Think your customer service process starts when a client calls in a job order?

If so, you may be missing out on early (yet critical) opportunities to deliver a great service experience – and create a great first impression with every client.

I recently read a great post by Colin Shaw, CEO of Beyond Philosophy and a leading consultant on customer experience.  His ideas on where the service experience actually starts are particularly relevant for staffing and recruiting, so I’ve related three of his most important points to our industry:

  • Your customer experience begins long before the customer directly interacts with you.  Every action they take from the moment they realize they have a personnel problem presents service opportunities for you.  And once they think they may have a need, how easy is it for potential customers to find you with a search engine?  How intuitive and informative is your website?  How many ways can clients get in touch with you to ask questions – and how promptly do you respond?  Pay attention to factors like these.  They affect first impressions and set the tone of a client’s service experience – well before they ever place an order.
  • Your processes are not their customer experience.  Don’t limit your view of a client’s experience to your order placing, recruiting, selection and placement procedures.  To get a true appreciation for what a client goes through, take a walk in their shoes – literally.  Go to a trusted client’s office and ask them to guide you through their staffing and hiring processes.  You may be surprised at what you learn about their decision-making, daily business challenges and view of staffing services.  You may also uncover new opportunities for improving the service you deliver.
  • Mapping your customers’ experience includes “going off the grid.”  Truly understanding your staffing client experience involves accommodating errors and unforeseen circumstances.  We all know that stuff happens.  If a candidate match turns out not to be ideal, or if a client undergoes a major unplanned business shift, your organization should be prepared to act swiftly – without sacrificing the customer, or their overall positive experience, in the process.
By actively managing all parts of a customer’s experience – from the moment he has a need to well beyond final billing – you can help ensure that clients stay happy, satisfied and coming back to you.  For more great tips for understanding the customer experience, read this post on staffing customer touch points.

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