An HR manager needs to get a quick answer to a benefits question that a new employee just raised with them. The company where the HR manager works gets their benefits through a PEO who promised the HR manager they could call anytime with questions. So that's what the HR manager is doing now.
Instead of hearing a familiar voice, however, the HR manager hears many voices in the background and can barely make out what the person is actually saying to him (not that it would matter much because the person on the other end of the line can only answer basic questions).
The HR manager has reached a call center.
This is the state of many large PEOs. They sell personal service but don't deliver on it.
A call center is a centralized department that receives inbound calls. Many call centers are outsourced and serve several different companies, not just one. This can create a problem for PEO clients because they need specific and fast answers.
Large PEOs outsource to call centers like this to save money. However, the service they provide is greatly diminished because people like our HR manager friend can't get an answer to their question.
There are many problems with PEOs using a call center. The resounding theme is that the people answering the phone simply don't know many of the complicated answers to questions posed by PEO clients.
A truly dedicated support team is vital to a PEOs clients. They need to know that the person at the PEO answering their questions knows what they're talking about. When they get a new person every time, they can't trust that the person knows their business or even knows how to help them.
When someone calls with an important question about regulatory compliance changes, the call center representative won't have any idea how to answer the question. But that won't stop them from trying. An incorrect or misleading answer could put the company in hot water and may even violate employment laws. This could lead to costly employee lawsuits and government fines.
Without staffing true HR experts to pick up the phone, the PEO is risking their client's good name and reputation. Call centers don't staff experts in Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) compliance, benefits administration, workers' compensation, and unemployment claims management. To get specific answers that clients will need, a PEO needs to employ experts in these and other related fields.
Many call center agents simply listen for keywords in the person's questions and use those to queue up canned responses that are provided for them. Canned responses are not what small business owners are paying for. You're paying for a straightforward and direct answer to your specific question.
For these reasons, Questco doesn't use a call center. We want to treat our clients like we would want to be treated. We would want to be able to trust that when we ask for an expert opinion, we get an answer from an actual expert.
That's why when you call Questco for an answer to a question on a complex HR issue, you get to speak with an HR expert. Not only that, you get a dedicated team of HR experts available to you to help you navigate the most complex HR issues.
Questco's low turnover rate means that you will speak with the same expert. They get to know your business, your goals, and the issues you've had in the past. When you call to follow up on a previous issue, the HR expert may be able to pick up the conversation right where you left off, helping you through this new but related issue.
There is simply no way to bring this level of attention and care to a call center. That's why Questco doesn't and won't use a call center — your business is too important to trust to anyone other than HR experts.
With Questco, you know what you get — HR experts who provide you with personalized service and consistent support.
Serving as a Senior HR Consultant, Darlene Underwood is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), HR Houston, and the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA). She is affiliated with the International Association of Career Consulting Firms (IACCF) and is a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).