Moderated by:

Aini Ali
Vice President of Service Technology
ADP Small Business Services
Customer Engagement Leadership Council Member

Moderated by:

Laura Colon
ADP Small Business Service Executive Sponsor



Digital transformation continues to evolve at lightning speed. Technology advancements and adoption are at their peak. How do you determine the best fit solution for your business? In this case history discussion, Aini Ali and Laura Colon of ADP discussed how they transformed their company’s service contact strategy to improve the customer and associate experience and optimize contact center offerings, all the while driving cost reductions.

Key Take-Aways:

  • Best practices for creating a customer and associate centric strategy
  • Insight on determining the best service channel mix for contact center solutions
  • Examples of leveraging AI and automation to support business needs

Ali opened the virtual event by sharing a few quick facts about their employer ADP, a well-known payroll, benefits, and HR provider:


  • 1949: year founded
  • $15B USD: revenue FY21
  • 58K associates
  • Serves clients in 140 countries
  • 920K+ clients worldwide
  • 90% of clients on a strategic, cloud-based platform
  • More than 75% of the Fortune 500 are clients
  • Over 38 million workers worldwide– 1 in 6 workers in U.S.

Drive change by listening to the Voice of Business (VoB)

Digital transformation and technology continue to evolve at lightning speed and new solutions are plentiful. With so many options, it’s important to select the best solution for your company and needs. Before starting any big initiative, pinpoint primary revenue drivers and listen to the voice of the customer, as well as the “Voice of the Business” (VoB). In the case of ADP, the VoB was defined by the four pillars below. All helped to drive the organization’s improvements and transformation initiatives:

  • Customer Experience
  • Agent Experience
  • Growth
  • SMB Clientele Profiles

Ali discussed some of the challenges her organization faced in serving its growing customer base. They included scalability issues, limited resources, and limited service channels. The company sought to leverage the advantages of digital customer service options, including self-service capabilities. Balancing customer priorities and needs while empowering agents with quality tools and training was a key part of their digital transformation plan. They were guided by a Three Pillar Strategy that included these key components:

  1. Client Focus – Make it easier for clients to self-serve in all products and channels. Meet the client in their channel of choice, for example, mobile.
  2. Associate Focus – Engage and involve associates in new solutions and strategies and give them the tools to provide stellar service – including teaching customers how to self-serve.
  3. Personalization – Use data to drive the customer experience as well as actions for clients and associates, too.

New channels and new agent skill sets needed

By surveying their clients, ADP determined that approximately 85% preferred a digital channel such as messaging or chat. These channels were successfully added. Currently, the voice channel is still the dominant choice of their customers, but chat and message channels are growing in usage, and are more cost effective, too. Asynchronous messaging is particularly popular with ADP’s SMB customers as it allows them to ask questions and reply when it’s convenient. For multi-tasking small business owners, being able to reply outside of peak business hours is very convenient.

A key challenge the organization faced after implementing new digital channels was hiring for the right skill set. Many agents are more familiar with email versus chat, for example. Yet, a mix of competence in both of these channels is necessary to optimally serve customers and communicate effectively. The company created a new training platform to assist in this goal.

Automation considerations

Another issue ADP faced was educating agents about new technologies like automation and robotic process automation (RPA). The company needed to reassure agents that, although job roles and responsibilities might shift, they would not be replaced by digital tools. To address this, the company conducted numerous internal roadshows and explained new technologies in detail. As they did this, the agents began to engage and ultimately came up with many customer service suggestions and ideas of their own that leveraged these new technologies.

Many guidelines are needed for automation. Some key steps and best practices discussed in the virtual event can be found below:

  • Evaluate the process and determine if it’s a good fit for RPA
  • Determine ROI
  • Engage engineers to refine the process
  • Engage developers to provide input then build

Co-browsing with customers

Laura Colon discussed a particularly successful ADP customer solution: the co-browse option. Essentially, this capability lets associates view the customer screen and simultaneously teach them how to use self-serve functions such as running a payroll report. This helps to eliminate the guesswork as associates are actually in the product and show customers how to use the features. The company has had great feedback about co-browsing from clients and the agents like it too.


In closing, Ali and Colon reminded Council members of a critical best practice in any digital transformation initiative: ongoing monitoring of customer feedback and digital tools. As customer needs and expectations — and technologies — evolve rapidly, organizations must continuously listen and update their capabilities.