A good staffing client relationship is a lot like a marriage. To thrive, it needs attention and great communication.
Whether you’re in the honeymoon stage with a new customer, or you think they may be cheating on you with a competitor, you can use these three ideas to strengthen the love clients feel for your firm, and keep them in it for the long haul:
Share Information Freely
Your staffing firm is only as good as the quality of information you get from your clients – and the quality of information they receive from you. In a healthy working relationship, you should share news (whether it’s good or bad) early and often.
Don’t Get Complacent
In any long-term relationship, it’s natural to start letting things slide a bit. After a while, you become comfortable with one another, right? Well, don’t become too complacent. Those “little things” that helped you win the customer’s business in the first place – in-person visits, personal attention, thank you notes, tokens of your appreciation – remain essential throughout the life of your relationship.
So make an effort to spice things up. Find little ways to show your client that you appreciate his business – and truly care about his success. If you’re not giving a customer the love and attention he deserves, he may look for it outside of your partnership.
Ask the Tough Questions
Don’t wait around for a client to declare his undying love for your staffing firm (or tell you he wants a “divorce”). Be proactive, using open-ended questions to uncover his true feelings:
- What do you value most about doing business with our staffing service? With me?
- How are we helping you achieve your goals? What more could we be doing?
- What are we doing right to sustain our business relationship? What could we improve?
- What can I do to win the business you’re giving to our competition?
You may be hesitant to ask your client intimate questions like these – because you’re afraid of the answers. What if he’s not satisfied with the relationship? What if he’s thinking of breaking up with you? What if he wants something from your relationship that you’re not prepared to give?
Think of it this way. If your marriage is in trouble, it’s better to hear it straight from the customer – before he goes running into a competitor’s arms. Get over your hesitation, ask the tough questions and be prepared to listen. Should you hear something negative, embrace the answer. Thank your client for his candor, and vow to make the situation right.
Like a good marriage, a healthy staffing relationship takes a lot of work. So give your clients the attention they need. Ask the tough questions that will help you uncover potential problems. Deliver the shareworthy service that will keep each customer committed to you – and keep your marriage alive.