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ADP Demonstrates Why Service is Core Differentiator


ADP’s CEO Carlos Rodriguez began the company’s annual client conference, Meeting of the Minds, by talking about unprecedented challenges faced, including global talent needs, growing compliance burdens, and rising expectations. And though perhaps not the most original of messages, Rodriguez singled out service as the core differentiator that enables ADP to deliver positive impact on its clients’ business and that differentiates it from software companies. Here I take a look at how ADP’s focus on service as a differentiator cuts across several lines of business.

ADP Comprehensive Outsourcing Services (COS)

COS provides a full range of integrated HR services to clients. Some recent service highlights include:

  • With clients using on average ~3 ADP services, an effective governance team process is essential. ADP has taken its operational reviews to the next level, and its value proposition includes 6-month interval reviews to make sure processes are optimized and ROI expectations are met
  • Adoption of mobile across all clients has resulted in a reduction of paycheck calls by 14%
  • Benefits obtained for a new COS security client included change management workshops and detailed plans to manage organizational change, communication, and people strategy. Plus, process optimization and cost reduction (including pay group consolidation, pay frequency change, go green, and paycard).

ADP DataCloud

Predictive analytics, including Predictive Turnover Probability, are delivering insights including:

  • Competitiveness: How much future voluntary turnover might my organization have, relative to others in my industry?
  • Hidden Drivers: What combinations of factors are contributing to the likelihood of employees leaving, so I can take action?
  • Hotspots: Where are the likely areas of highest voluntary turnover in my organization – within jobs, locations, or teams?
  • At-Risk People: Who are the high- and medium-risk employees I need to work to retain?


Growing from 90 clients in 2015 to 114 today, the majority of new recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) clients are first-time adopters. One of ADP’s competitive advantages is its AIRS Recruiter Training provided internally to ADP staff (who are required to be re-certified every year) and also to clients (for whom 750 classes are held annually, with 10,500 people trained, and 3,600 certified).

2017 investments include:

  • Global expansion and capability building in EMEA, APAC and LATAM to support growing U.S. multi-national corporations
  • Enhanced RPO analytics and DataCloud Integration, including linking candidate profile data to retention and performance.


ADP has 10m+ mobile users, providing capability that includes:

  • Accessing and printing pay & W2 statements, access to categorized pay reports, setup of direct deposit, and comparison of pay statements
  • Tracking time and timesheet approvals, view, request and approve of time off
  • Checking 401k account balances, viewing account performance, and changing contribution rate or account allocation.

Benefits Administration

Providing Benefits Administration for 1 in every 17 employees in the U.S. and 9.4m participants, ADP receives ~850k calls annually to its service center, and first-time call resolution is 90%. Recent client case studies include:

  • Upon automating Benefits Administration for its client Areas (including open enrollment), errors were reduced by ~75%, and benefits enrollment was reduced from 2 months to 2 weeks. Client feedback was that this was a smooth experience, the process being intuitive and easy to understand (
  • Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems turned to ADP for ACA Compliance and automating open enrollment. Feedback from the Corporate Compensation and Benefits Administrator included acknowledgement of ADP’s customer service expertise (

The importance of service

The importance of customer service is hardly a new theme, but it’s worth reflecting on just how much it makes a difference. Consider these statistics:

  • Most customers make their decisions on who they will buy from based on service as the most important criterion
  • 3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience
  • The probability of selling to a new prospect is ~15%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is ~65%
  • It is 6.5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one
  • 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.

ADP clearly grasps this, and is committed to improved customer service and experience as a core differentiator across its HR business lines.

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