Top 5 Lessons About Corporate Services Providers

Corporate services providers are companies that provide a range of administrative and support services, such as payroll and human resource consulting. They can also offer employee benefits, such as health and retirement plans.

Most companies considered  had developed business models over decades to offer a complete suite of administrative solutions, but the market is changing quickly with the advent of cloud computing and outsourcing. The impact on service delivery will be profound as corporations consolidate their business processes while they search for ways to minimize costs without compromising quality of customer experience or results.

The following are five main lessons about corporate services providers that will help enterprise leaders drive their company’s growth.

1. Don’t underestimate the complexities of the corporate services market and the value of long-term relationships. Many small service providers today want to be a “one-stop shop” for all things, but that’s not always possible, even in areas such as health care, where vendors have specialized expertise. To develop a robust relationship with corporate services providers, companies must be willing to spend time assessing the needs of their clients and creating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

2. Understand where your company sits in the spectrum of Providers range from traditional human resources and payroll vendors to document management firms and benefits consultants to strategic sales partners. Employees can use “self-service” products or services from vendors to take on administrative tasks, such as time card submission and pay stub generation.

3. Determine the benefits of becoming a corporate services providers, for your customers — and for your company. Service providers offer more than just delivery of key support services. They can help customers improve business processes, find new ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency, save time, and develop better products or services at lower costs.

4. Leverage partner relationships to drive growth. Companies are less likely to do business with lower-tier service providers, and they want to work with the best partners they can find to help them manage their entire business operations. They will select the most strategic vendor that shares their values and has a proven track record of delivering results.

5. Don’t focus on pricing as the dominant value proposition. Success in the  market is more about strong client relationships and delivering value that exceeds expectations than on pricing. Providers are seeking enterprise customers who are willing to invest for a long-term relationship that can provide ancillary value via improved business processes and lower costs.

The following are 10 tips for service providers for building stronger client relationships with enterprise customers.

  1. Offer more than traditional services.

Service providers have to offer more than regular payroll, benefits and other administrative services. Their goal is not merely to sell; they must establish a relationship with the customer and offer ancillary services that lead to better business processes.

  • Use technology to automate routine tasks while providing personal service.

Technology can automate daily tasks such as time card submission and pay-stub generation and can empower employees so they can complete their own tasks (such as scheduling status calls). As business leaders automate routine tasks, they can spend more time on more complex projects.

  • Leverage your value-add strategic capabilities.

A company’s value-add strategic capabilities provide differentiation for both the service provider and the customer. For example, a benefits specialist can have expertise in designing customized or innovative retirement plans or telemedicine (remote health care). This expertise is an important part of the provider-customer relationship, and it drives repeat business and provides an additional revenue stream.

  • Connect with customers to see how you can add value.

Corporate services providers have to approach the market from a strategic perspective, not just from a transactional point of view. To be successful, service providers have to connect with customers and understand their business requirements. Service providers that don’t learn about the business processes their clients are trying to improve and the goals their clients hope to achieve through outsourcing will not be successful in developing long-term relationships with them.

  • Take the time to develop strong relationships with clients.

 It’s important for service providers to understand their clients’ business models, go-to-market strategies, and customer base. corporate services providers, have to be willing to ask hard questions of their clients and take time to learn about the company, its market potential, and its competitors.

  • Relate your value proposition to the client’s strategic directives.

Service providers also have to connect their value proposition to the client’s strategic directives, such as reducing expenses and compliance with industry regulations. Service providers can also help clients determine their market strategy. In addition, service providers can help clients think about where they are spending money by offering insight into the potential impact on revenue, cost of goods sold, net income, and operating income.

  • Keep costs low for customers.

The higher the cost of providing services, the less attractive the service provider for enterprises. Service providers that offer high-quality products and services at competitive prices are more likely to earn trust and loyalty from enterprise customers.

  • Know when to say no.

Service providers must be willing to say “no” if they don’t think a customer’s business process will be successful with them as a key partner, or if they are not sure the customer has the resources necessary to succeed.

  • Be willing to negotiate and be flexible.

Many service providers don’t want to negotiate because they believe their prices are already at a low point, and they need to focus on quality service. However, some companies provide their services for less than the minimum price with the justification that providing more value than the minimum will result in future business with the client.

  1. Do more than just answer questions from clients.

Service providers want to help clients become better at doing things they are already doing. The key is to develop a partnership that focuses on customer success and not just transaction execution.

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