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Improving Processes and the Customer Experience, Part I

By Lubomira Kostova

Improving_InsideThe employee experience is transformed when global payroll creates a humanized approach to interactions and focuses on the employees’ engagement, retention, and overall satisfaction with the company. Often payroll—as the last team that interacts with the employees—has a great role to play in how they perceive the company. One method to improve the employee experience is to optimize, simplify, and standardize processes combined with the right technology to ensure that the end user (the employee) will have a smooth experience. If we take a step back, you’ll see that global payroll teams already have several rich pools of data that they can leverage to both assess their processes and to improve the employee experience.

This series will focus on just one of those pools or technologies—the case management system. Each day, payroll teams around the globe receive hundreds of questions from their customers (employees, business partners, etc.). These arrive via email, internal communication tools, and/or a tracking system. The complexity and timing of those queries further differ per subject, time of the year, etc.

All these questions comprise a valuable set of data that, if collected and analyzed, can have multiple benefits. Think of managing a healthy workload for a team by tracking this workload and simultaneously decreasing the volume of queries from customers. To reap those benefits, all queries should be processed and stored in one central place such as a case management system.

What Is a Case Management System?

A case management system is any software that allows a global payroll team to interact with its customers—employees and/or business partners. It is a single place where both parties log all queries. While the payroll team interacts with the customer, the system can log and track the following data (a non-exclusive list): employee identifier, type of query (e.g., payslip), assignee from the payroll, time to first response, time to resolution, etc.

By collecting data, the system becomes a valuable decision-making tool that allows us to gain a first-hand understanding of our customers’ needs and wants—in addition to flagging any processes that might be optimized. It is important to note that this is only one of the data pools that should be utilized; other tools and metrics should further be taken into account (e.g., number of successful payments, HR data that feeds into payroll, etc.).

All this data can be analyzed and incorporated into a good global payroll strategy that includes the following:

  • Payroll processes (gaps assessment and optimization)
  • Managing the employee experience
  • Managing a healthy workload


When deployed throughout all of the payroll regions within an organization, a case management system can not only add more insight into regional gaps and opportunities but can further provide an overview of recurring themes globally. By identifying regional and global opportunities, global payroll teams can better adjust their customer experience strategies by separating and prioritizing items.

What to Consider

There are several things to consider when adopting a case management system. They include the following:

  1. Optimization and Automation

    There is virtually no system that will contain all of our desired operating features. We might want to add tweaks that relate to our internal processes and governance models. Therefore, choosing a system that allows for optimization opportunities is important.

    Consider not only the possibility of accommodating the system to our preferences as much as possible, but also the possibilities for automation. For instance, if you have a query you receive each month (e.g., how do I receive my payslip?), the system should allow you to add some degree of automation such as a bot or a canned response to help you tackle those easy queries. The added benefit is not only efficiency on the payroll side but also a fast and accurate response to the employee.

  2. Reporting

    A case management system that will allow us to achieve what we want needs to have solid reporting capabilities (or an add-on). These capabilities should encompass:

    • Data in real time
    • Data comparison between different points in time
    • Reports/dashboards or integration with a system already in use for data analysis

      Additionally, the collection and analysis of this data must be easy for the customer to obtain without substantial training. The reporting capabilities will allow us to analyze trends such as:

      1. Volume of tickets
      2. Main topics
      3. Service level agreements

        These trends can provide you with valuable information on where there is a process optimization opportunity or could point out that workload within your team is not divided evenly.

        Before deep diving into the collection and analysis of the data, an initial investment is required on the trends we need to track (research questions), in addition to the different capabilities for the tracking (reporting system). In addition to reports or dashboards, and depending on the volume of the data, the system should allow us to gather information via other options such as JQL (Jira Query Language) or SQL (Structured Query Language) queries.

  3. Knowledge Base

    An additional desirable feature is a knowledge base. A knowledge base is a space where employees can check for updates and/or payroll information. For instance, the knowledge base will contain information regarding the main topics for which employees reach out (volume of tickets per query). It will use data to provide customers with the information they need with one simple click.

    Building a knowledge base is not a one-off effort. It entails frequent measurement of:

    • Information accuracy (e.g., change in legislation which triggers a change in required new hire information)
    • Content design: ease to find and understand the information

      This measurement should be completed with a mechanism to track customer behavior on the knowledge base that feeds a content strategy for the payroll team—for instance, the ability to track how much time is spent on a particular page, number of clicks of a particular link, etc. All these are measurements that can help us understand how our customers interact with our content.

      Even if your company’s policy is not self-service, there is a huge benefit that can be drawn from this philosophy. Having a knowledge base that contains the most asked questions can help you reduce the number of tickets the payroll team receives on a monthly basis and, consequently, free up the team’s time to work on more complicated queries and tasks, such as process optimization. Provided other teams within the organization use the same knowledge base, payroll content can be linked to the other team’s content to further ensure a smooth transition for the employee.

  4. Cost

    Each team considering the above would need to make a cost-benefit analysis of having a case management system. Depending on the volume of the workforce, it is worth the investment as it provides a profound understanding of what is on the customers’ minds, how we can improve our processes, and improve the customers’ experience.

  5. Project Management Feature

A bonus point for the tracking system is its use as a project management tool to encompass both project tracking and valuable tools for process improvement.

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Lubomira Kostova is a Lead, Strategy and Planning, Global Payroll at Uber. She has several years of experience in payroll implementations, with focus on EMEA and LatAm, case management systems, and business process transitions.