The way we shop, do business and maintain social lives has been radically changed since the boom in online shopping and social networks. We recently saw some positive retail figures with December sales up 5.3% from the same period in the previous year.
Whilst online shopping is of course increasing with companies investing in technology, these figures still demonstrate a need for face to face interaction and sales. With everything shifting online we often lose focus of the importance of direct communication.
In a service industry, particularly one like recruitment, communication is the most important part of any sale. Without a tangible product that they can see and touch the client / candidate needs to be able to trust who they are working with by developing a relationship with their consultant – there is a limit to how much of this can be achieved through online and automated communication.
Recruitment by its very nature is personal; you need to understand the client, their needs for the role and the person etc. as well as understanding what drives candidates and what they are looking for. This is something that can only be grasped by real time conversations from picking up the phone or meeting directly with the client and candidate.
The more recruiters hide behind emails and online interaction the more we are endorsing impersonalised and online faceless recruitment and devaluing the service you are providing.
Encouraging direct communication from your consultants with clients also gives you a way to improve customer service, which in turn allows you to stand out from the crowd, the customer service you deliver will shape the reputation you have in the market place.
Customer service is often seen as what needs to be done to complete a sale, doing just enough to keep the client happy, but taking this further and generating a well thought out customer service and communication plan can help drive new sales.
According to mediapost.com the annual global cost of bad customer service is £204 billion. If someone experiences good customer service they will share this with friends/colleagues etc., however if they experience bad customer service they are twice as likely to share this.
This clearly demonstrates a need for good customer service to develop your reputation in the market place and avoid bad word of mouth.
So what matters to customers that can help you build a great customer service experience?
In a survey carried out by oracle.com their findings showed that when it came to customer service:
- 51% said companies were impersonal
- 58% of consumers’ expectations were not met because the company were unavailable by phone or email
- 56% said companies were slow to resolve issues
- 57% said companies were clueless – it sometimes felt that the consumer knew more about the company than the representative
These figures support the need for a personalised communication plan to provide a valuable customer service experience that will keep customers happy, spread good word of mouth and help drive new sales.