LaSer

LaSer Nederland benefits enormously from multichannel communication

The credit provider LaSer Nederland receives thousands of applications for consumer credit from the shop floor every week. Both the shop owner and the consumers prefer immediate answers. Thanks to a network of smart connections and the use of multichannel communication, LaSer is now capable of assessing such claims within 10 minutes and sending a contract to the shop's printer or fax machine right away.

Consumer credit enables customers to make large purchases. This makes it one of the retailer's main instruments to convince their customers to buy something. Shop owners themselves are not allowed to provide credit on such a scale to their customers. This is the exclusive territory of licensed credit providers, such as LaSer. LaSer is the largest provider of credit to shoppers in the Netherlands and has two credit labels: PrimeLine for funding more basic purchases and Sygma for larger purchases like cars and kitchens. LaSer also makes its credit facilities directly available to the consumer through Directa.nl. The company can also supply customer cards, gift cards and in-house credit cards under the label "Laser Cards".

A contract in less than 10 minutes

LaSer owes its dominant market position to the high level of service it provides to both retailers and consumers. Camille Appeldoorn, manager of Service & Change Management at LaSer, is responsible for systems that enable such a level of service. One of the services that continue to distinguish LaSer from the rest in the market is speed. "Speed is a crucial factor when it comes to credit. The retailer and the consumer want to know where they stand as quickly as possible - we can give them the answers they need within 10 minutes, sometimes even faster. This is how It works: When a customer requires financing, the retailer submits a request online. Our system verifies their ID and various credit registrations, such as BKR (Bureau Krediet Registratie). We can compile a complete score within 4 minutes. However, in some special cases we do need to run a personal check. When we get the green light, we send the appropriate credit contract: a PDF via e-mail or website or a copy via fax. The choice of channel is down to the retailer and can even be decided at branch level. After the contract has been signed we confirm the payment and seal the deal. From that moment onwards, that particular customer becomes one of our customers too."

Complex process

LaSer provides a comprehensive range of multichannel communication when the credit application is submitted. But that's only the beginning. The retailer receives summaries detailing the credit provided and the consumer regularly receives updates on payments and payment reminders. "The entire process is quite complex. All communication is multi-labeled, i.e. using different senders. These include our own labels PrimeLine, Sygma, Directa.nl and Laser Cards. But also clients like Ikea, who we provide with financing and credit cards under their own label via co-branding. We communicate using various means, such as contracts, overviews, letters and inserts. Everything is done in multichannel: by way of printing, e-mail and even SMS."

Decisive and flexible

Since 2007, all of LaSer's multichannel client communication has been administered by AddComm. "We control the content, the design and the variables ourselves and can make any adjustments necessary", says Camille Appeldoorn. "AddComm enables us to react quickly whenever required. For example, if the laws should change we can inform our clients of any modifications regarding our terms and conditions within 24 hours. We also send payment reminders on a regular basis by SMS. We can delay this service at any time if, for example, when the call centre is overloaded. We are able to intervene immediately whenever the situation requires us to do so."

The ideal tactics

The majority of LaSer's correspondence relates to payment by clients. In these cases multichannel communication really comes into its own, because every individual client requires a different approach. "With AddComm we have been able to buy the flexibility which allows us to play around with our communication. Thanks to multichannel communication we can experiment with a different approach. If a direct debit doesn't go through because of insufficient funds, then we send a notification via SMS before deducting the amount. If an invoice has not been seen to, then we send an e-mail or a text message. We are continually looking for ways in order to accelerate the payment process. Multichannel communication offers us the flexibility to be able to select the right approach, even per individual customer."

Trust

There's an extremely close collaboration between LaSer and AddComm. "Speed, reliability and flexibility are of crucial importance to us. That is why we use a partner whose core business is multichannel communication. Of course, that requires a lot of trust, but AddComm delivers every time. It is obvious that they understand our business very well. They keep their promises and are extremely responsive. Additionally, their IT set-up matches our own very well. It is all very complex, but the client doesn't have to worry about any of that. Nor should they have to," according to Camille Appeldoorn.

More and more e-mail

Thanks to the multichannel approach, the way in which businesses communicate has changed dramatically. It's the same at LaSer. Appeldoorn: "Post is expensive. One of the reasons why we switched to e-mail last year is due to the fact that post is expensive and email is free after all. We currently send at least half of our messages through e-mail. It also allows us to send more in terms of extra files. In the future we hope to capitalise further in the area of cross selling. For example, adding a flyer about credit limits or some other financial product to our correspondence. The AddComm platform opens up many opportunities."

Innovation

LaSer is continually looking for innovative solutions in order to stay one step ahead of the competition. In the area of multichannel communication, for example. "AddComm is a leading player in this area," says Camille Appeldoorn. "But we are constantly looking to improve the process. At the moment all contracts have to be signed and then returned to us by post. How can we digitalise that process? Maybe by means of a client card with a pin code for each client… we are always exchanging these kinds of ideas with AddComm. It is a constant challenge and we always try to bring out the best in each other."