You can buy the technology. You can buy the latest and greatest software. You can buy all those things, and Michigan Planners does have them.
But you can’t buy great customer service. It’s an innate, intangible quality that can’t be taught, and it can’t be bought.
And, as Mott Foundation Human Resources Director Julie Flynn describes it, it’s this exceptional customer service that sets Michigan Planners apart from the rest.
With focuses on civil society, education, environment, and the community, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen the city of Flint and other communities around the world. As its human resources director, Julie has been working with Michigan Planners for decades, and she couldn’t say enough about the customer service standards that have made Michigan Planners what it is today.
“For me, it is the personal touch and the customer service,” Julie said in reference to what makes Michigan Planners stand out. “To me, you can buy information, but you can’t buy great customer service. They either have it or they don’t, and they have it. They have it in spades. I can reach out to anyone. I can call anyone. They answer the phone. I can get the answer I need. I don’t get passed around.
“Do they always have the answers? No. But will they find them? Yes.”
Julie said Mott’s Human Resources Department usually consists of two people, but she recalls a time several years ago when she worked alone for about a year after an assistant left — but she knew she wasn’t truly alone.
“To say that they were invaluable would be an understatement,” she said.
Julie has worked closely with Michigan Planners for about 18 years and has been with the foundation for 22 years, and that meant experiencing changes in legislation and more over the years.
“So I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly,” she said. “Let’s just say I couldn’t do my job without their help.”
Like many other Michigan Planners clients, Julie said she appreciates the employee meetings they lead, during which they answer employees’ questions about their benefits and options.
“They handle our employee meetings every year. They’re available to come in whenever we’d like them to,” Julie said. “Their people are really good. They know their stuff. They care about what we think. They want to know what we think.”
When Mott has had issues with other vendors relevant to employee benefits, Michigan Planners has even helped them resolve those.
“They’re like an extension of our HR team,” Julie said. “Their help helps you get rid of things that drag you down.”
Julie said Mott also uses Michigan Planners for retiree health care, noting that retirees tend to have many questions about medical health issues.
“It is very helpful for me to be able to send them to Michigan Planners,” she said.
Julie also commended Michigan Planners for keeping them informed regarding changes in legislation, making note of the fact that the employee benefits company even has a lawyer available to answer questions if needed.
“They try to make sure the customer is supported in all areas,” Julie said. “They try to keep us as up-to-date as they possibly can.”
She also appreciates that many Michigan Planners team members have been there for many years, so they know their clients’ accounts well.
“That’s really helpful, too, that there’s not that constant churn,” she said.
Even though Julie said she always felt that she could rely on the Michigan Planners team, they are even better now that they have a greater number of employees and have branched out into multiple locations throughout Michigan.
“They’ve really expanded, and I think that’s been helpful for us,” she said.
She attributes at least part of the growth to the company’s work standards.
“The customer service has never wavered. I think that’s important, and I think that’s why they’ve been able to grow the way they have,” Julie said. “It’s because that’s their mindset.”
(Image via the Mott Foundation website.)