A typical staffing firm hears from only 4% of its dissatisfied customers – which means that you’re unlikely to know about service problems with the other 96%.
But although the vast majority of dissatisfied staffing customers may be too polite to tell you about service mistakes, they ARE more likely than ever to vent their frustrations on social media.
True, you can’t read customers’ minds or predict the future. You can, however, be practical! In most B2B service companies, service problems typically fall into a few basic categories. By understanding the most common ones, you can put systems in place to detect and remedy problems quickly – or better yet, avoid them altogether!
Create more happy staffing clients – and generate more repeat staffing business – by familiarizing yourself with these fundamental customer service mistakes:
You assumed you knew what the client needed.
That whole “how do you spell ASSUME” thing may be played-out, but it’s true! Never, EVER assume you know what your client wants:
- even if you’ve placed a hundred people with them in the exact same role;
- even if you’ve been doing business with them for a decade;
- even if you’re sure they want what “everybody” wants.
The truth is, any assumptions you make based on experience are, at best, useful only as a starting point for great customer service. Always ask questions to confirm your understanding, review each client’s expectations and make sure you have all your t’s crossed.
You don’t treat your customers like real people.
It’s shocking, but true: staffing clients are people, too! Staffing companies use a wide range of technology tools (from online order submission to voicemail to applicant tracking systems) to make service more convenient and efficient. In the process, however, the human element is lost.
Make sure that you personalize digital communications, and that your clients can talk to a live person when they want to. Treating clients like real people – and not just revenue streams – is a simple and amazingly effective way to strengthen relationships (and it’s a lot more fun, too!).
Your candidate didn’t meet expectations.
While every staffing firm’s goal is to create perfect client/candidate matches 100% of the time, it doesn’t always happen. Scrutinize every aspect of your placement process – from initial information-gathering through interviewing and reference-checking – to identify the areas where things are most likely to go awry. Do what you can to address the aspects you can control, such as conducting periodic interviewer training to improve objectivity and consistency. And finally, make sure you have a rock-solid process (i.e., candidate and client post-placement follow-up procedures, quality checks, guarantees, etc.) for quickly and effectively resolving “this isn’t what I ordered”-type problems.
No staffing firm’s customer service is perfect. After all, we’re human! But anticipating common service errors like these, and then handling them effectively when they do occur, is the best way to create customers for life.