“That temp was 30 minutes late to their assignment – again!”

Nobody ever followed up with me.”

“There’s a problem with my billing – I think I was overcharged.”

Fielding too many customer complaints these days?

At one point or another, every firm has to deal with upset staffing customers. You can’t please 100% of people 100% of the time.

But does the problem lie with them – or is it you?

Before you start pointing fingers at seemingly impossible clients or unreasonable job seekers, take a look in the mirror (and make sure you’re not at least partly to blame). Here are three all-too-common customer service failures that frustrate customers:

3 Staffing Customer Service Fails:

Lack of access to knowledge.

Do account managers know what your recruiters are up to? Does your administrative staff have real-time access to important customer account data? Your team can’t be expected to memorize every process, guarantee, candidate name or service agreement – but they should have access to good information. To deliver great customer experiences, make sure that all of your company’s essential information is:

  • documented and up to date
  • properly presented when onboarding new employees
  • accessible by your team (inside the office, out in the field, or even after hours)
  • periodically reviewed (employees forget things; service offerings and processes change over time)

Too much stress.

In staffing and recruiting, no job is stress-free (that’s why we get paid, right?). And while employees may try to hide their stress from clients and candidates, that strategy won’t work for long. Eventually, the pressure employees feel impacts their work:

  • mistakes increase
  • politeness and patience go out the window
  • issues get swept under the rug

Job stress is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to mitigate it. Talk to your team about their stress levels. Determine the root cause. Then, consider ways that better technology, process improvements, wellness initiatives, greater job flexibility or redistributing work could help alleviate your team’s stress – and improve the quality of service you deliver.

Inflexible systems.

Great systems, policies and processes are the backbone of any successful staffing agency. But as I mentioned in this earlier post, sometimes you need to bend the rules to deliver truly shareworthy service.

To effectively serve customers and resolve issues, empower your staff to make smart decisions. Within reason, give front-line employees the training, freedom, resources and authority to make the occasional exception to satisfy customers.

Final Thoughts

You may not be able to please 100% of your customers 100% of the time. But common sense, flexibility and an ongoing commitment to improvement go a long way toward preventing customer service fails that turn off clients and candidates. If you’re struggling with any aspect of your customer service, please drop me a line – I’d love to learn more and see if there’s a way we can help.

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