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Electronic Cover Letter Features: A Powerful Tool Often Overlooked Blog Feature
John Zimmerer

By: John Zimmerer on September 24th, 2015

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Electronic Cover Letter Features: A Powerful Tool Often Overlooked

Customer Communications

When you send out customer communications, do you ever need to attach a cover letter? Send a carbon copy (cc) or modified correspondence to a different recipient? Include attachments? Send follow-up communications? What about sending the same communication to different people via different delivery channels?

If you’re in the insurance or other industry that requires a great deal of transaction-related correspondence to multiple concerned parties – like sending a claim notification to the insured, the provider, and the policy holder – then you answered “yes” to both. That means you need customer communications management (CCM) software that gives you versatility and complete control over electronic cover letters. Not all CCM solutions offer the same level of control, so be sure to ask about that in particular before you decide which CCM solution is best for you.

Here are the electronic cover letter features you want:

  • Carbon copies (cc): You can send an exact copy of the same correspondence to as many recipients as you need to.
  • Cover letters: You can send the same underlying communication to multiple recipients with a different customized cover letter for each.
  • Trigger letters: With this companion feature, you can set up your templates at the administrator level to automatically trigger copies of the correspondence with personalized cover letters to be sent to associated parties without the end user having to worry about who should get cc’ed. Correspondence could also be automatically triggered by events, such as a response deadline passing.
  • Follow-up correspondence: With this companion feature, you can send out reminders, thank-you notes, document sets, and more, based on the timing and trigger criteria you set up in the template administration.
  • Attachments: Similar to cover letters, you can establish what documents should be attached to the base correspondence when it goes out. Attachments can be made specific to each recipient.
  • Enclosures: When you’re sending out printed correspondence in the mail, you can specify items to enclose in the envelope with your correspondence, such as postage-paid return envelopes or preprinted marketing materials.

Omni-Channel Communications

In addition to these features, you’ll want to be able to send the same correspondence out to multiple recipients via multiple channels. Using CCM, the customer can set their preferences, and/or your employees can control the channels through which customers receive correspondence. So if regulatory requirements say a hard copy must be sent out, but the customer has stated a preference for email, you can send it both ways. Or if the insured wants printed and mailed communications but the provider wants electronic, you can do that, too.

Variable Content Control at a Granular Level

You should also be able to control the content of your cover letters on a granular level, still entirely automated so the end user doesn’t have to think about it. Correspondence should be generated quickly and accurately, regardless of how many recipients or variations of the cover letter are involved.

For instance, in our CLIENT LETTER CCM software, you can set up templates to have static content that can’t be changed (for regulatory purposes), completely unique content for each recipient, or variable content around a static core message. It’s all enabled by the rules-driven functionality of the tool, and you set the rules quickly and easily as part of the template administration. One template administrator can do the heavy lifting for a hundred end users who don’t have to think about any of this when they send out hundreds, thousands, or even millions of pieces of correspondence every month.

Example Scenario

You’re a call center representative for a large property and casualty (P&C) insurance company. An insured customer calls in to file a claim for damages to a boat his 18-year-old son wrecked over the weekend. You put his information into the system and see that his son is not named as an authorized user of the boat on the policy. You ask the insured if that’s correct, and he confirms that it is. You tell him his claim will have to go into review, and he’ll be receiving correspondence soon regarding the decision. You have the system send the insured and his P&C insurance agent an acknowledgement of the claim, each with their own personalized cover letter.

boat involved in accident runs aground

You’re unsure what notifications, if any, need to go out to the son who was involved in the accident. Since he’s not a minor, he should get his own correspondence. He’s not named on the policy, but he’s related to the policy holder. You decide to ask your supervisor, who tells you not to notify the son, since he is not named on the policy.

In the meantime, the customer has his boat in the shop for repairs. The shop sends you its own claim, which it does whether the customer has already contacted the insurer or not. You send out an acknowledgement of the repair shop’s duplicate claim, CC’ing the insured and the agent as well.

The claim ends up being denied since the son is related to the policyholder but not named as a covered operator, and a rep in the claims department sends out a claim denial letter to the insured through the mail. Since the customer has requested electronic correspondence, he also gets a copy via email. Again, his agent gets a CC of the denial letter plus an explanatory cover letter, and the shop gets a unique letter with a simple denial informing the shop it will need to pursue full payment from the boat’s owner. The customer’s letter has a detailed explanation of how to appeal the decision and a deadline for doing so. The template is set up to trigger a letter closing the case in 30 days if the customer fails to respond during that time.

Look for the Best Solution

You can see how having a powerful and versatile cover letter feature is extremely important, particularly in complex cases with multiple parties involved. The more personalization and automation you can build in, the better. We actually have customers who chose CLIENT LETTER specifically because of the breadth of functionality we offer in the CC Cover Letter feature set. The takeaway is, when you’re shopping for your CCM solution, look closely at the electronic cover letter functionality to make sure it meets your needs.

To get a free demo of CLIENT LETTER in action, give us a call. Tell us your most complicated scenario, and we’ll walk you through how our electronic cover letter features can solve your problem.

Request a Demo!