In the staffing and recruiting world, we tend to hear a lot about the candidate experience - and for good reason. Ensuring that job seekers have a positive and memorable hiring experience is essential for building positive brand reputation, referrals numbers, business retention and more. And while creating a good candidate experience is a crucial element to the success of a staffing agency, job seekers are only one half of the equation. Delivering an awesome client experience is perhaps more important than ever, as we are coming out of a chaotic year and entering another that is no doubt going to have its own set of challenges.
Arguably, the main goal for 2021 for staffing and recruiting agencies - and for brands in general - should be keeping their customers happy.
Keeping your professional partners satisfied is a no-brainer. But the steps to get there in the most effective way can sometimes take a degree of trial and error. Maintaining existing client relationships and fostering new ones is not always straightforward, so here are four pointers on how to make your client experience world-class in 2021.
Develop a Client Experience Strategy
Having a strategy in place to make sure all points that you want to touch on are met is a good place to start. Measuring your existing client data, zeroing in on exactly what it is that new clients are looking for and making informed and tactical business decisions to improve your approach is vital. With the new year right around the corner, there has never been a better time to revise your strategy and dive into 2021 headfirst.
There are many ways to formulate a great client experience strategy, but some of the most effective methods include:
- Surveying your existing clients and finding out what they think is missing from their experience. You may want to make the surveys online and anonymous or hire a firm do conduct the surveys for you to ensure honest responses are being received.
- Conducting market research on what potential clients are looking for in a professional partnership - and adapting to them appropriately. Hiring a consultant or outsourcing this responsibility is a great way to mitigate bias!
- Defining your agency’s missions and values and communicating them effectively across all platforms and to all employees.
- Identifying one or more differentiating factors that your agency offers, which will appeal to clients, and highlight them really well
Don’t Forget the Human Element in the Client Experience
Technology and automation have many effective applications in the business world to save time and boost efficiency, and in an increasingly hectic climate, we’ll take any help we can get! But when it comes to connecting with your clients, making sure the human element in your operation doesn’t get lost is one of the best ways to set your agencies apart from the competition. Over 90% of consumers prefer talking to humans over automated messages or chatbot - so making yourself available to connect with your clients one-on-one when they need it is very important.
All staffing agencies should have standardized processes and strategies in place to get their clients from point A to point B. However, taking the time to get to know your clients and crafting personalized experiences for each of them will go a long way - job seekers aren’t the only ones who don’t want to feel like ‘just a number’.
Foster Long-Term Relationships
After a year which demonstrated that everything can change overnight, it can be appealing to quickly work with as many new clients as possible to safeguard your operation. However, this can sometimes compromise quality of service, and agencies should perhaps instead focus on the long-term vision of delivering exceptional service and nurturing key relationships. It is one thing for someone to work with you once, but having clients return again and again is indicative of a great client experience (and also means they’ll be less likely to leave when times get tough).
Not only will people remember if they were treated poorly and not become repeat clients, but they are likely to let their immediate network know as well - a recent study found that 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 people, and 13% of will share a negative experience with FIFTEEN people. Even when it comes to temporary or short-term staffing situations, maintaining a positive and collaborative long-term relationship with hiring managers and business owners is a must.
It is one thing for someone to work with you once, but having clients return again and again is indicative of a great client experience.
Show, Don’t Tell - Transparency is Key
After months of economic uncertainty, hiring managers need to know that their resources are being allocated in the best possible way. In an increasingly anxiety-ridden professional world, staffing agencies need to transparently show exactly how a business relationship might unfold before expecting anyone to work with them.
Transparency has long been a critical business initiative, the value of which can be seen across many industries. In fact, 85% of clients say a company’s history of transparency will make them more likely to conduct repeat business with them.
Don’t promise something if you aren’t going to be able to deliver it in the end; authenticity and honesty are two core values that every staffing agency should strive to communicate to their potential clients. Staying true to your agency's unique personality and values - and following through on them - is something that candidates and clients alike will be seeking out moving forward.
One of the best ways to show your clients a glimpse into the recruiting process is with the Client Transparency Portal, created by our recruitment marketing division TopTalent Communications. This innovative, never before seen portal allows you to reveal selective information to clients to show how hard you’re working for them!
Enable your clients to see how far along you are in the hiring process, with key metrics such as how many resumes have been reviewed, calls made, and interviews conducted. You can also optionally allow clients to review all short-listed candidates (with blinded resumes of course) so that they can provide feedback and request next steps with potential hires.
This provides peace of mind to your customers, knowing that their money is being well spent while also cutting down on any unnecessary communication and ultimately strengthening your rapport. In this climate, maintaining client relationships by instilling trust and revolutionary transparency into every facet of the partnership needs to be a top priority.
Want to find out more? Reach out today!