Driving Outstanding Customer Experiences: Insights from The Future Now Awards Winner Nextep

September 5, 2017

Co-authored by Janet Alexander

Last month, we announced the winners of Bluewolf’s inaugural The Future Now Awards -- an honor we give to companies leading the innovation of employee engagement and customer moments with Salesforce. “Customer engagement” has become an industry buzzword but many companies remain challenged with bringing outstanding customer experiences day-to-day. 

One company that is truly delivering on this promise is Nextep, the winner of our Service of The Future Now award. Nextep is a human resource (HR) outsourcing company, offering administrative services such as HR, benefits, and payroll to small- and medium-sized businesses. We spoke to Nextep’s Chief of Sales & Marketing, Adam Graham, for his thoughts on driving continuous customer experience innovation for his industry. 

What does customer experience innovation mean to you? How do you know if something is truly innovative?

Using technology to make things easy and as simple as possible. A lot of HR applications in the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry are outdated. For a B2B organization like Nextep, customer experience innovation requires replacing complicated systems and processes with something that is intuitive. From large initiatives, like employee onboarding, to something as small as verifying an employee’s I-9, you need to make it easier. Your customers are your greatest KPI; repeat business and customer satisfaction confirm if something is truly innovative. 

What advice do you have for companies in the HR outsourcing/PEO industry looking to improve their customer and employee experiences?

Listen to your customers. We went through an evolution with our growth. When you're a really small business, you know all of your clients by name. It's so much easier to listen and get feedback, but when you get to a certain size it's harder to hear them. Provide a forum for where they can give you feedback on your products, technology, and employees. When certain cases get resolved we automatically send out a survey. Your customer will give you limitless ideas-- you just need a system that makes it easy for them to give feedback, and for you to hear it.

What innovations at Nextep and in your industry are you most excited about right now? 

The things that are right in front of me: Wave Analytics (now called Einstein Analytics)–it's going to be tremendous for us, from a customer satisfaction and sales and retention perspective. In our industry, the opportunity to innovate and improve is huge. Trying to streamline and improve how companies evaluate customer experience among all their systems and redesign their UI/UX accordingly is important.

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