You’ve probably heard of a few of the big boys running around in the PEO playground. But, the obvious choice might not always be the best choice for your business. Consider these major frustrations that clients have found and shared with us after working with some of these giant PEO companies.
Fewer Plan Options
When your business partners with one of the giant PEO companies, you will find that there is often an “our way or the highway” mentality. These PEOs already have strong ties to their vendors and since they are leading the industry, they don’t need to work around your needs.
You likely won’t find this issue with one of the smaller guys. Many PEO companies find that flexibility and doing what’s best for their clients is the right policy. That means insurance options, services, and more can be customized to fit your needs and your budget. The larger price-centric companies can’t provide this flexibility while keeping their prices rock bottom.
Bundled Service Fees
In the PEO world, there are usually two ways billing will go, bundled or unbundled. Giant PEO companies often use the bundled method because they don’t need to break down the fees to explain how it all adds up. They know what they do, they have the customers to prove it, and they can really charge you for it.
It goes without saying, but, this method leaves you in the dark. You won’t know how they came up with that number, or what you’re actually paying for, or whether it’s fair. There is a lack of transparency here.
This is a BIG frustration for small to mid-size businesses trying to protect themselves from overpaying. Wouldn’t you still rather know exactly what you’re paying for?
If you find yourself negotiating with a PEO that uses bundled billing, make sure and take a close look at the service agreement and guarantee. Do they even have a guarantee? Are there any termination penalties? Ask how long their average client stays with them. This will be a good indicator of whether or not their clients are happy with their service quality to cost ratio.
Poor Customer Service
The giant PEO companies also have a giant number of clients. And in order to care for those clients, they usually need to implement call centers. If you’ve ever had to use a call center for an issue specific to your business, you know this model is less than ideal.
When you run into an issue and you need to talk to someone, don’t you wish there was a specific person you could call who already knows you and your business so you could skip all that?
We all do.
Make sure you look for that when you’re shopping PEO companies. Many times, the smaller guys don’t use call centers. You’ll want to make sure they have the bandwidth to care for your business, but there is a nice middle ground where you are assigned a specific professional who gets to know your business’s needs and also has the HR/payroll/benefits/compliance knowledge to back that up.
Do you want to have to remember your client number each time you call your PEO?
Related Article: Do You Have Customers or Clients?
Looking for the right PEO for your business can be overwhelming (with over 700 options to choose from). But the common choice might not always be the best choice for your business. Do your research, ask the right questions, and consider one of the smaller PEO companies for a few reasons:
- Better customers service
- Transparent billing
- Flexibility with your needs
Going with a smaller PEO does not mean you have to compromise in the area of stability and longevity. There are many PEO companies that are not giants that are very stable and have enjoyed decades of service to their loyal clients.