Stalled placements. Unanswered emails. Outdated FAQs.

No matter what form it takes, service “friction” kills your staffing customers’ experience – and drives them out the door.

As the term implies, service friction is anything that makes it tough for customers to do business with you. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, high customer effort leads to lower customer loyalty. So if you want more repeat business, make it easier to do business with you:

  • Take a hard look in the mirror. How easy (or difficult) is it for clients and candidates to work with your staffing firm? It’s a tough question to answer, because your service process is comprised of literally dozens of elements. Get your staffing team’s input to begin identifying the biggest impediments to a seamless customer experience.
  • Get inside your staffing customers’ heads. Continue the process by taking a walk in clients’ and candidates’ shoes. Immerse yourself in the customer experience. How well do you really understand what it’s like to work with your staffing service – at every step of the process? Track the customer experience through your firm’s service pathways, taking notes on where friction occurs. Talk to customers. Survey them. Try to think like them. Role play. Do whatever you can to better understand the how’s and why’s of staffing from their perspective, identifying potential roadblocks, bottlenecks and sources of stress.
  • Simplify the A to Z. For each source of friction you identify, look for ways to make transactions more seamless. Streamline processes to remove unnecessary steps. Find new ways to add value. Consider how things like better technology or training could streamline your customers’ experiences. In other words, grease those wheels!
  • Don’t forget about internal customers. Reducing friction internally is a great way to enhance the service experience for your external customers. So after you complete your customer and candidate audits, turn the scrutiny inward. Consider ways to remove stalls, irritants and roadblocks that keep you from working well as a team. Need ideas to get started? Read my three-part series on delivering shareworthy service for internal customers.

What are the biggest friction points in your staffing or recruiting firm? What does your company do to “grease the wheels” for customers – and ensure more repeat staffing business? I’d love to know. Please leave your comments below!
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