In this week’s #HRTechChat, we discussed what it meant to provide great customer service in the HR Technology space. From real world examples of customer service excellence to how to create innovations that provide value to customers, there was a lot of great discussion and sound-bytes on the topic.
The question that inspired this post, however, was a simple one:
Q5: No matter what area of HCM technology, what are the top three things that best address customer satisfaction? #HRTechChat”
This question on customer satisfaction hits close to home for me. At SmashFly, we pride ourselves on the customer service we provide and see it as one of our main competitive advantages. The way we see it, the happier (and more satisfied) our customers are, the more we can innovate to create a solution that provides value. The fact is our customers are just as important in helping us fuel our growth as we are to help them improve and simplify their recruitment marketing strategy. It is more a partnership than a sales or service relationship.
So when I looked to answer this question, there is a lot of different thoughts and insights going on in my head. However, when I get right down to it, here are the 3 tenets that I think are integral to customer service and inspiring customer happiness:
1) Be Responsive and Transparent: Like every other human being, when I ask a question or reach out to someone, I would like an answer as soon as possible. And while I expect an answer in a timely fashion, when I receive communication quicker than expected I’m usually pleasantly surprised. This is why it’s important to respond quickly even if you don’t have the full answer available. Let customers know you are looking into their problem and set their expectations for resolving the issue.
The worst thing you can do is to leave a customer in the dark with no expectation for when their question will be answered. The better you communicate and keep customers informed, the happier they will be when a problem is resolved.
Also, try to make every resolved issue available to your customers in a convenient location. While they may not use this self-service option for all their issues, it is a great place to point to when you are answering their questions and concerns.
2) Solve Problems: Being responsive begins the relationship on the right foot but the real value comes from listening to your customers. Listen to their wants, needs and most importantly the problems that they need solved. Once you fully understand the issue, solve the problem in a way that makes sense in your technology (and can be utilized by other customers.)
The key here is to identify the problems that need to be solved and not the solutions that customers say they need. You know your product the best and can come up with a solution that best fixes this need not just for a particular customer but for your entire user base. Blindly customizing your solution on the directive of a customer doesn’t make sense in today’s SaaS world.
We’ve heard from some of our customers about vendors who continually pass off problems to other vendors they are using instead of addressing the problem or being proactive in trying to work (and integrate) with other vendors to resolve it. If you address the problem to come up with a solution, I guarantee your customer will love you.
3) Understand and invest in their future: As you are developing your product road-map, it’s important to understand your customer’s wants and needs. You need to understand where there recruitment strategies are going in the next 2-3 years and understand what innovations make sense to match up with this evolution. There is a give and take of where you think the recruitment technology is headed and where your customers are pushing their strategy but it’s important to keep all this in mind as you are building out your innovation strategy.
Invest in innovations that make sense not only with your product vision but the visions of your customers as well. And most importantly, get feedback on potential innovations from your customers whether it’s better recruitment metrics or new automation capabilities.
Excellent customer Service can help your organization and technology differentiate itself from your competitors and most importantly it can ensure that customers re-up year after year. And it doesn’t have to be hard and all it requires is responsiveness, foresight and critical thinking as well as dedicated resources to ensure a great customer experience.