Implementing a Client Feedback System for PEOs | A Q&A with Anne Donovan of Xenium HR

Anne Donovan, President of Xenium HR, has over 25 years’ experience in HR services – including providing strategic leadership to Xenium as President since 2009. An active member of the HR community, she is also a former board member for the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) and a respected thought leader throughout the industry.

ClearlyRated’s CEO and founder, Eric Gregg, recently sat down with Anne to discuss how Xenium has successfully established a client survey initiative that measures the client experience, cultivates a culture of service excellence, and harnesses reputation for company growth. You can read their discussion below!

Eric: Let’s talk about service quality in the PEO industry. How have you seen the concept of service fit into the cultural foundation and growth strategy at Xenium HR?

Anne: From a service standpoint, we know that our best path forward is creating a customer for life and making that experience so supportive and integrated that they see us as an extension of their internal team. As part of that, we have to be incredibly engaged with their people – not just the decision makers, but the managers, leadership team, and employees. To help with the most critical situations in their business, they have to be able to trust us. That’s about building those relationships, and not just acting like a vendor or consultant that would say, “Here’s what you should do; good luck with that.”

Eric: We know that saying we are good at providing service isn’t enough. Clients have to experience it. Can you talk about how Xenium came to the decision to invest in asking clients for feedback using NPS®?

Anne: Historically, the HR Business Partner would conduct an annual client service review where they would take the client to lunch and ask a series of questions. But we realized that was making it difficult to obtain deeper feedback. We sought out ClearlyRated because we wanted a metrics-driven way to ask the question, “How are we doing for you?” The Net Promoter® Score survey methodology and accompanying driver questions allowed us to drill down within specific service areas and teams. If we ask a specific question about your benefits package or your payroll experience, that made us much more adept when it came to strategic planning for that customer. We learned so much more from the ClearlyRated survey than we ever received when we were doing it 1:1 anecdotally.

First time hearing about NPS? Click here to learn more about NPS for PEOs >>

Eric: Most survey tools / programs are seen as punitive in nature internally, but Xenium has done a great job of using the survey in a positive way to cultivate engagement and investment from the team. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Anne: We always knew we had superstars on our team. But when we started to receive client shout outs, it became clear that we had an opportunity to not only recognize our top performers, but also benchmark the activities creating this thematic feedback. It provided the tangible data to infuse into our training program, to help others capitalize on it as well. Now, in our service training, we get departments talking about what it means to provide delightful customer service. This type of feedback helps to expose all the possibilities.

Eric: How has Xenium leveraged client feedback in your marketing and business development activities?

Anne: The fact that the survey software is designed to capture validated client testimonials means we are posting as much voice-of-the-client content as we can across social media. On top of that, we are able to link back to our Xenium HR profile page on – an objective third party site showing real client feedback helps us validate how we’re performing from a service standpoint and creates credibility to help us tell our story of service commitment. We can point prospects and customers to that and show that this is something we take really seriously.

Eric: If another PEO is looking at starting a survey program like this, what are the key things they should look at to make the most of that investment?

Anne: First, I would say to leverage your Net Promoter® Score as a diagnostic tool. We’ve been doing it for six years now, and being able to look back at how we’re trending year-over-year has been really powerful. We can even segment the data so we can analyze how we’re doing by client size and product and where we need to put in some extra effort.

I would also recommend that you give account managers visibility to their clients’ feedback. It helps to create accountability within teams and across the company. The data only becomes valuable when you can break it down by segments of service teams, and bring it up 1:1 with managers and weekly / monthly / quarterly goals. Find ways to take actions that help to reinforce the behaviors and activities that are making you successful as an organization.

Beyond that, its important that you create a process that allows you to systematically take action on feedback. We have really benefited from ClearlyRated’s guidance on how to leverage all of our survey data in the field. We’re able to counsel individual team members on where they stand with their clients, what’s working, and where they have opportunities to improve relationships. Using the scores as a guidepost, you can help build a roadmap to reach the levels of service quality and client experience you are striving for.

About Xenium HR

Xenium HR is located in Tualatin, Oregon, and is the top human resources consulting, training, and payroll services company in the greater Portland area. Their team of HR and payroll professionals support small- and medium-sized companies with limited or no internal HR resources.

Xenium has set themselves apart with their exceptional service standards. As of time of writing, they have achieved a 4.5-star rating with 178 reviews – earning them the 2019 Best of HR Services award.

Interested in surveying your clients?

ClearlyRated can help! With more than 10 years of experience helping B2B and professional service providers maximize their client satisfaction scores, we can help you build a powerful survey program to support organizational growth. Contact the ClearlyRated team to discuss our NPS survey solutions for the PEO industry.


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