HR Customer Service – the Necessary Move to Self Service with HR Shared Services

Companies have a wide variety of outlooks in terms of providing customer service. And while improving customer service is an oft-quoted goal of many firms – what constitutes improvement varies greatly depending upon whom you ask, especially since the ‘customers’ in HR, are the employees…

“The measure of good customer service is straightforward: at the end of it, you want people to like you,” so begins the article ‘Customer Service: From Touchy Feely to Do It Yourself,’ by Christopher Mims in the Wall Street Journal. In the piece, he discusses the ‘two schools of thought’ on providing good customer service:

“One favors a high-touch approach aimed at building a personal connection between the company and the customer. The other emphasizes judicious use of a customer’s time, or – and these goals sometimes conflict – putting the least possible strain on the company’s budget.”

There are some exceptions to the ‘we don’t want to field a large volume of customer service calls’ axiom. The shoe seller Zappos for instance, values highly the relationships established via telephone interactions. As Tony Hsieh says, “We’re actually trying to figure out how to get customers to call us more often. Our goal is by the time the customer gets off the phone, it’s like they’ve made a new friend.”

But for most ‘new-economy’ companies, the goal is to get customers to go online and interact with the firm either through its website or app. Some examples of firms that make it much easier to access their services online versus via phone are Zipcar and Uber – which prefer app interfaces – and Amazon and others, which as Mr. Mims says, “For many of these companies, the best way to save money on customer service is doing everything in their power to make sure you never use it.”

In the realm of human resources, ‘customer service’ is providing HR services to the employees of a company – a bit of a different take on the term than the traditional sense. HR Shared Services Solutions are designed to streamline the delivery of HR forms, as well as company news and information; while at the same time automating a firm’s HR processes and procedures as well. Leveraging Knowledge Base data technology enables organizations to deliver unique content to each employee – personalized to their specific wants and needs. The content and tools displayed are accessed via a Self-Service Portal for any time, any place access to the information needed for productivity and an engaging experience.

As human resources continues to transition from the more administrative tasks of old, to a more strategic role helping to drive the direction and vision of an organization; automating HR services to the workforce becomes ever more essential. Moving beyond the ‘time-drain’ of providing day-to-day HR service delivery; to a shared service model that improves cost, efficiency and service; is pivotal to helping ensure the ongoing growth and success of the organization.