Archive for August, 2014

$2000 to quit your job?

As blogged on this space before, we’re totally focused on staff engagement and the ultimate customer experience here at Smartgroup. The two absolutely go hand in hand and it’s just as important to present a compelling value proposition to employees as it is to customers.

So in August 2012, we introduced ZEST, meaning Zeal, Engagement, Satisfaction and Trust. We want our employees to come to work every day with Zeal and Engagement, and leave work feeling a sense of Satisfaction with their work, and Trust in us.

At the three month mark, every new starter is offered the option to leave with a ‘thank you’ cash payment for giving it a go. If they don’t feel ZEST in their role, for whatever reason, it allows for a graceful departure and a greater sense of goodwill for everyone involved. To be clear, this program is not a replacement for a sound performance management process. It’s simply an option for those who aren’t feeling ZEST!


We initiated the program with a cash payment of $500, but got an uptake of only 2%.  So we raised the offer to $1000, and still could manage only a 2% uptake.  So now, we’ve decided to raise it to a $2000 cash payment, and will also be making the offer a 2nd time at the 6-month mark.

We hope the take-up rate will be slightly higher than 2%, so we know that it is having some effect, but hopefully it won’t be too much higher!  We will keep you posted!

Certainly, we are not the first to do this . . . Zappos, an innovative online US retailer launched such an offer at $100, and gradually increased it to $2000.  Today Amazon, which subsequently acquired Zappos, gives an exit bonus of up to $5000!  That does seem a bit high to us, but perhaps it shows that there is still an opportunity to further improve our culture and employee value proposition, such that $5000 doesn’t seem so high.

Of course, the more engaged our staff and the higher performing our culture, the better service you, our loyal customers, are sure to get.  We’ll keep striving to do whatever we can to ensure that we are as good to you, as you have been to us!

Smartsalary July Net Promoter Score at 50%!

About 5 years ago, we decided to introduce the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a measure of customer satisfaction…well, actually, customer loyalty.  It’s not something we created, it happens to be the leading service metric used by progressive companies.  I think companies like it because a high NPS seems to translate to higher organic growth… perhaps not a surprise, really!

Here’s how it works. A company asks its customers the following question: How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague? Customers are asked to answer that question using a 0-10 rating scale, which sounds easy enough – but only scores of 9 or 10 count positively and if you get many scores of 6 or less, you’ll wind up with a negative NPS!

At Smartsalary, our first monthly NPS way back in 2009 was about 21%.  This was a reasonable score, and a good starting point for our journey.

What we’ve found since then is that we were able to increase our score to the low 40s fairly swiftly, but that the 50% mark has been quite elusive – and for good reason! There is one prominent company in Australia with an NPS north of 50%…and that’s iiNet.

But we are pleased to announce that for the first time ever, we cracked the 50% threshold in the month of July… our best monthly result to date. In laypersons terms, here is a breakdown of what a 50% NPS looks like.

NPS score graph (1)

It’s a full circle back to our basic formula here at Smartsalary. We know that super engaged staff drive fantastic customer service, which then leads to positive word-of-mouth referrals, which ultimately drives strong company growth!

Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer

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