Customer service is often referred to as the magic key that opens the door to business success. But in reality, it’s not magic, it’s hard work. Top-rated customer service, the kind that puts your staffing company in the forefront, takes intentional, committed actions every day.
A commitment to customer service begins with your approach to sales. While most recruiters are fantastic sales people, they need to always keep in mind that their core mission is connecting companies with talent and talent with positions that lead to career success.
Core principles of a great sales team:
- They know their mission and use it to create their goals.
- Take initiative – rather than waiting for feedback from customers, solicit it.
- Master the art of fast responses – whether filling a need, answering questions, expressing appreciation, or responding to negative feedback.
- Use negative feedback as a platform for improving service.
- Go the extra mile, providing consistent support and helpful information.
- Employ a well-trained front-line staff; first impressions are crucial.
Once these 6 principles are in place, you’ll have a customer service platform that:
- Wins the hearts of hiring managers and talent alike
- Makes it clear to clients that their goals are your goals
- Has such happy clients and candidates that referrals build an engine for growth
Putting the core principals to action:
- Know the mission: Everyone at the company needs to have an intimate stake in the company’s mission. You can’t provide exceptional customer service if you don’t understand a) who your audience is and what they need and b) what makes your offering unique. Once everyone is on board with the company mission, goals can be created and action items can be assigned to deliver top-notch customer service.
- Take initiative: Invite customers to share their dreams, mission, and goals. Ask what superior service means to them. Listen to what they say and be ready to rise to the occasion of your client’s view of exceptional service. Be both professional in conduct and transparent in your business relationship.
- Fast Response: Communication is the most essential ingredient of excellent customer service. Whichever way your clients prefer to communicate with you – phone calls, emails, texts, or social media – make speedy responses your top priority. Of course you know that your clients’ needs are urgent, but you want to make it abundantly clear that you understand the urgency and you’re listening.
- Negative Feedback: Any adverse feedback is an opportunity to improve and demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction. Respond to feedback as quickly as possible and truly listen to your client’s issue. Propose a solution and preventative actions for the future. Companies who go above and beyond to turn around a negative experience can actually end up leaving a more lasting impression than if the original transaction had gone as planned.
- Go the Extra Mile: A quick way to gain a competitive edge is to provide full-service customer care, plus a little more. One example might be to send handwritten thank you notes. An above-average customer service program not only earns loyalty among clients, but can also be a major driver of referrals.
- Front-line Staff: While last on our list here, this is the first step to incredible customer service. The rest of your staff could be the best in the country, but if customers get a poor first impression from the person who answers your phones or sits at your reception desk, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to prove your customer service value. Ensure that the very first contact a client has with your company is with someone who is friendly, courteous, professional, helpful and efficient.