Improve your customer communications experience and reduce print, mail and postage costs – a case study from a leading East London Housing Association


I wanted to share an article with my connections in the social housing sector which I hope will be of interest and value.

In actual fact this is something we do for our clients all the time and truthfully we probably take for granted. But I was reminded by the client that for them it was a significant cost and labour saving process with a greatly improved outcome, something they hadn’t been able to do before contracting with GPS – hence I hope some value to you in reading this article.

It involved securely printing and enclosing the clients Service Charge Actuals statements which involved nearly 40,000 full colour sides of printed data, securely collated, matched and enclosed into C5 mailing envelopes. Nothing too significant in that, however for the client we also enclosed their annual customer survey mailing in the same envelope.

There isn’t anything too significant in that either except that in previous years the customer had sent the survey out separately and by doing so incurred extra postage, printing and fulfilment costs (and the associated vat which cannot be reclaimed). This was a cost to them of £2,200.00.

However, we like to advise our clients in best practice using our sector experience to maximise response rates (and reduce cost). We knew that if we personalised the survey too it would be more likely to acheive a greater response (the less writing a respondee has to do, the more likely they are to respond). So that’s what we did – using clever programming, unique bar codes on each page, secure matching and collation – personalised surveys were included with every service charge statement – together with a Freepost envelope to make it easy to respond.

In addition to the £2.2k saving the client also enjoyed a survey response rate in excess of 70% – their best yet and by some considerable margin and for much less cost.

We didn’t stop there though. So that their Customer Service Centre colleagues would be best placed to answer any queries GPS provided them (by secure ftp transfer) with individual pdfs of every statement/survey – each uniquely named by UPRN ref so the client could quickly upload them. Now, when they receive a query they can see the document exactly as it was printed and as their customer received it.

The mailing was executed ahead of schedule, with additional postage savings that we obtained for the client and achieved greatly improved response rates.

Importantly too, all data processing and production was completed in one single ISO27001 accredited facility.

If there are any aspects of this case study that might be useful to you or your colleagues please get in touch, I would be delighted to discuss in more detail and share further case studies.

Thank you for reading.


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