The following article was originally published in Central Penn Business Journal November 25th Issue*
At Paytime Payroll, Inc., happy customers are a top priority.
By: Melinda Rizzo, Contributing Writer
December 1, 2022 10:04 am
In an industry brimming with data, formulas and numbers – and a lot of competition – Nathan Patterson, Paytime Payroll, Inc. owner and president, founded the company in 1992 with a mission to create a customer-first culture in his business and value relationships with employees, vendors and customers.
“My [then] partner owned the software, and I leased it from him. We came up with a pretty robust system…and we knew we had to be extra special and service our customers, and we still believe that,” Patterson said.
Thirty years ago, Patterson recognized the need to distinguish his fledgling firm to carve a niche in third-party payroll services. Since then, Mechanicsburg-based Paytime has added human resources management and services around the same hallmark priority – peerless customer service.
“Many entrepreneurs began about the same time. We exceeded through exceptional service, and that’s what we continue to do today,” Patterson said.
One-on-one customer service
Paytime keeps a 1:1 ratio for client/account management employees. That means Paytime clients receive one point of contact at Paytime to manage all their payroll and HR needs, depending upon the services package selected.
The approach creates a tight business relationship where service can be optimized because of a streamlined single point of service contact.
“You’re not calling into a call center” but rather speaking directly – at any time – to your Paytime representative, said Chris Haverstick, Paytime vice president of sales and marketing.
Haverstick has been with Paytime for 28 years, and the average employee tenure is about 11 years, according to Paytime representatives.
Tracking customer satisfaction
Asking for satisfaction surveys is a common way for businesses to keep track of how they’re doing. At Paytime, which uses an email system to track and address customer satisfaction issues in real time, it’s a daily imperative.
“We have a happy face, an OK face and a frown face to receive feedback [on services and] our management team sees these coming in all day long,” Patterson explained.
Not only are comments received and reviewed promptly – customers receive quick responses from Paytime to address any issues.
With happy ratings consistently at 99% “we are all over any frowns that come in,” he said.
Hiring, managing employee benefits
When Maggie Lebo began at Central Penn College job applicants for open positions were tracked on paper, by hand, and manually loaded into Excel spreadsheets.
Lebo is Central Penn College vice president of people and culture in East Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County. She said Central Penn College makes use of Paytime’s full human resources management option for the school’s payroll, time keeping, health insurance and its human capital needs.
Central Penn College uses software supported by Paytime to track job applications and prospective employees, which creates a more professional process for candidates to apply for available positions.
“The [job] applicant tracking system is more cost – and time – efficient and made things more streamlined and effective. It saves us time in recruiting,” she explained.
For employees a self-service portal to manage open enrollment health and medical benefits, change an address after a move or make a legal name change saves time and effort.
“And we can set up file transfers from the payroll system to our [insurance] benefit carriers.
Data flows directly to the insurance carrier… and in our small HR department, any time savings is very much appreciated,” Lebo said.
Paytime offers webinars to Central Penn College employees to grow their professional skills, Lebo said.
“Paytime is very responsive, and I’d say they’re kind,” Lebo said.
In a world shaken by recent global events, upheaval and unrest, Lebo said professional kindness can make a huge difference in business relationships.
“We provide customers with better and easier ways to recruit, engage, manage and retain employees and to help them achieve their business goals. They can focus on their business rather than back office tasks like payroll and HR,” Patterson said.
Small business niche
According to FocusCentral PA.org, there are roughly 17,000 businesses operating in the region, and about 98% of those companies have 100 or fewer employees, the website said.
Paytime’s market sector includes small and mid-sized firms, which can have varied and complex employment needs.
Paytime begins new client relationships with a “needs analysis” and discovery period to help define new customer needs
“This process helps create potential solutions as well as the type of platform – from payroll, to timekeeping and scheduling or human resources (HR) services,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he’s seeing more focus on employees as “the most valuable asset” a company has.
Remaining focused on long term relationships – with employees and customers alike – providing prompt real time support and keeping a finger on the pulse of new and emerging technology trends are Playtime company hallmarks.
Scores of organizations around the world study the correlation between happy or contented employees and their productivity levels. A 2017 Forbes.com report said happy employees are as much as 20% more productive in their work as are their unhappy counterparts.
“Workforce is one of our biggest strengths. Our employees care about clients and do what they can to exceed expectations,” Haverstick said.
Paytime employees receive regular training and support to keep their skills and knowledge sharp.
“HR is part of a whole human capital management solution, we help companies manage employee operations – from pre hire to retire,” Patterson explained.
Employee working flexibility is built into Paytime’s mission.
Hotel space for those who work some days in the office and others from home is another accommodation Paytime makes to ensure employee longevity – and satisfaction – continues.
“We have the VoIP with our system and security we were able to respond” to work from home employees, Haverstick said.
Patterson suggested the future could include same day payroll services offerings. Monitoring and identifying workplace trends throughout a firm’s employee life cycle will become an important element in human resources management in the future.
Other payroll tech could include facial recognition time keeping with thermal sensors to ensure an employee is fit to work and is fever free.
“The world will continue to change, and the workforce will continue to change,” he said.
*Melinda Rizzo is a freelance writer*