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New socks. Thanks alot.

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Ever tear into a birthday present as a kid – fully expecting a great new toy – only to find a lame old pair of socks (or even worse – underwear) instead?

There are lots of words to describe how you might have felt – disappointed, unimpressed, frustrated.

“Underwhelmed” is my personal favorite.  But whatever term you’d choose, the point of this post is to make sure your clients never feel the same way about your customer service.

A customer’s service experience is a defining moment with your staffing firm.  As such, a client shouldn’t walk away from that experience feeling let down, or even “so-so.”  Use these tips to ensure truly shareworthy service, every time:

  • “Be the ball, Danny.”  In the movie Caddyshack, Chevy Chase helped his protege sink a critical putt with this coaching point.  It was a funny line in the movie, but it actually makes a lot of sense in customer service.  To create the best experience, start by putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.  Do whatever you can to experience your organization with all of the normal and real variables customers are likely to encounter – from after-hours requests and skill shortages to budgeting and compliance issues.  In short, approach your work using the customer’s perspective and filters.
  • Ask the client what he wants.  This one sounds simple, yet many firms skip this critical step.  Honestly, you may think you know what your client wants – but you may be surprised at what he tells you he really expects, if you take the time to ask him.  So don’t make assumptions.  Truly customize every service experience, based on what each client wants.
  • Manage customer expectations.  Throughout the service process, clarify what you will provide.  Update clients as soon as changes occur.  Under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Create policies and philosophies that support a service culture.  It’s one thing to talk about exceptional service; it’s quite another to consistently deliver it.  Great service, especially in a service industry like staffing, is impossible without a great service culture.  So start at the center.  Align your company’s ethics and moral core with the kind of service you want to provide.  Then, create and enforce policies that support exceptional service.  When your staff starts with a solid service-oriented foundation, they’ll have the mindset, tools and processes to deliver on the service promises they make.

Implementing just one of these ideas will help your staffing firm ensure that its service isn’t lame – like those socks you got as a kid.

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