[CASE STUDY] Essential StaffCARE’s Journey to Deliver Credible Proof of their Positive Client Experience Published by ClearlyRated - November 10, 2021 Essential StaffCARE (ESC) is a leading provider of ACA-compliant health insurance and supplemental employee benefits to the staffing industry. Serving more than 2,400 clients with over 750,000 temporary employees enrolling each year, ESC boasts a 20+ year history of client service excellence and company growth making their client experience exceptional. In 2020, ESC began working with ClearlyRated to deploy a client experience initiative that would measure client satisfaction and build credible proof of the remarkable client service they provide. ClearlyRated sat down with Aaron Lesher, Executive Vice President at Essential StaffCARE, to learn more about how the ESC team has been transformed by their client experience initiative. Formalizing the feedback system for exponential ROI. When Aaron and Eric Gregg, Owner of ClearlyRated, first met, ESC faced a challenge objectively quantifying the service they provide. Founded upon the highest standards of client service, Aaron knew the ESC team delivered an experience worth talking about. They had conducted informal client surveys over the years to gather feedback and invite testimonials, but the data delivered limited insights and they wanted to better leverage that client feedback to fuel firm growth. Taking the Next Steps: Why ClearlyRated? In 2020, ESC leadership made the decision to formalize ESC’s client feedback initiative by investing in the ClearlyRated CX solution, with Aaron taking the lead on this project. “We saw the amazing impact that ClearlyRated’s Net Promoter® Score survey program has had in the staffing industry, and we knew that the same benefits were applicable in our business. We had been looking for an opportunity to invest in an independent, third-party feedback system to more thoroughly understand how our clients view ESC. We saw how the ClearlyRated solution could bring more credibility to our message while allowing us to drill down much deeper on our successes and areas for improvement.” ESC’s NPS rating showcases proof of better-than-world-class service. Despite some initial trepidation about hearing only from unhappy clients, ESC worked with the ClearlyRated team to field feedback from the entirety of their customer base, including contacts who may not have managed day-to-day relations with the ESC team. The immediate result from their first survey? ESC was quickly able to deliver proof of the outstanding service they provide: ESC scored a 74% Net Promoter® Score (NPS) in their first annual survey; a better-than-world-class score by way of global NPS standards, and a significantly higher score than the insurance industry benchmark (which measured at just 34% NPS in 2021). They collected 91 testimonials from happy clients that opted to elaborate on their service experience when providing a survey response. The best part? The ClearlyRated survey program automatically captured permissions and client preferences for how their testimonials get utilized in ESC’s sales and marketing efforts. ESC’s online reputation was exponentially expanded, with 232 client ratings appearing on their ClearlyRated.com business profile from their first survey alone. Their online business profile features a 5-star rating system, which translates each client’s NPS response into a star rating, as well as a company overview and client testimonials. You can see ESC’s online profile here (please note that the ClearlyRated profile updates in real-time with each survey that ESC fields, so the ratings will fluctuate!). “These results have completely transformed our conversations with clients as well as our marketing and communications strategy. We are infusing this proof of our service across various channels and through different levels of our communication, and we continue to find new ways to take it forward. Our survey results have even become a core aspect of our tradeshow booth! As travel and in-person meetings continue to open up, we’re looking forward to sharing results with our clients 1-to-1 and eliciting their thoughts and feedback eye-to-eye.” Essential StaffCARE displayed their NPS and star ratings on their booth at Staffing World 2021. Beyond service proof, unforeseen survey benefits have transformed ESC’s client and team relations. It is always reassuring to hear our clients verify that the ClearlyRated CX program delivers on the need they are looking to solve. Even better is uncovering some of the outsized impact that unforeseen benefits have on their organizations. In the case of ESC, Aaron described two ways that the ClearlyRated NPS surveys have over-delivered and provided exponential ROI. The first is by helping the ESC team identify unhappy contacts within client accounts that were otherwise perceived to be perfectly happy. The second is by inviting clients to recognize team members who have gone above and beyond for them, fueling employee engagement and motivation. Unforeseen benefit #1: Uncovering and addressing client experience issues. Even with that incredibly