INCREASE YOUR PROFITS AND AMPLIFY YOUR PERSONAL CUSTOMER CONNECTIONS THROUGH AUTOMATION

BY Ryan R. Mossman

President
Pro Software

February 2024

Human-to-human interactions have always been what defined PEOs. Being a guiding hand to small and medium-sized businesses across the Unites States who lack the know-how or the willingness to deal with complex payroll, benefits, and HR regulations has allowed the PEO industry to thrive and provide an unparalleled level of personal touch to their customers. In the past, this “People First” philosophy was enough to keep you on top and drive growth. However, with the digital transformation continuing to impact businesses of every size across every industry, businesses that rely heavily on human-to-human interactions – like PEOs – are seemingly faced with an either-or proposition: update your business practices with technology that drives efficiencies through automation – doing more with less – or focus on high-touch customer service.

What if you didn’t have to choose? What if you could do both: drive efficiencies in your business, innovating with more technology, while also increasing your ability to provide the white-glove service that your customers are accustomed to and depend on? At first, doing both may sound impossible. Good news: not only can you do both, but you should. The alternative – focusing solely on one or the other – presents real dangers. If you completely ignore technological advancements (and the efficiencies that come with them) as they take place, you run the risk of your business becoming stagnant or irrelevant. On the other hand, if you embrace every flashy, new tool as it’s released, you may accidentally remove the human-to-human element and become unrecognizable to your customers.

All businesses must make choices about allocating capital, and PEOs are no different. Instead of choosing whether to invest in technology or build out your people team, do both. Implement technology into your business and increase the amount of personal touch you’re able to deliver to customers, harkening back to the lifeblood of your business and further differentiating yourself from your competitors. Carefully evaluate the biggest areas of potential and implement tools that can help eliminate time-consuming or tedious tasks. With more time available, your team can invest it back into your customers and forge long-term relationships. It is precisely this technological innovation that lets you redeploy resources to better serve the heartbeat of your business: your customer.

Equip Your Team with Cutting-Edge Software

Evaluate your current ERP, payroll, or benefit software for built-in efficiencies – and decide if a new investment may be necessary. Does your current software equip your team and automate tasks associated with your payroll process and benefits administration that double, triple, or quadruple the number of WSEs a single representative can handle? Does your current software have cutting-edge features like dynamic reporting engines, automated benefit reconciliation, inline application help centers, easy-to-use mobile applications, and tools to quickly onboard both new clients and new employees? Automating employee onboarding will not only help your team and clients save time, but also provide a great first impression to new clients.

Additionally, are there areas of opportunity within your current software to increase efficiencies that you may not be taking advantage of? For example, are there opportunities to “turn the screen around” and allow your customers to complete tasks they’re better suited to perform (such as electronic onboarding and benefits enrollment)? Doing so will increase your customers’ satisfaction and allow your team to use their newfound time to provide greater customer care.

Save Time – and then Reinvest It – with AI

Did somebody say AI (Artificial Intelligence)? Not yet, but what article in 2024 would be complete without mentioning AI – the elephant in the room and a topic that you may be sick of hearing about. Because of the continued, ever-increasing relevance of AI, an article like this one wouldn’t be complete without bringing it up. If you’ve been hesitant to incorporate AI into your business, or if you’ve wondered if it is a passing fad, know that it is here to stay and is becoming more advanced by the day – meaning that the applications for AI and LLM (Large Language Models) are only becoming more numerous. Examples of ways to incorporate AI into your business operations include virtual assistants, writing emails and other mass communications, generating marketing content, and improving your team’s effectiveness with existing applications such as Excel, SalesForce, Hubspot, and other tools. AI, like automation, delivers the bottom-line impact that frees your team to be more customer-facing and to spend less time pushing the same button over and over on a keyboard.

With automated tasks, software that drives efficiencies, and AI-powered processes, your team will be free to reinvest the time regained back into your customers. You know your customers better than anyone. For your customers, delivering personal touch and reinvesting time saved because of efficiencies may look like addressing special requests or completing projects that were sidelined due to lack of time or bandwidth. It may look like calling each customer, just to check-in. Or, it may look like proactively alerting them of the latest government mandates. Remember the days of hand-delivering checks or visiting a customer’s office with lunch in tow? Whatever going the extra mile for your customers looks like for you, a company equipped with tools to tackle the future is attractive to prospective clients as well, especially those who may feel uneasy about the way ahead in a rapidly changing landscape.

It’s time for you to create a virtuous circle. Drive efficiencies into your business; with those efficiencies, redeploy people to customer-facing activities. More customer attention will lead to more business, leading to more money to invest in increased efficiencies – and on and on. Implementing technology to drive efficiencies and benefit your bottom line is nothing new. The great news is that you can still do that while also increasing your top line and your customers’ satisfaction.

At the end of the day, we are all here to make a difference to our customers and to elevate their experience. Paying more attention to your customers at a time when people are becoming more disconnected from each other and less personal will also attract new clients and ultimately, help your business grow. Efficiencies are and always will be an investment, and updating your daily processes may take time; however, the payoff is guaranteed. By innovating with technology, you will achieve your goals of improving efficiencies and delighting your customers.

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