It seems everyone is writing about customer experience these days. And for good reason. Today’s customer is much more informed than ever due primarily to the internet and social media. Your customers understand there are many options available to them when it comes to selecting a travel company to partner with. And they understand that different agencies do, in fact, manage business differently. More importantly, they’re aware that how an agency manages business directly impacts the overall quality of the travelers experience.
But as you focus on improving your customers experience be sure not to lose sight of some basics! An exceptional customer experience is not just receiving timely gifts. It’s more than your sales staff responding when an issue arises. It’s about creating a journey from start to finish with the customer’s experience driving each decision your business makes. This seems like a broad statement because it is. But each interaction your customer has with your company is an opportunity to elevate their experience. And keep in mind, what was good yesterday isn’t good enough today. With so much at stake, companies would benefit greatly from a close examination of internal processes and how they’re impacting the experience customers have with their business.
Traditionally, businesses have focused on measuring customer experience through surveys (e.g., Net Promoter ® Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES)). In addition to having very low predictive validity, these surveys fail to capture the full experience of the customer. They’re absolutely necessary at a minimum but there are additional means for understanding how your customer’s interactions with your company measure up. In particular, companies can benefit from focusing on specific segments of the customer lifecycle from the time of application to the completion of an assignment. By focusing attention on targeted segments of the customer lifecycle, companies might benefit from an improved understanding of any service-breakdowns impacting their customer which are overlooked by the surveys mentioned above.
Below is a list of key segments in the customer life cycle in the travel healthcare staffing industry.
Application: potential customer speaks with a recruiter and typically completes the application process online.
Job search/Submittal: potential customer works with a recruiter to gather information about current openings and may also receive job updates from the agency and/or access job listings on the agency website.
Onboarding: process for completing health testing/credentialing requirements for the assignment.
On-assignment: management of customer’s needs while on assignment.
End-of-contract/Transition: process of working with customer to determine (a) whether future placement is desired, (b) identify opportunities which meet the customer’s current needs.
One of the first steps you can take is to find out what your customers think about your current processes and evaluate how they’re impacting their experience within each segment above. You may even consider creating a committee to collect and interpret customer feedback in each segment. There are many ways you could collect this information but a simple way of getting this information would be to ask your customers! More specifically, have your recruiters complete a simple phone survey with customers at strategic segments of the customer lifecycle. That, in itself, may improve the experience for some of your customers. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you’ve just completed an application and now your recruiter’s calling to ask (a) how the application process measured up to your expectations (b) whether there are any shortcomings of the application process, and (c) how much effort you had to put forth to apply for a position with your company? Personally, I think they’d love it! You’re demonstrating that you value their opinion enough to ask! And better yet, this approach would take very little time to implement and wouldn’t cost the company a dime!
Your customers have many options when it comes to selecting a company to partner with. As a result, it has become increasingly important for healthcare staffing agencies to create an experience for each and every customer that is uniquely uplifting. Healthcare staffing companies can benefit from a systematic evaluation of current business processes at marked segments of the customer lifecycle and by examining customer experience metrics at these critical intervals. Thanks to the internet and social media your customers are aware of your shortcomings whether you are or not. Thanks for reading! As always, please share your comments below!