Making more placements can come from a number of activities:
- Your sales reps can "dial for dollars."
- You can blanket the market with expensive advertising.
- You can cross your fingers and wish on a star.
- Or, you can simply deliver better service!
I vote for the last option. Improving your customer service is an inexpensive, easy and effective way to build your staffing or recruiting business. Want to know how? Here are five customer service tips your company can implement today:
- Make it easy for customers to communicate with you. Providing transparent, simple means of customer communication is a business imperative. To consistently deliver exceptional service, clients and candidates must have reliable methods of contacting you. Make sure everyone on your team - from staffing coordinators to sales managers - provide multiple ways for customers to communicate DIRECTLY with them. When you make it easy for customers to communicate with you, it says you care.
- Instead of telling customers that they're wrong, suggest alternatives. To clients, perception is reality - your reality. Though they may occasionally be wrong, customers' thoughts and opinions are the realities you're forced to deal with. Undoubtedly, they pay you for your expertise; but if you're constantly telling them that they're wrong, they'll start to tune you out. To keep from undermining your business relationship, try suggesting productive alternatives. If you approach a customer with: "Here's another option you could try..." or, "We've had success with this because..." you put a positive spin on the situation that's focused on solutions - instead of right and wrong.
- Ask your customers if you are meeting their needs. When things are going well with your clients, it's easy to become complacent. Don't fall into this trap! Never assume that, just because your customers aren't complaining, all is well. Frankly, they have more important things to do than explain how you are failing to meet their expectations. So take the first step. Check-in frequently with all your customers - even your best ones - to find out how you could improve the service you deliver.
- Present new ideas to save your customers time, money and headaches. As you know, great staffing and recruiting involves much more than finding the right person for the job. Your clients rely on you to help them meet their business goals and be more successful. Move out of the role of vendor, and into the role of trusted partner, by showing them new ways to relieve their "headaches" and improve their bottom lines - even if the solutions aren't related to staffing!
- When things go wrong, take the blame. Sometimes, stuff goes wrong in business. We're all human, right? But it's how we respond to our own "human-ness" (i.e., fallibility) that separates good service from shareworthy. So if you miss a deadline, or make a match that doesn't work, immediately take responsibility. Then do everything you can to make it right. Throughout the service recovery process, follow-up relentlessly to make sure you've exceeded your customer's expectations.
Every day, your customers pay attention to what you do, as well as what you fail to do. Add these five tips to your daily activities, and the improved service you deliver will lead to more placements.