Across the blogosphere, you can find lists of questions that companies should be asking themselves in relation to payroll and benefits outsourcing. But what about service providers? What about payroll companies like BenefitMall who service thousands of clients from coast-to-coast? There are questions they should be asking is well.
Only by asking questions can a payroll service provider truly understand what the client needs. Knowing those needs is critical to competing in a sector that is growing exponentially by the year.
So, what kinds of questions should BenefitMall and their competitors be asking? Below are five critical questions that serve as a starting point. Every payroll service provider should be asking them on a regular basis.
1. What are your most pressing payroll challenges?
BenefitMall is not alone in offering a range of payroll and benefits services that can be custom-tailored to the client’s needs. As such, they need to be asking their clients what their current challenges are. Understanding the payroll and benefits issues that clients are dealing with helps the service provider create new and better solutions. Asking about the most pressing challenges gives service providers an idea of how they can better serve their clients.
2. What are your perceptions of payroll outsourcing?
Payroll outsourcing is no different than any other business in terms of customer perception. In other words, the customer that is not happy with the service being provided is likely to look elsewhere at some point in the future. Therefore, it’s imperative for payroll service providers to understand what their clients think of them and the service they offer. They need to know that their clients are pleased. And cases when they are not, providers need to know what can be done to change things.
3. How much of your payroll do you want to continue doing in-house?
There are some clients who only use basic cloud-based payroll services that are easy on the budget. They still enter weekly data, handle time tracking, and manage things like retirement benefits and workers’ compensation in-house. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But companies like BenefitMall have to make a practice of routinely asking clients if they still want to keep things as-is. It’s a matter of out of sight, out of mind. It may not occur to a small business owner that BenefitMall can assist with workers’ compensation, for example. Asking the question acts as a reminder that the payroll service provider can do more than just cut checks.
4. Would you consider a full-service solution?
Hand-in-hand with the previous question is one of whether the client would consider going with a full-service solution. Sometimes the offer only has to be made to close the deal. The payroll company can present a full-service solution as a way to eliminate the need to put any resources into payroll and benefits administration, thereby freeing up the client to focus on more important things.
5. Are you happy with our fee structure?
Like it or not, bottom line price has a lot to do with whether the client sticks with its payroll service provider or not. Payroll companies should not leave this to chance. They should be reviewing their pricing at least on an annual basis, and surveying clients about their satisfaction with pricing.
Asking clients these five critical questions can help the payroll company better compete. And in an industry that is growing considerably, competing effectively is ultimately the key to success. Competing is all about understanding the needs and desires of clients and then rising to meet those needs at every opportunity.