Three strategies to better support clients with HR tech
Check out this column in Employee Benefits Adviser:
If your agency has recently adopted a benefits and HR software platform, this will present an opportunity to provide an additional layer of customer support.
There can be a learning curve when it comes to initially getting your clients online and comfortable with a new platform. Choosing an easy-to-use system with a good user experience is key, but change can always be somewhat challenging.
How your agency supports clients experiencing HR/benefits technology for the first time will impact both their and your success with the platform, and your agency’s return on investment.
Because of this, thinking ahead about providing a robust level of support can streamline the implementation process. Here are three tips to better support clients with HR and benefits technology.
Use all features internally. Most all-in-one systems provide a broad range of HR functionality. The first step to providing excellent client support with technology is to ensure your organization is using all the system’s features internally.
First, this will give you better insight into helping your clients. You will see what they see, and better understand any issues they may be having.
Second, using the system’s full functionality at your agency will give every member of your team a level of familiarity with the system — even team members who don’t typically work directly with clients or technology.
In other words, if your agency uses the HR system internally to enroll in benefits and request paid time off as well as clock in and out, for example, almost everyone at your agency will be able to answer basic questions about these features.
Why is this beneficial? The alternative is that one person winds up designated as the “software expert,” which is not ideal. Making the software system part of your own organization’s day-to-day will make it easier to help clients with their own day-to-day needs.
Take time to determine what the issues are. When tech issues do arise, it’s best practice to take a little extra time to ensure your understanding of the problem is accurate. One way to think about this is demonstrating humility in tech support, or in other words, not assuming you immediately understand what clients are experiencing.
Rather than relying on a client email or phone call to explain the situation, one way to accomplish a higher level of support is to utilize web conferencing technology and walk through the issue alongside clients. Through screen-sharing tools like Google Hangouts and GoToMeeting, you can see the issue for yourself and help clients work through it faster.
Positioning. The most effective time to present going online to a small employer for benefits is at the renewal meeting. “Open enrollment will be online this year. We vetted several leading software solutions before selecting a platform, and we’re sure the process will be easier for you and your employees this year.”
Your clients trust your recommendation, and taking this approach typically results in a smoother rollout. However, the key to this strategy is choosing a platform that has effective implementation training.
The stronger the understanding of the system you have, the smoother implementation will be with your clients. To provide better tech support, focus first on finding a system that prioritizes training.
Brokers are used to supporting clients when it comes to benefits. Adding a software component to your agency will require a different kind of support, but the efficiency gains represented in taking benefits and HR online will ultimately lead to happier and more satisfied clients.
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