What do your billing system, social media activities and reference requests have in common?

They’re all customer touchpoints which can impact the quality of service you deliver.

But just what are touchpoints – and more importantly – why are they important for staffing and recruiting firms?

In broad terms, a touchpoint is any instance where a customer interacts with a brand, product or service.  For the typical staffing service, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of ways you can figuratively “touch” a customer.

According to Robert Howard, Founder and Chief Executive of ClearBrick.com (a leading provider of customer experience methods & solutions), identifying your customer touchpoints is a critical first step for any customer experience initiative.  Why?  To consistently deliver great service, your company must first understand all the ways in which customers interact with, and are influenced by, your organization.

To begin identifying the myriad touchpoints critical to your customers’ experiences, consider the following parts of your customer experience ecosystem:

  • Attracting clients and candidates (consider your web site, job board, sales and marketing activities, social media activities, RFPs, direct recruiting activities, etc.)
  • Interacting with clients (consider all sales, marketing, customer service and operational activities, reference management, etc.)
  • Interacting with candidates (consider phone conversations, interviews, reference checks, training, orientations, pay procedures, etc.)
  • The service cycle (on-site visits, inbound calls, order placing, candidate presentation, problem resolution, on-site coordinator activities, billing, follow-up after an assignment ends or a placement is made, etc.)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!  Each touchpoint you list should be discrete and consist of a title, short description and unique identifiers to describe its “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “why.”  To make touchpoints a more powerful CEM tool, collect information about their performance attributes (frequency, volume, duration), importance attributes (how critical they are to the customer and company) and appropriate quality attributes.

As you develop your list of touchpoints, Howard recommends creating a single repository that you can maintain, manage and analyze.  Once you’ve developed a database you can use the information to:

  • gain a better overall understanding of the breadth, depth and complexity of your customer experience ecosystem;
  • identify customer experience gaps, issues or improvement opportunities;
  • ensure the success of your customer experience initiatives.

The lesson here?  While actively managing the customer experience before and during the placement cycle are certainly important, they’re not the only service areas you need to monitor.  The little things – from the frequency of your billing to the way you keep in touch with candidates after they’re placed – do matter.  Only by actively managing all parts of a customer’s experience can you ensure that he’ll stay happy, satisfied and coming back to you.

3 thoughts on “Customer “Touchpoints” for Staffing and Recruiting Firms

  1. Excellent post. This statement really puts it all into perspective: “begin identifying the myriad touchpoints critical to your customers’ experiences, consider the following parts of your customer experience ecosystem.” I have been wondering for some time if Service Design principles (including Customer Experience Marketing) might eventually enter the staffing industry space, where it seemed to have natural applications. So we know of any staffing firms that are moving along these lines?

  2. Andrew, I have not seen any firms with a truly well defined service experience process. I have seen several firms with very well documented processes for candidate intake and communication, but it’s typically more about recruiting consistency than candidate experience. The only company I know of that really puts a premium on Candidate Experience in Signature Consultants. And for what it’s worth their CEO credits their tremendous success on their candidate focus (n.b., I saw him speak for the first time at this year’s Exec Forum).

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