Do you know what your clients think of you?

18 Apr 2017


On 6 April we launched our latest publication The Scale Up Workbook: how to deliver customer service excellence. In the first part of this blog series, we looked at what customer service means for the recruitment industry. This blog will focus on the importance of collecting feedback to measure customer experience, and the best way to go about it.

Why should you ask clients for feedback?

To understand the customer experience you provide, you need to know how your customers think and feel about your service. The only way to find that out is to ask them.

HR decision-makers who have used a recruitment agency value the opportunity to provide feedback, but less than half (47%) have been asked to do so.

We found that over a quarter (27%) of HR decision-makers say that the process of working with an agency could be improved if there was an opportunity to provide feedback to the recruiter during the process. And almost one in five (19%) wanted an opportunity to provide feedback to the agency at the end of the process.

What should you ask?

A number of tools exist, which can be used to measure customer experience. This can range from a single measure, for instance an Uber-style star rating, to lengthier surveys or semi-structured interviews.

One commonly used measure is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This is based on a single question: ‘How likely are you to recommend [company name] to a friend or colleague?’ with a customer asked to answer on a scale of one to ten, one meaning ‘not likely at all’ and ten meaning ‘extremely likely’.

The advantage of the NPS is that it’s widely used by recruitment agencies across different sectors, which allows organisations to benchmark themselves. As it’s a single score, based on a single question, it is easy to adopt and use.

If you have greater resource, you could look at asking more questions – but try to retain an easy format for your clients.

How should you collect feedback?

How you invite your clients to give feedback could have an impact on their response and even their overall customer experience. The HR decision-makers we surveyed lean towards more impersonal methods of giving feedback, but recruiters aren’t currently giving their clients this opportunity.

When asked how they would prefer to provide feedback, employers responded:

a survey (online or through the post) (36%) verbal feedback over the phone (not a structured interview) (31%) an online rating (for example giving a star rating) (24%).

Yet employers were most commonly asked for feedback by agencies informally over the phone (53%), as a structured phone interview (28%) or via verbal feedback in person (25%).

What should you do now?

Research different approaches to collecting feedback and use what fits with your needs, depending on how much time and resource you have available to collect and analyse the data. Ensure that you are clear with clients about how you will use the data. Think about what action you’ll take with the feedback. Will you share it on social media and on your website? How will you disseminate the feedback with your employees?  Think about collecting feedback as part of your overall customer experience strategy.

Whichever method of collecting feedback you choose, make sure it’s easy for your clients and suits their preferences.

The Scale Up Workbook: how to deliver customer service excellence is the second in the REC’s series of Scale Up publications for recruitment leaders seeking to grow their recruitment business. Each chapter has key questions and practical examples, and a final checklist provides guidance to help recruiters take steps to improve interactions with clients.

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