Customer Service is the Key to a Successful Company
I was asked if there are different aspects of customer service as it relates to a particular industry. My response was simple “Customer service is just that – customer service”.
Today’s hurry up pace invites us to brush someone off if they’re taking too long to make their point or if their request is just too much of a nuisance to fulfill.
In the competitive world of temporary and permanent staffing services, customer service is what distinguishes one company from another since we are all selling a similar service.
Customer service in this arena comes in two forms – the client and the temporary/perm worker. We have an obligation to both – simultaneously.
Let’s begin with the client. The client calls with a staffing need which more times than not, is urgently needed. Our job is to spring into action to try to fill that need with the most appropriately qualified worker, in the least amount of time. In order to accomplish this, we must have a clear understanding of the client’s need. If not, our questions must be not only succinct but clearly and intelligently phrased to get the most information from the client while not causing undue concern that we might not know what we are doing. Once this has been accomplished, we must be diligent about keeping the client apprised of our efforts. In our business, a client kept waiting without information is a client who will call another agency the next time around. It’s critical to place a return call as soon as possible if the need is for the same day so the client knows we are serious about finding someone. If we are given more lead time for a future placement, then we should advise the client of our activities before the first day is over and then daily thereafter until the need is filled.
Since staffing is an equation, the other half of the formula is the worker, in our case the nurse. A considerable amount of time, effort and money is expended to recruit and retain the best nurses so that we have a healthy supply of workers to meet our clients’ needs. Nurses that join our company do so for many reasons, but primarily to work; it’s our job to keep them working! Since there is a limited pool of nurses in any given area, it is vital to our business to keep the nurses engaged in our company with meaningful assignments that are fairly close to their homes and pay a competitive rate. Equally important is the need to communicate on a regular basis with our nurses – especially those nurses who may not have worked for us recently. If they’re not working for Horizon, they are probably working for another agency. We need to pick up the phone and “touch base, check in” with our nurses, even if we don’t have anything at that precise moment. When nurses feel a connection with an employer, they are more likely to be loyal to that employer – translation – they will be there when we need them.
Excellent customer service is not a novel concept – it is the lifeblood of any successful organization. The more excellent the customer service, the more it is embedded into each employee, the greater the rewards for the company and all its employees.