I recently had a valuable customer service experience at one of our staffing offices that I'm sharing here publicly because I hope it's something anyone can learn from. This was a common occurrence that I’ve seen, experienced, and/or heard about multiple times at any business and in this case, I must admit, I was a part of the problem.
I dropped by that office on a whim and was chatting it up with the staff who were there at the moment – as the rest were at lunch. Upon leaving, I heard a job applicant (one of our guests) who was sitting in the front lobby mumble under her breath, “You guys should be more communicative so we don’t just sit here pointlessly waiting, not knowing what you’re doing or why you’re not helping us. This sucks.”
Instead of walking away – continuing to my next appointment on a busy day, I walked back in the door and asked her for more feedback. She then elaborated on her perception and how she’s felt that way in our offices before and how that made her feel worthless.
That did suck.
My perception had been that she was sitting, quietly waiting. Her's was the exact opposite. She genuinely felt neglected and I instantly felt guilty for how we had made her feel. I apologized for my part in the situation, explained I was the HR director and also explained to her some of the realities of the situation. But it took her speaking up for us to communicate that to her.
That’s not good.
At least that’s the impression it left me with and an embarrassing one at that. To think through where we stood –
- REALITY #1 – the office was short-staffed, with most of them at lunch
- REALITY #2 – the staff that were there were busy with other interviews, phone calls, or talking to me
- REALITY #3 – Does that stuff really even matter to our guest?
MORAL OF THE STORY
This guest took time out of THEIR day to come to OUR office (instead of a competitor) to seek help finding a job or to seek help dealing with an employment issue. Whether we are short-handed or busy with another task, it doesn’t matter to our guests and it really shouldn’t. This particular person came during regular business hours to a company that takes pride in being efficient and fast and she and every single guest we invite in deserves our utmost respect, even if that respect is a simple communication with them to let them know where we’re at in the process so they're not stuck waiting and not knowing.
I hope this serves as a friendly reminder on customer service. No one likes to wait. Not at a restaurant. Not at the DMV. Not at the doctor's office. If a guest has to wait, we as hosts should be communicating with them positively and regularly so they can feel a sense of respect and security, that we are aware of them, want to help them, and that they will get helped in the right order. Because we all know that fear all too well… when someone walks in BEHIND you at a doctor’s office or something and you instantly fear them getting helped before you, because of course, you were there first! And nobody is telling you otherwise.
This is a huge deal and affects our entire business. This is, in fact, what we are in business for. ?
At Your Employment Solutions, we want to foster a culture of 5-Star customer service. If you've been our guest and have ever felt neglected, we sincerely apologize. We're better than that.
Let me be clear, I think most times, our company does a great job of serving our customers, but there are moments where we forget–which is why I'm sharing this story publicly here: to challenge us to continually improve and try and make those “sucky” moments occur less and less.
At the end of the day, in staffing, in business, in life – remember the golden rule – treat others as you would want to be treated in their situation!
And oh how I hope that’s positive! ?haha
Director of Human Resources
Your Employment Solutions