back to AddComm.
With the proliferation of channels, clients had more options at their disposal to engage with their customers, leading AddComm to find a solution that would give clients full control over their automated communications. The goal: a single tool that would allow clients to experiment with new channels in order to send the right message, to the right person at the right time.
“We want to help our clients change the way they communicate not only by print but by integrating all the channels available for them” said van der Veen.
The addition of Flowize has allowed AddComm to quickly set up communication workflows and hand the controls to their clients--all on one single platform. “Flowize gives us the opportunity to get the client behind the steering wheel and let them add new channels” van der Veen Said.
With over access to the Flowize market, AddComm’s clients can add new communication channels like emails, SMS and voice messages as well as social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Clients can even write their own scripts that connect in-house applications into new workflows.
Furthermore, with Flowize, clients can easily update or create new communication workflows, leading to a dramatic reduction in implementation time. Previously, a team of two developers with the help of a project manager would take 2-3 weeks to create a simple workflow. Now the same team, minus the project manager, can create the same workflow in 2-3 days.
With the ability to quickly adapt, clients now have the opportunity test new channels and personalize messaging to see what works best for their business. “The number one benefit to clients is flexibility. You can change the process however many times you want until you have the perfect process”, said van der Veen
As a part of the onboarding process, AddComm sets up the first few communication workflows for their clients. That way the company can get a feel for Flowize before they take over complete control themselves.
“Our clients are aware that they have to send print and I have to send email, but they don’t yet see what they can do with all the other output channels.” said van der Veen. “Now that we’re more at the beginning of those conversations with the customer, we can advise them how their process should look and how their customers want to receive their communication.”
AddComm has continued to leverage Flowize in order to diversify their business beyond transactional print.
“Now with Flowize, we can easily go into marketing development and marketing automation. That was a market we had never been in before”, said van der Veen. “Before we had a very broad view of where to go to attract client. And with Flowize we can easily show them how that is very possible.”
With clear success, AddComm continues to leverage Flowize as a key driver for future of the business. “I think it is what we will be doing to implement as many clients on Flowize, new ones, but also existing clients as well” said Van Der Veen. “Flowize is the future of AddComm”.
With the addition of of Flowize AddComm has more opportunities to diversify its offering and generate revenue beyond print and mail services. “Normally we would offer print or email for our clients. Now we can combine new digital channels and we have more products we can sell to our clients.” said van der Veen. The ability to sell Flowize to clients is creating a new source of revenue. We can now sell a more complete package to our clients.”
New customers: Normally we work for the top 500 companies here in Holland. And now it’s easier to add smaller companies as well for software and consultancy selling. Also we have moved into different markets we have never been in before”
“For the bigger companies its always print and email. And winning business is always based on price. So you always have take whichever company offers the lowest price. The competition is also fierce because all of our competitors are also focused on the same large companies.”
“Flowize has opened up new opportunities that our competitors are not focusing on. We can sell at higher prices and it’s much easier to get in with the companies as well. If I try to reach a large company, first I have to figure out who to call. Then I usually have to deal with a a gate keeper. With smaller companies it’s much easier.”
“For a big company it might take 1-2 years to get them in as a client—-if you’re fast. Since we implemented Flowize, it now takes us 1-2 months to land a mid-sized company as a client.”
We’re looking to expand into Automotive, we’re doing more in retail and employment agencies. Overall we have much more opportunities to expand into new markets.” For our existing clients, it’s possible to show clients what they could do and change the way they could add other communication channels to communicate beyond just sending print or sending email.
With the efficiency of Flowize, we can add more clients to grow our existing printing and mailing business, while leveraging new digital communications.
As a visual tool where clients can see a full workflow from start to finish, Flowize has made the job of convincing new clients to switch over that much easier.
“Because the workflow is very easy to look at and very easy to explain, it’s way easier to sell what we do at AddComm” said van der Veen. “We build a small flow for clients and show them how it works and they say ‘This looks easy. We want to have it’”.