Your staffing customers want answers immediately.
They want problems resolved instantaneously.
Many times, thankfully, providing speedy service and resolution is straightforward. That leaves everyone feeling great! But when a staffing issue is complicated, it can be a lot tougher to resolve quickly – which can leave your client or candidate feeling underwhelmed, frustrated or downright angry.
So, when you’re dealing with a complex situation and an impatient customer…
Which is better: the fast answer or the right answer?
It’s tempting to put a “band-aid” on a problem just to get a customer off the phone or out of your inbox. But if that quick fix doesn’t address the root cause, chances are you’ll wind up right back where you started (with an even more upset customer).
Try this instead:
Ask great questions.
When customers are frustrated or confused, they may vent or present their challenges in ways that aren’t clearly defined. For your staffing firm, asking “why” questions internally – multiple times and in multiple ways – can help you get to the root cause of service issues and resolve them more effectively.
If, after hearing your customer out and probing to be sure you fully understand the situation, you know you’re not going to be able to fully resolve their issue immediately, it’s best to be honest. You can say something along the lines of, “I know you want to get this situation fixed as quickly as possible, and so do I. However, I’m going to need to research this issue further so I can provide the best possible solution.”
But don’t stop there:
Give them a timeframe.
“I’ll get back to you as soon as I can” won’t cut it. Frankly, your customers want to know what “soon” means. Within the hour? The day? The week? Always specify a follow-up time frame for your clients.
And keep them updated along the way. If, when that deadline hits, you still don’t have the answer or resolution your customer needs, call them and say so – and let them know when you’ll be back in touch.
Be a window, not a door.
During your investigation and resolution, give your customer a clear view into your process. In this earlier post, I explain why transparency is critical to effective service recovery and share tips for turning complex staffing problems into service opportunities.
Anticipate what else your customer may need.
Once you’ve resolved your customer’s current situation, don’t stop there. Think about what else they may need. Then, proactively share helpful resources or contextual information to expedite service. In this post, I explain how to get inside your staffing customers’ heads and know what they want – even before they do.
Fixing your customers’ issues quickly is important, but doing your homework, and then solving the correct underlying issue, is essential. When problems can’t be resolved on the first call, use these tips to keep customers informed – and keep their confidence in you high.