We often hear that one of the main issues plaguing benefit administration platforms is the lack of customer service. Employers and brokers tell us that their platform vendor has changed their approach to how they work with their customers. What once was a pleasant experience has deteriorated into frustration.
Often, the causes of this frustration are excessive growth that overruns the vendors' capacity or a culture that creates high turnover in customer-facing roles. Another major cause might be a platform built on older technology that has now turned into a dreaded "spaghetti factory" behind the scenes. Lastly, a frequent cause is that a vendor is acquired or takes on venture capital that leads to a sudden change in priorities or mission. Any one of these can create an unsettling experience for the end-users of your benefits administration platform.
So how could a benefits administration system seek to stay "Above the Crowd" and deliver on its' original mission? Here are three (3) guidelines we seek to follow at Zevo:
1. Don't bite off more than you can chew – be responsible for onboarding customers so you can commit to providing quality service levels across all customers. There is always a tendency to sell more in a high-growth environment and assume that the operations team can absorb it without adding more capacity. Proper planning, budgeting, and training for growth must encompass all areas.
2. Use modern technology – systems built in the last three (3) years have far more flexibility than those built in the early 2000s. Many benefit administration platforms sit on older technology that requires layer upon layer of added code, or they may have multiple systems in the background that have difficulty integrating – this causes a challenging customer support problem. Modern technology allows for much more flexibility in creating and modifying a platform.
3. Remember why you got into this business – it is not hard to lose your focus on the importance of reliable customer service. Believe it or not, the best fuel for sustainable business growth is happy customers who are willing to share their experiences with peers. It is a beautiful thing when credibility and satisfied customers collide with a full sales pipeline.