powerful service rating, ESC did identify some Detractors (unhappy clients). “We strive to maintain incredibly close relationships with our clients. ESC feels more like a family than a business, and our clients are an extension of that. What was interesting about our initial NPS survey was that, even though we earned a world-class service score, we identified some Detractors, contacts at certain accounts who were unhappy with their experience. These typically weren’t our day-to-day relationships that we have a very tight connection with, but sometimes a second- or third-level contact who might not have the same access to our team or who might not understand the business.” Detractor notifications are a must-have feature of any NPS survey. And when they are delivered real-time, they provide insurance firms like ESC with the opportunity to address service issues immediately, and get ahead of at-risk revenue. Aaron provided two examples of Detractors that they were able to quickly identify and address through their first NPS survey with ClearlyRated. In one example, the ESC team was surprised to hear about a dissatisfied contact who was not the primary relationship, and therefore was not always as tightly integrated with the communications between the two organizations. After working to address the issue identified in the Detractor response, the ESC team followed up with that contact once per month, for the next year, and in their next NPS survey the contact had jumped from a Detractor (with an initial service score of 6 on the Net Promoter scale) to a Promoter (with a new service score of 9 on the Net Promoter scale). Another client contact was frustrated because they were faxing documents to ESC. However, they weren’t aware that ESC offered an electronic enrollment service that allows clients to avoid faxing. The ESC team was able to quickly clear up this misunderstanding with a phone call, and within two business days the client had been trained, installed, and on boarded to the electronic enrollment plan. Unforeseen benefit #2: Boosting employee morale with client Shout Outs. When ClearlyRated asked Aaron what the biggest surprise was after fielding their initial NPS survey, he immediately started describing ESC’s experience with client Shout Outs. “The Shout Outs were much more impactful and powerful than we expected them to be. A lot of customers have become friends over the years, and they didn’t just fill out a survey—they took time to recognize people who went above and beyond for them. We’re all people, and we all need that positive feedback when we feel we’ve gone the extra mile. To see it in writing can go a long way towards renewing that effort and commitment to delivering a great experience.” ESC has earned more than 90 Shout Outs as part of their ClearlyRated survey initiative—that’s more than 90 examples of clients taking time to recognize individual contributors on the ESC team for going above and beyond for them. “When the Shout Outs come in via email, we instantly share it with everybody on the team, we make a lot of noise about the team members being recognized, and we make sure that management is involved in the celebration as well. It’s provided a great way to build morale within our organization, and give service leaders a public acknowledgement and pat on the back for a job well done. The impact on morale is palpable.” ESC predicts even more long-term benefits from their annual survey program. After their initial experience with the ClearlyRated CX program, Aaron and the ESC team have invested in an annual survey cadence so that they can practice measuring, and improving, the client experience year-over-year. ESC plans to: Leverage their early survey scores to establish internal benchmarks for future goal-setting and trend-monitoring. Track individual client contact responses year-over-year to ensure service recovery efforts and improvements are delivering the targeted outcome. Utilize their Financial Impact Report to quantify revenue implications of the client experience, and hone in on those accounts and actions that will create outsized impact on the bottom line. “Before working with ClearlyRated, our informal client surveys felt like drops in the bucket—limited impact, certainly no long-term benefits. But with ClearlyRated, our survey program feels like a living, breathing part of our business operations. Now we have something to look forward to every year, and the feedback is tied to the tools to create the necessary actions to build our customer relationships and identify areas where we can improve. We believe there is nothing more important than what our clients think of our service, our offering. We’ve started out of the gate strong, and are excited to build on that.” The ClearlyRated team is in awe of the work that Essential StaffCARE delivers to their clients, and we are honored to be a part of their journey towards continuous improvement and service excellence! If you have any questions about ESC’s experience with ClearlyRated, please contact us. We are always excited to discuss the impact that our program has for insurance providers like ESC!