Paychex is among the world’s largest business process services providers. The company provides solutions and services related to accounting and finance, employee benefits, human resources, and payroll and taxes. Recently CUSTOMER had the opportunity to interview Kathy Clark, voice of customer manager at Paychex, about VoC and customer loyalty. Here’s what she had to say.
How is VoC changing?
VoC continues to grow in terms of how it is being utilized within the business. More and more companies are building the customer’s voice into their strategic decision making. We are certainly doing that at Paychex. We are taking customer feedback very seriously in terms of applying it to service model changes and strategy two or three years down the road, based on what clients are asking for now and what we anticipate they might ask.
We are doing a lot of merging of responses with operational data, which MaritzCX allows us to do, to provide analytics around some of the recommendations we are making. We have that gut-level knowledge of what the customers want, and we are backing it up with the verbatims we are reading. We have the data and the metrics to provide those numbers that the C-level leaders need to see. It is becoming a big part of our culture here at Paychex, and more and more companies are embracing that. We are so connected in today’s world that VoC is essential.
In the industry, the method of VoC is changing, especially relating to surveys. Although we still get an excellent response rate to surveys, we are anticipating that will change. So we are looking at ways to integrate data from sources we have not yet integrated, surveying smaller sample sizes and other targeted methods to encourage responses.
You mentioned MaritzCX, which provides a platform that Paychex is using to design and distribute surveys, and consolidate and analyze survey results. Tell us more about that.
Our relationship with MaritzCX continues to develop. At this point we are pretty self-sufficient with building surveys and troubleshooting. But we continue to engage MaritzCX for various new projects.
For example, our HR department is working with MaritzCX on potentially moving our exit interviews to the platform. MaritzCX is educating our HR department on the platform and how powerful it is to accomplish many tasks.
We consult with MaritzCX on other technology initiatives. For example, we are doing our first survey that includes sound files. MaritzCX meets with us regularly to see what is working and what challenges we’re having, and to inform us about new functionality within the platform, it is a true partnership.
We also send employees to training at MaritzCX. For example, we recently sent an employee to a MCX analytics training, and we will be sending two of our analysts to train on journey mapping later this year. So we do take advantage of training offered by MaritzCX.
Implementing technology seems like it might be relatively easy compared with the work a company has to do figuring out its goals, and what kind of questions to ask and other data to collect, to reach those goals. What did Paychex have to do in advance of implementing these solutions?
From a project standpoint, there was a lot of work upfront to understand what we already had existing in the organization in terms of ongoing surveys, etc. So there was a lot of resource time spent understanding the scope of that work, what could be moved to the platform, what could be unified, and how we could leverage some of the existing modules. This was outside of any internal IT work that was also done.
There were initially two primary goals. One was unifying as much as possible so we were not over-surveying our clients. That was something that was part of the platform. The other goal was to make sure that we were getting the response data into the hands of stakeholders as quickly as possible, and we were able to do that with this tool.
We hear a lot these days about omnichannel communications from companies in the contact center industry. What is the actual status of contact center implementation of omnichannel communications?
At Paychex, we have a centralized team at corporate that is responsible for handling client escalations that come in through multiple feedback channels, and they also have a client retention component. So if we identify any clients that are at risk of leaving, they work with those clients. We will soon be piloting a centralized survey response model with that team, where they will take VoC surveys, and based on criteria that we set, such as if we get a detractor rating on our loyalty survey, they would be responsible for reaching out to those clients. They will be having those conversations and quarterbacking issues to ensure the client is satisfied and back on the right track.
In this process, there will be a great deal of documentation and coding around the root cause of the issue, what products were involved in the concerns of the client, and then we will be able to do some analytics around that. Those can come in through any channel. They currently monitor our social media feeds, so it could be escalations that come in through call centers, our executives, whether it is an email, a phone call, etc.
In terms of sharing our clients’ voice, my team will be able to give that 30,000-foot view look from a survey response perspective while the other team can get into the minutiae of what else is behind that client experience – what are they saying when we have a live conversation with them to work through any concerns that they may have. So it is a centralized approach of gathering the data, regardless of what channel it is coming through, and then doing some analysis on where the opportunities lie to improve the experience.
What else new and exciting is Paychex working on related to VoC and the customer experience?
We are piloting a loyalty program right now, and it’s run through our marketing department. My team is doing a lot of collaborating with them to help grow the program, to target clients who might want to take advantage of a loyalty program, or who might need a loyalty program to help move them from a passive status to someone who is really excited about our brand because we are trying to reinvest in them. We are giving customers more opportunities like this to share their perspectives on where we are headed as a business.
So I think we are harnessing the power of VoC, and it’s so exciting to see our employees recognize more fully the value they add, it’s something to feel really good about. I work in our corporate offices, where many employees don’t have client interaction on a daily basis and can sometimes lose that connection between how their work has influence on our clients’ experience. Now that people are engaging with the platform, they are reading the responses and starting to connect the dots. It’s reinvigorating for our people in terms of what they do and what they are doing for our clients.
Edited by Alicia Young