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Convergys Wants to Help Employers Relate

The company’s new method applies consulting services, analytic tools and technology to generate more value from the interactions clients have with customers and employees.

November 13, 2007
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HR outsourcer Convergys is on a crusade to upgrade clients’ employee relations.

The Cincinnati-based company on Thursday, November 8, announced a “a new relationship management approach” designed to give clients a strategic leg up. Convergys said its new method applies consulting services, analytic tools and technology to generate more value from the interactions clients have with customers and employees.

Naomi Bloom, managing partner at Bloom & Wallace, a consulting firm in Fort Myers, Florida, says the announcement shows that Convergys is pursuing the “holy grail” in human resources outsourcing—seeking to provide employees with an Amazon.com-like experience that reduces costs and errors, enhances service quality and improves business outcomes.

“It’s no surprise that Convergys is doing this,” Bloom says. “Everyone is doing this who wants a fighting chance of being successful in HRO.”

Human resources outsourcing—in other words, farming out a variety of employee-related tasks such as benefits enrollment, payroll and recruiting—has been a growing market as organizations try to lower costs and focus on core competencies. HRO vendors have struggled at times to make the often-complicated deals profitable.

Convergys reported in late October that its employee care unit suffered an operating loss of $8.3 million for the three months ended September 30. On the other hand, the employee care unit saw revenue jump 24 percent year-over-year, to $63.2 million.

Despite the fast growth in HR services, Convergys’ biggest business is its “customer care” segment, which brought in $462.9 million during the third quarter. 

The recent “relationship management” announcement was directed at both Convergys’ customer care and HRO clients.

“Our decades of leadership in both customer and employee care outsourcing, innovative software development, and the application of analytics for continuous improvement enable us to drive greater efficiencies and effectiveness in the customer and employee service experience for large organizations around the world,” Convergys president and CEO Dave Dougherty said in a statement.

Other HR outsourcers are offering software or services to improve the value they can provide to clients. ADP, for example, recently said its national account services unit is offering “sales incentive compensation management” software through a partnership with application maker Centive.

—Ed Frauenheim


 

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