Logic dictates that poor customer service will result in dissatisfied customers, who will transfer their business to a competitor if the opportunity arises. But logic doesn’t always prevail.
The recent surveys by a number of organisations, including the Institute of Customer Service, Ofgem and Which?, highlight that some of the most profitable businesses are also the ones who provide the worst customer service levels.
According to the Institute of Customer Service, 75% of the UK economy is generated by service businesses, so common sense dictates that given how reliant the economy is on the service industry, quality customer service should be inherent in everything those organisations do. Unfortunately this is clearly not the case at present.
So how can headhunters help?
Certainly, the headhunting industry is all about quality customer service. The headhunting market is a very competitive one and has very low barriers to entry and to switching. So to survive and excel, providing quality customer service is critical. But how can headhunters apply their own knowledge and experience to the wider markets they operate in?
Jo Causon, Chief Executive of the Institute of Customer Service states “The biggest thing is for the boardroom of an organisation to treat and view customer service as a strategic issue which is absolutely critical to their business”.
Headhunters usually play a prime role in identifying the suitable candidates for the executive boards of all types and sizes of businesses. So it stands to reason that when recruiting for senior level roles, headhunters should be asking what they can do to try and ensure that their candidates have the needs of the customer at the heart of their focus.
A candidate’s attitude to the customer should form a key part of the screening and interviewing process, regardless of the role being recruited. Asking for examples of how a candidate has improved customer service levels in their current organisation can also be crucial.
Cultural and attitudinal change
Whilst headhunters won’t change the internal culture of any organisation by themselves, ensuring they are finding the right individuals for business critical roles who believe the customer should be at the heart of an organisation will play a big part in changing attitudes.
It won’t happen overnight, but appointment by appointment, headhunters can slowly start to get strong customer service strategies embedded within the culture of all the organisations they deal with.