Q2_Post2_May2016…a website that’s intuitive, simple and welcoming – or one with copy so dense that it’s impossible to find what you need?

Service staff who are friendly, resourceful and truly helpful when you call – or ones who act clueless or put-off by your requests?

The guy on the left – or the guy on the right?

The answers are pretty obvious, and that’s kind of the point.

First impressions are everything in business.

Especially when it comes to customer service! Expectations are high. Competition in the industry is fierce. And a single misstep can cost you a client or candidate – even damage your reputation if the offended party gets vocal online. Online reputation management services can help.

So don’t leave anything to chance. Use these ideas to create a fantastic experience for employers and candidates, from day one:

Conduct a website customer experience analysis.

Often, your website is the first experience clients and candidates have with your firm. Does your website welcome, engage and inform them? Is it simple to navigate and visually appealing (both on desktop and mobile)? Does it make it easy for them to take the actions that matter most to your staffing service – things like requesting more information, placing a job order, applying to a job or submitting a resume?

Give your website a CX “stress test” to find out. Ask a few trusted clients and field employees to imagine they’re new to your site, and then get their honest feedback (and if you want a free website analysis, we’re happy to do that for you). Look for ways to improve your website, so that it helps your staffing service put its best foot forward.

Train customer-facing staff.

Formally train all your front-line personnel – from reception to sales to accounting – to represent themselves and your company in a positive way. Make sure that everyone who comes in contact with prospects, clients and candidates is upbeat, professional and equipped to do whatever it takes to help.

Analyze your waiting area with a critical eye.

Like it or not, customers size you up and make snap decisions about your staffing firm based on what they see when they walk in. The look and feel of your entry area gives people an immediate sense of what it’s like to work there, the financial health of your business, and more. So if your waiting area is messy or outdated, consider the message it’s sending, without anyone even uttering a word.

When’s the last time you spruced up your lobby? Is it comfortable and clean? Does it convey the message: “We welcome and value clients and candidates”? Not sure? Then take a hard look around. If it’s time for an update, freshen your waiting area up to make it more inviting, modern and comfortable.

Make an initial “deposit.”

Think of your relationship with a prospect or potential candidate as a bank account. Before you can make any kind of “withdrawal” (i.e., ask for a staffing order or for a job seeker to register/apply), you must first make some kind of deposit.

A simple way to do that? Offer something for nothing! It’s something we at Haley Marketing do all the time, and it works really well. Here are a few things you could offer for free:

  • For candidates: resume critique; online job search and career management resources; software or other training; job interview coaching.
  • For clients: workforce consultation; job description assistance; competitive salary analysis; online workforce management and hiring resources.

What does your staffing or recruiting firm do to create a great first impression? I’d love to know – please leave your comment below!

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