Picture Courtesy: flickr.com
Written by Sonal Jaiswal | Evangelist, Customer Guru
Ultimate Software is a company that has been responsible for creating exactly that – an ultimate software. This Florida based technology company develops and sells the award winning software UltiPro, a cloud based Human Capital Management software. It delivers HR, payroll, talent, and time and labor management solutions that connect people with the information they need to work more effectively. It basically is a product that manages the entire employee life-cycle, right from recruitment to retirement. Some of its clients are Adobe Systems Incorporated, Culligan International, Major League Baseball, Pep Boys, Yamaha Corporation of America, and Texas Roadhouse.
In 2015, for the fourth consecutive year, Ultimate was ranked in the top 25 on FORTUNE’s list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. It also consistently features on the lists of most innovative and most engaged companies. What’s more, the company’s CEO Scott Scherr was ranked highly on Glassdoor’s “Highest-Rated CEOs” list for 2015.
Ultimate is known to be one of the most customer-centric companies around. This fact reflects in the company’s tagline itself: People First.
According to Ultimate’s website,
“The culture itself at Ultimate is inspiring. It feels like it’s more than a place of work, more than a company that builds human resources solutions. It feels like family— a family of extremely talented, committed, and caring people. The atmosphere of inclusion, warmth, openness, sharing, and positivity was created originally by CEO Scott Scherr when he founded Ultimate and has grown into the ethos of the company that we all have come to “own”. These values inspire our behavior to encompass our customers and our communities as well.”
Here are some Customer Centricity lessons from Scott Scherr himself!
“Our belief — and it is a simple idea — is that successful people are the foundation for successful business. People First. We live that every day at Ultimate. And we want to build products that reflect our philosophy. Products that we love to use because they are useful, and that our customers — from the HR director across to the line of business manager — love to use.”
Ultimate Software is deeply committed to putting people first always and this fact is the cornerstone of its success. Moreover, it is more than just a catchy slogan; it is the way of life at Ultimate. This philosophy is the underlying fabric for Ultimate’s corporate culture, its partnership with customers, and the strategy when designing its solutions.
Little wonder then that clients of the product UltiPro transcend across domains: right from hospitality and manufacturing to wholesale/retail and automotive. What is even more amazing is that the customer retention stands at 96%+ each year for last 10 years!
“Employees are No. 1, customers are second and shareholders come third.”
The age old debate of whether the customer is more important or the employee, is a chicken and egg argument. The relationship is symbiotic. The organizations keep the employees happy and the employees, in turn, keep the customers happy thus benefiting the organization itself. According to Temkin Group:
Companies with superior customer experience have almost 2.5 as many engaged employees as do companies that lag in customer experience.
Ultimate has a very strong belief in keeping its employees happy. Some perks that are offered to the employees are: 100% Employer paid health coverage for employee and family, 100% Employer paid life insurance to match 1x annual salary, Restricted Stock Units granted to every regular full-time employee and 401k Retirement Savings Plan with 35% company match on every dollar of employee contribution. No wonder it is one of the most sought after companies for job applicants.
“The important thing is to focus on keeping your employees happy, and focusing on growth per person, or growth in annual average productivity. If you can do that, you don’t have to grow by numbers. We keep our customer satisfaction rate above 95 percent, grow recurring revenue by over 25 percent per year.”
The organisation logged revenues over $500 million in the previous year and plans to achieve a $1 billion dollar in revenue by 2018. It believes that the more employee-centric an organization is, the more customer-centric it will automatically become.
Ultimate Software is an inspiration for all the technology companies out there, it is testimony to the fact that keeping people first always has great returns in revenue!
Are there any other business leaders that have inspired you to provide better customer experience and to make your organisation more customer centric? Do let us know and we will be glad to publish some CEx lessons from them for you.