Shadowing Your Customer

ADP fixes confusing software by tracking the customer's every move

Many CIOs would like to have the luxury of peeking over the shoulders of customers as they use the company's products. Payroll processor Automatic Data Processing (ADP) gets a similar experience by using Tealeaf, software that records the actions of people using ADP's software. When customers call the ADP support line to report a problem, agents can pull up Tealeaf and see what went wrong by retracing the customer's keystrokes. (For more on this subject, see "5 Ways CIOs Benefit From Facetime with Customers.")

With these recordings, nothing gets lost in translation after a customer call because CIO Michael Capone and his staff can spot exactly what kind of problems tripped up the customer—for example, a task requiring too many steps to complete. "We can get the story directly from our client," he says, and then update the software.

Capone says IT frequently makes changes to ADP's products based on watching customers' actions. For example, in one of ADP's systems, customers were submitting the same reports repeatedly. Using Tealeaf, IT could see that users were clicking the submit button over and over again; there wasn't a clear indication that the report had been successfully submitted.

The solution: Capone and his staff improved the screen's text and grayed out the submit button to indicate that the task was complete.

Capone periodically leafs through Tealeaf reports to see how customers are reacting to new product features. ADP uses Tealeaf to monitor all its U.S. payroll and time-and-labor systems, as well as its mobile applications.

In training sessions, IT staffers listen to call-center recordings and view Tealeaf logs to learn how to better deal with customers calling in with problems. IT workers aren't held to a rigid schedule of using Tealeaf but, Capone says, "Like any good tool, you don't need to require people to use it. If it helps them do their job, they simply will."

Follow Editorial Assistant Lauren Brousell on Twitter: @lbrousell.

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