Podcast | 2 min read

Why self-service and the employee experience drive cost savings with VirginPulse’s Michael Pace

Seeing your business grow exponentially is a great problem to have. As Michael Pace of VirginPulse explains, leaning into self-service and investing in employee growth have helped his company scale its support operations wisely and improve the customer experience.

By Mark Smith, Staff Writer

Last updated August 16, 2023

Businesses increasingly understand and embrace the value in providing well-being benefits to their employees. Those investments can yield significant dividends: better morale, increased productivity, and higher levels of talent retention.

To meet this growing need to nurture and support employees, businesses have been turning to services such as VirginPulse, a company that has seen incredible rates of growth every year: upwards of 15–20 percent. Founded in 2004, VirginPulse now operates in 190 countries and serves more than 14 million workers.

However, with that kind of rapid growth comes real challenges, such as how to keep your support organization operating at a high level at scale. VirginPulse’s Michael Pace, vice president of member services, explains in the latest episode of Conversations with Zendesk that his company took a two-pronged approach.

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First, the support organization began revitalizing and expanding its knowledge base. As Pace describes it, when he delved into the FAQ section of VirginPulse’s site, he saw about 350 articles, and those were “really outdated.” He directed his team to refresh the articles and revamp the site navigation, and now self-service articles number around 2,000. “We now have three times as many people looking at articles than actually contacting us,” Pace said.

Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse: self-service + good employee experience supports growth

“If we had not implemented the self-service strategy, we would probably have had to increase our budget another 25-30 percent over what we spend today to handle the increased volumes.”

Michael Pace

Vice President, Member Services

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The next step was to invest in the employee experience by actively encouraging professional growth, even if that meant customer support employees ending up transitioning to new roles outside of their previous area of expertise. “In Member Services, the employee experience is the most important part of the customer experience,” he said. “Our core values are, ‘One team, one dream.’”

While VirginPulse remains focused on these twin pillars, Pace notes that his team is keeping a close eye on the potential applications of artificial intelligence. “I’m pretty bullish on the AI front,” Pace said. “I think the improvements in conversational AI tools will be dramatic.”

Stay tuned for the next episode of Conversations with Zendesk on August 23, which will feature Matthew Hutson, frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Science, who will discuss the possible use cases for artificial intelligence in customer support and beyond.

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