Retirement Plan TPA Customer Service Part I of II

March 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

Since writing my book, one of the most frequent topics individuals want to discuss with me is customer service. I do not want to overemphasize customer service over the accuracy of the actual administration, but I do believe they are fundamentally intertwined.

What is good customer service? For me, customer service is more than a pretty face or a cheery voice on the other end of the phone. It is an ability to answer questions competently and efficiently. It is keeping your promises and taking responsibility to fix your mistakes if they arise. Customer service takes care of your needs and helps you identify issues that you may not have considered in order to reach your goals. To me, it is working with you in mind rather than solely in their own self-interest.

Do you receive timely return calls or other communication? The retirement plan industry is complex, and some issues can take an extended time frame to research. However, simple issues such as determining eligibility or vesting should not take days. Is the service consistent? When you are first signed on as a client, are your needs met quickly, and with time, you feel forgotten and receiving a return call is difficult? Follow through should not end as soon as you have signed the service agreement. TPA’s need to keep their promises. Is the communication appropriate? This area speaks for itself. Customer service is not about droning on about yourself or refusing to take responsibility. The provider should be sober, have good judgment, and be polite.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day! Please sign up for my blog and follow me on twitter @ChristineGurney. Please like my facebook author page at If you have not already done so, please check out purchasing my book on amazon at or from the publisher at


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Ethics for Employee Benefits Professionals Retirement Plan TPA Customer Service Part II of II

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Christine Gurney

A pension professional who shares her thoughts and ideas about the pension world for industry members and anyone else interested.

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