It is the first week of October, also known as Customer Service Week 2018! Designed to celebrate the importance of customer service as well as provide organizations with an excuse to honor service reps, Customer Service Week also serves as a reminder to seek constant improvement and innovation in service offerings.
Putting Employees and Customers First
Ultimate Software was founded 28 years ago on a “People First” philosophy, and this core principle has shaped every aspect of our organization ever since. Every employee is a member of our “Ultimate Family” and supported by a workplace environment that fosters both personal and professional development. Likewise, our Support department strives to treat every customer as a “Partner for Life,” recognizing that every interaction matters and that it’s our responsibility to provide a positive, memorable experience every time. A key aspect of this commitment to taking care of all people is striving for constant innovation in a fast-paced, constantly changing world.
Over the past decade, customer expectations have evolved, as has fierce industry competition. Customers want more personalization, interaction, responsiveness to feedback, and knowledge-capable support. At Ultimate, our goal has always been to be the undisputed leader in HCM customer experience by delivering both the best technology and the best service to our customers. While many providers focus on either product or service, we’re wholly invested in both. In fact, approximately 85% of our employees directly serve our customers in either support or development roles, with 53% in services. We are fully committed to providing industry-leading services that exceed our customer’s expectations and proactively anticipate their needs.
Earlier this year, our customer service program was recognized by both the American Business Awards (ABA) and the National Customer Service Association (NCSA). The NCSA named us the Service Organization of the Year in the Large Business category, and we earned three Stevie Awards for customer service from the ABA. I am honored to announce that, in July, we were also presented with the Gold Award for Customer Service Department of the Year at the Silicon Valley United States (SVUS) Awards.
These recognitions highlight our team’s dedication to a people-centric services approach. I am extremely proud of our conversion to a collaborative support model, which decreased total resolution times by 60% over a 12-month period. We have also completely redesigned our Customer Service Portal (CSP), which plays a pivotal role as Ultimate’s first line of interaction with our customers. As one of the most completely iterative projects to date, we listened to the “Voice of the Customer” through focus groups, surveys, and user testing, then implemented a complete redesign of our CSP in order to provide a more self-service experience. Our new CSP has achieved a 100% adoption rate and established important new baselines in terms of an 80% increase in the portal’s ease of use, 50% increase in self-service satisfaction, and 40% increase in self-service searches.
This commitment to industry-leading innovation resonates throughout our entire organization, thanks to best-in-class leaders who create best-in-class products. Our CEO, Scott Scherr, recently earned a SVUS Gold Award for Most Admired Leaders based solely on consolidated feedback from industry professionals. This was not a nominated entry. Other Most Admired Leaders award recipients included Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Larry Ellison, Melinda Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Ultimate’s Chief People Officer, Viv Maza, was also recognized with a Women in Business and the Professions World Award at the SVUS Awards ceremony based on her development and execution of Ultimate’s revolutionary Women in Leadership program, one of our companywide groups that help employees connect with one another, grow as people and professionals, and better serve our communities. Also at the SVUS Awards ceremony, our cloud suite UltiPro® was recognized with a Gold Award for Best HCM Solution for its unified structure, rich workforce insight, and people-centric design.
At the end of the day, the best companies, best teams, best products, and best services are developed by adhering to several key guidelines: Take care of people, strive for improvement, and never stop innovating.
Happy Customer Service Week 2018!