The Customer Experience is Extremely Important to Retaining and Attracting the Right Clients and Candidates

488914639Each year, PrideStaff brings our franchise Strategic-Partners together for a conference that focuses on education, training and growth strategies. We engage some of the world’s top speakers and business consultants to ensure our offices have the tools and information they need to be successful.

Among this year’s speakers was Eric Gregg, CEO of Inavero. Throughout his career, Gregg has developed the expertise, experience and passion needed to help staffing clients improve their retention growth and profitability. His projects and experience range from identifying key drivers of client and candidate loyalty for the staffing industry to designing retention programs for major consumer brands and multinational service organizations.

According to Gregg, the customer experience is essential to your staffing firm’s long-term success. Here’s why and how.

The Customer Experience: What is it, and why is it so important?
The customer experience actually begins long before a customer (be it a client or a candidate) directly interacts with you. Every action they take and interaction they have – from the moment they realize they have a personnel problem or decide to find a job – is part of their experience with your staffing firm.

Customer experience involves more than your order placing, recruiting, selection and placement procedures. It includes every instance where a customer interacts with your brand, product or service. And as Gregg explained in his presentation to us, the customer experience is critical not just to retaining customers, but to attracting your next great set of customers.

Why? It’s simple: what others say about you is far more important than what you say about yourself! Every day, our society is becoming more social and transparent. Online reviews and crowd-sourced information available through social media are rapidly making the customer experience the most credible source for marketing. So, for your staffing firm to thrive, your company must be truly remarkable in its service delivery.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Buyers Survey: Trends in supplier management strategies

Tips for Excellent Service Delivery
Consistently delivering a superior customer experience isn’t rocket science; but it does require understanding your customers’ wants, needs and expectations. Use these tips to set your staffing firm ahead of the competition:

Know your customer “touchpoints.” Start by understanding all the ways in which customers interact with, and are influenced by, your organization. Consider the ways you:

  • Attract clients and candidates (web site, job board, sales and marketing activities, social media activities, RFPs, direct recruiting activities, referrals, etc.)
  • Interact with clients (all sales, marketing, customer service and operational activities, reference management, etc.)
  • Interact with candidates (phone conversations, interviews, skills assessments, reference checks, training, orientations, pay procedures, etc.)
  • Serve clients (on-site visits, inbound calls, order placing, candidate presentation, problem resolution, on-site coordinator activities, billing, reporting, follow-up after an assignment ends or a placement is made, etc.)

Take a walk in your customers’ shoes. Go to a trusted client’s office and ask them to guide you through their staffing and hiring processes. Find out everything you can about their decision-making, biggest business challenges and view of staffing services. Use a similar approach with candidates. The better you understand what it’s like to walk in your customers’ shoes, the better equipped you’ll be to deliver a truly exceptional service experience.

Survey customers regularly. One of the best ways to improve your customer experience is by asking for your clients’ and candidates’ input. When creating a customer experience survey:

  • Ask your most important questions first (in case clients don’t take the time to complete the entire questionnaire).
  • Offer opportunities for open-ended responses (yes/no responses and rating scales won’t tell the whole story).
  • Actively solicit both positive and negative feedback (to identify what you’re doing right, as well as what you could improve upon).
  • Think like a customer when writing your questions (target their biggest “pain points” in staffing, finding work and the service you deliver).

Use the feedback you receive to identify: priorities for enhancing your customer experience; opportunities for competitive differentiation; and even additional sales opportunities. At PrideStaff, we work with Inavero to regularly survey our clients and candidates and gather our Net Promoter score. This helps ensure consistent service deliver and positions PrideStaff as a leading staffing partner.

Live up to your service commitments. According to Inavero, client satisfaction is on the decline – and lack of responsiveness is largely to blame. Not surprisingly, responsiveness is a highly valued attribute in staffing representatives. So call when you say you’re going to call! Create and adhere to standards and processes that ensure rapid response. Communicate regularly throughout the service process to show your customers that you care, that you’re on top of things and that you have their backs – all of which support a fantastic service experience.

MORE: Preparing for the atypical client


Tammi Heaton

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

Tammi Heaton

Share This Post


Related Articles

Powered by ·