A Consistent Approach to Measuring Loyalty

Customer Experience
Customer Experience
2013 Customer Champion Karl Halbach, divisional vice president and general manager of ADP Benefit Services, is driving a global effort to better understand and improve upon the client experience.

Karl Halbach, divisional vicepresident and general manager of ADP Benefit Services,has taken a personal stake in howthe companyapproaches its client relationships. His efforts have helped to culturally transform the company around a unifying mission of customer centricity.

The transformation started three years ago when Halbach led an initiative to develop a common set of metrics for measuring the service experience and loyalty of ADP's 600,000-plus clients across four distinct areas. Those areas include small businesses, the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) market, midmarket, and enterprise companies. At the same time, Regina Lee, president of Major Account Services, wanted to reengineer the survey process, so the two initiatives intersected and Halbach created and lead a project team of leaders from each of the business units. It was decided that Net Promoter Score (NPS) was the best measure of the client experience and loyalty across all the business units.

The project team was tasked with moving the ADP culture away from its focus around its products and business units to concentrate more on the client experience. "The goal was to develop a laser focus on the feedback from the clients about their experience versus being internally focused on the quality survey result (the number)," Halbach says. "More importantly, we wanted to create a comprehensive tactical and strategic closed-loop mechanism to significantly improve [the customer] experience and add more value to our relationship," he adds.

The team visited several clients and non-clients including American Express, Apple, Rack Space, and Cisco, to gauge how they implemented NPS and glean best practices. The intention was to gain greater knowledge of NPS versus focusing solely on the "score."

With the knowledge fresh on their minds, the team wanted to pilot a closed-loop NPS survey and feedback system across ADP. Making that cultural transition, however, required a lot of finesse, given that ADP had relied on its survey process for almost 50 years. To help drive such a vast cultural change among ADP's 20,000 service associates around the client experience, Halbach and the NPS team led a change management effort. He and the team launched associate training through ADP's learning and performance organization, coordinated socialization events in 52 offices, encouraged executive communication during quarterly town hall meetings, acquired prime real estate on the associate portal, and created a "client quote of the day" on the corporate home page.

ADP consolidated 97 different surveys that contained anywhere from 20 to 49 questions into a single NPS relationship survey. Halbach and the project team worked with ADP's business leaders to change the format of the questions to allow clients to provide open-ended text responses to obtain a truer picture of the client experience. "If you allow the client the opportunity to share the two or three things that matter most to them, you quickly realize how valuable and what a gift their feedback is," Halbach says.

Halbach was also responsible for spearheading the consolidation of various CRM systems in ADP's National Accounts Business units into one, centralized CRM. As part of this initiative, Halbach worked hand in hand with the various market segments in NAS to drive a consistent approach to utilizing the tool, including creating a single record of the truth for each client profile. For the first time, the NAS group now has a 360 degree view of its clients and all activity, regardless of the type of service the client is utilizing.

As a natural evolution of a NPS program, Halbach launched supplemental initiatives to help identify moments of truth that impact a client's journey. Transaction survey and CRM text analytics capabilities powered by Clarabridge provide a clearer picture of the daily interactions between clients and associates because of the technology's ability to add a sentiment score to each text response. The use of text analytics has enabled ADP to identify the nature of an issue and begin resolving it immediately by sending survey feedback to the person responsible for the account within one day of survey receipt.

The team also sought visibility into the day in the life of a client from multiple perspectives - from both clients and employees. This has helped improve internal collaboration on interactions with ADP's clients. "We want to make certain we hear the voice of our associates on the front lines since they have the best perspective of the clients' experience," says Halbach.

Halbach's efforts have helped to focus ADP's service organizations on the overall client experience, addressing multiple service requests by reaching across internal product and service teams to address client's needs.

"It's a journey, but we're moving in the right direction," he says. "Every day we tackle a different aspect of the NPS and the closed-loop process whether it's targeting transactional surveys, improving analytical capabilities or educating our associates about techniques for getting to the root cause."