Logo Reinfer

Payroll and HR: Reducing volume and churn with NLP

Payroll and HR: Reducing volume and churn with NLP
Payroll and HR providers are struggling to scale, impacting service levels and driving customer churn. However, more are adopting NLP and Communications Mining solutions to automate or offshore transactional requests and deliver superior, proactive client service.

Many payroll and HR providers are seeing strong growth as companies outsource more of their core business functions. But scaling up their capacity and operations has been a real challenge.

Work in Payroll is characterised by large volumes of transactional requests that need to be processed quickly. Failure to do so threatens a contract breach and the customer relationship. Yet many providers find themselves stuck in a vicious circle, struggling to recruit fast enough to keep up with exploding demand. As a result, SLAs are breached and customers are being lost to unnecessary churn.

Thanks to recent advances in natural language processing (NLP), Communications Mining provides a solution. By understanding and automating their communications at speed and scale, payroll and HR providers are boosting productivity, driving efficiency and enhancing the client experience with proactive, responsive service.

Here are three of the most powerful Communications Mining use cases:   

Auto-filing and close

Not every message requires a response. Many don’t even need to be read. The time of your payroll and HR specialists is precious, but they continue to waste valuable capacity manually processing bad contacts that require no follow-ups or action.

The most common of these no-contact messages include:

  • Thank you messages from colleagues or customers
  • Spam
  • Auto-generated messages such as out of office and uninformative confirmations

On an individual level, such messages appear fast to process or delete. But when their total impact is measured across large teams over an extended period of time, the cost of no-contacts can be substantial.

Fortunately, no-contacts are one of the fastest automations you can achieve with Communications Mining. Today’s NLP solutions can easily recognise the intent of a message, including whether the sender expects a follow-up. A Communications Mining platform can immediately categorise a no-contact message on receipt, using automation to eject it from the mailbox or agent queue before it can be read.

This use case represents a fast and effective way to reduce contact volume. Instead, your agents can be left alone to focus on their most important work and client demand.

Automation and reallocation

However, the greatest capacity liberation opportunities are achieved through the automation and reallocation of work. At least 50% of all messages that land in a service function are transactional in nature. This is no different for payroll and HR.

A transactional request is one that requires only a handful of actions or responses to complete. In Payroll, this describes everything from requests to process payroll, to earnings and deductions and the making of corrections. Yet, while these are relatively simple requests to process, they have traditionally proven too complex to be automated. Even a single-response query requires an nuanced understanding of human natural language, meaning, sentiment and intent. This is beyond the majority of today’s automation tools.

This is why Communications Mining represents a huge step-forward. Recent advances in NLP can enable machines to reliably extract the important information, sentiment and intent from almost any message. Communications Mining is geared towards every communications type in the enterprise, from email to chats and even calls. It recognises business-specific intents and language and can then send that information downstream to an automation tool for completion.

Communications Mining enables providers to measure, analyse and categorise every request for automation or reallocation. The most time-consuming transactional queries can be rapidly identified and earmarked, removing them from agent workflows, improving responsiveness and boosting productivity. In this way, a Payroll and HR provider can eliminate half of its demand with a single automation and offshoring use case.

Preventing Customer Churn

To retain customers you first have to fix your operations. Sometimes there’s no way to stop a customer from churning, but often a customer is lost due to SLA breaches, poor service or many other faults of the provider. These loss reasons can represent an enormous share of missed revenue. Even a minor reduction in customer churn can save a payroll provider millions in revenue.

However, avoidable loss prevention depends on your team’s ability to get ahead of customer issues. It’s prevention rather than response. Bad feedback is a lagging indicator of customer churn. If you read a complaint from your customer, it may already be too late to save the relationship. Relying on manual referral of customer issues is a sure way to hamstring your recovery team, depriving them of the time and insight needed to save the customer.

Communications Mining is a vital tool for understanding and preventing the causes of preventable losses. With real-time, 360° visibility across all service and communications channels, payroll and HR providers can quickly build a model of all avoidable loss reasons. They can see what issues are most prevalent, which are most damaging and costly for the business. Service leaders can then work to target these issues, making the exact changes needed to improve efficiency and the client experience.

Not only does Communications Mining offer valuable insight for agent coaching, it provides the data needed for proactive escalation. Once the business understands the root causes of its preventable losses, it can set up real-time monitoring and alerts for these exact issues. Chasers, urgent requests and complaints over responsiveness can all be rapidly identified. As soon as they appear in customer conversation, the message can be automatically routed to the client retention team (CRT) for follow-up and resolution.

Nipping operational issues in the bud is crucial to loss prevention. With Communications Mining, you can intervene early, helping your CRT resolve these issues before they can snowball into churn-driving crises.

Operationalising transformation

Communications Mining isn’t just about automation. By freeing your payroll and HR experts from repetitive, low-value requests you’re enabling them to do their best work. Providers reduce their dependence on ever-growing headcounts to meet demand, saving potentially millions in cost-avoidance and FTE. Clients receive a superior, proactive service that addresses their concerns before they can turn into problems. The real win is for client management, retention and revenue.

Learn more about our Communications Mining use cases and see why Gartner says we’re a leading innovator in Conversational AI and NLP.

Ready to work together to accelerate your success and drive digital transformation?

Grow your customer base by joining the Re:infer partner program.