Published by ClearlyRated - 04/4/23

[Case Study] How Apex Systems Improved and Centralized Survey Efforts to Save Costs and Drive Continual Improvement

[Case Study] How Apex Systems Improved and Centralized Survey Efforts to Save Costs and Drive Continual Improvement

Learn how this IT services and consulting company maintained an outstanding client experience while improving its contractor experience.

Serving two audiences can be a challenge — especially without a centralized program to gather actionable feedback from both. The leaders at Apex Systems found themselves in this position in 2010 and decided to launch their first NPS survey in 2011. 


Apex Systems has always cared about client service and its relationships with contractors, but prior to engaging ClearlyRated, they did not use a formal program to assess either group’s satisfaction. Often, various managers used one-off surveys, and leaders had little to no visibility on what people were doing or if they were doing it correctly. Without a centralized feedback tool, Apex lacked a true pulse on its client and contractor satisfaction and couldn’t obtain insights to improve operations. Leaders searched for a solution that could help them:

  • Accurately measure satisfaction 
  • Capture actionable feedback
  • Identify and remedy flight risks
  • Identify strong and weak points in their client and contractor experiences
  • Gather testimonials and earn industry service awards
Apex Systems CMO Quote on ClearlyRated NPS Program

ClearlyRated helped Apex Systems deploy a formal NPS program that targeted two audiences: clients and contract employees. In preparation for program launch, ClearlyRated’s customer success team offered a roadmap of what to expect and assisted the Apex team with:

  • Educating both audiences prior to the survey
  • Scrubbing and organizing data to create clean survey lists
  • Planning survey questions for both audiences
  • Creating follow-up email workflows at key points in each audience’s journey

“ClearlyRated’s customer success team was invaluable while we prepared for our survey launch, and they’re still actively helping to improve our program and how we use the feedback.”

– Erica Woods, Director of Contractor Programs & Philanthropy, Apex Systems

With this new solution in place, the Apex team would gain the ability to:

  • Capture actionable feedback from multiple audiences
  • House feedback data in an accessible, centralized platform
  • Reduce rogue survey efforts
  • Improve their CX for both clients and contractors
  • Support social media engagement, branding, and online reputation management efforts
  • Earn Best of Staffing awards

With the ability to gather quantifiable data and actionable feedback, Apex Systems has accomplished the following:

  • Implementation of new internal processes that have improved contract employee support both during and after assignments
  • Maintaining outstanding client service while actively improving their contractor experience 
  • A library of positive client and contractor feedback that supports sales and marketing efforts

Below are more details on some of their biggest accomplishments thanks to their ClearlyRated NPS survey program.

Top 4 NPS Program Wins at Apex Systems 

Securing positive client testimonials that boost marketing and sales effort

Prospective clients often request references prior to their decision. These situations used to pose a challenge for Apex. Now though, the Apex team has identified its top promoters via its NPS survey program and can easily direct potential clients to happy customers. They also use their library of positive customer testimonials in proposal decks, new contractor welcome packets, recruitment efforts, social media content, website content, employee orientations, email campaigns, and other marketing efforts. 

Improved contractor support that boosts retention

Thanks to regular NPS surveys, the Apex team could begin to identify unhappy contractors at scale, empowering their teams to follow up and proactively fix any issues. Out of these insights came new efforts to improve the onboarding process, on-assignment contractor care, and re-engagement of past contractors. One of Apex’s first contractor NPS surveys validated the need for a service team dedicated to contractors, highlighting this effort as a top priority. Since then, Apex has employed a Contractor Care team that assists contract employees with benefits, taxes, sick time, and other paperwork. They’ve also deployed several initiatives to improve contractor support, such as training programs that include certification maintenance and new technology skills, a chatbot that addresses FAQs (pulled from surveys), an FAQ self-service video playlist, and automated email journeys with career guidance content covering everything from resumé tips to overcoming anxiety before starting a job.

“We were always good in terms of client satisfaction, but we lagged significantly on the contractor side. Since entering the ClearlyRated program, we are now in the top tier of our industry when it comes to contractor NPS. Implementing a rolling NPS program with ClearlyRated really moved the needle for us. In fact, our Contractor Care team was born out of one of the first contract employee survey launches.”

   – Shawn Handley, CMO, Apex Systems

New efforts to keep contractor alumni engaged

Through its NPS surveys, Apex learned that their teams did a great job supporting and communicating with contractors on the frontend of their assignment. But they also realized they had been missing an opportunity to maintain their loyalty as each contractor’s assignment ended. To boost contractors’ loyalty post-assignment, the Apex team sought to continue supporting alumni contractors even as they looked for their next job. They added job seeker resources to help this audience successfully re-enter the job market, including a career coach, resumé guidance, and career readiness tools and content. They also boosted redeployment efforts by promoting their own job portal. 

Efficient survey program automation

In more recent years, ClearlyRated’s CTO Nathan Goff helped Apex’s team automate their entire survey process. Apex integrated the ClearlyRated platform into its applicant tracking system, removing many manual processes and improving data quality. 

Apex Systems NPS Survey Results


Industry Awards

  • 10 Best of Staffing Client Satisfaction Awards
  • 10-Year Diamond Badge for Client Satisfaction
  • 5 Best of Staffing Talent Satisfaction Awards
  • 5-Year Diamond Badge for Talent Satisfaction

Consistently High NPS 

  • Apex now enjoys an NPS that’s 2x higher than its peers
  • Talent satisfaction rose to 70% in 2023 (up from 44% in 2011)
  • Client satisfaction rose to 73% in 2023 (up from 57% in 2012)

Contractor Experience KPI Improvements (since 2015)

  • Communication at assignment end  +12.4%
  • Transition conversation at assignment end  +11.5%
  • Performance feedback and coaching  +8.6%
  • Issue resolution during onboarding  +6.5% 
  • Contact at mid-assignment  +5.4%

“We feel especially proud to see evidence of improved end-of-assignment support and that more contractors receive performance feedback. We wouldn’t have identified those opportunities without ClearlyRated, and it’s focused our efforts where we can have the most impact. Now we’re better supporting our contractors’ career development both while they’re on assignment and as they transition back into the job market.”
Erica Woods, Director of Contractor Programs & Philanthropy, Apex Systems

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