Every once in a while I read an article or post with an idea so important, I have to share it.

Today is one of those occasions.

This post on Jeff Toister’s Inside Customer Service Blog explains the concept of “whole company support.” It’s an operational principle we’ve used for years at Haley Marketing to provide Shareworthy Service, and it can help your staffing firm dramatically improve the quality of support you provide to clients, associates and candidates.

What is whole company support?

When an employer calls a staffing agency, a receptionist typically answers the phone and serves as front-line customer support. From there, the call may get escalated to a team member in recruiting, sales or accounting.

But imagine if that same employer called the same staffing agency – and the CEO answered the phone.

If you were that caller:

How would working directly with the CEO make you feel?

How much attention do you think your question or issue would receive?

Would you share your experience with coworkers, colleagues and friends?

And if you were that CEO:

How much more connected would you feel to your client base?

Would serving on the front lines of customer service keep you a bit more on your toes?

Might you uncover training opportunities to improve your service processes?

As you’ve probably surmised by now, whole company support, also called “all-hands support,” is a concept in which employees outside traditional service/support roles spend time serving customers via phone, email, chat or in other capacities. Employees can rotate into service on a fixed schedule, or be “called up” to help during peak service hours or in times of crisis.

Why is all-hands customer support important in staffing?

Implemented properly, this service model provides a multitude of benefits for your customers and your staffing agency:

  • It keeps employers, job seekers and associates at the heart of your agency. Shaping your staffing firm – its culture, services and processes – around customers makes you a partner in their success. This post explains why a customer-centric culture is so important – and shares practical ideas for building yours.
  • It keeps your team on their toes. Providing real-time support requires you and your team to know your services, understand your areas of specialization, and appreciate the needs of your clients and candidates.
  • It eliminates customer service red tape. Employers and candidates don’t want to jump through hoops to work with you. When everyone in your organization spends time serving customers, they will uncover problems. They’ll come up with ways to streamline service delivery and issue resolution. And ultimately, they’ll help your staffing agency improve customer experience.
  • It creates stronger connections between your staff and your customers. At the end of the day, people do business with people. When team members have regular opportunities to make a difference in a job seeker’s career, or help a client overcome a staffing or recruiting challenge, their work is more rewarding.

Give all-hands customer support a try.

In staffing, delivering truly Shareworthy Service takes more than a polite receptionist or a resourceful account manager; it takes the concerted effort of every member of your team. Try involving more employees in your customer service functions for one month and see what kind of impact it makes: on your employees, your culture, your service quality and your customers’ satisfaction.

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