Knowing what your customer really wants

print managementFollowing a recent meeting with a long time customer gave me the idea and subject matter for this article.

Knowing what your customer really wants is the key to helping them make the right choice whether it’s a solution, a service, an alternate provider or an in-house option.

I looked at the customer quizzically hoping that I fall into the category of knowing what my customer wants rather than want I think they need.

During the course of the meeting they acknowledged DPM for being honest enough to challenge their thinking regarding their internal processes and up and coming projects.

I see my role clearly defined as advisor to my customers – suggesting a different or better way of doing a business process rather than simply selling solutions or services for the sake of it.

It is my job to question the customer why they do some of the things they do otherwise how can they enhance or improve a current process.

Often there is a bona fide reason for businesses to do things in a certain way, but mostly it tends to be ‘because we’ve always done it this way’. Not a good enough reason to continue with a business process that is sucking a department dry in time, money and resources.

Here’s an example of what I mean

A long term customer are considering migrating from paper payslips which we’ve printed and distributed for the last nine years to adopting an e-payslip service.

outsourcing payslip printing

HR have given a lot of time and consideration to the adoption of e-payslips but there are a number of stumbling blocks to overcome:

  • What benefit would e-payslips offer the organisation?
  • How would they migrate multiple payroll systems into one e-pay service?
  • How would they manage groups of employees who do not have an email address or access to computers/smartphones?
  • There will still be a requirement for printed payslips
  • Are we taking away the employees choice to have paper payslips?
  • What about being able to add messages to our e-payslips?
  • Is it all too much time, money and resources to implement this paperless system?
  • Will the e-payslip look like the paper version?
  • Does the organisation really need electronic payslips?

I put it to them that they should encourage their employees to think about receiving e-payslips rather than paper, perhaps trying out a small employee group and gauge the reaction rather than rolling out the whole project at once and giving the payroll department more headaches and queries then they have time to deal with.

These were a few of the suggestions I put forward for them to think about before adopting e-payslips:-

  1. You understand the culture of the organisation, are employees likely to be receptive to the idea?
  2. Are you considering electronic payslips to counter the environmental argument and to be perceived as a ‘green organisation?
  3. How quickly do you expect to see a return-on-investment?
  4. Are there any stakeholders or external/internal parties involved in the roll out?
  5. Have you undertaken any employee surveys or communicated with them regarding feedback on the adoption of e-payslips?
  6. Are there any other factors that need to be considered in the process?
  7. There are likely to be many queries initially when the project rolls out live, w

    ill the payroll department have the resources in place to advise?

  8. Should they consider communicating with employees over a three month period to advise them that the organisation is moving to electronic payslips rather than ‘telling’ employees this is happening now.

The whole point was to make the customer appreciate the implications of moving to paperless, helping them think objectively rather than assume everyone will champion the idea. As one manager commented ‘why would anyone object, it makes sense for us to go with e-payslips.

Next week’s blog: how to encourage employees to love e-payslips.





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