By Josh Davis
In part one of our post entitled, How to Become a World Class Payroll Service Provider, we featured a conversation (which can be found here) between Dave Murray and I from The DiJulius Group during the IPPA Annual Conference, and started covering six key areas of service, which were:
- Defining a Service Mission
- Creating a Culture of Service
- Providing On-going and Endless Training
- Building Long-lasting Relationships
- Unveiling the Secrets of Service
- Measuring Results
So, let’s go ahead and continue where we left off…
Building Long-Lasting Relationships
Have you ever had a world class experience on an airline, at a hotel, or a spa, or anywhere really? That’s how you want your clients to feel… like a VIP. You want to really “wow” them into realizing they made the right choice, and you want to make it a different experience for new vs. existing customers. If it’s a new customer you want to ensure you’re walking them through the experience of being your customer for the first time. And if they’re already your customer, you want them to feel like they’re on an episode of Cheers.
One of the most important aspects of client retention is building good relationships. The DiJulius Group suggests we do this via the acronym FORD – which stands for:
You want everyone to feel like you really know them, so by keeping track of these types of information, and being less transactional in your interactions with these clients, you can build the type of relationships that no other provider can. Then when your clients are approached to change providers, they’ll likely think to themselves, “no way, my relationship is way too good with my current provider.”
Unveiling the Secrets of Service
The DiJulius Group discusses secret service as pleasantly surprising and delighting customers based on the FORD information you have on record for your contacts. For instance, if you find that one of your premier customers is going on vacation, by genuinely being interested you can find out where they’re staying and send a care package to their room. On a company level, having access to their payroll data you know if customers hire a new employee and you can send them a congratulatory note or gift.
However, I think the personality behind service is equally important and necessary to uncovering opportunities for secret service. To get there, you can focus on what Dave described to me as the five E’s:
- Eye Contact – Yes, you or your team will likely be on the phone with most customers in this industry, but the point here is you want to give them your undivided attention. When your team is talking to a customer, they should be wholly focused on that customer.
- Enthusiasm – Your team needs to be enthusiastic about not only your business, but your customers’ businesses. Customers essentially pay you and your teams’ salaries, everyone needs to be excited about every interaction they have with customers.
- Ear to Ear Smile – This is not only something you can see, but something you can hear. If your customer is on the phone, they know whether or not they’re speaking with a happy, pleasant person on the other end of the line.
- Engage – Your employees need to enjoy what they’re doing, and by doing so, they’ll be able to pull your customers in to really enjoying doing business with all areas of your company.
- Educate – By focusing on educating customers you’re able to have your team members that do NOT sell, essentially cross sell customers on other products you have by simply educating them on how other customers use the rest of your offering that they may not be using. Your team won’t look at it as selling and neither will your customers, they’ll view it as doing the customer a favor by telling them how particular services are implemented and impact companies like theirs.
All these areas of service bring us to measurement. How are you doing in service today, and how do the changes you make impact your company’s status as a world class payroll service provider? Surveying customers to attain a net promoter score is one of the best forms of measurement to gain this understanding. It helps you figure out:
- What your company is already doing really well
- Which customers are promoters that already consider your company a world class payroll service provider
- Which customers are detractors that are potentially going to find a new provider
- What your company is not doing well
For those customers identified as detractors giving you poor scores, you need to contact them and acknowledge that you dropped the ball, apologize, and let them know what actionable steps you’re taking that will result in an improvement in the service. Doing this may help you save the relationship, and if nothing else, give you a framework to make improvements to your service.
If you implement the net promoter score as the first step, prior to making any service changes to your organization, you can figure out the impact these service changes are actually having on your clients perception of you over time.
What areas of service or service tactics is your payroll company really excelling at or where can you use some improvements? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
About Josh Davis:
Josh is the Marketing Manager at SaaShr, A Kronos Company, and is responsible for driving the strategy and implementing new traditional and digital tactics to increase the growth of existing channel partners in addition to the recruitment of new channel partners.