Customer Service Commitment in Action
Continuously Creating Win-Win Situations
– Interview with Kari Ashby, Technical Support Manager
If working with SwipeClock’s payroll partners and their clients is a continuous balancing act, then Kari Ashby is a tight rope master. As SwipeClock’s Technical Support Manager, Kari utilizes customer service commitment and project management skills combined with an in-depth knowledge of SwipeClock’s time and attendance, scheduling, and workforce management solutions to keep partners and their clients happy by competently answering their questions and addressing their concerns.
Workforce Management Expertise
“As I work with SwipeClock’s partners on important technical support cases, I have to weigh our company goals against our partners’ day-to-day needs,” said Ashby. For example, a payroll partner may be working to close a new client who has a unique workforce management requirement, yet the needed feature won’t be available for another six months.
Obviously, if this partner added the new client, all three companies benefit—the partner, their client, and SwipeClock. However, the needs of a single client must be weighed against equal or even more important priorities. “The key in these types of situations is to remember our customer service commitment and be as open and honest as possible,” said Ashby. “Then, even if a partner doesn’t like the answer, they appreciate that we are aware of their situation and will do everything we can to get it resolved.” The end result equals a more satisfied client that stays around for a long time.
This sometimes involves educating SwipeClock’s partners about the company’s workforce management product roadmap and development process. It also includes working with other departments like Product Management, Operations, and Engineering. SwipeClock is unique in this regard as most other companies simply point their customers to an online support database or send them to an inexperienced service agent. “Since we are involved in supporting our partners every day, it’s sometimes easy to forget the quality support we provide,” said Ashby. “It really is head and shoulders above the rest of the industry as evidenced by our partner success stories.”
Doing the Right Thing
Recently, Ashby resolved a support case that required all of her skills, customer service commitment…and patience. An important partner had an issue with how SwipeClock calculated and displayed time clock information. The partner would not accept that their issue was unique or that correcting the situation would require fundamentally redesigning part of SwipeClock’s workforce management solution. In addition, the partner contacted literally every department in the company to make their opinions known.
When Ashby was brought in to help, she worked tirelessly and acted as a liaison between SwipeClock and the partner. The key to overcoming the impasse was helping each side understand the issue from the other’s point of view. Once this happened, a resolution was found and agreed to. SwipeClock agreed to make a change to the next release of its product, while the partner understood this was the best and only way to resolve the issue. Both sides were happy with the outcome because it benefitted both parties.
While this situation was time consuming and often frustrating, it was also very fulfilling. “I often feel I have a dual role—I represent the partner to SwipeClock, and SwipeClock to the partner,” said Ashby. “This was a difficult case to manage, but through hard work and a true team effort, we were able to come to a mutual agreement that benefitted both sides. It was a true win-win situation.”
While this example showcases Ashby’s skills and abilities, and highlights how difficult issues should be handled, it is atypical for SwipeClock. The vast majority of support cases are resolved quickly and easily. This is mainly due to SwipeClock’s innovative partner support organization run by Mark Cook.
Innovative Partner Support
For partners, customer service commitment support begins with The Support Center—a knowledge base, which makes it easy to find answers to common (and not so common) questions. If the knowledge base doesn’t have the answer, partners can quickly create a support ticket within the Support Center. A support representative then contacts the partner as soon as they have the answer. Partners who don’t want to start with the online Support Center can contact SwipeClock using the company’s 800 number. Only 1 in 20 partners calls support, a testament to the effectiveness of the knowledge base.
The support organization also uses analytics to better understand how partners are using Support Center. SwipeClock then uses this information to continually refine and improve the support system. For example, the support team regularly receives a list of the most commonly searched topics. With this information, a new article is written and posted to the knowledge base. Over time, the Support Center becomes ever more helpful, improving partner satisfaction and enabling support to spend more time with partners who need in-depth assistance.
Finally, SwipeClock shares individual performance reports with the whole group. This open accountability creates an atmosphere of friendly competition and camaraderie, resulting in faster issue resolution. (For more detailed information about SwipeClock’s innovative partner support organization and systems, see the “Partners Are SwipeClock’s Top Priority” article.)
Partners & Clients Time & Attendance Solutions Thriving
There have been a lot of internal changes at SwipeClock in order to strengthen the companies customer service commitment for the long term and deliver even better products and support to partners. Some of SwipeClock’s partners who prefer “the good ol’ days” are worried. This is because they may have to work with a new contact or learn a new process to get what they need, such as going to the Support Center knowledge base as the first source for answers.
While change does create new challenges, it is also creates new opportunities. As the company changes, SwipeClock is further strengthening partner relationships through ongoing online and on-site training, educational webinars, regular newsletters and bulletins, and company and industry events.
Even so, it is important to remember that change management is a difficult and long-term process. “It’s easier for us to understand and accept the changes because we are on the inside,” said Ashby. “It takes partners longer than we may think to see that the changes actually make things better and easier for them.” With this understanding, Ashby recommends that every employee and contractor take our payroll partners’ points of view into account in everything they do. As this happens, partners will be happier than ever before, enabling both them and SwipeClock to thrive—a true win-win situation.
Workforce Management Software
SwipeClock is a leading provider of cloud-based integrated workforce management software solutions that include automated time and attendance, advanced scheduling, and leave management capabilities. SwipeClock has completed SOC Type 2 SSAE 16 by an approved CPA firm. The company’s products including TimeWorksPlus, TimeWorks Mobile, and TimeSimplicity, enable more than 850+ partners to help their clients manage their most important and expensive asset—employees. SwipeClock’s workforce management products enable more than 25,500 businesses to lower labor costs, comply with regulatory mandates, and maximize their profits. For more information, please visit www.swipeclock.com.
Kari Ashby – SwipeClock Technical Support Manager