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The Rising Bar of Customer Expectations: Here’s How to Clear It

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Immediacy. Personalization. Convenience.

In staffing (or any other industry), customers want consistently excellent service – NOW! And if you fail to meet their expectations, they won’t hesitate to voice their displeasure in very public (and potentially damaging) ways, including:

  • ranting on social media
  • writing negative online reviews
  • contacting the media to report it

Extreme connectivity and the explosion of social media have made it more critical than ever for you to consistently please clients – or suffer the consequences. But with customers becoming increasingly demanding, how can you continue to keep them happy?

McKinsey & Company recently published a great piece on how to win in the “game” of customer care. Here are a few key takeaways for your staffing firm:

  • In coming years customer care will change around two key dimensions: understanding the evolving value and complexity of transactions, and choosing the right level of human interaction and automation to optimize service.
  • To stay on top of customers’ needs, staffing firms should prepare for these significant changes in customer care:
    • A decrease in inbound “transactional” phone calls. According to a recent McKinsey survey, 40% of customer-care leaders expect inbound-call volumes to drop significantly over the next decade – perhaps to zero!
    • The adoption of internet robots/virtual assistants as customer service “gatekeepers.” Customers will demand more self-service options in coming years. Smart staffing firms will resolve low-value transactions, inquiries and problems through digital channels, including chatbots.
    • A need for higher-skilled, front-line service personnel to handle increasingly complex service interactions. As transactional service becomes increasingly automated, customers will rely on people to handle their complex service challenges. The lesson here? Stay ahead of the curve by training-up all your customer-facing personnel as you integrate new customer-service technology, and by providing ongoing training on topics like active listening, triage and effective problem resolution.
    • The need to make significant (and smart) technology investments to increase customer service efficiency and effectiveness – while controlling costs. The McKinsey post cited behavioral routing software, artificial-intelligence agents and visualization technologies as three emerging technology areas likely to become prominent. Make sure your entire strategic team learns about this tech and investigates their potential applications within your staffing firm now; realizing any measurable CX impact could take a year or more once you’ve rolled them out.

Need help clearing the customer expectations hurdle?

Give our marketing educators a call. We’ll provide the expert advice, solutions and automation you need to raise the bar in your staffing firm’s customer experience – by delivering shareworthy service, every time.

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