In conversation with Carolyne Wahlen, Owner of GapHR and GolfHR
Carolyne Wahlen is an HR expert and the owner of GapHR, which advises SME businesses typically employing between 20-60 people. Starting out in 2003, Carolyne built up a successful HR as-a-service business and in 2012 developed an additional niche business, GolfHR, to serve the golf sector.
Carolyne speaks at GMCA and other industry events and is keen to educate people about HR issues. Carolyne manages a team of 5 and together they support 140 clients, of whom 95 are private member golf clubs.
This list includes 13 of the top 100 ranked clubs in England. Carolyne likes the golf sector because her clients are genuinely grateful, lovely to visit and it’s not uncommon for there to be some complicated HR problems to resolve.
What has happened since you put EnquiryBot on your website?
We’ve got a website for each business, both of which utilise EB. EB helps my business separate good enquiries i.e. those that make me money! From admin or non-core business enquiries that are normally from employees asking HR questions relating to their situation. It’s been great for cutting out spam emails too.
Sometimes our clients choose to use EB rather than typing out an email because it’s so much easier. Golf HR is really a brochure and content website. Those that go to the site and use EB get further down the sales funnel.
Those that go through the EB process tend to be the ones for whom ‘we have an issue we need help with now’ is true vs ‘we just want the download and that’s it’ who are probably still in the research phase.
How has EB impacted your wider operation?
When we were setting EB up, the team tested it extensively. They were comfortable with it. Overall, it’s provided another medium through which people can get in touch with us. The conversational aspects make it an easier process for people to go through.
It’s been good because we can route enquiries to the right people on my team, rather than them coming into my inbox and me having to disseminate them.
So, it’s taken the pressure off my inbox and saved me some admin time. The other thing is the additional information you get with EB. Because of the process, you get to know what people are really interested in.
What's the best functionality as far as you're concerned?
It’s fun to click through and people prefer this to typing in their information. They’ve been trained into this behaviour using apps. EB plays on this so it feels natural and easy to send a message.
We also have live chat on the GolfHR site and with that, the conversation is scripted to a point. The issue with live chat is that if the operator doesn’t know the answer to questions, the user feels short changed because they feel they probably ‘should’ know the answer!
With EB, people understand it’s a ‘bot’ and they understand the constraints. From our side, when the enquiry comes through, it also gives us some time to make sure we can answer.
When we’re ready, we’ll contact the enquirer who is normally impressed by the preparation we’ve put in. The other constraint of live chat is that you can only really have one conversation at a time, plus it’s only useful during working hours. EB is a 24/7 technology and can hold multiple conversations at a time.