A “customer journey map” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a diagram that visually charts a customer’s experience with your staffing service – from developing initial awareness, to engaging with your company, and through building a long-term professional relationship.

But it’s far from a straight line.

Just as a traveler may take myriad routes to reach their destination (using a variety of vehicles), a client or candidate may take any number of paths when engaging with your firm. Charting those paths, including all of the touchpoints along the way, is no small task. And for staffing and recruiting firms, it requires creating unique journey maps for two distinct customer groups (employers and job seekers).

But the effort is worth it! As I mentioned in my last post on customer experience, the mapping process can help you:

  • guide customers properly (i.e., educate them, build your brand, put them in touch with the right resources);
  • convert more talented job seekers into placed candidates, and more prospects into clients (i.e., by shoring-up your sales and recruiting funnels);
  • identify opportunities or improving services and processes;
  • ensure consistently shareworthy service (i.e., by creating sound processes for anticipating and addressing their needs) – and ultimately, happier customers!

Ready to “hit the road”? Use these tips for mapping out the journey clients and candidates take when engaging with your staffing or recruiting firm:

Step 1: Understand the Customer Journey

  • Start with one customer category.Trying to simultaneously create client and candidate journey maps could easily overwhelm you – so start with the side of the employment equation where you could benefit the most. Are you struggling to recruit great candidates? Is your conversion rate for prospects lower than you’d like? Consider questions like these to choose which map to create first – and then replicate the process with the other audience once you’ve completed it.
  • Use what you already know. Leverage information from your ATS, web analytics, billing system, client database, reviews and customer/candidate satisfaction surveys to begin identifying how, why, when and where customers engage with your company and brand.
  • Survey your customers. Knowledge is power! To accurately portray your customers’ journey, you must gather high-quality information about the positive and negative experiences customers have with your organization. This earlier Shareworthy Service post on customer feedback will help you create a survey that delivers the insights you need for journey mapping.
  • Supplement data with anecdotal information. Statistics and metrics are undeniably essential in understanding customer experience, but they don’t tell the whole story. Complement data with information you gather from social media or by interviewing employees, prospects or former clients/candidates.

Step 2: Map the Journey

There is no one right way to create your customer journey map. Typically, it will resemble an infographic or flowchart with a timeline. But it could just as easily be created as a video or interactive presentation. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind as you begin the mapping process:

  • Work as a team to begin “roughing in” the major steps/milestones. Including varying perspectives will help ensure accuracy.
  • Use a visual or tactile brainstorming aid to augment the process. Whether you use a whiteboard, sticky notes or a digital tool, create a space in which you can easily add, remove and rearrange steps in your customers’ journey.
  • Keep an open mind. You may think you know how prospects become lifelong customers (or job seekers become placements), but make sure you consider all the data and anecdotal information you gather to develop a comprehensive picture. Chances are, your customer journey process is more complex than you think.
  • Use whatever form makes the most sense. Again, check your preconceived notions at the door and choose a final format that most clearly communicates your customers’ story.

Delivering consistently amazing service experiences – and creating lasting professional relationships – starts with knowing your customers inside and out. By mapping clients’ and candidates’ journey with your staffing service, you can better appreciate what customers go through when they engage with you. Demonstrate your commitment to delivering what they want. Anticipate more problems. And provide smarter solutions.

It’s a trip you’ll be glad you made!

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