How Intuit put its outstanding customer service to work for employees.


Financial Services


For more than 30 years, Intuit’s products — like QuickBooks and  TurboTax — have offered everyday people a better way to manage their personal and small business finances. Today, with annual revenue in excess of $4 billion, Intuit has touched the lives of 50 million people worldwide.

Even as Intuit was earning rave reviews for its outstanding service and products, its leaders discovered that they needed to work harder to keep employees satisfied and empower them to do more — a critical component of keeping customers happy.

Intuit’s strategy as a company is twofold: to be the operating system behind small business success and to do everyone's taxes in the U.S. and Canada. “Our goal is to empower people around the world to simplify the business of their lives,” said Atticus Tysen, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

It was a job that fell to Tysen, who had worked at Intuit for more than 14 years in a variety of management roles — IP protection, product management, engineering and operations, and enterprise business solutions — when he became Intuit's CIO.

While Tysen didn’t have the typical resume for the new role, he did bring one important perspective to the job: he’d been an internal customer of IT and not always a happy one.


It’s hard running all of the existing systems while you’re trying to build out the future.”

Having an issue with IT is one thing, trying to “fix IT” is another. Tysen, who had a wide variety of experiences with IT through his past roles, knew he wanted to improve the way IT worked for the company on day-to-day issues. But he soon discovered that it was no simple task when you’re also trying to set a new course that will help the company move forward for the long term.

“It’s hard running all of the existing systems while you’re trying to build out the future,” said Tysen. “We have many different layers of technology. IT has to operate all of them well because they’re serving customers and different segments of our customers. If any one of those systems is not performing, then we’re not performing. It’s hard to appreciate that on a day-to-day basis until you really get in and understand it from the inside.”

Tysen quickly decided that one of his major goals would be to simply avoid repeating that outcome. “As we move into a SaaS world, I want all our technology to come from best-of-breed vendors who can push us in how we think about our business,” he said. “We need to think about where the company’s going, and then build our architecture to meet those needs. There isn’t one answer for every company. It’s a very specific answer for each.”

Like a lot of companies, Intuit leaders knew the company needed a better onboarding process. It’s critically important for managers to onboard a new employee efficiently and provide a positive experience. But ensuring that the appropriate onboarding materials were sent to new hires was challenging for Intuit managers. They had to go to at least three different systems to request assets for a new employee, and would often miss one or two necessary steps.

For new employees, this could be a bumpy introduction. They would have to visit a few different places to sign documents, enroll in benefits, and begin their specific job onboarding — all while learning about the company. New hires received many competing emails from various people, teams, and departments. It added up to an ad hoc, manual process out of step with what talented new hires expected from a leading Silicon Valley employer. What’s more, employee frustration with existing systems came through loud and clear in annual surveys.

Tysen realised that Intuit needed to do something to simplify employees’ lives, so he set out to explore the available options. The company needed a secure platform that could scale for growth and evolve as business demanded. As a software organisation, Intuit had a lot of platforms and development experiences, so it would be possible to build the platform internally. But this option would prove costly by pulling developers away from their current product focuses.

“The Salesforce platform provides a seamless environment for service and sales, and gives our agents the tools to access information that best serves our customers,” said Tysen. “Based on that, we believed it could bring the same benefits to our employees and HR partners.”

Intuit overhauled the new hire experience by building an employee portal using from Salesforce. This portal guides newcomers through step-by-step instructions, all in one place. Behind the scenes, the app uses custom APIs to connect with all the right HR systems and provide the necessary content access, new hire forms, timekeeping tools, and more.

The company also built a manager portal on with custom Visualforce pages. By digitizing and standardizing the manager onboarding process, Intuit saves time across the entire organisation, and provides better experiences for both managers and employees. It took three months to build, went live in May 2015, and was rolled out to 1,000 managers across the entire company.


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