Following the pandemic, how is your organisation approaching human engagement?
I think what Covid did was take everything digital – we moved everything to digital and our mission was to put customers first and make sure they were okay. We worked with customers to provide advice on changing developments, around things like furlough. We provided advice via webinars and e-books and blogs but also simple things like checklists. It was really important to work with our customers, rather than keep selling to them.
Alongside this, in the UK, we have a number of issues around things like Brexit and recruitment, and people want to know how to onboard, retain and develop talent in a more digital environment.
Our messaging on those things hasn’t changed, but it’s about providing advice, making sure your platforms are ready to go in the cloud, can you access HR and payroll platforms? Are you comfortable with planning and strategy for those platforms into the future?
How important is it to align telemarketing with digital marketing?
They really can’t be separate. There’s no point running a telemarketing agency that just phones through the book, or your prospect list. It is critical for a campaign that you work on all of the activities in the channel.
What I mean by this is that maybe it’s an email, maybe you invite them to a seminar or drive them to the website from LinkedIn. When your sales team makes that call, they need to talk about what they’ve seen, not just, “Might you be interested in X?”
“It is critical for a campaign that you work on all of the activities in the channel“
“Depending on the cost per sale, the human interaction becomes less important because your cost per acquisition stops you from bringing the human interaction”
Do you think human engagement will be a point of competitive differentiation in your market?
Not necessarily. I think if you segment the market to an SMB market then it becomes a more digital journey. Depending on the cost per sale, the human interaction becomes less because your cost per acquisition stops you from bringing the human interaction in.
Once you move up the chain, it won’t be a differentiation because there will always be human interaction required for a big-ticket purchase that is also extremely complex. Today, digital can’t make a full discovery with a company. I can’t send you a survey and ask you to fill it in – that won’t work. I need to have a conversation that uncovers the pain points and helps me understand where your business is going.
You can’t remove the human aspect unless your AI gets so intelligent in the future, that you will be able to take responses and react to them.
How confident are you that you know the size of your addressable market? What can you do to get a clearer idea of it?
We are very clear who our buyers are at the top end of the market, it’s much more difficult with SMBs. But that’s the same for everybody – they come and go.
We do our market research and work hard to understand the SMB market. For example, we might go after the top 500 accounts in the East Midlands and start working through them. We put data into our CRM, create mover and shaker lists, and that gives us a hitlist, if not an addressable market. Most companies of a certain size need support with HR or payroll, and so that’s something to bear in mind.
“We are very clear who our buyers are at the top end of the market, it’s much more difficult with SMBs“
“We are really diving in and looking beyond what we have traditionally sold. It’s about analysing their broader end-to-end requirements“
Could you share two initiatives your organisation is currently taking to enhance customer engagement?
The first is working with customers to understand their future needs. We are really diving in and looking beyond what we have traditionally sold. It’s about analysing their broader end-to-end requirements.
Second, we’re running workshops to ensure we’re improving customer experiences. That’s about making sure our service desk is operating well, and we are offering programmes like MHR Assist, which allows customers to ‘bank’ support hours, and access 15 minutes of immediate support when they need it. We support them with whatever they need, with fast service and access to expertise without having to raise a PO and do all the admin you’d usually need.
MHR is a global software and consultancy company specialising in HR, payroll, employee experience, analytics and artificial intelligence services. The company is headquartered in the UK with offices in the United States, Ireland and Singapore. The company’s product portfolios include iTrent, People First and MHR Analytics, alongside consultancy, business intelligence and analytics solutions.