By Mark Stephens
I wrote this blog after reading an article called Five ways to build a product your customers will love, by Daniel Tuitt and Flick Hardingham. In fact I have even stolen a couple of lines from it, which I am sure they won’t mind too much.
It just got me thinking about how we all too often go about recruiting staff and it resonated with me, that something as simple, yet as important as ‘caring for our customers’ should not be forgotten within our recruitment strategy.
Many of the most successful business people in the modern world will tell you that the foundation of designing a product or a service that delights customers; are relationships based on value, respect, love, trust and most importantly, care.
Jonathan Ive, best known for designing many iconic Apple products was quoted as saying, “Our customers can sense the care we put into our products.” And I believe that the ability to care about customers is one of the essential reasons brands such as Apple have built a cult-like customer following.
Whether you are an Apple fan or not, this supports the theory that caring is one of the greatest business success strategies of all!
By understanding the customers’ journey better and proving that you genuinely do care, we can stand out from the competition, build a loyal following and drive the business to more success.
I see businesses that are so focused on following metrics such as revenue, cost and customers acquired, rather than building a loyal customer base through its culture of caring for both employees and customers, that they subsequently lose sight of what they actually do that delights their customers so much in the first place.
In our company, Smart Recruit Online, we are most certainly focused on innovation, looking at ways that technology can aid the recruitment of staff, faster, more efficiently and more effectively, and we are also focused on growth and on increasing revenues too. But what always delights me most when I read the hundreds of testimonials that we receive is the over riding delight that our customers have with the way that we look after them. It is testament to our staff who work so well together to ensure that all of our customers have the best possible experience of working with us. We do have problems and challenges from time to time like everyone else, but we also have a collective desire to resolve them quickly and make our customers happy again.
In truth, we are a very low cost recruitment service with extremely competitive margins, that realistically justifies a very light touch with our customers. Because of this we don’t sell ‘onsite’ as most recruitment software companies do, unless our prospective clients specifically ask us to, and of course we need to be commercially viable too, so we have built our technology to be as simple and as intuitive as we possibly can, so that we minimise training and support needs, and so that we can keep our costs as low as possible.
So ensuring that we can still impress our customers and demonstrate that we ‘care’ when not too much engagement is required means that we have to take a much more proactive approach.
Because we don’t usually meet many of our customers before they come on board, it has become imperative that the online and telephone support service that we provide during the on-boarding phase is delivered exceptionally well by everyone involved.
Recruiting people that genuinely buy into our ethos is more challenging than you think, as it is always tempting to hire people with a proven customer service history. It is however becoming clear to me that we must continue to recruit people who demonstrate that they have the right values and who come with the right blend of cultural and behavioural alignment to the ‘caring’ company culture that we have fostered and developed and that our clients tell us they love about us.
About the author
Mark Stephens has over 20 years of business management experience, across Sales, Marketing, Recruitment and Technology environments. In 2013 Mark won the Chambers of Commerce award for innovation in business. He is a serial entrepreneur and is the founder of several companies including F10, Smart Recruit Online and The HR & Recruitment Resource Library.
Mark has established a reputation for his passion and enthusiasm over twenty years working in the recruitment industry, both client and agency side. For the last seven years he has been researching the recruitment landscape from both a technology and people perspective. His insights into market trends are often used and quoted across the industry’s leading publications.
Mark also delivers keynote talks and training to recruitment teams in both public and private sector organisations, on writing better advertising copy, targeting passive candidates and understanding candidate behaviours online.