Day 3 of National Customer Services Week is all about ‘Essential customer service skills’. We asked our customer-facing teams what they thought were the skills needed to provide outstanding payroll customer services and here is what they said.

10 skills for delivering great payroll customer service

  1. Be a good listener - Listen intently, ask questions and summarise back to the customer so you can be sure you have understood what has been said. Not only does this prevent cross wires, it also shows you care.
  2. Communication skills - Learning how to communicate effectively with clients across different channels; face to face, phone, email and makes, makes the relationship much stronger.
  3. Be calm - Payroll is a deadline driven service, so it can become very fraught sometimes with deadlines looming and employees needing paying. It never helps to flap however, so being calm, and showing our clients that you are calm is a must.
  4. Have patience - Our clients have varying levels of payroll expertise. Some are payroll professionals, whilst other have very little experience or knowledge. Patience really helps to support all our customers, whatever their skill level.
  5. Do what you say - It is important to manage expectations. This doesn't mean always saying yes, but giving realistic timescales and an outline of what will be done. Importantly, you then need to make sure you do what you promise to do.
  6. Be honest - Some things go wrong, or you cannot give the customer the answer they want., Strong relationships, however, are built on having an open and honest dialogue, even when that conversation is a difficult one.
  7. Be an expert - At Dataplan we pride ourselves on our payroll and pension knowledge. This is one of the main reasons our clients outsource to us and, when we demonstrate that knowledge, it gives our clients confidence; which is a great customer service.
  8. Go the extra mile - This may be a bit of a cliché, but in our experience, clients really appreciate it when our team go 'above and beyond' for them. We get a lot of positive feedback from our customers to this effect and, as one of our corporate values, it is ingrained throughout the company.
  9. Learn from mistakes - No one likes making mistakes, but they are a fact of life, and how you resolve those mistakes and learn from them is key. That is why we always ask about problems in our annual client satisfaction survey and have a process for logging and investigating 'non-conformances'.
  10. Work as a team - Another of our values is 'stronger together' and encourages sharing of knowledge and working together with the teams across the business. By doing this we will deliver a great service, and therefore experience, to our clients.
Written by Adele Blackham
Published on October 6, 2021

Dataplan are one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist payroll and associated services.

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