“I don’t think he really understood my problem.”

I didn’t feel like I had her full attention.”

That recruiter just didn’t ‘get’ me.”

We’re all busy. Distracted. Still buying into the “multitasking myth.”

And you know what? Customers notice!

When you don’t give an employer or job seeker your full attention, you’re sending the wrong message. Instead of a customer feeling like you’re truly listening, empathizing and interested in helping, they may feel marginalized. Frustrated. And like you don’t really give a hoot.

As I mentioned in this earlier post on service mistakes that drive staffing customers away, 2/3 of lost business is due to “supplier indifference”: your customers’ perception that you just don’t care about them. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest service blunders that contributes to this perception is poor listening.

The takeaway from today’s post?

Make sure your customers feel heard!

When interacting with clients or candidates, here’s how to put 100% of your attention where it belongs – and ensure that your customers feel understood and appreciated:

Never phub.

“Phone snubbing,” also known as “phubbing,” is the act of ignoring someone by busying yourself with your phone. Whether it’s intentional or inadvertent, it instantly turns customers off. When you’re visiting a client or interviewing an applicant, put your phone away and give the person in front of you your undivided attention.

Explore ways to minimize background noise.

While you can’t eliminate office conversation, keyboard clicking and other types of operational noise while you’re listening to a customer on the phone, look for ways to reduce noise pollution. The quieter your call space is, the easier it is to focus – and the more personalized your attention will seem to customers.

Go off script.

While call scripts are helpful for training, and processes are essential to running your agency, use scripts as guides – not replacements for real conversations. Customers can tell when you’re reciting canned information, and they’ll immediately question whether you’re really paying attention to their unique needs. Train everyone on your team in the finer points of active listening, which I outline in this earlier post.

Take it to the next level.

Ensuring your customers feel heard is about much more than receiving information. It’s about being present in the moment. Paying attention to their nonverbal cues. Checking understanding. And giving them adequate time to explain themselves. Yes, it takes work, but the payoffs are huge! By taking your listening processes and skills to the next level, you’ll create happier, more loyal users of your staffing and recruiting services – and put yourself head and shoulders above 2/3 of your competitors.

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